Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson

This is the LAST weekend to stop by Southfirst and see Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson's Inglenook. I've seen this show a couple of times now (which seems essential) and it's a really refreshing introduction (if you need one) to two of the most interesting emerging artists. It's also a nice take on a concept show...with a nice mix of playfulness and reverence. See my interview with them below:

Jon Lutz: Your current show, Inglenook, is based on the research and experimentations of psychologist Wilhelm Reich. What was your attraction to Reich?

Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson: Wilhelm Reich attracted us as a "material" based artist and thinker. Reich's ideas for orgone accumulators and cloud busters are some of the most fascinating sculptures of the 20th century- involving fantastic looking machines that could potentially harness orgone energy and control weather patterns. Reich believed he discovered orgone energy, a blue-light energy that radiates through the body and atmosphere. He invented the orgone accumulator box and blanket to harness this energy for healing purposes of all humankind. We thought orgone energy would be an interesting material to incorporate into our work.... to construct, in the constructivist sense, an artwork as "comrade". We also found it interesting that this was in a sense an "invisible" material"…one you can't see, you can only feel, a material that not only questions the faith of the viewer in experiencing it physically but also us in the construction of it.

Christian Sampson, Untitled, 2009, acrylic, dye, wood and plexiglass, 48" x 36"

JL: How do you incorporate this energy into your art practice?

AD/CS: We didn't know what we'd end up by experimenting with it and if our studio might explode from too much concentrated orgone. I wonder what the neighbors upstairs felt, maybe they had the greatest three months of sex and all their ailments are cured. We were interested in how orgone energy related to the physicality of the body and abstraction with paintings infinity with tactile textiles and blankets. The six orgone accumulator blankets we constructed together for the show are from Reich's F.B.I confiscated instructions. Once the initial construction of the blanket was finished we would wear the blanket and then paint them to ornamentalize the experience, seeing if colors, pattern and shapes involved would change the orgone experience in any way. For the answer one must go try one on and "see" for themselves.

Ariel Dill, Arrow, 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

JL: How did Inglenook come together as a collaboration?

AD: Christian and I have had studios next to each other since leaving graduate school and we have a back and forth communication between looking at each others work and seeing connections or just discussing the work. We had never actually collaborated on work before this show. After we visited Reich's Museum, Orgonon, the Orgone Blankets were something that we wanted to make together and have in the studio, not necessarily for a show. When we were asked to do the show together we realized this was a good time to try making the blankets. It was a wacky enough way to connect our work to each other and then to physically connect to the viewer. It is really important for each of us to have our individual work (there is a wall and a door between our studios!), the collaborative pieces are made by this other part , almost a third artist...less ego is involved and that was pleasurable and unexpected.

JL: You are each working with abstraction and focusing on color and form…is there a concern here for the psychological effect of color on the viewer? Are there art historical precedents here?

CS: I think I was starting from a more 19th century phantasmagorical use of color and the psychology of the shadow. Looking at hand painted magic lantern slides and the use of the projected form and its double or other. Something that I think was much later picked up by Robert Smithson when he was writing about the use of translucency in Donald Judd and it's relation to science fiction of the 1960's. Also the early 20th century writings of Paul Scheerbart on translucent colored glass in 'The Gray Cloth (1914)' and "Glass Architecture (1914)' had an influence on me. I think my form is created by combining the amorphous as a catalyst against the elemental frame. I'm interested in painting as a hyperbolic gesture, one that interweaves wave-lengths of light color, and structure into a form both frozen and animated...

AD: My work deals more with 20th century uses of color. I was thinking about Johannes Ittten and his ideas about subjective color as well as the mystical implications of his work. Earlier this year I made one of his color experiments to find my "subjective timbre" and played with that idea and used that palette in a lot of the paintings for the show. I was also looking at this postcard of a Lucio Fontana, Concette spaziale, The Sky of Venice, 1961, everyday as I was painting. I found it amazing the way the painting maintained its directness and unfussy quality even on such a small disposable scale.

Ariel Dill, Platz, 2009, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 30" x 22"

Ariel Dill, Bright Walk, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 20"

JL: Apart from the collaborations, Ariel’s work in the show paintings while Christian has contributed photos and wall “constructions”. Together there is a composed, harmonious environment. Have you found this way of exhibiting beneficial?

AD/CS: The show was beneficial in getting our work out of the studio and into the Southfirst space and to see it in a new setting. I guess the composed, harmonious environment carried on from our studio over to the Southfirst space. It was also wonderful to work with Maika and Florian from Southfirst gallery, we had such a good time putting this show together with them. The title for the show Inglenook came about while showing Maika the work and thinking it in the context of the Southfirst space. Inglenook is an old English word for the area directly in and around a fireplace. We all thought it made perfect sense.

Christian Sampson, Solar Paintings, 2009, c-print, 8" x 10" each

JL: What role do the photographs have in the whole?

AD/CS: The photographs were a documentation of an experiment to play with solar light as a source to illuminate painting and color. We used a beach on the gulf coast of Florida with receives fantastic afternoon light and sunsets. I was thinking about what illuminates painting and what electrifies it. Opaque and transparent colors, medieval stained glass and Atsuko Tanaka. The wall paintings in the Southfirst show we're all created inside with electric light and are built to be electrified.The photos were documentations of luminous solar powered paintings.

Ariel Dill and Christian Sampson, Red and Grey Orgone Accumulator Blanket, 2009, Materials: see WR Orgon Accumulator Blanket Instructions plus canvas acrylic and cedar wood stand, 40" x 60" x 40"

JL: You have also had a number of film screenings in relation to Reich and his reverberating influence…how has his life and work assimilated into pop and/or underground culture?

AD/CS: Our film screening's were of W.R. Mysteries of the Organism by Dusan Makavejev (1971) and Sleeper by Woody Allen (1973). Both films we felt related to Reich on different levels-One being at the time a banned underground film from Yugoslavia exploring the relationship between communist politics, sexuality and Wilhelm Reich. The film interviews Reich's widow, son, local barber, and trained doctors of his teachings. Also showing orgone accumulator boxes, blankets and therapy in action...The following week we screened the film Sleeper by Woody Allen that involves the "underground" trying to destroy the "nose" of the enemy leader while passing around the "orb" and continually entering the "Orgasmatron". We felt Woody Allen had to have been influenced by Reich on some level during the writing and filming of Sleeper. The "Orgasmatron" had to be Woody's version of an Orgone Accumulator box! When we first drove up the winding driveway to 'Orgonon', Reich's home in Maine, we looked at each other and laughed that we felt like we were in a scene from Sleeper, this was also probably heightened by the fact we were driving a rental Nissan Cube.

For more info see their websites: Ariel Dill, Christian Sampson.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Patrick Brennan FAZES

Halloween Painting, 2009, acrylic and collage on canvas, 12" x 9"

Symbol of a New, 2009, acrylic and popsicle sticks on wood panel, 10" x 8"
You've Got A Friend, 2009, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel, 12"x9"

Falling Island

Wild Storage, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 10"x10"
Never be alone, 2009, acrylic, spray paint and popsicle sticks on wood panel, 20"x16"

But Still You Believe, 2009, acrylic and collage on canvas, 10"x8"

Falling Island, 2009, acrylic and collage on wood panel, 20"x16"

Aloha Painting, 2009, acrylic and collage on wood panel, 24"x18"

Drag On Satellites, 2009, acrylic and gouache on wood panel, 12"x12"

Elegant Lights, 2009, acrylic and collage on wood panel, 10"x8"

Moving Hearts (cross painting), 2009, acrylic on wood panel, 18"x14"

PART, 2009, acrylic on wood panel, 12"x12"

History In Parts (cross painting), 2009, acrylic, collage and spray paint on wood panel, 18"x14"

Patrick Brennan FAZES happened from 12/5-12/11, 2009. For FAZES, Daily Operation presented Patrick Brennan’s first solo show in New York. FAZES included a selection of works that highlight his distinct approach to abstract painting.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kaveri Nair

Hydrometry, 2007, acrylic on paper, 11" x 14"

Untitled, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 15" x 11"

Lagoons, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

Untitled (Grey Clouds), 2007, acrylic on panel, 9" x 12"

Messy Machine
, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 55" x 43"
Untitled, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 20" x 19"

Untitled (Yellow and Copper Sun), 2007, acrylic on panel, 7.5" x 11.5"

Green Drapes, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

I was happy to get to do a studio visit with Kaveri Nair are a few pics I took and some others from her site. I really like how many of these refer to and borrow from to landscapes, but they don't go all the way there.

This Saturday night Kaveri's work will appear in Thingy @ Occasional Projects: 1182 Flushing Ave. 3rd Fl, 7-9 PM, Brooklyn. Also see her website here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Things

Patrick Brennan, Symbol of a New, 2009, acrylic and popsicle sticks on wood panel, 10"x8"

Patrick Brennan FAZES opens this Saturday night from 6-9PM at 103 Reade St. No. 2, NYC. Also at 103 Reade and opening the next weekend, Dec. 12: Outrageous Fortune, curated by Rachel Hayes with Cece Cole, Gabriela Galvan, Emily Hall, Rachel Hayes, and Kazue Taguchi.

J.D. Walsh in the Dec. Artforum's Best of 2009. See the discussed collaboration with Ben Coonley on a Dr. Zizmor commercial.

Apartment Show's Happy House @ Printed Matter. Jesse Hamerman's will be available. Other notables include Gina Beavers, Patrick Brennan, Cleopatra's, Ariel Dill, Stacy Fisher and many more. More at the Apartment Show website.

Jesse Hamerman (anotherday,anotherword) and Liz Linden co-curated Double Take, now up now at Metro Tech, Brooklyn.

Ned Colclough, Say You Do, 2009, wood, plaster, bronze, 30" x 6" x 45"

Ned Colclough has a nice new blog of his recent work.

This looks like a good show coming up next weekend...stay tuned for more Kaveri Nair here.

Christian Sampson and Ariel Dill Inglenook at Southfirst through Dec. 20.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Upcoming: Patrick Brennan FAZES

History in Parts (cross painting), 2009, 20"x 16"

Patrick Brennan

opens 12/5 6-9PM
103 reade st. #2
nyc 10013

If you've been following this blog for a little while, you know that I am really into Patrick Brennan’s work. It’s gone through a lot of interesting changes over the last few years and the work is really at an exciting point. With “FAZES”, Daily Operation presents Brennan's first solo show in New York. It includes a selection of works that highlight his distinct approach to abstract painting. Hints of moons, crosses, stars, and galaxies appear but the viewer is compelled to collect their own narrative.

His work has recently been seen at Artists Space, Heskin Contemporary, Kent State University, Mississippi State University, Apartment Show, and the Deli Storeroom. For more about Patrick Brennan, check out of my previous posts and especially our interview.

Contact me to see the show after opening night: lutzjon [at] gmail [dot] com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jaya Howey

Untitled, 2008, oil on canvas, 70” x 72”

Who Trampled the Flowering Arbutus Beneath the Library Window, 2009, oil on canvas, 71" x 67"

Untitled, 2009, oil on jutte, 20" x 16"; Who Trampled the Flowering Arbutus Beneath the Library Window, 2009, oil on canvas, 71" x 67"; Untitled, 2009, oil on jutte, 20" x 16"

Happy Hardcore, 2009, oil on canvas, 71" x 67"

Untitled, 2009, oil on jutte, 20" x 16"; Untitled, 2009, oil on jutte, 20" x 16"; The Sassiest Boy in America, 2009, oil on canvas, 71" x 67; Untitled, 2009, oil on jutte, 20" x 16"; The Pan Gets Its Close-up" (#2), 2009, acrylic on canvas, 71" x 67"

Untitled; The Sassiest Boy in America

Goodbye Future, 2008, oil on canvas, 70” x 72”

A Clear Expression of Mixed Feelings (1-4), 2008, oil on canvas, 25” x 22”

Jaya Howey is definitely one of the most exciting painters out there right now. I really enjoyed stopping by his studio and talking to him about what he's been doing. Hopefully we'll do an interview in the future, so look for that. Also check out his blog and more here.

Check out his work in Besides, With, Against, And Yet: Abstraction and The Ready-Made Gestures @ The Kitchen, which opens this Friday, November 13 and runs through January 16, 2010. The complete artist list for the show is: Richard Aldrich, Polly Apfelbaum, Kerstin Br├Ątsch, Ana Cardoso, Jessica Dickinson, Cheryl Donegan, Keltie Ferris, Wade Guyton, Jaya Howey, Alex Hubbard, Jacqueline Humphries, Jacob Kassay, Jutta Koether, Nate Lowman, Seth Price, R.H. Quaytman, Blake Rayne, Davis Rhodes, Cheyney Thompson, Patricia Treib, Charline von Heyl, and Kelley Walker.