Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 90 x 79″
I met Jason Karolak at Pratt Institute in the mid-90’s when he was an undergraduate painter
and I was taking part-time classes
about three years
after I received
I didn’t know him well, but hung with him just long enough so when he came up to me at a SAIC alumni function at the Sculpture Center this past February,
I had a vague recollection of his undergraduate paintings that were big and grand
and filled with many unanswered questions
and hard-won struggles.
He told me he recently graduated from SAIC with a MFA in painting and that he had a solo show at McKenzie Fine Art.
When I went to the show, I was impressed with not only how far he had come from his undergraduate days,
but also with how much I related to his quiet, methodical thinking that is evident in his mark making
and in how he handles going from a smaller to a larger scale. I also admired his skill with color,
which is something that is beyond my present ability to produce.
In addition, he has crossed a major threshold that stops many MFA recipients: He has managed to continue making work after graduation
and to have a professional show in New York City.
This, in itself, is a profound accomplishment.
I hope he continues to continue.
THE ARMORY SHOW 1913: MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS. Participants: Marilyn Kushner, Francis Naumann, Gail Stavitsky. Moderator: Robert Storr
Florian Schmidt at Galerie Andreas Huber
Andisheh Avini at Marianne Boesky Gallery
Lawrence Weiner at Lisson Gallery
Bill Viola at Kukje Gallery, Seoul/ Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Thaddeus Holownia (Anatomy Lesson, Moose) at Corkin Gallery
Anne Koskinen at Galerie Anhava
Susan Hefuna at Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Cary Leibowitz at Invisible-Exports
Daniel Rozin at bitforms
POSTERITY WILL HAVE A WORD TO SAY. Participants: Carlos Basualdo, Daniel Birnbaum, Paul Chan, Molly Nesbit. Moderator: Jan Åman
Takesada Matsutani performing at Galerie Richard, New York, NY, on February 7th 2013
Gutai: Splendid Playground is up at The Guggenheim Museum until May 8th.
It is a show that gives homage to Gutai, a Japanese postwar art movement
that resonates deeply within me.
I came to art well after college and my first impulse was to use my body as a geometric tool to understand materials, spaces and ideas: I broke stones with hammers,
burned them with acetylene torches … carried them, threw them, painted them and drew them. I was bringing my experiences as a wrestler and martial artist
to the world of art making, and I felt a strong impulse to allow material to behave as it would naturally under the weight of a tool
or by the articulation of a process. So, when I discovered that the Gutai did something similar – they embrace actions
that bring out the natural qualities of materials, rather than impose form, ideology and trickery on to it –
I was stunned at the overlap.
I also took note how many Gutai artists engaged their whole bodies
with the materials at hand, which opened up clarity
for an earlier performance I did where
I dug a hole for
So, when I heard one of the preeminent Gutai artists, Takesada Matsutani, was going to perform at Galerie Richard, 514 West 24th Street, New York, NY,
I jumped at the chance to go.
Weeks later, I discovered a Facebook friend, Taney Roniger, was also at the performance
and wrote a great essay and blog post that I encourage you to read.
Samuel Nigro, Ink on Paper, 9 x 12″, 2013
and there are events on top of events … as a reminder: the daily drawings I post are the same ones on the splash page of my website….