Mar 212024
 

Niki Zarrabi created this mural in 2019 for the Ladies Who Paint event in San Diego.

She is currently showing work at ABV Gallery in Atlanta for their Spring Group Exhibition, REFRESH, on view until 3/23/24.

Mar 192024
 

On view as part of the permanent collection at Akron Art Museum is Joseph Stella’s oil painting, Tree of My Life, from 1919.

From the museum about the work-

Joseph Stella described his inspiration for Tree of My Life as an epiphany: “A new light broke over me. I found myself in the midst of a joyous singing and delicious scent … of birds and flowers ready to celebrate the baptism of my new art.” Throughout the painting, forms and colors are infused with symbolic significance. The gnarled tree trunk represents the weathering effect of life’s temptations, while red lilies, blue patches of sky, and white blossoms symbolize lifeblood, divine protection, and spiritual ascendance. Stella, who maintained connections to his native Italy while living in America, combined this dense visual poetry with elements of adventurous European styles. Tree of My Life thus presents a distinctive new vision, marking an important moment in the course of Stella’s career and in the progress of American modern art.

Happy first day of spring! (in the Northern Hemisphere)

Apr 122023
 

“With a Full Heart”

“Unforbidden Pleasures”

“Unforbidden Pleasures” (detail)

“Wild Nights”

Currently at the Creative Pinellas gallery is Yolanda Sánchez’s Out of Eden, a collection of her paintings and textile work. The gallery is filled bright pleasing colors and this is the perfect exhibition to celebrate the spring season.

On the Creative Pinellas website, Sánchez discusses her work in a detailed essay. Below is a section of that piece.

Whether in painting or textiles, my working instruments are rhythm and color. I am interested in the joyful, playful or even spiritual properties of light. I am reflecting the light and color of where I live, of my immediate environment.

This artistic practice is improvisational and process-oriented, abstract. The relationship of one color to another creates a rhythm and tempo and establishes the composition. Each color suggests the next color, almost like the “call and response” form found in many musical traditions. There is a continuous orchestration, as the colors converse with one another, suggesting a mood or vibe.

I am often not sure where it is going or going to go. It is a surprise at every turn. I shape my perception as I work.

My textile work is informed by the Korean art form known as Bojagi. Humble in its origins, nameless women made these traditional textiles as often extravagant visual pieces using mundane, leftover fabric from wrapping, storing and transporting goods. Over time, the nobility introduced finer, more delicate cloth.

In its traditional form, design characteristics include stitching and seams to create linear elements, especially with translucent fabrics. These features differentiate and distinguish Bojagi from patchwork textiles found in other cultural traditions. Nevertheless, Bojagi shares what feminist art historians identify as centuries-old histories of turning scraps of fabric into beautiful objects and ultimately shifting perspectives from private to public.

I pay homage to these unknown women, authenticating their domestic work – and I affirm their values of inclusion, pleasure, love, the familial, the decorative, the colorful and joyful, the spiritual and the everyday.

My Bojagi-inspired textile work – painting with thread and fabric – honors the Korean tradition. Still, while relying on the conventions and basic structure, these pieces extend and interpret the Bojagi into a more contemporary form. I offer a new direction by varying medium and size and utilizing color compositions and stitching techniques less anchored to established methods.

Material, color, texture and transparency are crucial elements in this work, as is the geometry inherent in the design. While geometry, in this case, emerges from a particular culture, the form does not demand a specific culture-dependent response. Its only function is beauty. It is about the sensual delight derived from looking – the viewer can ascribe or chose meaning, if at all.

As an order, rhythm and pattern are generated within the geometry, creating beauty through harmony and stability, color dominates as a suggestive poetic force, concurrently evoking a connection to my immediate tropical environment. It sets as my intention arousing a sense of place, a feeling, and the atmosphere of an abstract garden, or even a walk through a field of flowers.

It is the color but also the sensuousness of nature that I endeavor to suggest in both my paintings and textiles.

This exhibition closes 4/16/23.

Mar 212023
 

The images above are from Annette Kelm’s photography exhibition Present Past Perfect at Andrew Kreps Gallery.

From the press release-

In her work, Kelm moves freely between studio, and documentary photography to explore the function and history of objects, as well as the implications of their representation. A series of new photographs document ephemeral still lives built in her studio, combining colored paper and cardstock backdrops, with vegetation and found objects. Ultimately, these contemporary Vanitas-like compositions are left open-ended, as Kelm discloses their constructed nature, as seen in works like Sumach / Essigbaum, 2023, where the edge of a table and curve of the backdrop suggest the provisional process of the works’ making. Through this strategy, Kelm explores the implications of the framing and display of objects, as well as the value systems in which they exist.

A new series of photographs documenting vintage button pins continue Kelm’s ongoing exploration into the graphic manifestations of protest. Adorned with slogans such as “Keep Abortion Legal” and “If his home is his castle, let him clean it”, each button pin is affixed to a uniformly cropped jean jacket. Sharing an overhead view, and a serial format, the varying placement of each button suggests the individuality of an imagined wearer, culminating in a crowded, all-over composition.

Kelm’s interest in the socio-cultural history of objects is evoked in her 2019 series Recyclingpark Neckartal, presented here for the first time in the United States. The series documents 14 travertine columns originally commissioned by the National Socialists from Lauster quarry in Stuttgart in the 1930s, as part of an unrealized monument to Benito Mussolini planned for “Germania”, the planned reconstruction of Berlin overseen by Albert Speer. Kelm captures these in multiple angles in their current location, a recycling center. Seen through trees and brush, the columns stand overshadowed by a towering waste incinerator, surrounded by parked cars and traces of activity. Together, these views suggest the often uneasy approach society takes to addressing its dark past.