Entries Tagged as 'Art'


March 20th, 2008 · Comments Off on CANNONCANNONCANNON


A UMW Honors Candidacy Art Exhibition

This year, those of us senior art majors applying for honors have taken the unusual step of taking our show off campus, in a space generously donated for the occasion by the inimitable Thomas J. Mitchell at the Galleria on Caroline Street. We’ve re-purposed the old-movie-theater-stage-turned

-defunct-purse-shop into a quirky gallery space that fits our work.

I’ve got nine works exhibited there (including painting, video, printmaking and ceramics) including the unveiling of my Dangerfield Newby installation.

The show will be on display from March 28 to April 9 (Hours: Noon-5, with extended hours until 7 PM on Fridays and Saturdays). Our opening on the 28th will feature Allman’s Bar-B-Que and a live bluegrass band. Don’t miss it!


Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · art galleries · Fredericksburg

Spore Collective! Exhibition

March 19th, 2008 · Comments Off on Spore Collective! Exhibition


First of all, as far as I’m concerned, the Spore Collective! has an exclamation point on the end. Second of all, here are some photos from the SPORE COLLECTIVE! exhibition currently on view at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Special thanks to Katherine Shaw-Sweeney of the Flippo Gallery.

img_4768.jpg img_4758.jpg img_4773.jpg img_4759.jpg img_4772.jpg


Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · ARTS 331

The New and Improved New Museum

March 14th, 2008 · Comments Off on The New and Improved New Museum

img_4513.jpgOne of the absolute best parts of my recent gallery-hopping trip to New York was catching the inaugural exhibition at the new location of the New Museum of Contemporary Art (, which, in an effort to deliberately avoid the gentrified, domesticated art scene in its native SoHo, relocated to a purpose-built six story structure in the Bowery, a gritty district otherwise only notable for its Chinese restaurant equipment suppliers and smattering of punk-rock clubs.


The building itself is fantastic looking: from the street, its glass storefront blends in (to a degree) with the format of the rest of the shops, but it rises in a series of staggered boxes (lit by skylights) that create large, glowing “white-cube” style exhibition spaces inside. The space is quirky enough to be interesting, but these quirks are kept (in a very modernist move) very separate from the art img_4515.jpg(a contrast to the Guggenheim, for instance, which forces artwork to conform to its irregular spaces). These quirks include a bright green interior elevator, corrugated metal stairs (which match the metal sheeth of the building), and some bizarre elongated stairways.

sta_4535.jpgWe happened to go when the sky-room on the sixth floor was open. (This was an awesome way to see the city and a real “ooh-ahh” moment for a little redneck child like myself).

I’m devoting a whole presentation later this semester to the exhibition itself (“Unmonumental”), so I’ll touch on that in a later post.


The Washington Post

The New York Times

The New York Times raves about the architecture

The Wall Street Journal

Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · art galleries · New York

Country Boy In The City (or “Gee, look at all dem buildins!”)

March 13th, 2008 · Comments Off on Country Boy In The City (or “Gee, look at all dem buildins!”)

img_4558.jpgOkay, here’s the scene: an obsessive art nerd (played by the plucky, intrepid Robert Lynn¹) goes to New York to check out the art “scene” for the first time, spending his final college spring break (painters gone wild!) visiting all the major galleries and museums. But wait! What if our hero turns out to be a flannel-wearing-redneck who has never been to a major city before!? Hilarity ensues in this classic fish-out-of-water story.

No, it’s not the description of a questionably green-lighted movie on an extended cable channel this afternoon², its what I did last week thanks to an undergraduate research grant. Besides the dirty subway and rude people, New York blew my mind, as expected. But I’ll let you just fill that in from every TV show you’ve seen and we’ll get down to the serious business of what I’m excited about:

cai.jpgCai Guo Chaing at the Guggenheim was a real sock-knocker-offer, but I couldn’t help but think about how awkwardly the work fit in the space (since it’s a retrospective, almost all of the work was originally site specific elsewhere). At best, the work was a gorgeous and impressive example of just how exciting high-budget contemporary art can be to all kinds of visitors, but at worst it was just derivative visual metaphors presented in the style of cheesy staged roller-coaster decorations (Frank Lloyd Wright’s balconies even force you to pass through them like a carnival ride). Undeniably, however, the video pieces and gunpowder drawings really had me engaged, beyond even the primal “Let’s Go Light Things On Fire!” element (which, by the way, can only do good things for art, as far as I’m concerned).

courbet.jpgSince Jasper Johns and Gustave Courbet are probably the two artists I’ve written the most about since coming to college, seeing their exhibitions at the Met was a pretty great way to encounter that museum for the first time (guess what: it’s big. like really big.). The Courbet was less exciting than I’d hoped—few of his major pieces were there (Stonebreakers is no longer extant and Burial at Ornans never gets loaned out) so it was heavy on early portraits and late landscapes (plus the obligatory naked lesbians). It was fun, though, to imagine walking through the show with Clement Greenberg babbling constantly about formal qualities and the birth of the avant-garde.

johns.jpg Jasper Johns Gray was more interesting to me–by redoing his work in gray, he takes his paintings from a shout to a stage whisper. Eerie and awesome. Fool’s House (left) was probably the highlight, but the whole show was full of work and little secrets I’d never seen or noticed before. [Update 4/27: I loved this show so much I shelled out fifty bucks for the catalogue, only to drill a hole in it for my recent sculpture The Most Valuable Things I Own]


Color Chart at the MoMA was really heavy on post-modern conceptualism (starting with the forshadowing of Duchamp’s masterpiece Tu m’, which I’ll be blogging about more as the semester comes to a close and my paper on it takes shape), including some fantastic work by Carrie Mae Weems and John Baldessari repainting a room for every day of the week. Come to think of it, polite and orderly color grids or squares were pretty ubiquitous. This was a gigantic contrast to:

THE NEW MUSEUM: (In fact, I was so excited that I’m presenting on this to the Spore Collective, so I’ll blog my exhaustive research as that draws near…

until then,



¹ whose only credits to date include peeing on a cigarette butt in a video art piece

² stars: 1/5

Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · New York · sculpture · Uncategorized

Just Passing on a Hello from New York

March 11th, 2008 · 2 Comments

John Baldessari takes a moment out of making art for this important message:


I’ve heard a lot about New York in my 21 years of not visiting it, and last week, this country boy took it by storm. What do I have to say about it? Well, the buildings were tall, the people were rude, and the art was spectacular! It certainly lived up to expectations.

All tolled, I made time to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Jasper Johns: Grey, Gustave Courbet), the MoMA (Color Chart, Lucian Freud: The Painters Etchings, Directions in Art: 1970 to Now), the Guggenheim (Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want To Believe), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (Unmonumental), The Neue Gallerie (Gustav Klimt), P.S. 1 (WACK! Art and The Feminist Revolution), The Sculpture Center (Tom Burr: Addict-Love, In Practice Projects), The Drawing Center (Selections: Spring 2008, Sterling Ruby: CHRON), Deitch Projects (Noble & Webster: Polymorphous Perverse), Gagosian Gallery (Richard Artschwager), Gladstone Gallery (Andro Wekua: Blue Mirror), Matthew Marks Gallery (Nayland Blake: What The Whiskey Said What The Sun Is Saying), Spencer Brownstone Gallery (Martin Wohrl: Kontrapost), Luhring Augustine (George Condo: Christ: The Subjective Nature of Objective Representation), Metro Pictures Gallery, (Sterling Ruby: Kiln Works, Catherine Sullivan: Triangle of Need), Galeria Ramis Barquet (Sergio De Beukelaer: Format), Marianne Boesky Gallery (Kon Trubkovich), Charles Cowles Gallery (Jill Weinstock: Wear), Jack Shainman Gallery (Carrie Mae Weems) and a host of others.

Dear lord, I had no idea how absurdly comprehensive that list was going to turn out to be. Don’t bother reading the whole thing (I’d feel guilty about tell you that now, but I’m going to go ahead and assume you just skipped down here anyway.)

I’ll try to find time this week to piece together a look at some relevant highlights, including img_4445.jpg

and img_4669.jpg.

Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · New York


February 24th, 2008 · Comments Off on SPORE!

Simply put, the Spore Collective Manifesto gives me the freedom to concentrate on art instead of “art class.” For me, the manifesto changes my perspective on my work: in Sculpture I, I focused on making Good Sculpture, (the kind of sculpture that receives murmurs and nods of approval and is formally strong and says “Gee, this undergraduate student really understands how to make a sculpture.”) Now, I’m free to participate in the larger contemporary art dialogue without worrying about those murmurs and head nods and good grades and make my work say more distinct things like, “See how exciting peeing on a cigarette butt can be?”This is important because many of the most pressing issues in contemporary art might fall outside the scope of a typical liberal arts education by, say, violating the honor code* (even our celebrated “spore” is a little white lie) or at least our collective sense of Good Taste.

The dual emphasis on wonderment and risk-taking to me seems to be one goal: real wonderment incites risk-taking–how much wonder could be put into a “safe” piece? one that had all its loose ends tied up before it was even started? Wonder is pulling at a thread to see what unravels, not worrying about what will happen to the sweater if you do. I am glad that a capacity for false starts (or, to extend the metaphor, ruined sweaters) is built into the system. 

Besides, having a manifesto is so much more rock and roll.   


* What if Richard Prince had to pledge his work?

Tags: ARTS 331 · sculpture

Storm Tossed Ship (Gonna Make It To The Ocean)

February 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Storm Tossed Ship (Gonna Make It To The Ocean)

At the moment I have a static image, but when I revise the work I will include streaming video.

The song can be streamed or downloaded here.

My statement can be read here.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · video art

The Mysterious Occurrences of Raccoon Self Portraiture

February 17th, 2008 · Comments Off on The Mysterious Occurrences of Raccoon Self Portraiture



Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · sculpture

Jeff Koons’ Puppy

January 22nd, 2008 · 11 Comments

Given that most of the conversation around the sculpture studio lately has been about animals, topiaries, large scale works and Post-Modernism, it brings to mind the ultimate confluence of all such subjects:

Jeff Koons’ Puppy

It seems that every time I bring up the topic of “Jeff Koons, My Dislike Of”¹ around a fellow Art-Viewing-Person, the response I get is something along the lines of “No matter how much you hate Jeff Koons, you have to admit, you like Puppy.”

Undeniably, Puppy is gosh-darn likable.³ It’s also a good example of how monumental scale can add a sense of magic to an otherwise uninspired idea. (Claes Oldenburg probably made the best use out of this principle). On the other hand, Puppy can emblemize gimmick and the vapidity of the artistic vanguard of the last twenty years.

On the other, other hand, who criticizes a giant flower dog?


¹ A little known fact about me: I index and cross reference all conversational topics. Really.²

² Not really.

³ So likable, in fact, that I predict that in the year 2019, the likability of Puppy will be used to distinguish human beings from the robot-people, who will then be killed by Harrison Ford, blade runner.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331

Liberty Leading The Professionals

December 1st, 2007 · 1 Comment

Liberty Leading The Professionals

Professional Practices in Studio Art

Annual Presentations

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

5 PM, Melchers 107

featuring presentations by the following artists:

Beth Wilkins, Robert Lynn, Richard Jones, Matt Czapiewski, Katherine Arens, Molly Sheldon, Christina Falcone, Daniel Roberts, Christina McGovern, Michael Mosely, and Davette Leonard

And a faculty panel including the esteemed Lynda Sharpe (Assistant Director, UMW Galleries), the magnificent Dr. Joseph Dreiss (Professor of Art History), and the inimitable Jim Groom (all-powerful creator of UMW blogs).


Special thanks to Matt Czapiewski for his excellent photo-editing work and Professor Garmon for letting us recreate Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading The People during class (and doing a great job of playing a dead body). Also, to avoid any accidental false advertising, I should note that I will not be topless like this during the presentation.

Tags: Art · ARTS 474 · jim groom sightings · Melchers