January Art Notes from JL Cooling

In the January 2016 issue of Art in America there is a great article by Robert Rhee entitled "Drawn Together." The article talks about Dune, a collective drawing night that brings together cartoonists, comic artists, established artists and assorted teens to sit down together each month  in a coffee house and draw.  Together. Only participants are allowed into the space, no watching on the sidelines. A black and white Xerox zine is produced each month using a drawing from every participant. Each artist receives a copy; none are produced for sale. There is no curating process, everyone is in the zine. On average 50-60 participants show up each month. This is a very engaging collective concept which allows the  artists to interact and to circumvent the traditional gallery exhibition route.

 

There are some amazing museum shows that are closing in early January and February and should not be missed. If you don't get to see the exhibitions, buy the catalogues:

The Guggenheim Museum is featuring a show entitled "Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting" closing on Jan.6, 2016. Burri was a doctor in the Italian Army when he was captured by the British. He was turned over to the Americans who interned him as a prisoner of war in Texas. While in prison, he took up painting and drawing to occupy his time. He abandoned medicine and continued with the avocation that seized him in prison. He is self-taught. His paintings are constructed from old storage sacks he found,  roughly sewn together and splattered with paint. They evoke blood stained bandages, scarring and burning- powerful statements on war's carnage and destruction.

 

If you can possibly go to see "Martin Wong: Human Instamatic" at the Bronx Museum of Art until Feb.14,2016- run, don't walk.

Martin Wong was a visionary artist who died of AIDS in 1999. He took public writing, graffiti, sign language, images of brick walls, chain link fences and charts of constellations and produced an extraordinary visual poetry.

He made the most of the urban streets and painted with an incredible attention to visual detail and the craft of painting.

 

"Greater New York" at MoMA PS1 smartly by-passes the blue and trendy blue-chip artists we have seen time and time again to focus on older generation artists both alive and dead whose work should be better known. It is also focusing on younger artists who have been influenced by this older generation’s pioneering steps.

This show also celebrates gay culture, which is given a narrative of triumph over the AIDS crisis.

 

And last but not least is the exhibition entitled “Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet" featured at the American Folk Art Museum in New York through January 10, 2016. His collection of European self-taught art was assembled by him from 1951-1961 . Many of these impressive artists are still unknown in this country.

 

In contrast to all of the attention-grabbing, noisy exhibitions and the gallery exhibitions featuring the well-knownrostrum of the same artists, 303 featured an exhibition of small, gorgeous landscapes of coastal New England. None measured more than 10x13 inches and gave us an invitation to slowly immerse ourselves in luminous spaces. Maureen Gallace evokes the enduring and the enthralling in ordinary well painted scenes of ocean , skies, and beach shacks. It is great to see an artist in the lineage of Fairfield Porter and Edward Hopper. Watch out for Maureen Gallace at 303 and other venues in NYC. 

 

Happy New Year to Everyone in 2016

Cooling     © JL Cooling 2016 and published on contemporaryartmultiples.com blog