Friday, November 30, 2012

Downtown Art Openings and Everywhere Else

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

This weekend is the beginning of Unveil South Main, where 20 artists will display work for 20 days in various shops and businesses on South Main. There was the Unveil Downtown early this year. I wonder if they will be doing an Unveil Pinch District or an Unveil Raleigh. (Being from Raleigh, I support this idea fully. Raleigh Springs Mall would be perfect.) The kick-off event is at Jack Robinson Gallery, 44 Huling, Friday, November 30th, 5-7 p.m. Then the openings at the assigned locations happen from 7-9pm.

There are a couple of artists that has some interesting work on view for this event.

Howard Paine — Botryoid
  • Howard Paine — Botryoid

Howard Paine’s work for the past decade has been an investigation on the way technology can affect organisms. On his daily walks, Paine collects botanicals, leaves, seed pods, flowers as well as insects. He then photographs or digitally scans in the objects, prints these out then manipulates the objects with drawings, etchings, ink washes, and other mark-making processes. A recent development that came from working this way is the mortality of the individual. He has become interested in what remains after death both physically and as a source for memory.

Howard Paine’s work will be on view at SOB|South of Beale, 361 S. Main Street.

Chloe York — The Decorator VIII
  • Chloe York — The Decorator VIII

Chloe York, a recent graduate from the Memphis College of Art, is interested in all things colorful and oceanic. She is particularly interested it was is deemed ugly by society and what is the standard for what is considered beautiful. This led making a statement about the manner in which we decorate ourselves, covering up what is already there. Her use of pattern and decoration explore this idea of what is beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

Her work can be seen at Muse Inspired Fashion, 546 S Main.

Justin Bowles — Boys Are So Stupid
  • Justin Bowles — Boys Are So Stupid

Also on South Main Friday night but not as a part of the Unveil South Main is work by Justin Bowles, current MFA candidate at MCA, at Ameriprise Financial, 465 S. Main Street #101.

“Making fun of boys is fun,” Bowles states. Her exhibition "Boys Are Stupid," is about exactly that, making fun of her ex-boyfriends. These text-based works came about partly to memorialize the relationships and the rest is simply a purging. The exes are represented as animals that are based on the boyfriends personality. One is a cat because, “that guy was a self-involved sybarite.”

Other animals are more of a representation of the type of boyfriend she viewed them as, for example, a way younger boyfriend is “a super cute baby bunny” makes an appearance in one of the works. Most of that work lives in that liminal space between disappointment and the ridiculous, exploring the point when one stops viewing the failed relationship as tragic and accept the lameness of it all. She is saving the scorned lover material for future projects.

Since you will be downtown to see these three exhibitions, you might as well stop by and see the MFA exhibition at the Memphis College of Art. “Hysterics” features the work of Raquel Adams, Rebecca Coleman, Shirin Shahin, and Lindsey Gwaltney Todd. The opening is Friday 6-9 p.m. and runs through December 15th at the Nesin Graduate Center, 477 S. Main.

Since you have seen the MFA show at MCA, why not be sure to check out the BFA show as well. The exhibition at MCA’s main campus in Overton Park features the work of 15 BFA candidates and includes a variety of media. The opening is Friday 5-7 p.m. and runs through December 12th.

Since you are in the mood to see student exhibitions, see the previous post about the work at Marshall Arts, why not visit the University of Memphis’s MFA exhibition at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis. “Corner” features the work of Katie Maish, Jennifer Burton, Brian Bundren and Kathleen Murray. The opening is Friday 5-7:30PM and runs through January 12, 2013.

I always like it when there are some many simultaneous exhibitions of student work. I like to think of it as a battle royale where the students and the institutions battle it out for Memphis Art World supremacy. I think I may be the only one that thinks this way.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Flat Mates" Opening at Marshall Arts Friday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Is there such a thing as too many art openings? I would never have thought this would be the case, especially for Memphis. Sure, New York City can have 514 art opening on a particular night. There are enough people interested in art, at least feign interest, to have a good turnout for most of the galleries. Besides, they can simply go back and see the other shows during the rest of the month.

This is not the case in Memphis. People really only ever attend the opening and that is it. They usually do not go to a gallery the next day or during the month of the exhibitions run because they missed the opening. Unless it is a friend or lover, have you? I do, but this is because that is what I do, go to art exhibitions.

Friday night is one of those nights in Memphis where just about every gallery, museum, and art space is having an opening. There are more than twenty additional openings in banks, restaurants, bars, clothing stores, and coffee shops tomorrow night. Let’s not forget the South Main Trolley Tour.

And people say Memphis is not an art city.

It would be impossible, in one post, to talk about every art show that needs to be mentioned. You would not be able to see half of the exhibitions tomorrow night, even if you tried really hard. It is more impossible to write reviews for these shows, even for just a couple of them. I think I need to try to perfect the 140 character art review for twitter (@dwaynebutcher if you want to follow and see my attempts in defining a future for art criticism)

With all that is going on, there is one thing I think you should be sure to see.

That is “Flat Mates,” the University of Memphis BFA exhibition at Marshall Arts Friday, November 30, 2012 6-9PM. When you go, be sure to get there at exactly 6PM or wait until 8:30. They, for some reason, always do their student awards during the middle of this exhibition and it takes roughly an hour, during which time no one can walk around and see the art.

And you should see the art.

Anna Roach — Bill
  • Anna Roach — Bill

Anna Roach has a salon-style exhibition of 20 oil and graphite on panel paintings of various sizes. Roach’s subject matter is children, and, despite all of us once being innocent children, our future is undetermined and this innocence will inevitably disappear. There are paintings of a baby Bill Clinton, Ted Kaczynski, and Sarah Palin. While finishing up the pieces for this exhibition, Roach was afraid that the Sarah Palin piece would not be dry in time. So, she took it to the tanning bed and let the UV rays speed up the drying time. A perfect metaphor for Sarah Palin, I believe.

  • Ashley Watts — Fry 02

Ashley Watts has a slight obsession with food. Specifically, Chick-fil-A waffle-cut french fries. She prefers the term "slight," as a complete and unregulated obsession would leave her penniless and overweight. She has created 25 mixed-media pieces that examine the simplistic beauty by trying to capture the “glistening, rolling hills connected by deep, almost crimson valleys” that is found in every waffle-cut fry. Watts will even be serving freshly fried fries at the opening (even more of a reason to get there at 6PM sharp.)

Kelly Baldwin — Grid 02
  • Kelly Baldwin — Grid 02

Kelly Baldwin has three large grids of photographs printed on silk that are suspended from the ceiling. Each of the silk pieces contains a series of nine photos shown in a grid that offer private glimpses into the artist’s life. The silk pieces are then hung in a circle to provide an intimate setting in which to view and contemplate the photographs.

Paul Eade — Effero Extuli Elatum
  • Paul Eade — Effero Extuli Elatum

As a U.S. Army Combat Illustrator during the Gulf War, Paul Eade was inspired by the landscape of the Middle East. Through abstract painting that is influenced on the colors and shapes of the patterned textiles of the ancient churches, mosques, and temples of this region, Eade is attempting to bridge the gap between Western and near Eastern cultures. This offering works best in Effero Extuli Elatum, a 72” x 96” oil on canvas painting.

Philip Johnson — Chair
  • Philip Johnson — Chair

Phillip Johnson’s watercolor pieces are about manipulation — how an object can change from one form to another, in this case the object is a chair. He is interested in trying to create as many different forms as possible by experimenting and altering the positive and negative shapes of the chair. In the end the pieces are not about an utilitarian object but the abstract forms that result from process.

Cameron Showalter — This Looks Like a Good Spot
  • Cameron Showalter — This Looks Like a Good Spot

Cameron Showalter uses a mannequin as a stand-in for himself. Showalter has a tendency to be uncomfortable around people and in social settings. The mannequin is a way to try to deal with these anxieties. The installation is in the back of Marshall Arts in a seldom-used room, a fortuitous location for these prints and their intention.

This is really a nice exhibition and gives me hope for the future of the Memphis art scene. The only problem is that the exhibition is one night only. The art administration has to find a way to have these exhibitions be on view longer. It is a disservice to the students, who have spent the last four years and an ungodly amount of money pursing a degree to only be given one night for an exhibition.

But, we only ever go to the openings anyway, right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday Art Tour

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM

It is Friday and you have a fat belly full of turkey, ham, tofurkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. You cannot stand to watch another football game or parade and are not quite ready for Christmas movies. You have no intention of waking up at 4 in the morning to brave the expected crowds to begin your holiday shopping. So, what do you do?

Go see some art.

Really. "Go see some art" is usually always the answer to any question when deciding what and when to do something.

Eleanor Moty
  • Eleanor Moty

Friday happens to be St. Clement’s Day, the patron saint of blacksmiths and metalworkers, and the National Ornamental Metal Museum is celebrating the day with Blacksmith Friday 10am-5pm. There will be free admission and blacksmith demonstrations. The gift shop will be open and you can purchase the new holiday ornaments. You can also visit the Master Metalsmith exhibition of Eleanor Moty. Moty is noted for bringing the photoetching process into the metalsmithing field. The printmaking nerds out there should love this.

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will also be open Friday. You may be tired of seeing nice plate settings full of food and drink. But maybe seeing The Taste for Tiffany will make you hungry for a leftover dressing sandwich ... delicious! If this is not to your taste, check out the Brilliance of Tiffany: Lamps of the Neustadt Collection. If this is of no interest, the Early Quilts from Southern Collections and the Caleb Sparks exhibition will also be on view.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Car Show; Quilts at the Brooks and Myatt Too

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Those of you who know me know that I am not above self-promotion. Those of you who know me really well know that I love putting together art exhibitions anywhere and everywhere. Tomorrow night, I am once again putting together an exhibition called “The Car Show.” All the work in the show will be based on automobiles (and in one case, boats) either literally or conceptually. There will even be a Lamborghini Gallardo and an Aerial Atom at the exhibition. If you do not know what an Aerial Atom is, google it. Now. They are truly fascinating automobiles.

  • Cat Pena

This event will bring together two groups that usually do not coexist anywhere, the car people and the art people. Their works definitely do not get many chances in Memphis to share the same space. So, we will see what happens when we all get together. In the end, it may just be about having a good time and making what each of these groups do more accessible. I am all for that.

"The Car Show" will run for one night only Friday, November 16th, 6-9 p.m. The exhibition will be held at Word of Mouth Detailing 7585 Highway 64 Suite 100 Memphis, TN 38133. Word of Mouth Detailing is located on Hwy 64 between Kate Bond and Appling Rd.

Speaking of things that are truly fascinating, I have always been very fond of quilts, especially those from the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers of Alabama. Several years ago, the Brooks Museum of Art held an exhibition of these quilts. It was the best painting exhibition I have ever seen. Yes, that is correct, these quilts are like paintings. Currently at the Brooks is another exhibition “Early Quilts from Southern Collections” through January 6th, 2013.

  • Greely Myatt

Saturday, November 17th at 1 p.m., Greely Myatt will be giving a talk at the Brooks. Myatt will be discussing his work that is based on these historic patchwork quilts. He makes these quilts from recycled and reclaimed street signs.

Friday, November 9, 2012

AMUM's Two Thanks/One Event; Gallery 56's Crafts Exhibit and Sale

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Andrei Znamenski
  • Andrei Znamenski
I am so excited that the 2012 election is over, finally. I, like Nate Silver, predicted a landslide victory for President Barack Obama. I was so sure of the incumbent winning, that I started looking forward to the 2016 election in October. Sure, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden would make great candidates. But I think their age at the time of the inauguration may be a disadvantage now. I hope a woman wins in 2016, however (Amy Klobuchar would work). Can you imagine what Rush Limbaugh and the other rightwing wackos would do if a strong liberal woman were President for eight years after the black guy? Alabama would secede from the Union and become the country where the far right moves. Puerto Rico would then become the 50th state, that way we don’t have to change the American Flag any.

The Democrats will keep winning as long Republicans keep voting crazytown rightwing, God intended legitimate rape commenting Tea Partiers in the primaries. This is not a winning strategy and proved as much this week.

I can never tire of politics. It is just so much fun. So much fun that I hope it never ends. And in our world of instant gratification and immediate and short-lived news cycles, it never will.

With this spirit in mind and the resounding success that my The Politics of Art review is, let's keep it going by all attending the reception at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis (AMUM) tonight, Friday, November 9th, 5-7:30 p.m. AMUM is billing it as Two Thanks/One Event, a chance to see the 11 Septembers installation of Jan Hankins, today happens to be his birthday, and to give thanks to Andrei Znamenski. Znamenski is a Professor of Russian at the University of Memphis and translated the Russian Propaganda prints that are a part of the Hot, Cold, Cool exhibition. The event is free and open to the public and all the current exhibitions at AMUM will be open during the reception.

Craft Exhibit and Sale at Gallery 56
  • Craft Exhibit and Sale at Gallery 56

Just like political seasons, it seems the holiday season starts earlier and earlier each year. Costco had all their holiday stuff out well before Halloween. The department stores should just start in July when Lifetime begins showing all those Christmas in July movies. With the holiday’s come the holiday markets and craft sales. Gallery 56 is having its first annual Crafts Exhibit and Sale. It runs today and tomorrow only 10-5 p.m. So go early and by often. This is work by local artists, Bryan Blakenship, Niles Wallace, Nancy White, and others, go support them. Keep your money locally and out of the department stores. If you do not see anything that piques your interest here, don’t worry, this is the first of about 50 upcoming holiday market exhibitions over the next six weeks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

“You Shoulda’ Been There: Vernacular Snapshots” at David Lusk

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Peter J. Cohen is a collector of other peoples photographs. By scouring estate sales and flea markets over the last 20 years he has collected 1000s upon 1000s of forgotten photographs by anonymous photographers. He has organized this multitudinous collection of images into groups such as “Landscapes,” “Women in Groups of Three,” and “Christmas Trees.”

In 2010, Cohen donated more than 250 photographs to the Museum of Modern Art. The Art Institute of Chicago has a large group as well and even published a companion book for their “The Three Graces” exhibition of these prints. He is currently in talks with other institutions about further donations of his photographs to their collection.

Opening tomorrow night at the David Lusk Gallery is “You Shoulda’ Been There, Vernacular Snapshots.” I would be curious to know which group the 17 photographs in this exhibition belong. There are dogs smoking pipes, buildings, baseball players, and double exposed prints (a particular favorite of Cohen's), so a little something of everything.

Also interesting is the notion of Cohen as a collector. Sure, he collects art besides old photographs, Pop prints in particular. But is this really a collection from a collector? It seems like an obsession. The kind of obsession that compels an artist to make work in the first place. David Lusk Gallery is in the business of selling art from artists. Perhaps in this case, it would be better to think of Cohen as an artist who appropriates the work of others into his practice. It might sound like a stretch, but it works for me.

Image courtesy of Peter J. Cohen and the David Lusk Gallery

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