Feb 272024
 

Jo Westfall, “The Queens Astronomer”, 2023, Mixed media

Christine Mauersberger, “Kates Bouquet”, 2022, Digital print on Japanese Kozo paper, of loom weaving

Cat Mailloux, “Rose Window”, 2023, Quilted appliqué on found fabric

Suzi Hyden, “If the Sun Could Kiss Me”, 2023, Toned cyanotype on vintage linen hand-stitched onto metal fencing

Above are a few of the works from Common Thread, the current exhibition at Malone University’s art gallery. It is on view until 2/29/24.

From the gallery about the show-

Although quite different, all artists in this exhibition are united by the idea of textiles. Suzi Hyden’s work celebrates the environment by combining elements from nature and repurposed materials to create cyanotypes on vintage fabrics.

Cat Mailloux’s textile practice is focused in quilt making, pursuing connections between the visual language of churches, cathedrals, and domestic spaces that slowly bleed their way into imagined and limitless landscapes, exploring questions of the infinite through material.

Christine Mauersberger’s body of work is aesthetically eclectic. Hard and soft. Digital and analog. Some pieces fill a room, others can be held in your hand. The common thread is that each piece attempts to make the invisible visible.

Jo Westfall creates visual work considered resource art. It is portraiture, fiber art, and assemblage made with local materials that were discarded, overlooked, or unused. It reclaims the aesthetic capacity and utility of these items by integrating them into fresh renderings.

Feb 262024
 

Willie Cole, “American Domestic”, 2016, Digital Print

Tom Laidman, “Broadway”, 1993 and “Bois Ma Petite”, 1999, Lithograph on paper

Currently on view at Akron Museum of Art is RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore, a collection of art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran collection, organized into themes exploring aspects of African American history and culture. The show features many well known and lesser known artists including Amiri Baraka, Beverly Buchanan, Willie Cole, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L., Tom Laidman, Jacob Lawrence, Alison Saar and more.

From the museum about the exhibition-

African folklore has been around as long as humankind, and the African diaspora in America has added new dimensions to its rich history. African American folk stories teach about culture, the mysteries of life, and the survival of a race of people bought and sold who continue to thrive in an unjust society.

“RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore” focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. These themes provide a comprehensive retelling of the works featured in the exhibition. In many of the pieces, the artist’s muse connects closely with stories that have been told generation after generation. Folklore texts are featured throughout the space as a means to retell a richer, deeper story of African American culture.

There are more than forty artists represented in this exhibition, all holding one similar truth: their story of joy and struggle in the African American experience.

In addition to the artwork, there is also an educational video produced by Josh Toussaint-Strauss of The Guardian that explores the misconceptions about Haitian Voudou that is worth a watch.

How ‘voodoo’ became a metaphor for evil

Feb 242024
 

Hope Gangloff’s painting MacDowell Cheney Cabin in the Winter Super Moon, 2019, was shown at her 2019 solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery in NYC.  It is one of several created during her residency at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Feb 232024
 

Wadsworth A. Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971, spotted at Brooklyn Museum in 2020, is based off of a photograph of the activist.  The colorful painting includes words from her speeches and actual bullet cartridges.

From the museum about the work-

Wadsworth Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is one of the most recognized paintings associated with the Black Arts Movement, a cultural manifestation of the Black Power Movement. Artists of this movement sought to create uplifting images that called upon Black people to harness their collective power. The power of communal action is here expressed through a chromatic swirl of individual colors that coalesce into a unified image of the radical activist and intellectual Angela Davis. Davis’s militant clothing—complete with bullet cartridges—was modeled after the Revolutionary Suit designed by artist Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth’s wife. An icon of Black Power, Davis continues to lead the prison abolition movement today.

Jarrell, along with his wife, is part of the African American artist collective AFRICOBRA, formed in Chicago in 1968.

Below is part of a statement about the group from their website by another of the founders, Gerald Williams.

AFRICOBRA began very loosely in 1968 as an association of visual artists. We decided to commit our selves to the collective exploration, development, and perpetuation of an approach to image making which would reflect and project the moods, attitudes, and sensibilities of African Americans independent of the technical and aesthetic strictures of Euro-centric modalities.  Jeff Donaldson, who spearheaded the movement,Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and myself, Gerald Williams opened the lid on what we called AFRICOBRA – African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists.  It was an original name that came to identify our place within the broader context of Black art.

Our mission was to encapsulate the quintessential features of African-American consciousness and world view as reflected in real time 1968 terms.  For months, beginning as early as 1967, we examined and talked about the forms of expression and images produced by previous generations of artists.  We came to the realization that there was not the existence of a consistent, unequivocal, uniquely Black aesthetic in visual arts as there was in other disciplines, notably music and dance. Many of our contemporary artists, at the time, generally said that they “were artists who happened to be black”, or held the view that their work was expressing universal ideas or concepts that were not tied to such a narrow category as Black art.   The notion of an intrinsically Black view point, expressed in characteristically “Black ways”  was a relatively alien idea for the most part.  That notion begged the question as to whether it was possible to create a style or approach to art that at its core could be identified as African-American or Black, notwithstanding  the presence of Black imagery or subject matter.  If imagery and subject matter were the sole criteria then the question was moot.  One could conclude, thereby, that Winslow Homer or any number of artists produced Black art when they painted Black images.  After numerous brain storming sessions where such topics were discussed, after test projects and critiques,  the five of us mapped out the core principles that became the foundation of AFRICOBRA.

 

Feb 222024
 

Judy’s Hand Pavilion by Tony Tasset is located outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa Cleveland) and was part of the 2018 FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

The 7-ton, 21 foot high sculpture is an enlargement of a cast taken from the right hand of his wife, artist Judy Ledgerwood.

Feb 222024
 

It may not be spring quite yet but these blooming magnolia trees created by artist Tony Tasset may have you doing a double take. For this work he created two bronze trees with hand painted flowers that sit among five live trees located in a small park in downtown Pittsburgh.

Magnolias for Pittsburgh, 2006, is the latest art installation in the park, organized by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Feb 162024
 

Gentle Ladies Dragon Man, 2021, (Acrylic and graphite on canvas) by Jason Fox was part of the group show Time-Slip at Petzel Gallery in New York in 2021.

Feb 152024
 

“The Flameless Green Dragon”, 2018, Elm and acrylic

“In Rhythm”, 2018, Elm and acrylic; and “Water Music”, 2002, Inkjet photocollage on paper

“Introvert”, 2019, Elm; “Engendering Life”, 2020, Green soapstone

Two left sculptures made of Italian translucent alabaster and “Harboring Emptiness”, 2021, Maple and acrylic

Above are several works from Barbara Stanczak Spirit and Matter, the artist’s recent exhibition at Akron Art Museum.  Stanczak’s sculptures are energetic shapes created in partnership with the natural materials used.

From the museum’s web page-

Barbara Stanczak’s sculptures are born from an essential combination: the artist’s creative vision and the natural qualities of her materials. This two-sided collaboration remains in effect throughout Stanczak’s entire process of conceiving and creating an artwork. A piece of wood or stone presents initial possibilities that help to set a direction, but invariably the course will change—the substance may be so hard as to resist carving, or it may contain internal structures that must be accommodated. But the artist does not surrender her own interests, as she has found that a successful work must become the physical embodiment of a rich and valuable idea. In her own words, “I can only hold onto my idea of the whole by letting go of ‘mine’ and focusing on ‘our.’ The material becomes a partner who needs my patience, respect, thoughtfulness, cooperation, skill, and persistence.”

Stanczak committed to working with wood and stone only after a long process of discovery. Born in Germany in 1941, she moved to the United States in 1960 to assist her grandfather in painting church frescoes, and later worked in handmade paper, metal, and a variety of other media. She also worked alongside her husband, Julian Stanczak, whose paintings and prints were celebrated at the Akron Art Museum with a one-artist show in 2013. As her own career evolved throughout her thirty-seven-year tenure as a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Barbara carved her first wooden sculpture in 1992. “I was tired of searching,” she recalls. “It was time to arrive!”

Stanczak continues to find wood and stone compelling because, as she puts it, they are constantly “teasing, tempting, and provoking me to see more, to see beyond, to see the micro and the macro of the universe.” She finds these universal qualities not in immediately recognizable forms like leaves and flowers, but rather in dense rings and layers, subtle features formed over decades or even thousands of years. As Stanczak exercises her own intuition, she aligns it with these natural processes. As the artist and the materials harmonize, it is as if two forms of intelligence are working together—as if spirit and matter are not so separate as one might expect.

Feb 142024
 

Esterio Segura’s Goodbye My Love, 2013, three sculptures created with fiberglass and automobile paint, are currently on view at Tampa Museum of Art.

From the museum about the work-

A new acquisition to the Museum’s permanent collection, Goodbye My Love represents Esterio Segura’s (Cuban, b. 1970) ongoing exploration of the meaning of airplanes and flight. Produced in multiple editions at different scales, this version is nearly the largest. In describing the series, Segura explained,  “In this work, the reference to the airplane hybridizes with a reference to another well-known universal symbol: a simplified image of the heart. This is fused with an easily understood title with several meanings, from the most corny and sentimental to the most controversial, from a political and social standpoint. With this work, I reference the experience of uprooting, nostalgia, memory, loss—how we experience the breakdown of everything we love.”

He discusses the work in the video below in a bit more detail.

Feb 092024
 

This sculpture, The Only Other, 2021, by the artist Midabi, was located in Union Square Park in NYC from June 2021- June 2022.

It is currently located adjacent to Palm Springs Art Museum in California.