Best of 2005: 10 Art Shows
Alright, I did a post earlier on individual pieces that stuck with me, now I’ll do 10 shows. Or serial encounters with an artist in a couple of cases.
Andrew Kaufman. His solo show at the Tennessee Arts Commission was inquisitive and heart-felt. He threaded together at least a couple of things. One was a pretty theoretical exploration of what happens when you ask what is a painting in a pretty literal way. You end up with things that emphasize the canvas itself, and a painting’s status as object of purchase. The other strand were pieces that pretty directly expressed sensations related to the affiliation of people in love and marriage. Even that was not without a lot of intellection. http://www.ajkaufman.com/information.htm
Terry Rowlett. He had a bravura show at Zeitgeist that borrowed the settings, styles, and motives from painting of earlier eras to portray contemporary characters. The characters maintain their contemporary character, in bearing and expression that capture distinct stances to the world, but the material of the paintings draws a line between them and the characters who fill the history of art. It gives depth to what is contemporary and relevance to what is antique. http://terryrowlett.com/
Leslie Kneisel. She had a show at Ruby Green and before that I stumbled across a piece by her in
Jiha Moon. I saw her work at DC Curators Space and Creative Partners in
Pieter Claesz. This small exhibit at the National Gallery was one that left you with a lot better understanding of the artist’s work. Claesz was a Dutch specialist in still life. The curators classified his work into 4 groups and showed how he innovated from his immediate predecessors in the form. One of the best parts was the cases that included samples of some of the objects in the paintings - wine glasses, pipes, even the ornamental cup of Haarlem Brewer’s Guild that was pictured in one painting. http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/claeszinfo.shtm
Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun. Not a single show, but I kept running across work by this portrait painter who was part of the Ancien Regime court at Versailles just before the French Revolution and was able to escape to Russia and lived into the 1840s. There were examples of her work in the Frist’s show of European paintings from the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Rau Collection at the TN State Museum and I ran across a couple of the ones the National Gallery owns. In the
You Are Here.
I Love to Draw, I Live to Draw. This show at TAG was uniformly excellent. It was a good chance for me to look at pieces by Robert Simon, a self-taught compulsive drawer from
Fragile Species. The
Jin Soo Kim. Her construction, a series of tunnels delivering crisp packets of sound around the room was interesting enough, but the best part were all the sculptures she pulled out of the Vanderbilt collection. She mixed cultures, religions and time periods, so you get multiple visions of the crucifixion, multiple visions of Buddha, with a liberating effect for the art objects themselves and the viewer.