Perambulating the Bounds

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nashville Visual Arts Events Jan. 30-Feb. 15

If you have time and energy to think about anything other than Super Tuesday, it is of course the beginning of the month, so there’s art openings to distract you from whatever scares or excites you most about the country’s political prospects. But do vote, if you haven’t already.

As always, if you have an email list of your own, feel free to forward this.

If someone wants to get added directly to my list for the email version of this listing, send me an email at dcmaddox@comcast.net. To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

Jan. 30

Libby Rowe, Pink, Belmont Leu Gallery. This show opened a week ago, but they held the opening reception this afternoon. I think most of Libby’s pieces I’ve seen involve fabric—there was a series of pseudo-circus side show posters printed on canvas hangings called Circus of the Unremarkable (e.g., “Jojo the Dog-Faced Dog”), and at least one piece that was a modified apron, and it seems like I’ve seen something else like that from her (I think). They are funny and well-done. The Belmont show includes an even broader range of media—video, drawings, photographs, and installations from a series that deals with femininity and the physicality of being female. It looks like it will bring together a lot of pieces that Nashville audiences have seen in isolation. The Belmont space gives artists an unusual opportunity to stretch out and express the range of their ideas in a body of work, and Libby is playing out a lot of ideas in this series.

Feb. 1

Centennial Art Center, Tom Turnbull and Elizabeth Wise Turnbull is a potter showing porcelain wall pieces and ceramics, and Wise is a painter of dreamy domestic scenes.

Feb. 2

Estel, Desi Minchillo. I’m a sucker for work like this, dense and colorful. Minchillo cuts up bits of paper and other stuff into Pop Art shapes like flowers that she bunches and stacks up to create continuous washes of color and a three dimensional surface. She was formerly an architect, and she builds up a topographic space like an architectural model where sections of foam-core or cardboard build up the contours of land and the massings of building on it. Which is not to say her pieces are involved with rigid geometries—no, the opposite, the colors coalesce like flocks of birds with amorphous boundaries.

Tinney + Cannon Contemporary, Tony Hernandez Hernandez is a well-received Atlanta artist. The work at Tinney+Cannon is a series of melancholy pictures of children, isolated in abstract space. He’s inspired by images of children in the camps during the Holocaust. Even though the paintings don’t have obvious indications of their link to that time and place, the association makes intuitive sense. One of his paintings was the cover from Train’s album Drops of Jupiter: it has a kid wearing a crown and holding a dove.

Twist, Scot Simontacchi and Julie Lee Julie more visible lately as a singer and songwriter—she’s put out a couple of CDs on her own, records and performs with Sarah Siskind in the group Old Black Kettle, and Alison Kraus cut a couple of her songs on her last album. But I first got to know her as a visual artist, constructing sculptures and shrines and things in between out of found objects. She’s back in that mode of course for the show at Twist, although there will be a performance. Scott is a musician and I gather a photographer as well—I’m not familiar with his work, but it looks like he’s making stuff that moves towards Julie’s aesthetics in this show.

TAG, Josh Keyes, John Casey, David McClister. Starting in February, for the next 6 months Jerry Dale McFadden takes over the Dangenart gallery on the second floor of the Arcade (don’t worry, Daniel will be back). For his first show there we brings back a couple of his artists from California. Keyes paints scenes of animals in surreal urban environments, and Casey does drawings and sculptures of mutant creatures which often look like elaborate sock puppets or Mister Potato Head dressed up. With them is McClister, a Nashville photographer, who has created a narrative called “They Love By Night” from staged “crime scene” photographs that tell a sort of story about people mutated by radiation from atomic weapons experimentation.

Arts Company, William Buffett, Nicole Katano, Javier Barbosa, and art books. Buffett is a painter based in Nashville who has dedicated much of his work to New Orleans and its music. Carlton Wilkinson used to carry his work at In The Gallery. Barbosa creates prismatic abstract paintings, and Katano is a photographer of flowers, plants, and outside scenes put together into diptychs and triptychs. Some of her work has been published in book form, which will be featured in the gallery’s selection of art books.

Rymer, Laurie Hogin, Trevor Nicholas, Frank Webster The gallery’s show this month features Frank Webster, who paints empty spaces from the contemporary landscape—empty skies, empty walls, marked by minimal features.

Art Rogue et al. And don't forget Matt Mikulla at Art Rogue, (fov), Bart Mangrum, etc.


Feb. 7

Vandy Fine Arts Gallery and Sarratt Art Gallery, Oswald Guayasamin, Of Rage and Redemption Guayasamin (1919-1999) was an Ecuadorian painter and graphic artist who cultivated a classic Latin American modernism informed by a strong social consciousness. Vanderbilt organized this show, the first survey of his work in the United States. It came about through a nice bit of serendipity that brought people from Vandy into contact with the artist’s family (I think it was his son, but don’t hold me to that). After the show runs at Vandy, it is touring for a couple of years to galleries across the U.S., including the gallery of the OAS in DC. It’s not every year that Vanderbilt originates an exhibit that generates that kind of interest at other institutions.

Watkins, Dave Plunkert Lecture Watkins is hosting a lecture by illustrator Dave Plunkert. whose portfolio includes a lot of biggest magazines in the country like Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times.

Feb. 8

TSU Hiram Van Gordon Gallery, Call and Response Another imaginative exhibit at the TSU gallery. This time the gallery asked several artists and some students at McKissack Elementary to respond to the gallery’s collection of African art. The respondants selected works from the collection to display, along with their own work, creating new contexts to view the work. It sounds like a great way to draw attention to their African art collection. This might be time to say, or repeat that interesting things are happening at TSU. The gallery program is notably revitalized under Jodi Hayes’ leadership, and the TSU students in the Frist show this Fall constituted one of the strongest cohorts when you compared the schools (I know you weren’t supposed to do that, but I couldn’t help it).

Watkins, Annual Juried Student Show The annual juried show is the best way to figure who the current Watkins students are and some of what they are trying to do. This year the school is renaming one of the show's awards in honor of Will ClenDening.

Greg Pond and Pradip Malde, Artists' Forum, Frist Center Colleagues at Sewanee who show work frequently (but not frequently enough) in Nashville--Pradip is a photographer with a strong philosophical bent, which he shares with Greg, who starts as a sculptor but ranges into video, sound art, and programming, combining them in all sorts of ways. Greg definitely has a lot to say and draws on a broad and vital body of ideas and knowledge. I haven't talked to Pradip and have only heard him speak once, but I imagine he can hold his own. At 6:30 in the Frist Auditorium.

Feb. 9

Ruby Green, Traci Molloy, JoseX, Joon Sung The featured artist is Traci Molloy, with two bodies of moody work. One is a set of black and white photos overlaid with lines of text and numbers, like some sort of conversion of image into code. In the hallway gallery there will be a series of cards drawn by an illustrator during his commutes on Chicago’s El from 1967-70. I don’t know how Ruby Green got it hands on these, but they sound pretty cool. Joon Sung has videos showing in the gallery’s theater space.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School, Five Spot A hipster life-drawing class—the Nashville Roller Girls model, there’s beer and a DJ, and goofy contests and prizes. This is part of a national network of events that started in Brooklyn and spread to places around the country that look to Brooklyn as the epicenter of their cultural world, like East Nashville.

Cumberland Gallery, Paper Goods, Don Porcaro This month at Cumberland includes a group show of gallery artists doing work on paper and sculptures by Don Porcaro, who combines stone, ceramics, and electrical and plumbing supplies, all painted with vivid colors. He was one of the artists who contributed to the Peace Tower at the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

Feb. 10

Downtown Presbyterian Church, Emancipation Conversation. With the usual caveat, this is my church, DPC is doing their annual Lenten Art Show. This year the theme is Emancipation, and the opening is going to be on Sunday the 10th, at noon or so I think. (I guess a lot of the work is going to be up the week before for the Art Luck pot luck supper before Art Crawl.) We’re doing the Thursday film series again this year, featuring among other things George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. You can ask Tom Wills what it has to emancipation, but his selections always make sense when you see them. And we’re also having a concert on the 21st that’s part of the God in Music City series sponsored by Vandy’s Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, with which Dave Perkins is affiliated.

Feb. 13

Student Art Alliance, City Hall Rotunda, Murfreesboro A group exhibit by MTSU’s student art association. Like the Watkins juried show, this should be a good opportunity to get to know the work of some of the MTSU art students. It’s a relatively big program, and each year some of the students are very good.

Feb. 15

Frist, Monet to Dali. An exhibit of late 19th and early 20th century paintings and sculpture on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Art. I’ve never been to that museum and don’t know what the highlights are, but it looks like most of the big names are represented: Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, etc.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nashville Visual Arts this weekend

I missed a bunch of stuff for this weekend, so let me pick up what I know I missed. And of course there’s a whole bunch of stuff coming up next weekend.

By the way, I’ve gotten notice that Jim Brooks is retiring as President at Watkins. On balance, it seems like he’s done a good job. He’s been there for 6 years, and during this time they moved into Metro Center and started building dorms. The dorms are a big deal, both in terms of changing the nature of the school and as a reflection of the school’s ability to inspire support from the community. Of course the whole thing with Terry Glispin came down on his watch, but it’s probably the case that he brought the school back from that crisis as well as imaginable.


If someone wants to get added directly to my list for the email version of this listing, send me an email at dcmaddox@comcast.net. To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

Jan. 25

Renaissance Center. The Secret Show group was a bunch of Watkins students (Amanda Dillingham, Jason Driskill, Derek Gibson, Eve Peach, Jaime Raybin, Heather Spriggs Thompson, Iwonka Waskowski, Kristen Burton and Will ClenDening) who started out doing quarterly shows in borrowed space, then rented their own space on Chestnut, and now they’ve gone off in separate directions. Most of them are still in the area, a couple are in MFA programs. And of course they’re including work by Will ClenDening who died in a motorcycle accident in 2006. They’re having a sort of reunion show at the Renaissance Center in Dickson. Under curator Armon Means, the Ren Center seems to be doing something interesting most months. In addition to the Secret Show exhibit, they’re showing an installation by Memphis artist Sara Good, and work by Jeffrey Morton.

Parthenon, Victoria Boone and Marla Fath. It’s been a while since I tracked on an exhibit in the Parthenon (maybe Carlton Wilkinson’s show), but this one caught my eye. Boone’s got abstract paintings here based on symbols she created for her teenage diary to keep her secrets. That sounds like a pretty good start for something. And she’s got a great title: “Gravity and Merit.” And Fath is doing portraits of women that cast them in a mythological light. They’re doing a reception on the 25th from 6-8, and then the exhibit stays up through April 5.

Jan. 26

Zeitgeist, Print Portfolio Zeitgeist has commissioned a print portfolio with contributions from 5 of its artists—Jim Ann Howard, who makes images of nature broken, rendered in pigments drawn from natural materials; Brady Haston, whose paintings show the mark of graphic representations in the landscape, Patrick DeGuira, maker of conceptually demanding sculptures that address very down to earth human experience, Hans Schmitt-Matzen, involved in clever transfers of material between media, and Will Berry, who in the past has built a kind of abstract travel account of distant places he has lived or visited. This seems like a very good idea for the gallery and the artists, giving people another way to bring this art into their lives.

Plowhaus, Out of Here. Plowhaus is leaving its space on 17th Street and wrapping up there with this show, which looks like it includes most of the people active in the group. In their press they say they’re cooperating with the Art House to find new space, and at least one of their press statements say they have leads but no new space yet. So I imagine they will be on hiatus, but I hope that’s really short. They seem to have a large enough membership that I’ve got to think they’re going to come up with new space. I’m sure there will be updates on their website.

Jan. 30

Vanderbilt, Ingram Studio Art Center, Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. It looks like more of the Mel Ziegler Austin connection—Hubbard’s a professor at University of Texas. She and Birchler collaborate on videos and video installations that seem to have some common ground with photographer Gregory Crewdson. Their work has been shown all over, including the MCA in Chicago, the Venice Biennale, an upcoming show at the Hirshhorn, and they’ve been featured on PBS’ Art 21. They’re delivering a lecture on their work at 7:00 on the 30th.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Two concerts this weekend

Alright, for the last time on the blog I’m going to plug the Susan Alcorn/Misha Feigin show at Twist, and I also thought I’d pass on info on a concert by a Ukrainian mandolinist and fiddler organized by the Global Education Center.

I’ve got a note on Susan and Misha’s show under my previous post. Read Michael Anton Parker’s description there. I think Susan has achieved something remarkable in absorbing many kinds of music and turning them into something completely organic and integrated, going down to some essence that unites music across styles, nations, eras. Too often someone interested in so many sounds ends up “borrowing” the music, or creating an unlovely pastiche. Not so with Susan. The music is intense, like a reduction in cooking.

The show will be from 3-6 at Twist Gallery in the Arcade. We’re going to ask a suggested admissions of $6-10. I would expect things to get going pretty soon after 3:00. Susan and Misha are both going to play solo sets, they’ll play together, and me and Brady Sharp may or may not play.

Just today I got a notice from Monica Cooley about a concert that the Global Education Center is holding at West Nashville United Methodist Church on Charlotte—Ukrainian mandolin and fiddle player Peter Ostroushko. I’ll paste their notice below. If you haven’t had enough former Soviet bloc string players after Saturday, here’s a second dose. It looks good, though pretty different from Susan and Misha.


Peter Ostroushko in Concert

Sunday, january 20 - 7:30 pm

at West Nashville United Methodist Church
Tickets
: $20 adults; $15 students and seniors
Tickets are available at the Global Education Center, 4822 Charlotte Avenue
Information at 292-302
3; globaleducationcenter@juno.com;

T
he Global Education Center, in partnership with West Nashville United Methodist Church, is excited to continue its acoustic music series in an intimate evening with Peter Ostroushko, widely regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music today. His tours have taken him to the stages of clubs, performing arts centers, music festivals and theatres across North America and Europe, and he has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling master of instrumentation and composition.

In this particular concert, he will be accompanied by Arkadiy Yushin on guitar. The duo will share their most passionate music - a rich ethnic mix of their Ukrainian heritage and the acoustic sounds that Peter has made popular on shows such as Prairie Home Companion and Austin City Limits. Ostroushko, whose resume is dizzying in size and scope, has played with orchestras throughout the United States and on shows as diverse as The David Letterman Show and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. An honored first generation hero among the Ukrainian communities of North America, Peter promises a folksy and welcoming experience for all.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Nashville Visual Arts Events January 10-26

Warning, but not an apology for the self-promotion contained in this listing. My friend Susan Alcorn is coming to town on January 19 to play a show at Twist Gallery (thank you Beth and Caroline for hosting it). Susan makes stunning music, experimental, but melodic, and comprehensive—she seamless draws in country, soul, jazz, Indian music, tango, contemporary classical music, and on and on, and synthesizes it into something that seems to breathe the essence of music. I’ve been reading Ben Ratliff’s new book about Coltrane, and one of its key ideas is that Coltrane was playing a sound, and this sound could absorb everything in music. I have the same experience with Susan’s music.


If someone wants to get added directly to my list for the email version of this listing, send me an email at dcmaddox@comcast.net. To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

Jan. 10

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, Xiao Xin Liu, 2006 Hamblet Award Winner. Vanderbilt’s Hamblet prize is something like the richest undergraduate art prize in America, which is odd for a school which only recently elevated studio arts to a measure—it’s nice, but odd. The drill is the prize gets awarded during the student’s senior year, they take the next year to travel, and then the following January they come back and show their work back at old alma mater. Xiao Xin Lin traveled to China, which her family left when she was 7, and she did work exploring the relationship of traditional and modern in China today, and her own connection and separation from that culture.

Vanderbilt, Ingram Studio Art Center, Jon Stone and T.J. Edwards. The Department of Art didn’t send much information on this. Stone appears to be a figurative painter, but I don’t anything about him and there wasn’t much on the web. T.J. Edwards is a potter who finished an undergraduate degree at the Appalachian Center for the Crafts in Smithville. He had a piece in the Frist show of mid-State art students. His piece was a very large bowl filled with lots of small vases, called “Blessed Are The Barren.” It poked fun at the repetitiveness, or the perceived repetitiveness, of production potting, but that title wakes you up to a much different approach to the object. It quickly brings in an entire world of veneration.

Jan. 17

Frist Center, Aaron Douglas: African-American Modernist, and Fisk Art Faculty Aaron Douglas chaired the Fisk art department for 30 years from the 1930s, and before that he has one of the leading visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance. He is known in particular for the style he used in graphics and murals—figures in silhouette, the positioning of heads and hands indicating emotional or spiritual state. His use of color and organization of figures in monumental works can be seen reflected in other muralists like John Biggers, and his work is one precursor for Kara Walker’s use of silhouettes. His influence as an educator has got to be nearly as large. As is often its practice, the Frist Center has organized an add-on show to complement the main show—in the case works by some of the many important artists who have taught at Fisk at one time or the other, including Martin Puryear and David Driskell as well as current faculty like Alicia Henry and Victor Simmons.

Jan. 18

Cheekwood Temporary Contemporary, Lauren Kalman, Corpus, Figure, Skate Kalman joined the faculty at Watkins in Fall 2006 (I think that’s right), and it seems like this is her first big show in town (but I might have missed something). I have seen a piece or two in exhibits at Watkins, and what I recall are complicated, but not fussy, multi-part installations that were well-coordinated visually. And I recall not getting a chance to come back and spend time with the pieces, so here’s my chance. I didn’t realize, but the PR from Cheekwood points out, that she trained as a jeweler/goldsmith.

Jan. 19

Twist Gallery, Susan Alcorn and Misha Feigin. OK, first, this is a music event (an afternoon one at that, from 3-6). Second, I was involved in organizing it. Susan is a friend of mine from Baltimore, an amazing experimental steel guitar player. For the past few years she’s been coming through town about once a year, and last year she also came with Misha Feigin, an outstanding guitarist and poet. I have raved about Susan’s playing for years, but I found someone who does it better, Michael Anton Parker writing for the Downtown Music Gallery. “Rather than the typical avant-garde path of rejecting melody and focusing on harsh, difficult new sound vocabularies, Alcorn has dug so deep inside her melodies that she's opened up a new space of details in individual note shapes, creating decays that don't decay or suddenly become attacks instead, and patiently revealing subtle shifts in overtones. Alcorn's music is a hall of mirrors flooded with liquid gold shimmering off her horizontal fretboard.” Brady Sharp and I might play some duets also, but only if there’s time left at the end.

Project A, Sheppard Jones Sheppard Jones is designer and fabricator of metalwork. He works as a designer of ornamental metalwork at Herndon & Merry, but he also does fine art gallery work, which I gather is what will be featured here.

Jan. 26

Zeitgeist, Print Portfolio Zeitgeist has commissioned a print portfolio with contributions from 5 of its artists—Jim Ann Howard, who makes images of nature broken, rendered in pigments drawn from natural materials; Brady Haston, whose paintings show the mark of graphic representations in the landscape, Patrick DeGuira, maker of conceptually demanding sculptures that address very down to earth human experience, Hans Schmitt-Matzen, involved in clever transfers of material between media, and Will Berry, who in the past has built a kind of abstract travel account of distant places he has lived or visited. This seems like a very good idea for the gallery and the artists, giving people another way to bring this art into their lives.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nashville Visual Arts Events January 1-10

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had good holidays, and you are still talking to all the members of the family you were talking to before the holidays.

Here’s what I know about for beginning of the month. Thanks to the holidays, some venues may get information out later this week. There’s also a few things opening up mid-month, but I’ll get to that later.

If someone wants to get added directly to my list for the email version of this listing, send me an email at dcmaddox@comcast.net. To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

Jan. 5

SQFT, Lisa Solomon and Aurora Robson. Kathleen and Aaron are closing their gallery on the second floor of the Arcade after their January show. They’ve done a nice job with it over the last year. Basically every artist here has been someone we probably would not have seen otherwise in Nashville, mostly young artists with plenty of chops, focusing on drawing and graphics. This show is a good example of the East Coast/West Coast community of artists SQFT has been able to draw on. Solomon is based in Oakland and for this show has assembled collages of doilies in the forms of the chemical structure of toxins (the image above is one of hers). Robson works in Brooklyn, and also has collages in this show, in her case exuberant forms pieced together from bits of junk mail and other detritus, and in the image to the left.

Cumberland Gallery, Intelligent Design This should be good—5 architects and 4 artsits, brought together to show intersections between their fields of endeavour. The architects (including Kem Hinton and Seab Tuck of Tuck-Hinton, and Manuel Zeitlin) will be represented by a combination of renderings, maquettes, conceptual drawings, and extra-curricular artistic projects. The artists include Michael Greenspan, maker of good-looking abstractions with subtle detail, and Terry Thacker, one of the smartest people on the local art scene.

Dangenart, Off the Wall. The latest show from this coop of 6 recent Watkins graduates (one or two may still be in school): Iwonka Waskowski, Janet Heilbronn, Mahlea Jones, Jenny Baggs Quinn Dukes, Jaime Raybin. Their release press says the show includes a collaborative piece, as well as individual work from everyone.

Tinney + Cannon Contemporary, Group Show This is the gallery that is the successor to TAG in the space on 5th Avenue, led now by one of the partners in TAG, Susan Tinney, and Virginia Cannon. Virginia is the curator and will show a lot of artists she has worked with in other contexts like her art consulting business, many of them from Atlanta. The list looks very good.

Estel, new paintings by Harry I always feel like I’m on the receiving end of a hard sell when I get announcements from Harry, which of course is entirely appropriate given his subject matter. He’s obsessed with mid-20th Century Florida, a continuous boom town of real estate speculation and tourist traps. He revels in images from ads and photos of the time, and laces his images with words of imaginary dialog and pitches.

TAG, Emily Leonard, Julia Martin, Joe Decamillis. TAG’s spending one more month working out of space in Estel gallery. The highlight here is Emily Leonard’s work, which I haven’t seen but feel like I ought’ve. I’ve been aware of her for a couple of years. She paints landscapes, and at first I thought here was someone else doing a variation on dreamy forest scenes, and there are many people working that angle. However, over time I’ve become convinced that there’s something else going on with her work and that I do need to see it. So let’s go see it at TAG.

Downtown Presbyterian Church Art Luck, films by Sid O’Berry. O’Berry was a cameraman for WSMV and Bradley Studios in the 1950s and 1960s, the momentous years of sit ins and the rise of Nashville in the music industry. Film collector Tom Wills acquired a cache of footage O’Berry left behind that captured student protests and music stars. During this month’s pot luck supper before the Art Crawl, Tom will show compilations of excerpts from these film time capsules.

Arts Company, 12th Annual Gallery Preview What’s new at Arts Company includes new paintings by Lekhleti, and by Leandro del Manzo, who I think is new to the gallery, and a new regular featuring vintage and new art books.

Art Rogue, Twist, and Rymer I’m not sure if Matt will have new work up or greatest hits. Twist is continuing its show by members of the Plate Tone Printshop. Rymer is extending their December show which includes Tom Baril, Drew Galloway, Richard Jolley, Kevin T. Kelly, and Herb Williams.

Jan. 6

Sarratt Art Gallery, Jeanette Martone. Martone has done a series of drawings of people “living in the barest existence” in the words of the exhibit blurb—presumably residents of Third World slums, refugee camps, etc.

Jan. 10

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, Xiao Xin Liu, 2006 Hamblet Award Winner. Vanderbilt’s Hamblet prize is something like the richest undergraduate art prize in America, which is odd for a school which only recently elevated studio arts to a measure—it’s nice, but odd. The drill is the prize gets awarded during the student’s senior year, they take the next year to travel, and then the following January they come back and show their work back at old alma mater. Xiao Xin Lin traveled to China, which her family left when she was 7, and she did work exploring the relationship of traditional and modern in China today, and her own connection and separation from that culture.