Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crown Point Press Hits the Midwest

Our gallery associate, Tiffany Harker just got back from Minneapolis, where she was representing Crown Point Press at the Minneapolis Print and Drawing Fair, hosted by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in this lovely building:

She brought work from Ed Ruscha and Amy Sillman, and...

...Wayne Thiebaud, Pat Steir, and Richard Tuttle and others. Dorothy Napangardi's works seemed to excite everybody there. There were books, including the NEW title in the Magical Secrets Series, Magical Secrets about Aquatint: Spit Bite, Sugar Lift and Other Etched Tones,
by Emily York, which is being shipped here as I type this - for everybody who pre-ordered it and everyone who wants to run in to the Crown Point Bookstore sometime after May 5.....

Many of the other exhibitors at the Minneapolis Print and Drawing Fair deal in Old Master prints. Some visitors who are already in love with the kind of touch evident in historical etching were interested in the “Look Ma, no hands!” quality of techniques like sugar lift and spit bite, used by our artists, as well as the idea of a connection between new art and very old art through the process of etching.

Tiffany visited the Walker Art Center (which she has a crush on) where she was thrilled to see Transcending: The New International, Julie Mehretu's epic 2003 painting.

She was really impressed by the education and outreach efforts of both the Walker and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Thursday evening, she went to a panel discussion on the exhibit "Next Exit: The Shifting Landscape of Suburbia" which brought together a developer, a designer and a journalist. She was all ready to dislike the developer, but he turned out to be working earnestly on developing city centers and mass transit planning, Surprise! She found the talk made her want to go back and see the show again.

A sculpture by Sol Lewitt, another Crown Point Press artist, was presiding over the Walker's cloud-menaced roof garden.

Come see Crown Point Press at the BookExpo America in Los Angeles May 30-June 1, and at Art Basel in Switzerland, June 4-8. we are everywhere!

All photographs (except the one of the MIA) by Tiffany Harker.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Cosmos

A new group exhibition is going up at Crown Point Press.
The Cosmos: A Group Exhibition runs April 10-May 31, 2008.

The newest work is from Julie Mehretu's second project at Crown Point Press.

The Residual, Julie Mehretu 2007

Unclosed, Julie Mehretu 2007

In quite a few of these works, I keep referring to my favorite John Ashbery line, "Holes are blobs of darkness." Holes are voids and objects, and who knows what is in them along with the darkness? Individual marks can do so many kinds of things. Mehretu has talked about giving each of her marks “individual agency,” and several of the other artists in this show want that too.

Holland Cotter once called Mehretu's work a "conceptual version of history painting." The marks in The Residual and Unclosed are advancing on each other like armies converging, but they are soothed by sanding down and soft fogs of color. Some of the color might refer to glow from distant explosions but it looks so gentle.

Dorothy Napangardi's Sandhills uses individual marks that evoke movements over time (her work involves the Australian Aboriginal concept of Jukurrpa or Dreaming which describes the travels of ancestors and maps the location of living spirits.) It has such a different mood than Mehertu’s operatic orchestration. Each dot could be somebody's footprint, or a whole year spent in one place.

Sandhills, Dorothy Napangardi 2004

Fred Wilson's Bang also traffics in discrete marks. The drip pattern in Bang might refer to the Big Bang, cell division at conception, or deadly bacteria booming in a petri dish, but I like to think of the individual tiny bangs of each drop hitting the page. It's like the bottom of a liquid hourglass. They preserve the time that they took to fall on the page. You can almost hear them. They are very loud.

Bang, Fred Wilson 2004

There is more noise coming from Tom Marioni's Taking Flight, which is a woodcut the artist made by having friends throw darts at a piece of wood. The dart marks look just like silver stars, but once you know how it was made you hear each one hitting the wood. Stars are usually so quiet.

Taking Flight, Tom Marioni 2000

Come see the show, the reception is May 15.