Friday, November 15, 2013

(late) Fall News


Echo Art Fair 

The Echo Art Fair was an enjoyable experience. The downtown Buffalo central library location perfectly framed my book and collage works. The selection of participating artists and organizations made for good company and conversation. I got the feeling artists and visitors alike were pleased with the whole affair. You can read what The Buffalo News had to say about it here. Founding director Frits Abell and Sarah Kolberg did a fine job pulling it all together.

To sit with a view in the comfort of a good periodical
was the collaborative site-specific installation Roberley Bell and I put together for Echo. When we did our site visit with John Massier of Halwalls (who coordinated the installation component of the Fair), the periodical nook off the library's main hallway appealed to us all. The fact Roberley had offered me her collection of garden magazines only an hour before sealed the deal. The wall label copy is below.  Many thanks to Courtney Grim for helping install, de-install, and coordinate the parking situation. 

For Echo, Bell and McCarney have created To sit with a view in the comfort of a good periodical, a semi-private environment within the larger public context of the library in which to experience sculpture-as-book and book-as-sculpture — an intersection of the art fair and library experiences. Bell's brilliant colors and bulbous forms adorned by a miniature bird interact with a piece created by McCarney fashioned from discarded magazines. Bell's forms reference contemporary architecture (blobitecture) whose organic structures are made possible with computer-aided design that is based, paradoxically, on nothing that exists in nature. McCarney's contribution parallels this concept by physically altering garden magazines to visualize the immateriality and speed of accessing digital information. A glass rock-formed vase filled with fresh flowers reveals the passing of time, reinforces the "slow" experience of reading a book and introduces found natural form to the scene.


VSW Pub Fair

This first (hopefully) annual independent publishing fair was a smashing success. Skúta, who came up from New York for the day, called it "the fairest of them all."  Housed in the VSW auditorium, it was small enough to prevent the panic visitors often feel at large book fairs, but did not skimp on interesting vendors and knowledgeable visitors. I got a chance to turn the camera on Gerry Szmanski, fresh from a 19th Century fashion show, fairing with newly house-proud Alice Carver-Kubik and Jamie Allen: 

Skúta traveled by train from Manhattan for the fair, carrying his People's Editions in a vintage leather valise – a dedicated Willy Loman without the angst. He paused for a portrait in front of Thievin' Stephen's Wall Therapy mural on Cayuga Street before heading back to the station on Sunday:



This years Fair was more of a crush than ever. Skúta and I shared a table, as usual, and branded ourselves "ScottatúkS" in hopes of encouraging more collaborative projects down the road. I tried something a bit different by bringing more boxed multiples and some prints, which wasn't much of a success. Skúta attracted a big crowd of hipsters with his "People's Editions" valise, so I got a buzz from that. Our neighbors included J.A.B., VSW Press, Purchase Center for Editions and Warren Lehrer – just like old times.


Memory Theatre 2013

This exhibition celebrating the Memorial Art Gallery's centennial continues through December 29, 2013, and is well worth a visit.  A review in CITY Newspaper can be viewed here.

Memory Loss, Material Meditation on Mending Al=Mutanabbi Street, and A Selection of Cards are exhibited in the case at the right of this installation picture provided by Marie Via, curator of the exhibition.


ImageART 2013: I DO!?

ImageART's fourteenth iteration was hosted by Visual Studies Workshop in their newly renovated front building galleries. The theme of marriage equality assembled a more diverse group of artists and work than ever before -- men, women, gay, straight, local and from out of state. Three works of mine were on display, two pictured in context below. Co-chairs Alice Carver-Kubik and Jeffrey Cougler, along with the committee of committed volunteers, deserve a hand for their tireless efforts. (Thanks to Jeffrey for the installation photographs, too.)

Above: MARRIED (far left). Below: Balls & Chain (far right)

I DO!? Panel Discussion: 
Marriage Equality and Art's Engagement with Social and Political Movements

Nigel Maister coordinated this event for the exhibition's closing weekend. The panel consisted of Anne Tischer and Bess Watts, long-time LGBT rights advocates based in Rochester; Douglas Crimp, Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester; Jonathan D. Katz, director of the doctoral program in Visual Studies at University at Buffalo, and me. Douglas provided a critical framework to express a queer questioning of marriage as an institution, the "question mark" of I DO!?, which was not directly addressed in the exhibition. Anne and Bess showed us where the rubber hits the road in grass-roots activism with dedication and compassion. Jonathan moderated with historical insight and personal experience. The whole evening was streamed live and can be experienced in it's entirety on vimeo by clicking here.


think small 7

October 25 - December 22, 2013
Zero East 4th Street, richmond, VA

This international invitational biennial exhibition is a fundraising event for artspace, a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts. All the work is miniature (no larger than 3 inches in any direction). Chuck Scalin, an artist and educator in Richmond (he was my teacher at VCU back in the good old days) would assign his illustration students to create a work that was 3 x 3 inches. He transposed that idea to this fundraising event for the artist-run gallery in 2011, and extended the invitation to me. Making work for it is always a fun challenge and a great way to contribute to a good cause. My piece for this year's show, A Penny for Your Thoughts, is pictured below. An index of the participating artists and their contributions can be found here.


Out of Print: Winter Art Exhibition

November 1, 2013 - March 29, 2014
Albany Public Library, Pine Hills Branch
517 Western Avenue, Albany New York

Judie Gilmore, who curated this exhibit, came to Rochester for a studio visit last July. It was fortuitous timing as she has worked for the City of Philadelphia MuralArts Program and the South Wedge was freshly graced with Wall Therapy mural projects. We had a nice tour of the work in my neighborhood and around Market View Heights before it started to rain. 

Judie cholse several Hypertext prints and a framed version of The Swimmer, along with a rare Diderot/Americana volume from the '90s plus two Encyclopedia Britannicas for inclusion in the show. She also met Doug Manchee while visiting and includes prints from his Due Date series.



While I was organizing pieces for the ImageArt I DO!? exhibition this summer, Keith came into the studio and started flipping through the prints before they were framed. That was the inspiration to make this book. The portrait was made by Mark Watts in my garden and rendered in the style of the "Pictures" series by Gilbert and George. The book comes sewn into it's own bridal veil mesh bag, like the jordan almonds I remember pocketing off tables at wedding receptions as a kid. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer News

A   P E R S O N A L   P R E A M B L E   F O R   S U M M E R  

I've spent most of my time in the studio getting ready for fall shows with pleasurable breaks in the garden. The garden has been a thirty-year project and provides much welcomed therapy, but I've only started to see the whole of it as an extension of my art practice for the past few seasons. This summers erratically fabulous weather has united the myriad ideas I've tried over the years, providing much satisfaction and positive theraputic outcomes. Other than some flash flooding that unexpectedly sent me into our basement for a week, it has been a most fantastic summer overall.

The warehouses that used to frame half the back garden were torn down two years ago, and the extra sun has beefed up the micro-climate back here.

The dogwood and mock orange were more full than they'd ever been, and the ferns are thriving as well.

More grass disappears each year. This modified check pattern is an homage to the great Brazilian landscape designer Burle Marx.

We had quite a bit of rain in July. One downpour turned Cayuga Street into Cayuga Lake, overpowering the storm sewers and filling many basements with water. 

The water peaked at about 18 inches in our basement. This happened before, so we didn't have too much stuff on the floor that got ruined.  

S E P T E M B E R   E V E N T S  

Echo Art Fair
Saturday and Sunday, September 7-8, 2013
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Downtown Central Library
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY

Something new to me as I've rented a booth and will be exhibiting prints, collages and sculptural bookworks. I've never shown this work in a commercial context before (unlike the multiples you'll see at the New York Art Book Fair). I'm collaborating with sculptor Roberley Bell on a temporary site-specific installation in the library proper. Some of the elements are pictured below. If you're in the vicinity please come by and say hello.

NY Art Book Fair
Thursday thru Sunday, September 1922, 2013
Long Island CIty, Queens NY

I'll be sharing a table with skúta again this year. We're exhibiting under the moniker "ScottatúkS," a name we use for collaborative works. We only have one multiple to show this year, but it's a step in the right direction.  I plan to mix it up and bring a number of box multiples I've made over the years but have rarely if ever shown. 

VSW Pub Fair
Saturday September 14, 2013
Visual Studies Workshop
31 Prince Street, Rochester NY

This is a brand new initiative by VSW to "bring together book artists, photographers, independent publishers and DIYers to exhibit their work in a unique market showcasing the gamut of what publishing can be."  There are a plethora of people in this area who make such things so I'm sure it will be interesting.

DIY (Visits Chicago): Photographers and Books
September 18 - December 7, 2013
The Center for Book and Paper Arts 
Columbia College, Chicago IL

This is a second iteration of an exhibition exploring print-on-demand photo books originally curated by Barbara Tannenbaum for the Cleveland Museum of Art.

E X H I B I T S   O N   T H E   H O R I Z O N  

"I DO!?" ImageArt 2013
October 4 - 26, 2013
Visual Studies Workshop Bookstore Gallery
31 Prince Street, Rochester NY

This fourteenth annual exhibition focuses on the timely topic of marriage equality this year.  The final selection of work has not yet been made but I like all the pieces I submitted so will share them with you here.  Conceptually I'm examining how the lens of same-sex marriage reveals the clichés, rituals and tropes often overlooked in opposite-sex marriage. Practically I had a lot of fun with the theme.

"Balls & Chain"


"Codex Scroll"

Memory Theatre 2013
October 9 - December 29, 2013
Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, the MAG explores how memory shapes both personal and cultural identities and the ways in which museums function as "memory theatres."

A Human Document: Selections from the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Collection
December 4, 2013 - May 25, 2014
Pérez Miami Art Museum

Stay tuned, and thanks for clicking. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

(late) Winter News

E X H I B I T I O N S 

ED RUSCHA: Books & Co.
March 5 - April 27, 2013
980 Madison Avenue, NY NY

I'm pleased to have Various Fires & MLK included in this exhibition featuring Ed Ruscha's legendary artists books together with books and works of art by more than 100 contemporary artists. The full press information is available by clicking here.  It should be noted that Tom Sowden  and Michalis Pichler (who are also represented in this show) are avid collectors of Ruschaesque books and have organized exhibitions in Europe of their joint collections under the title "Follow-ed (after hokusai)" since 2011.   

Many thanks to Jim Prez of Back East Press for documenting the book sighting. 

P U B L I C A T I O N 

Book 38 for BookArtObject 4

This is a small edition created for Sara Bowen's "BookArtObject" project, an informal group of book artists scattered around the globe who make small editions that are primarily exchanged within the group and exhibited as a project.  Edition 4 was inspired by Sarah Bodman's book An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen, which she describes handsomely in the CFPR Book Arts Newsletter No. 80, available here.

SUICIDE (NOTE) is a reflection on what I perceived as my brother's ambiguous suicide attempt in 1986. Three type-script pages and a photograph are wrapped in a make-ready sheet from MEMORY LOSS, the  book I made in 1988 about my brother's automobile accident and subsequent traumatic brain injury. This new piece, in an edition of 10, was distributed to members of BookArtObject group 6, plus a copy for Sarah Bodman. 

One member of my group showed her copy to her husband, who is a linguist and the son of a coroner.  He confirmed that I had the physical format of a suicide note down perfectly, which is the best review I've ever gotten.

P E R F O R M A N C E  &  P U B L I C A T I O N  

VSW's "These 20 Things . . ."  and PECHA KUCHA BANANACO

Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format where 20 slides are shown, each for 20 seconds, advancing automatically as the presenter talks. The format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture in Tokyo. The first Pecha Kucha Night was held in their gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen in February, 2003. 

“These 20 Things” was a Pecha Kucha Night organized by Alicia Taylor and Ben Gilberg at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester last February. I distilled BANANACO's 30 year history into a less-than-seven-minute presentation, which was actually a lot of fun.  I liked the format and wondered how it would work as a book, which is in the works . . .

Stay tuned, and thanks for clicking.