Sunday, July 14, 2013


L A N D S C A P E  &  B E Y O N D

Horse Rain Clouds by Gregory Hardy

Doug Smith  Gregory Hardy  & Mark England

This show explores three aspects of landscape painting:
·       Landscape as a conceptual problem of perspective.
·       Landscape as an endless reciprocal drama, exploring how objects are situated in space, how they move around, how they interact with human bodies, how they may be used and interpreted.
·  landscape as a rational field exploring all boundaries between subject and surroundings.
Vibrant Valley by Doug Smith

Doug Smith’s paintings challenge the limits of representation. A certain consciousness about the tradition of the genre as well as the will to dismantle it exists in his work. Taking both realism and abstraction into his work, Doug achieves a combination that evokes the enduring themes of the landscape of the American West.
Landscape is a language: through it, humans share experience with future generations. Our ancestors inscribed their values and beliefs in the landscapes leaving as a legacy, a rich lode of natural and cultural histories. Doug’s pieces illustrate this with his exquisitely rendered farms, homesteads and houses in the landscape.
His pieces also show us how landscape is interesting because it has a double identity. It is both a domain and scenery. Domain is a place or region and scenery is an aesthetic of space. We look at these farms and they are a place, yet they sit in an aesthetic of space. 
       G R E G O R Y  H A R D Y
Heart of Summer by Gregory Hardy

Greg Hardy

Greg Approaches landscape from the purest point of view, without irony. Greg’s paintings are characterized by a powerful sense of place and time, translated into loaded surfaces, full throttle color and an urgent touch that seems like a graph of passion­ate feelings. For all of Hardy’s hard-learned facility, his paintings are edgy pictures, slightly uncomfortable or deliberately awkward in ways that make the viewer pay that much more attention to just what the painter has done instead of simply recognizing the image. Despite his apparent fidelity to specific places, longer acquaintance with Hardy’s pictures reveals his willingness to compress and tilt space, elide the middle distance, exaggerate things in the foreground.

United States of America by Mark England


Mark England’s almost overdeveloped sense of landscape, Deals with Lines drawn between self and society, inside and outside. Rather than trying for that ever-elusive glimpse of a landscape or history in its purity, Mark chooses to paint the perceptions and impositions between us and a place we cannot know. England. Exploring how objects are situated in space, how they move around, how they interact with human bodies, how they may be used and interpreted is one of Mark’s fortes


1.    The potted plants and catci represent how we try to contain nature and mold it into things we see as aesthetically pleasing.
2.    As with many things in Mark’s paintings, the powerlines exist on a visual and functional level. Mark is a very Linear person and he loves to draw, The lines are a beauty not considered. They also represent lines of communication and broken lines of communication and crossed wires.
3.    The Spiral Jetty appears repeatedly throughout Mark’s work.
4.    A reference to Richard Serra’s work- an art reference, but also a reference to the earth.
5.    The redwood trees of California
6.    A reference to still life paintings
7.    Checkerboard- A reference to the Mason Dixon Line and the integration of black and white.
8.    8. Great Lakes
9.    A reference to Domino Theory: you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.

Miniature Tree of Life by Mark England

 A few more interesting tidbits:

·         The papers flying up into the sky are elements of revelation. Again we have a communication element. Are they heard or are they scattered and lost?

·         The potted tree here is also a religious reference. The Tree of Life is prickly and difficult. Mark is questioning religious iconography and how we always veil it or add an aesthetic layer, so it becomes “prettier” something easy to deal with.

·         Mattresses appear in and out of his paintings as other veiled oblect references. We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping on them, yet we rarely see the mattress itself. It’s always covered in sheets. When we do see them, they are usually refuse in the land.

Mark says of his paintings “Actually, all of them are a specific location. I don't do fictional or fantasy art. I have very specific ideas and locations in mind in all my art. Yes, they incorporate a lot of odd objects and distortions, but they are meant to be grounded in place and experience.

The American landscape is cloaked in cultural opacities and cluttered with human debris. I contend that no one with a twentieth-first century eye can see through the layers of artificial meaning and histories we have imposed onto this finally impenetrable continent. So, rather than trying for that ever-elusive glimpse of a landscape or history in its purity, I choose to paint the perceptions and impositions between us and a place we cannot know. 
In my paintings of Utah, America, and other continents, I am far more concerned with representing and questioning cultural and visual expectations than with illustrating a scene. In a sense, my paintings and drawings are anthropological; in them, I often dwell on the values, activities, and events of ancient and contemporary cultures, "tracing" the traces they left behind. I am especially intrigued by the events through time that tie seemingly unrelated people and events together in broad cycles: large migrations of people, historic battles, contemporary civilizations inhabiting the remains of ancient buildings, a  "promised land" inhabited by many self chosen peoples that either prosper or suffer because of their activities on the land.

All of my work, in some way or another, is about landscape and how we see ourselves through it and impose our values on it. My paintings are both referential and highly interpretive, depicting panoramic views of specific locations. They deal with our perceptions of time, social and environmental history, and tend to look like maps, but my "maps" are not accurate according to cartographic expectations. These are maps of time, culture, dreams, perceptions, the future, and how we wish to see ourselves and our history. They invite the viewer to become lost in them and then to make conscious and intuitive sense of the perceptual environment. I twist perspective, visually and historically. Because of the juxtaposing of unrelated buildings and events, each scene could be hundreds of years in the past, or in the process of being constructed, or in the future after everything has been torn down, destroyed, or worn away.  All objects, as well as time, history, memory, and perceptions are present in these paintings. "

Friday, March 23, 2012


 Hallucinatory surface richness Robert Sagerman's paintings.

Fair goer? Nah, it's a sculpture.

We can't escape our innate character! Even if someone sends us life saver?

All kinds of attendees this year......

Great legs, great pants, great shoes, great suits. Lots of cocktails.

Of course there was still a lot of bull this year, but it was a bull of a different feather.

And more feathers on the hoof.

 Hats that wouldn't fly even over at our favorite fashion mags!

Larger birds that would fly.

zombie children sculptures

outward beauty; inward turmoil

disturbing hybrid baby sculptures

Monday, March 19, 2012

More Miami : Enrique Celaya Studio Visit

Enrique Celaya's work induces a slow seduction.
 Enrique's studio is a thoughtful oasis in the Wynwood district:  A simple gurgling fountain greets you and beyond is a  library with a spacious cage of beautiful songbirds chirping.  It is a perfect prelude to the airy high ceiling galleries that  beckon beyond. 

Enrique's dialogue is about the exploration of the states of interior being in an outwardly apparent way. A large sculpture of a boy carrying a house strapped to his back and a  piece of a deer with ropes tied to his antlers dragging behind him, a small landscape, seem to illustrate what the artist eloquently explained as the archetypal burden.  They carry the landscape that they come from everywhere they go.  Are the boy and the deer exiled from their homes or will they return? Can they ever escape?  The landscape and the house, are they security and shelter or are they a burden? There is a poignancy in the simple images that comes from the fact that the subjects are subjects to be looked through, not so much looked at. They embody entire themes rather than the object/subject painted. The boy that pops up in Enrique's work is more a symbol of childhood than a specific boy.
Celaya has a marvelous website! You should go see:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Art Basel Miami 10th anniversary

Art Basel's 10th Anniversary
What does it mean? Art Basel Miami has become an epic fixture in the art world! YAY!!
A few of my favorite finds this year:
I can't help but think  little bit about Warhol's famous line about the best art being good business. Aritist Paulo Nazareth took a stand (no pun intended) with his  his Banana Market/Art Market at the booth of Sao Paulo gallery Mendes Wood. With a sign around his neck reading, "My Image of Exotic Man for Sale". Commentary on supply and demand? I don't know, all I could think of was tally man! tally my banana....

Richard Jackson complementary colors face to face (red/green) Hauser&Wirth
I finally have figured out why I love Jackson's sculptures. Besides the fact that they make me laugh, he's a neo dadist! There's a total disorder to his work outlining a process. They just hit me right.

another Smile inducing piece. What does it mean? More to come Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Houston: Chronicles of Unexpected Art Delights

Jeb in the Cruz-Diez Disco 70's chamber
Art hotspot Houston was full of highlights: Engaging, enticing and eclectic. Highbrow lowbrow and everything in between. Houston is full of good art. Really good art. Amazing Art. We embarked  on a whirl wind tour of everything art in Houston, leaving no stone unturned. Our trusted art guide, Barbara Claiborn, navigated us through the Houston art world.

The Fine Arts Museum Houston is everything a big city art museum should be. After seeing the impressionist exhibit and drooling over a Degas' Horse painting, we strolled over to the Beck building through the hallucinatory Turrell light tunnel  and then on to the Law building to the chromatic environments of  Carlos Cruz-Diez. This retrospective bears the stamp of a true revolutionary and visionary artist.We loved this room below, but weren't too excited about the very worn little slippers we had to wear. Totally worth it though.

Unfortunately the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum was mostly closed up due to a leaky roof. Their Museum store is to die for delightful. Many unique treasures.No website, which is probably okay because I might go broke.

I can only wonder what Warhol would have thought of The Beer Can House. An engagement with mass culture on the grandest scale! Is this a piece on scale with Barbara Kruger and Andy Warhol or is it the house of a hops lunatic?The creator, John  Milkovisch  Said, 
“I don‘consider this art. It‘s just a pastime. But sometimes I lie awake at night, trying to figure out why I do it.”
 More Houston Art Tales soon...................

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stuck in San Diego

Recently stranded at the San Diego airport after installing art in Southern California, we decided to hoof it downtown to check out the art scene. Although we only made it to the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, MCASD, we were blown away by Jennifer Steinkamp's Madame Currie Exhibit. This new commission is inspired by Steinkamp’s recent research into atomic energy, atomic explosions, and the effects of these forces on nature. The projection of moving flora rendered realistically for this work include rambler roses, wisteria, chestnut blooms, and hop plants, among many others drawn from a list of over 40 plants mentioned in Marie Curie's biography written by her daughter, Eve Curie are delightful, meditative and awe inspiring.
Installation view
Click here to watch the piece in motion on Jennifer's website...truly amazing!
I would love this in my house. It would be like moving wallpaper.
The Museum website says, "Steinkamp is one of the most accomplished time-based, digital video artists working today. Her video installations of projected animations engage space and architecture to foster moments of intense public intimacy in our Age of New Media. Physically overwhelming, her animations utilize cutting-edge projectors and digital masking applications to enhance or contradict the architectural features they inhabit and immerse viewers in new phenomenological territory."

The Staff at the museum went above and beyond, letting us leave our luggage at their front desk while we strolled through the museum.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Derby Days & The Art of Millinery

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend! For those of you who have not had the opportunity to attend this extravaganza, it is definitely an experience everyone should have in their lifetime.
The people watching in itself is ART. But what we really love are THE HATS.

Whether you sip mint julips in the Grandstand . . .

Or attempt to survive flying beer cans in the infield (it is possible - learned from personal experience) . . .

This incredible tradition of millinery is kept alive through the Kentucky Derby.
But in today's society, where else can you find this ARTform?
British royalty continue to represent the lady-like fashion.

As does the American Queen . . . Ms. Aretha.

Then there are the eccentrics . . .

and of course, there are the ladies of Derby.

We also found artist Kim Frohsin inspired by the drama of this lost accessory.

Why don't we all wear hats more often and express this lost ART!?

This weekend, regardless if you are in Louisville, Los Angeles or Lincoln, Nebraska - grab this timeless feminine adornment and wear it proud. Maybe it's a way we can all have our own personal Grandstand whenever we need it.

Hats off to all the the "real ladies" out there . . . wherever you are!