Friday, October 28, 2011

Brain Eno's 77 Million Paintings

Photo credit: Brian Eno/ via LA Times blog

Brian Eno's in town!!!!

It's Moogfest, so there's a lot of synthpop, electronic, krautrock bands playing in Asheville this weekend, and this year Moogfest has expanded its reach by adding an audio visual "act" to the lineup. Brain Eno's 77 Million Paintings, a constantly evolving environment of sound and light based on generative software, will be on display at the YMI through the month of November.

If you have a Moog pass you can go check out the installation all weekend. If you don't, the exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday November 2. Tickets will be $10 and can be purchased at the door.

On Saturday October 29, Eno will give an illustrated lecture at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at 2pm. Moogers get first bids on seats, and then the general public is allowed admittance for $35. (That's about 7 drinks at Broadways, or a pretty fun dining experience for one at Zambras)

Anyway, the point of this post is to urge you all to get to the YMI during the month of November to experience this "visual music" phenomenon. Allow yourself plenty of time to become fully immersed. It's so hypnotic you might have a hard time leaving.

Here's a description of 77 Million Paintings off the Moogfest website:

At a press conference Thursday October 28, Eno had some enlightening things to say about art and his creative approach. Here are some of my favorites:
(These may not be verbatim because I was writing not recording.)

"I wanted to see where the threshold of eventlessness lies."

"I really like art when it's magic. I don't like it when it's just clever."

"With all the images [in the 77 Million Paintings software banks,] there is something like 100 million cubed [possibilities.] "What you see today you won't see tomorrow. The piece you just really loved will never happen again."

"I'm anti occult in a certain way " (when asked about the spiritualist overtones in his work,) "but very pro playing with your own timing devices."

"We've dignified the act of control, but we have to learn how to surrender to things. If you can't shape them you have to learn to be a part of them."

"We consider it a huge achievement to control nature. It's also a huge achievement to surrender to nature."

"Graffiti is very much like calligraphy."

"I see myself as a gardener more than an architect. I plant some seeds, watch them come up [and then decide whether I like what's happened and how I want to alter them.]

"[I commend them because] it's like trying to reproduce a Jackson Pollack painting" (On Bang on a Can's cover of Eno's Music For Airports.)

"I have strong opinions." (when asked what makes him a good record producer.)

On art mentors in art school: "What mattered is that they had strong opinions, because that forced you to take a stance in relation to their opinions -- [whether you agreed with what they said or not.]"

Podcast of the press conference recorded by Alli Marshall for the MountainXpress: part one, part two for more Eno stuff.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artist Profile: Constance Humphries

One of Constance Humphries paintings is hanging in the Asheville Art Museum's show, Color Study, and she recently had work in the 2nd Annual UNCA Invitational. A formalist at heart, Humphries says “I’m more interested in visual problems than I am visual solutions.”

“I find mess really interesting,” says Humphries. "Whether it’s in nature, or whether it’s crowds, or in the thrift store where everything is just in piles. I’m simultaneously interested and really freaked out by disorganization.”

To make her gestural paintings, Humphries, an Asheville native, begins by creating an “under-painting” using relatively random marks and colors. Then, she paints the dominating marks, which takes hours. “I have to do it slowly and carefully or else I’ll create mud,” she says.

Read more about Humphries: Mess Marks the Spot, Verve Magazine October 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

AVL artist exhibits elsewhere

Detail of First Cavalry, Machine embroidered fabric and hand stitching

Nava Lubelski

October 28-December 11
Opening Friday Oct. 28 6-9
139 Eldridge St.
New York, NY

From the press release:

"In the exhibit Lubelski uses vastly different surfaces to hold her organic sewing, from a chair, to an eviscerated electric blanket, to a factory reject of misaligned army badges. The objects have been discarded as useless, yet still have a sense of presence and of history, of quietly embodied dramas. Their mass produced designs may contain little aesthetic intention or craftsmanship, but Lubelski's detailed hand stitching is worked throughout their patterns creating a new identity; a chair becomes a sculpture, and a blanket a drawing. The work draws attention to the beauty of the structure and repetition and points out imperfections, which in turn alert the viewer to the unique qualities of the object."

Upholstered armchair, cut mylar

Deskilled Drawings
Heather Lewis

Oct. 7- Dec. 11
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
68 Elm St.
Summit, NJ

"Heather Lewis is interested in exploring the idea of deskilling as it applies to fine art production. Building on a conceptual legacy established by artists like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, Lewis appropriates readymade objects from everyday life and utilizes mechanized design processes such as stenciling to produce artwork. Her exhibition Deskilled Drawing presents light installations and non-traditional artworks that challenge us to expand our consideration of drawings—how they are made, and even how we define them."
-Mary Birmingham, Curator, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lines and Lives of the Face

If you haven't yet been to Tryon, NC, there's at least a one good reason for you to visit this month. Tryon is located about an hour south of Asheville, near the border of South Carolina. It's a lovely little mountain town, slightly warmer in climate than Asheville, with a population of approximately 1,700. It happens to be the town where Nina Simone was born and it is also home of the impressive contemporary art center Upstairs Artspace.

Currently Upstairs Artspace is exhibiting Lines and Lives of the Face, a group show curated by Margaret Curtis and Nancy Holmes. Curtis is an amazing painter who recently took over the role of managing exhibitions at the Upstairs ArtSpace. This is exciting because her knowledge of contemporary art insures some quality exhibitions in the future. Holmes is an art enthusiast who recently supported a new exhibition at The Asheville Art Museum, Homage2.

For LALOTF Curtis initiated a collaboration between NYC artist James Esber and 24 regional artists, "non-artists" and children. For it, Esber provided a drawing of Osama bin Laden to be traced by each participant of the project. The different interpretations that occurred in spite of the standardized form, were astounding. Some artists chose to incorporate literal symbols in their work; others went a more formalized or intuitive route. (The video above does not include the drawings from Upstairs ArtSpace.)

"Pube Patch" and "Brillo Head" paintings by Alli Good

In addition to Esber's project, The gallery contains work by 14 artists -- each presenting their unique approach to the "portrait." There are realist paintings, and stylized interpretations in media ranging from sculpture, paintings, drawings and woodcuts.

"Chill" by Taiyo La Paix. I just love that DQ logo and those faux fur cuffs.

Kindergarten series by David Slone

Drawings by Phillip McGuire

My paintings

Exhibiting artists also include: Kevin Clinton, Mathew Curran, Paul Flint, Dawn Hunter, Francesco Lombardo, Brian Mashburn, Tim Speaker and Bob Trotman

Tuesday, November 1st a panel of artists from the show will discuss traditional vs. contemporary portraits and the appeal of the subject. 7pm

Friday, November 11 Regional writers will read their poetry and prose in the gallery. 7pm.

Line and Lives of the Face hangs until November 19th
Upstairs Artspace
49 South Tryon Street
The gallery is open Tues - Sat. 11am - 5pm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SHUCKED: an art show at PUSH Gallery

Paper kudzu by Lisa Nance (photo by Ayana Dusenberry)

Site-specific installation, paintings, drawings and sculpture by six Asheville artists using mixed media and non-traditional approaches to art making.

The artists of SHUCKED utilize methods and materials not only to achieve a final product or object, but as expressive devices that influence the work as it progresses. Here, the artists react to their own procedures of mark-making, cutting, gluing, binding, sewing and sketching.

Also significant are materials like graphite, cardboard, paper, wood and fabric — gleaned from trash piles, free boxes, thrift stores and friends. The result is a collection of work that responds to current social issues, construed of low-cost materials and cast out from the artists' psyches.

Ink drawings by Michael Ohgren

The following is an excerpt from Artists Get Shucked by Kyle Sherard for the Mountain Xpress:

For local artist, writer and now curator Ursula Gullow, oysters, clams and corn are not the only things that can be shucked. Add artists to the list of things that can shed their protective coverings. In Shucked, a group show opening at Push Skate Shop and Gallery this Friday, she brings together six local artists whose paintings, drawings and site-specific installations reveal the process of artistic creation itself.

The array of work in the show includes a painting by Anna Jensen, paintings by Lisa Nance, drawings by Michael Ohgren and pagan ceremonial garb created and worn by textile artist Tara Jensen (no relation to Anna) for a Beltane festival. Installations by Lauren Whitley, Nance and Courtney Chappell are staged in the gallery.

To explore the notions of process and self, Gullow pushed the artists outside of their comfort zones. "The artists are working more intuitively, more directly, rather than only focussing on the final object,” Gullow says, “A precious, commodified object."

SHUCKED will hang until October 22nd at PUSH Skateshop and Gallery on Patton Avenue in Asheville, NC. 225-5509)