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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"AGENTS" (1996) (INK, GRAPHITE AND GEL MEDIUM ON CLEAR MYLAR, 17 x 11 IN) by SHARON LOUDEN
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"AGENTS" (1996) (INK, GRAPHITE AND GEL MEDIUM ON CLEAR MYLAR, 17 x 11 IN) by SHARON LOUDEN
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

As I understand it, Sharon Louden creates installations from which drawings are engendered. I love the idea of her creating some (multilayered) installation in order to make these two drawings which actually present very simple images: circles and interlocking abstract forms in small sizes that allow for much surrounding "white space." Also, the choice of the black graphite/gel against mylar is a choice, it seems to me, that is borne not just from a drawing but also a sculptural perspective -- the lush gel against mylar really offers a resonant and vivid juxtaposition.

These minimalistic drawings (minimal, yet gestural due to the effect of the gel which, as material, is quite painterly) work visually as stand-alone images, but knowing the process only heightens my appreciation -- there's also a layer of conceptual art to her work (I use these terms but detest them; on one level, all art-making is conceptual, no?) So what I see are elegant images which are both simple yet complex -- the latter partiularly if one chooses to engage with them conceptually and not just visually. (Yet another conceptual layer, by the way, is how these works are part of the subversion of the idea as drawing being preparatory for another work.) To me, these two drawings are visual haiku.

Sharon Louden has two exhibitions now ongoing. The first features her creating a drawing installation at:

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, February 3, 2004 - April 2, 2004
11:00 AM-5:00 PM
Suggested Audiences: Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, High School, College, Adult, Elders
Location: Clark University: Goddard Library
University Gallery
950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610
Sponsored by: Studio Art, ClarkArts


The second exhibition is:

Dimensional Line: Recent Work by Sharon Louden and Creighton Michael

February 14, 2004 through May 2, 2004
Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute
3 1 0 G E N E S E E S T R E E T
U T I C A , N Y 1 3 5 0 2
P H O N E : ( 3 1 5 ) 7 9 7 - 0 0 0 0

Gallery Talk: "Dimensional Line"
April 7, 2004, 12:30 p.m.
Exhibition Gallery
Free and open to the public.

***
Prov.: Haines Gallery, San Francisco



OPEN LETTER TO HUBBY (#2)

Tom called and pointed out corrections. I was missing items and, of course, missing items are the mistakes to avoid as this whole project is for making Mr. Insurance happy (YAWN). Anyway, I made corrections, including adding the items to earlier posts on Larry Buechley and Michelle L. O'Connor. Must post this on blog as said Hubby is out of town and he can check. So, check.

"[] (GUY WITH BILLIARD BALL)" PAINTING by UNKNOWN [RUSSIA]
Location: Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"[] LANDSCAPE" PAINTING by UNKNOWN (ARTIST MAY BE IDENTIFIABLE FROM WRITING ON BACK OF PAINTING, BUT IN CYRILLIC WHICH I'M NOT FLUENT IN) [RUSSIA]
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"[] THREE DRAWINGS OF MONGOLIAN WARRIORS" by UNKNOWN (ARTIST MAY BE IDENTIFIABLE FROM WRITING ON BACK OF PAINTING, BUT IN CYRILLIC WHICH I'M NOT FLUENT IN) [RUSSIA]
Location: Yellow Bedroom Bathroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"[] (BUDDHA PAINTING)" (1996) by UNKNOWN (ARTIST MAY BE IDENTIFIABLE FROM WRITING ON BACK OF PAINTING, BUT IN CYRILLIC WHICH I'M NOT FLUENT IN) [RUSSIA]
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

"[] (YELLOW LANDSCAPE)" (1995) PAINTING by UNKNOWN (ARTIST MAY BE IDENTIFIABLE FROM WRITING ON BACK OF PAINTING, BUT IN CYRILLIC WHICH I'M NOT FLUENT IN) [RUSSIA]
Location: Pantry Hallway, Pygmalion-First Floor

"[] (SIX PAINTINGS OF ANIMALS)" (1995-1996) by UNKNOWN [RUSSIA]"
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

There was an article earlier this week (Tuesday?) in the New York Times about the new art collecting habits of newly-rich Russians. It reminds me of when I visited Russia years ago and picked up some paintings. After buying them, I was told that there was a risk that they could be confiscated at the airport as this was during a time when some were concerned that the country's cultural heritage was being smuggled out of the country. I picked up the Billiard Ball painting in the gift shop of a small museum (perhaps the "Pushkin Museum"?) and the rest in a gallery or store in Siberia. I doubt that these are artifacts of the sort that's critical to preserving Russian culture. But, hey, if anyone showed otherwise, sure, I'd give them back. Loving -- and living with -- Art is like Poetry: it has nothing to do with ego, which is to say, it has nothing to do with ownership.


"[] (BOOT ON HAND OVER GUN)" (1964) (PRINT, 212/300) by ROY LICHTENSTEIN
Location: Hallway off Foyer, Pygmalion-First Floor

We've lived with Roy Lichtenstein's work for, it seems, forever -- the hubby and his cousins got such prints as "door prizes" for even entering a gallery that a relative opened long ago in Provincetown before those who became known as Pop artists became well-known. Several cousins later sold theirs to pay off student loans (or some such things). Hubby kept ours (just forced me to eat more tuna sandwiches) -- I'm glad as I love this image.

[UPDATE: THIS ENTRY CORRECTED BY AN APRIL 1, 2004 POST.]


"EMIGRANT SAVINGS BANK/BALANCE: $0" (1998) (MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER, 9 x 7 IN) by DAVID SHAPIRO
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

I love this drawing which collages an Emigrant Savings Bank ATM machine receipt denoting zero balance; on it, Shapiro draws (lyrical) evocations of eggsprouts (the inexpensive vegetable only heightening the theme of impoverishment).

Anyway, Artnet.com just released an article "Horticulture New York" that mentions David Shapiro's work, "Nickel Bags." Artnet author Ana Finel Honigman describes Shapiro's work as a "strangely sweet installation of urban anthropology makes up an affecting, hazy portrait of the city at work and play."

David is not just a fabulous artist (I absolutely adored his tofu sculptures) but a filmmaker -- see this link about his and sister Laurie Gwen Shapiro's documentary on Tobias Schneebaum.

***
Prov.: LiebmanMagnan Gallery, New York



"YEI PRESENCE" (1995) (MONOPRINT) by TONY ABEYTA
Location: Family Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

I'm on a mini-roll of listing the artworks obtained through fundraisers just because their information is usually filed in a "Miscellaneous" file here and that's a file to go through if one is attempting to figure out what is scattered throughout Galatea. Like this one by Tony Abeyta, an artist we'd heard of but had not focused on until we saw the work he donated to a 1995 auction fundraiser focused on monoprints, on behalf of The College of Santa Fe.

***
Prov.: 1995 Monothon for The College of Santa Fe



"DO IT TO ME" (2003) PAINTING by EVAN ELLSWORTH-JOURDEN
Location: Hallway Between Kitchen and Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

Benefit fundraisers are fun for not only supporting a good cause but -- like Open Studio and Art Fair events -- a source for introducing artists not otherwise known to us. At the last NLA Fundraiser, one of our discoveries was Evan Ellsworth-Jourden. We don't know much about him, but I suppose we don't need to (though this emerging artist should be encouraged!) -- we just enjoy living with his painting: a combined gestural/pop combination featuring a black t-shirt whose white text proclaims:

I OWE IT ALL TO MY JOB

NAUSEA
ULCERS
PARANOIA

***
Prov.: New Langton Arts 2003 Benefit Fundraiser (don. by artist)



"STUDY FOR 'MISCHIEF MADE ON A LARGER SCALE'" (2002) DRAWING by THOMAS PLAGEMANN
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

My subjects often derive from a desire to explore the great expectations and colossal failures of humanity directed by technology. -- T.Plagemann

You can see what Thomas Plagemann means at this link with some images. I fell in love with this work right away during the NLA Fundraiser (by the way, for the record as I know this is a concern to some artists and dealers, we rarely re-sell an artwork and we buy things to live with them, not to flip them -- the last time we deaccessioned an work of art was over two decades ago, and that was to donate it rather than sell it).

***
Prov.: New Langton Arts 2003 Benefit Fundraiser (don. by artist and Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco)



OPEN LETTER TO HUBBY

Apparently, there are a few mistakes in some of the prior posts...which Tom shall help me correct tomorrow as he's too busy today. Well, snort. On the other hand -- you could be the one taking care of this insurance situation....

Or at least send me the info on the works in your office....

....and, by the way, I know the insurance man may not care about moi peripheral blather....but if I was just going to do a list, I'da given up (as I have before) on this project an hour after I began it. Besides, the poems and poetics are nice, aren't they?

"[]" (2000) PRINT (45/100) by MAX COLE
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Max Cole is currently exhibiting paintings and drawings (through April 17, 2004) at Haines Gallery, San Francisco. Here's an excerpt from the gallery's press release:

"Cole's work has been described as obsessive, but she prefers the term passionate, as it is self-determination rather than compulsion that urges her towards creation and completion. Cole does not rely on a preconceived plan; the work unfolds through time and rigorous process. She has let her work evolve over the past 30 years with little control over its direction. What results is an expression of serenity and transcendence. "

***
Prov.: Haines Gallery, San Francisco



Tuesday, March 30, 2004

BREAD (UNTITLED)" (2003) (WOOD & STRING, 3.5 x 10.5 x 5 IN) SCULPTURE by ULRIKE PALMBACH
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

Ulrike Palmbach currently has works exhibited at the Sonoma State University Library Art Gallery, through to April 15, 2004. The exhibit celebrates Women's History Month so that the University Library Art Gallery at Sonoma State University, in conjunction with the Women's Resource Center, presents "Four Sculptors" -- work by four international women artists, Gigi Janchang of Taiwan, Kyunghee Lee of South Korea, Jann Nunn of the United States, and Ulrike Palmbach of Germany.

Ulrike Palmbach's sculptures never fail to move me -- it's why she's one of 18 artists featured in my book of art essays and poems MY ROMANCE.

***
Prov.: Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco



"WINDOW" (1998) (ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 68 x 80 IN) by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ
Location: Kitchen, Pygmalion-First Floor

I can't help but spend a lot of time with Victor Rodriguez's painting as it's in the room where I spend much time: the kitchen. Over the years, I keep marveling over Victor's surfaces: your fingers can itch to stroke the furry jacket and he perfectly captures his wife Mayte's creamy complexion (I know as I've met Mayte). You can see an image of the painting "Window" at the link (http://www.liquitex.com/awardprograms/aotm/9808victor/artist.cfm) which also provides a useful explanation of Victor's techniques.

***
Prov.: O.K. Harris, New York



"DON'T TOUCH ME" (2003) (MIXED MEDIA, 9.5 x 1.1 x 2 IN) INSTALLATION by STELLA LAI
Location: Foyer, Pygmalion-First Floor

"FOUR SEASONS VACATION -2" (2003) (gouache on paper, 30 X 22 in) by STELLA LAI
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"FOUR SEASONS VACATION -4" (2003) (gouache on paper, 30 X 22 in) by STELLA LAI
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"PUCHAA MASK" (2002) (YARN, 13 x 9 x 8 IN) SCULPTURE by STELLA LAI
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"PUCHAA IN BOX" (MIXED MEDIA, 2001) SCULPTURE by STELLA LAI
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"PUCHAA'S SHORTCUIT" (2002) (ROTATING MOTOR AND MIXED MEDIA, 9 x 4 x 4 IN) SCULPTURE by STELLA LAI
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

"UNTITLED" (PUCHAA DRUNK AMONG WINE BOTTLES)" (2003) DRAWING by STELLA LAI
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

"MTR SUPER HERO" (2003) (SILK SCREEN PRINT & HAND PAINTED PUSHPIN, #2/25) by STELLA LAI
Location: Turret Guest Bathroom, Pygmalion-First Floor

"[ ] PUCHAA AND CHECHE" DRAWING by STELLA LAI
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

EPHEMERA (DRAWINGS IN E.T.'S ART/POETRY JOURNAL, GALATEA GUEST BOOK, NLA AUCTION CHAPBOOK, & INVITATION AND INDIVIDUAL MASK MOLD FROM "DON'T TOUCH ME" INSTALLATION)
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First and Second Floors

Stella Lai was our discovery at the first San Francisco Art Fair we attended (way before Art Forum and other critics and curators discovered her, thank you very much). Her next exhibition opens April 8, 2004 at the Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco:

Iona Rozeal Brown & Stella Lai
"Bling Blasian Bling"

Luggage Store Gallery
April 8 - May 8 2004
*Opening Reception: April 8th, 6pm-8pm*

***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, San Francisco; New Langton Arts; Direct from Artist



"TO ENHANCE YOUR LIFE" (ACRYLIC ON WOOD, 5.25 x 2.25 x 2.75 IN) (More Details to Come) by SALLY DAVIES
Location: Babaylan Lodge

These are basically three painted chairs by Sally Davies. Yes, I know they're "fine art" but....I got them primarily as (cough) furniture for my Barbie dolls. Yes, I have Barbie dolls -- you wanna make something of it?

***
Prov.: O.K. Harris, New York



"GOSSIP VI" (2003) (10 x 8 IN) PAINTING by THOMAS FINK
Location: Galatea Off-site/San Francisco Apartment

"DEAR ONE" (2002) PAINTING by THOMAS FINK
Location: Galatea Off-site/San Francisco Apartment

I met the poet-painter-critic Thomas Fink when he sent me a poem for use in my "Poems From/For Six Directions" Project (click on link for more information). This is the poem he sent, which introduced us to each other:


LOUISE BOURGEOIS

I fear therefore--
stone

family sleeping white--
white famine

Mother Reason
track your man

inside the cube
I am my own

eyes years
drill questions in the proud cube--
drill to restore

The poem was first published in Tom's collection, SURPRISE VISIT (New York: Domestic Press, 1993, P. 14). Of the two paintings in Galatea's collection, "Dear One" is based on one of the poems I wrote as part of "Six Directions." Here's the text to "Dear One" (first published by Conundrum):


Dear One

(i)

Beauty is reasonable


Fear
is a
Loss


Shall we wish for
what we have made


Desire
should never be
consigned


Dear One--
               Fervently,
I believe in
the ancient fisherman’s motto:
“Allah does not subtract
from the allotted time of man
the hours spent fishing.”


V I V I D
is
subjective


Dear One--
I have become the sum
of a series of small
tactical errors--
regretfully, I depart
for Auckland



(ii)

Perhaps
at the equestrian center…


Shall we consider
grounding the border
with abrashed aubergine


It’s not
what you can get
every day


Consider Tortola,
Virgin Gorda--
the 60-plus British Virgin Islands


Dear One—
               I saw the Bengal Tiger
mimic a helicopter’s dance


A L O H A
means
“a fifth night free
plus a daily buffet breakfast for two



(iii)

The
Stark
Touch


Dear One--
               When luxury is
a necessity, recall
the hidden bones of the Villa D’Este


Forever
is
a
Theory


(iv)

Lineage seduces


A Five-Star Mobil Home
(courtesy of the Carlyle)


Manolo Blahnik’s elegy for crocodiles


Dear One--
               It’s not just a new car
It’s the momentary immortality


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist


UNTITLED (1990) (OIL ON BIRCH, 8 x 10 IN) by Ann Yzuel
Location: Master Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Ann Yzuel is an artist who was involved in the entertainment industry as a set designer at the time we acquired this work in 1991. It makes me wonder if this is the same Ann Yzuel now. Or maybe she's the curator of this exhibit on "Beauty"? Or one of the cow artists? Either way, I hope she's doing well and we're enjoying her painting which is a dreamy abstract land/seascape.

***
Prov.: Bess Cutler Gallery (when based in Santa Monica, CA)



"[FROM HIS SKETCHBOOK]" (DRAWING) by VIRGILIO AVIADO
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

This drawing caught my eye when it was reproduced in the book EROS PINOY: An Anthology of Contemporary Erotica in Philippine Art & Poetry, edited by poet Alfred Yuson and artists Ben Cabrera and Virgilio Aviado (P. 103).

It seemed to me that with a few lines, Virgilio was able to depict the robustness of a woman and man making love -- that the minimalist approach was more successful in depicting passion for evoking it. So, Virgilio's image actually inspired my modest poem below...that (I think) is not just about a couple making love but also about how an art work can find completion in the viewer's mind's eyes....

NO TITLE REQUIRED
(--after an untitled sketch by Virgilio Aviado)

Some paintings
Make you think
Of what lives
Beyond the frame

These paintings
Are my favorites
For making me blind
Enough to see
Beyond the frame

Where men have warred
For centuries
Over the face
Of a single woman

Where a woman
So loved a man
She ate his testicles
Between quaffs of sweet jerez

Where millions have lived
And millions continue to live
And unborn millions will live again
The tale of Isis and Osiris
Seeking each other's flesh

Beyond the frame
Where you wait patiently
And impatiently
For me to enter your room
Where you will unlatch a button---

Such
An
Understated
Opening
For

What lives beyond the frame


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



"QUIK (BUNNY)" (1996) (ACRYLIC ON WOOD, 5 1/2 x 11 IN) by THOMAS A. PFANNERSTILL
Location: Kitchen, Pygmalion-First Floor

"SWEETHEARTS" (1993) (ACRYLIC ON WOOD) by THOMAS A. PFANNERSTILL
Location: Kitchen, Pygmalion-First Floor

Another artist appreciated by the construction workers flitting about the place are the painted wood sculptures of Thomas A. Pfannerstill. But the first time the workers noticed Pfannerstill's two works, they complained.

Specifically, one said, "We worked our butts off to give you a nice home and you're putting trash on the walls?!"

But when we took the paintings off the walls and turned them around to show that they're carved and painted wood, the workers were awed. Because Pfannerstill had done such a great job that they'd obviously fooled the workers into thinking them the actual pieces of debris that Pfannerstill picks up from the streets and takes back to his studio in order to make perfect imitations. This is why, on the backs of "Quik (Bunny)," Pfannerstill wrote "Found 10-2-96 on Preston Street Near Railroad Tracks", and on "Sweethearts," the phrase "Found on corner of Barney and ACTA Avenues on 2/10/93." Through these particular pieces, Pfannerstill had to be able to evoke different surfaces like plastic and the milky surface of a milk carton, as well as the actual figurative details (from crumpled bunny figures to text) of the debris.

It's all a hoot....but deep if one wishes to think about notions of lucidity and how ... things are not actually what they seem...

Or, as Pfannerstill put it in a 2002 Artist's Statement:

"In my work, I meticulously re-create common objects, wrappers, packages and boxes I find on the street. I find them noteworthy in that they represent a small, but unvarnished truth; they are the polar opposites of the images hammered into all of us by mass advertising and carefully calculated point-of-purchase displays. Time, chance and the elements have affected and altered these objects, overlaid them with a patina of reality. Edges are softened; geometry is bent and twisted into organic creases and folds. No longer are they the squeaky-clean, mechanically identical images we’ve seen thousands of times. They have become, in effect, individualized. The objects themselves carry a visual record of this transformation to individualization; each tire mark, lipstick print and water stain depicts a part of the process. They are representations of a sometimes-harsh reality and a subtle reminder of the transitory nature of all things."

***
Prov.: O.K. Harris, New York



DESK AND CHAIR by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Galatea Off-site/San Francisco Apartment

CHEVAL MIRROR by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

SPIRAL LIBRARY LADDER (PADAUK AND MAPLE) by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

LIBRARY LADDER by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

WOOD AND GLASS COFFEE TABLE by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Family Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

BREAKFRONT (LARGE) by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

BREAKFRONT (SMALL) by LARRY BUECHLEY
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment


We've followed the works of furniture maker Larry Buechley for decades. He and wife Nancy live in New Mexico which we frequently visit as it's one of our favorite states; the light there really is inspiring. Anyway, Larry and Nancy are simply ... fabulous.

***
Prov.: Direct from Artists



"GAIL" (DETAILS TO COME) PAINTING by JAMES VALERIO
Location: Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

There are always construction, electrical, computer and other workers going through Galatea (a permanent work in progress on its own). And James Valerio's painting is consistently one of their favorites. It's made some of the most taciturn workers pause in their huge-booted tracks, turn to me and start gabbing their theory about whether the woman in the painting is on drugs or something else (possibly due to the goldfish floating about her...). But I think the workers also appreciate Valerio's painting for so obviously displaying his masterful technique, evident in his drawings as much as paintings.

Despite the recognition that Valerio has received, we still consider him to be among the undeservedly underrated among the so-called realists or superrealists -- I think it's because of his touch of "magic realism" which other realist-painters (of his generation) don't have. Critics and pundits so often have difficulty with those that they can't easily categorize (something shared in common by poetry and painting, or I suppose across all the arts)....

***
Prov.: Louis Meisel Gallery, New York



"UNTITLED" (2003) (MIXED MEDIA) by KATHRYN SPENCE
Location: Galatea Off-site/San Francisco Apartment

Kathryn Spence was featured in the recently-ended "Hard Candy" exhibition at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.

I've admired her work since seeing one of her enchantingly-lumbering creatures in poet Rena Rosenwasser's house, and then at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery. I adore ours, two sweet little mud critters in a box. Mud babies -- I coo over them everytime I look into their box.

***
Prov.: New Langton Arts 2003 Benefit Fundraiser (don. by artist and Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco)



Monday, March 29, 2004

"#. 1" (1999, 11 X 14 IN) PAINTING by MICHELLE L. O'CONNOR
Location: Guest Bedrooms' Hallway, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"#. []" (2001 ) PAINTING by MICHELLE L. O'CONNOR
Location: By Turret Steps, Pygmalion-First Floor

"#. [2]" ( ) PAINTING by MICHELLE L. O'CONNOR
Location: Hallway Between Dining Room & Kitchen, Pygmalion-First Floor

lines
I'd want to follow
for days
[...]
see past the black
of eyes closing
--from "A Night in the Studio" by Michelle L. O'Connor


There's a lot to tally so I am trying to list Galatea's artworks by relating it to current events in the artists' lives (which would allow me, say, to point you to new exhibits or mention new awards or websites). Alternatively, I'm just listing the works based on what they have to do with stuff going on in my everyday life (e.g., when I had to frame the Archie Rand/John Yau etching which made me mention the Archie Rand artworks). But there is one artist whose works I may as well note now since it's unlikely there'll be future developments in her life: the works of Michelle O'Connor.

When we moved from New York to the Bay Area about five years ago, Tom and I discovered that the annual OPEN STUDIOS was a fabulous way to go and see artists' works. Basically, during OPEN STUDIOS, artists threw open their studios and strangers would go traipsing in and out looking at their creations. During our first year (2000) experiencing said OPEN STUDIOS, we dutifully traipsed through a huge number; I estimate visiting over 150 studios in 2000. Prior to beginning our tour, Tom and I thought it would be great to commit to purchase something through OPEN STUDIOS to commemorate our move to the Bay Area. Well, as with many such such "open studio" events, we didn't connect with the distinct majority of what we saw. But we did connect with the abstract colorful works of Michelle O'Connor (one of only three artists from that year's OPEN STUDIOS whose works interested us).

We ended up acquiring one huge and one small painting for our home. Then Tom had his firm acquire two more huge paintings for what was intended to be a corporate art collection focused on local (Bay Area) artists. (Later, Michelle would visit Tom's firm with a camera and take photographs of her paintings in two of the office's foyers -- I can easily imagine how happy she must have been...!) Michelle was fresh out of school (the Massachusetts College of Art) and had just moved to San Francisco. We were so looking forward to tracking her development as an artist.

I thought Michelle so promising that I even did an article on Michelle for the now-defunct Reviewwest.com about my first art purchase through OPEN STUDIOS. Here's an excerpt:

"I ended up purchasing an abstract painting by Michelle L. O'Connor, a 23-year-old artist. Not knowing anything about her background at the time I bought her painting, I asked to see her "Bio." Michelle replied that, unfortunately, she didn't have any resumes as she couldn't afford to pay her copying tab at Staples. Surprised, I turned around to look at her before we burst out laughing together. "Silly Staples," I said. "Imagine wanting to get paid before releasing your copies!"

"At any rate, I gladly bought one of Michelle's colorful abstractions. Her paintings feature vertical fields of color that evoke cityscapes as well as studio interiors where painting stand stored in racks. My painting is not titled -- Michelle said she does not want titles to mediate the exeprience between a viewer and her painting. When I asked how she keeps track of her paintings for reference purposes, she looked stumped. (Perhaps mundane referencing was not considered in the undoubtedly more cerebral theory that underpinned her approach to titles.) But she quickly recovered and said she could number them; hence, my painting is titled, ahem, referenced as #1. But #1 -- not necessarily because it is the first work in any particular series but because it's the first of the current work whose back she signed (I assume this has a relationship to my being her first purchaser during OPEN STUDIOS)."


***

Months after we acquired her paintings, Michelle was riding a bicycle in the streets of San Francisco....and got ran over by a truck. She died at age 23.

I was out of town when this happened and during her funeral. Her father came into San Francisco for her effects and so on, and asked to meet Tom. You see, her father stumbled across Michelle's journal -- we were her first "collectors" -- and she apparently had taken our support to heart and was so happy with our interest....

It's difficult, even now, to think of this....looking through her files this evening, I stumbled across a letter she had sent me. When she had learned I was/am a poet, she had sent me some of her poems, though I didn't know that she also wrote Poetry at the time I fell in love with her paintings.. Here's one:

A Night In The Studio
by Michelle O'Connor

In the consistency
of eyes
trying to close
and a body
most comfortable at rest,
I try to
push through the lethargic
web
wrapped
around my head and arms,
push through and
create,
not
stand staring at the white walls
marked and
almost repainted with the
forgotten
cleaning of that color
not to be used
at that moment.

Create
to stand in overalls
gone mostly
hard with oil paint
arm to the elbows
blue
blue green
smudge next to my nose
and above my eyelids
movements
meant
and useful
marking the
white
off white rectangle
making it mine
and
making what I see speak to me
in colors glowing
and lines
I'd want to follow
for days

Stand tired
in
overalls much too long since
washed
web tangled around my head
and arms,
it's 10 now
and I've got to get
five hours in today
got to
see past the white
see past the black
of eyes closing.
Time to move in
conscious rhythm
to move aided by
music played
loud and pepsi
gulped down between
marks,
and I've got to create
now
now
got to paint
now
now
feel the fressure of need.
Need welling up
in my stomach
push through
and it's 3 a.m.
and I've done it
white obliterated
transformed.
I can reset
sleep,
for now.


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



"TITLE UNKNOWN" (ENAMEL PAINTING, 6 x 8 IN) by DAVID KARP
Location: Master Bedroom Bathroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Galatea's Art Collection is the latest blog incarnation of Eileen Tabios, the formidable Eileen Tabios. I am smitten with her work.
--Poet Tom Beckett


Okay. I just put that Tom Beckett quote above so I can Preen. I'm getting a tad punchy trying to do this list as quickly as possible, while trying to do something more creative than just ... list-ing. The problem is that the faceless insurance bureaucrat wants the list ASAP but I ain't a drone...

Anyway, I've started getting some nice feedback on this blog. But to address more than one person's note -- I can't post images on this blog because I'm a luddite; just be thankful I can turn on the computer. Anyway, more than one person like the way I show how much I really love the works that enter my Home. Thank you....and this allows me to segue to point you to another blog by another art collector (who seems to be a dealer, too, though I don't know anything about her except what she writes on her blog), Paige West -- a self-described "Art Addict" at http://paigewest.typepad.com/art_addict/

Paige West's blog caught my eye because of a post she did on her very first purchase ever -- at age 14! I thought it quite nifty -- and laughed WITH, NOT AT, her "taste" back then. The hubby Tom has been collecting and operating as an art critic since he was a baby since he comes from a family of art collectors. There's this apocryphal story in his family about how Claes Oldenberg once visited their home, and played with him as a toddler by making him a drawing. Tom the Toddler looked at said drawing, pronounced something like "I don't like it!" and promptly erased it. (Hah! Ye olde erasure!)

But unlike Tom, I didn't grow up surrounded by art, and I thought I'd post on my very first art purchase. It's an enamel painting by David Karp I saw at one of those galleries for tourists on the Redondo Beach pier of Southern California (I don't even know if the gallery still exists). I bought it when I was 20 years old. An urban snow scene -- such as how New York City often appears during winter. I found the sales receipt -- apparently, the total cost was $159 and I had put down initially a "deposit" of $10. What a hoot.

But, FORTUNATELY, I still love the work and not just for the "sentimental" reasons for which Paige West still favors her very first purchase!

I don't know anything about David Karp, but believe he's the son of (or at least related to) a more famous artist Max Karp because, in my files, is a tiny pamphlet about enamel paintings by Max Karp which the gallery was using to promote all the enamel paintings. Anyway, it being the 21st century, I just "googled" both artists and, wow, there's info about them! Here's Max Karp and some images for David Karp (except my painting is not as, um, sweet-ish as the ones featured on this link)!

***
Prov.: Lillipats Gallery, Redondo Beach, CA



"HEARTLAND" (1988) (72 x 96 IN) by LEONARD KOSCIANSKI
Location: Family Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"HEARTLAND" (PASTEL STUDY FOR PAINTING) by LEONARD KOSCIANSKI
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"IN THE TWILIGHT OF THE GLEAMING" (1988) (48 x 66 IN) by LEONARD KOSCIANSKI
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"LETTER WITH SKETCH" by LEONARD KOSCIANSKI by LEONARD KOSCIANSKI
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Confirming an earlier discussion with Ethan of O.K. Harris during the past San Francisco Art Fair, Leonard Koscianski will exhibit paintings at an exhibition that will open on April 17, 2004. Great -- as I'd somewhat lost touch with this artist whose brushstrokes I've long admired.

I still remember with much amusement how we met Leonard. He had sent us a pastel study for "Heartland" when he heard we purchased the painting. We were delighted, of course. Then, he came to visit New York, including stopping by our apartment. So, of course, we had to put his pastel sketch in a very nice frame which we could barely afford (these were in the days when we kept eating tuna sandwiches so that we'd have spare funds to actually acquire paintings) because we wanted to show that we appreciated his gift. A nice, gilt-gold frame. After Leonard's visit, more tuna sandwiches. The irony....and I generally don't even like fish.

***
Prov.: Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York; Direct from Artist




"COLD WATER FLAT" (2001) LIMITED EDITION ETCHING (23 OF 37) by ARCHIE RAND AND JOHN YAU
Location: Charles d'Amboise Wine Cellar

EPHEMERA (SKETCHES AND LETTERS) by ARCHIE RAND
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

The etching "Cold Water Flat" by Archie Rand and John Yau is on my mind as I just dropped No. 23 of 37 at the framer's. This edition has an interesting history. The image is in their collaborative book 100 MORE JOKES FROM THE BOOK OF THE DEAD published by Meritage Press. As I was discussing its publication with John Yau, I suggested they may wish to consider running off an edition of this particular image as -- due to its theme -- it may be of interest to several oenophile-friends of mine. And, yes, I've since placed several in wine cellars across the country.

But this also means that, at $400 per etching, this is actually a bargain to those who pay attention to art (versus those who I've been placing them with who pay more attention to wine). Archie Rand, if it needs to be said, is a master artist (as much as John Yau is a master poet)! Not that I'm a dealer -- it's just that generous Archie gave me some to sell on behalf of my small poetry press, Meritage Press, because artists helping poets is a tradition in some circles....(Hmmm...this post just reminded me of how much I detest discussing money and art/poetry in same breath...but I'll leave this here for now because blog-writing can be like "writing nude"....)

I'm noting a reference to "Ephemera" by Archie Rand because I'm trying to be responsible in collating artists' works. I was reminded of this when I visited a few Bay Area collectors' homes as part of the last San Francisco Art Fair festivities and one collector had these custom-made cabinets built to house what I call (for lack of a better way to put it) "ephemera." I kept thinking as I looking at those items -- how strange to think that something that may not have been produced as an "art" object becomes such when the artist becomes famous. But, hey, whatever ya know....So, anyway, I'm trying to be an ART COLLECTOR on this blog ... versus what I really am: an ART LOVER. There is a difference, of course. But that's a story for another day; right now, I've got a list that needs to be compiled...

***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



Sunday, March 28, 2004

"TWL" (renamed "BLACK LIGHTNING" after its image appeared on my book entitled with same name) (1997) (OIL ON WOOD, 22 X 22 IN) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"EIGHT (A&B)" (1998) (OIL ON WOOD) (TWO PANELS, EACH 40 X 20 1/2 IN, HUNG 1/2 INCH APART) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

DRAWING ON RICE PAPER (Details to Come) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

MONEY & STAMP SERIES (2000) (PRINTS) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

DRAWINGS FOR POETRY COLLABORATION by THERESA CHONG
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

DRAWING WITH BOOK (Details to Come) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

DRAWING WITH BOY (Details to Come) by THERESA CHONG
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

Congratulations to Theresa Chong for receiving a FY 2004 New Jersey State Council of the Arts Fellowship.

***
Prov.: Danese Gallery, New York; direct from Artist; 1999 Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School Benefit Fundraiser



SET OF SIX STANDING GOLD LEAFED FIGURES: BUDDHA AND MONKS (C. 19TH CENTURY) (SAGING, BURMA)
Location -- Kitchen, Pygmalion-First Floor

Sadly, various monasteries are starting to sell off their contents for financial support. This set was acquired for two reasons (i) to keep together a set whose figures otherwise could have been separated for sale in the future; and (ii) the dealer promised that part of sales proceeds goes directly back to the monks. This set may have been in a monastery's alcove for centuries and what was moving is that the monks wanted to see, if possible, a photo of where this set ended up once it left their home. Will do. Frankly, if I thought it feasible for the monastery to keep it permanently, I'd give the set back. Until then ...

***
Prov.: IndoArts, Inc., San Francisco



"____ -- UCROSS, WYOMING" (2000) (PHOTO TRANSFER ON WOOD) by CINDY BENNETT
Location: LOST?

DAMN. I knew I should have done this project earlier. So quickly after beginning this tally, I realize that I am missing one artwork -- by Cindy Bennett, an artist I met when she and I were at UCross Foundation Artists Colony together. I'm going to post this entry on this blog to remind me to go chasing after all the former movers. What a pain in the butt. There's a blank on title as I can't recall -- it may be one of the following: "The Depot -- Ucross, Wyoming," "Piney Creek -- Ucross, Wyoming," or "Highway 14-16 -- Ucross, Wyoming." Noting these titles, too, in case someone stumbles across the work later....(Hopefully, this is the only work I've lost track of....)

***
Prov.: Ucross Foundation Art Gallery




"ROBIN" (1993) (OIL ON ALKYD ON BOARD, 60 x 48 IN) by GREGORY GILLESPIE
Location: Hallway in front of Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

1994 CHRISTMAS CARD by GREGORY GILLESPIE
Location: Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor


Gregory Gillespie's joint exhibition with Frances Cohen Gillespie at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum ends today.

***
Prov.: Forum Gallery, New York; direct from Artist



DRAFTS OF WATER (2002) LIMITED EDITION ARTIST'S BOOK with text by BARRY SCHWABSKY and prints by LUISA RABBIA (EDIZIONI CANOPO, PRATO, ITALY, I of XX)
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Poet and art critic Barry Schwabsky is on my mind as I'm in the midst of preparing to co-publish (through Meritage Press) with Artsonje Center of South Korea his collaboration with Hong Seung-Hey. It's a poetry/art book entitled "[WAYS]". Anyway, because Barry is on my mind, this leads me to note one of the items in a too-small part of Galatea's collection: artist books.

I am particularly delighted to be living with DRAFTS OF WATER because Barry had honored me by showing me the poem he wrote for that collaboration while he was still drafting it....and it was seeing that poem that led me to ask Barry to show me a manuscript that would become his first (and long-overdue) poetry book: OPERA: POEMS 1981-2002. Check it out -- his experience as an art critic inevitably reveals itself in the poems through a heightened sensitivity to the materiality of words.

Luisa Rabbia's prints in DRAFTS OF WATER are just dazzling. She has a lovely blue color which you also can see in some of the images of her works at her own website and at the Massimo Audiello Gallery website. Luisa is scheduled to have an exhibition opening on April 30, 2004 at Massimo Audiello, New York.

***
Prov.: B.S.




Saturday, March 27, 2004

"UNTITLED" (1998) (PRINTER'S INK & RESIN ON PAPER 19 x 15 IN) by MAUREEN MCQUILLAN
Location: Red Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"UNTITLED" (1999) (PRINTER'S INK & RESIN ON PAPER 19 1/4 x 19 1/2 IN) by MAUREEN MCQUILLAN
Location: Pantry Hallway (SouthEast), Pygmalion-First Floor

HOLIDAY CARD DRAWING by MAUREEN MCQUILLAN
Location: Pantry Hallway (SouthEast), Pygmalion-First Floor

Maureen McQuillan is curently showing new drawings through April 17 at

McKenzie Fine Art Inc.

511 West 25th Street
New York, New York 10001
212 989 5467
fax 212 989 5642

***
Prov.: The Drawing Center/direct from Artist; and James Graham & Sons, New York


"WARPED WOMEN," (COLLAGE, MIXED-MEDIA PAINTING) by SUSAN BEE
Location: Red Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Susan Bee just sent a postcard about her latest exhibit:

SUSAN BEE
SIGN UNDER TEST:
PAINTINGS AND ARTIST'S BOOKS
April 1 - May 2, 2004

Pacific Switchboard
4637 North Albina Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97211
Tel. 503-475-9256
http://www.pacificswitchboard.org/


April Talk: Thurs., April 1, 7 p.m.
Opening: Thurs., April 1, 8 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Sat.-Sun., 12-4 p.m.

You can see an old review I wrote on one of Susan's exhibits at http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bee/reviews/tabios.html. Here's an excerpt:

Bee's works long have used a variety of materials and methods to reflect her wide-ranging considerations that include patriarchy, cultural norms or standards based on illusion, and power. Consequently, one can ascribe (and critics in the past have used) such words as "political," "feminist," "historically conscious," "cerebral" and "cultural commentary" to describe Bee's works. While appropriate, these terms cannot capture what Bee creates in her paintings. Her work, too, reveals that art cannot be separated from, but nonetheless is not only, intention.

To discuss her work is also to surface words like "colorist," gestural," "painterly" – in other words, one should revert to aesthetic as much as philosophical terms because Bee never sacrifices her focus on the physical properties of her material to the altar of concept. Bee remains a painter; and as a painter, she is an astute colorist.



***
Prov.: A.I.R. Gallery, New York; direct from Artist



FROM "AN AMERICAN DIARY, 1997: DECEMBER 25, 1941 (CHRISTMAS)" (1997) (ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 11 x 14 IN) by ROGER SHIMOMURA
Location: Family Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

Roger Shimomura today ended an exhibit at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle entitled "Stereotypes and Admonitions." This exhibition was awarded a 2003 "Painters and Sculptors Grant Program Award" from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. More information is available at http://www.gregkucera.com/shimomura_stereotypes.htm. From the Artist's Statement:

This series illustrates incidents of racial insensitivity I have experienced during my life. Accompanying each painting is a written description of the incident that inspired the piece. Also included in this series are events that have affected the Asian American community on a regional and national basis over the past 60 years — essentially my lifetime. - Roger Shimomura

More information from Shimomura's earlier series, "An American Diary, 1997" and a reproduction of "December 25, 1941 (Christmas)" is archived at the gallery website at http://www.gregkucera.com/shimomura_diary.htm.

***
Prov.: Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA



"UNTITLED" (2002) (GOUACHE ON WOOD PANEL) by CLARE ROJAS
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"UNTITLED" (2003) COMMISSIONED SITE-SPECIFIC MURAL INSTALLATION (GOUCHE/LATEX ON WALL) by CLARE ROJAS
Location: Master Bedroom Hallway, Pygmalion-2nd Floor

Congratulations to Clare Rojas, recipient of a 2003 Tiffany Foundation Grant!


***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, San Francisco; direct from Artist


"SPLAT" (2002) (CORRECTION FLUID ON PAPER) by REANNE ESTRADA
Location: Babaylan Lodge

Speaking of Mail Order Brides again, each individual member is an artist in her own right. Reanne Estrada's sculpted work on paper was an acquisition during the 2001 San Francisco Art Fair.

***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, San Francisco



"ES GEFALLT MIR..." (2001) by ELIZA BARRIOS
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

Speaking of Mail Order Brides, each individual member is an artist in her own right. Eliza Barrios's painted photograph was an acquisition during the 2003 New Langton Art Fundraiser.

***
Prov.: New Langton Arts, San Francisco



"THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, I, II AND III (2002)," THREE PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS by MAIL ORDER BRIDES
Location: Turret Guest Bathroom, Pygmalion-First Floor

The most recent additions to Galatea's art collection are three photographs from the last exhibition of the Mail Order Brides (M.O.B.), a performance art group comprised of Filipinas Reanne Estrada, Eliza Barrios and Jenifer Wolford. The M.O.B. specialize in dressing up and acting out often over-the-top scenes of Filipino-American life. Their performances are memorialized through photographs, installations, sculptures, film, video and performances. As a collective, M.O.B was born after its three members saw a “Frasier” television episode wherein a character referred to women from the Philippines as mail-order brides. The context implied that Filipinas are subservient or victims, a portrayal M.O.B. subverts with edgy portrayals that are often, in Estrada’s words, “kick ass.”

At Galatea, the M.O.B.'s photographs are from their Nov.-Dec. 2003 exhibit entitled “Honeymoon Suite Nothings” which was featured at the Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery in San Francisco. “Honeymoon Suite Nothings” finds the Brides taking on femininity and romance at San Luis Obispo’s campy Madonna Inn, the honeymoon hotel with 108 themed rooms. The large-format digital prints are evocative -- the Brides’ psychedelic Filipina drag contrasts deliciously with the Inn’s barmy burnishings.

I actually just wrote an article that uses the M.O.B.'s art works as a springboard for a meditation on Identity. You can see the article, with illustrations, at the current (March 2004) issue of OurOwnVoice (where I am Contributing Editor for the Arts) at http://www.oovrag.com/~oov/essays/essay2004a-6.shtml. Here's an excerpt:

What is shared in common by many of the M.O.B.'s projects and my meditation/speculations over Pinay nurses is how Filipinos often adjust their identity as a result of political and economic constraints rather than be what they would like to be. Yes, perhaps personal choice is always an illusion -- we're all affected by environment and circumstances of our times. But to accept such generalizations is not the same as to excuse the political abuses that have economically hijacked the Philippines' development, such that many in the Philippines must look beyond its borders to find jobs.

Such loss of one’s “true” identity underlies the whole premise to M.O.B.’s most recent performance and exhibit, “Honeymoon Suite Nothings” -- aptly titled for the word-play on “sweet nothings.” The exhibition was featured at the Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery in San Francisco. “Honeymoon Suite Nothings” finds the Brides taking on femininity and romance at San Luis Obispo’s campy Madonna Inn, the honeymoon hotel with 108 themed rooms. The large-format digital prints are evocative -- the Brides’ psychedelic Filipina drag contrasts deliciously with the Inn’s barmy burnishings. Like the artists themselves, many of the images are humorous and wacky -- but ultimately thought-provoking

Title it what you will -- this "Honeymoon" is not a Honeymoon as one hopes honeymoons to be: ecstatic and full of promise. It is a “suite” of hidden messages, none of which are purely sweet. The humor of the camp content cannot hide ... unrelenting sadness. And such sadness, I speculate, must be linked to one’s loss of identity -- thus, also making it fitting that many of the photos depict cut-off images as well as a deliberate blurriness in certain parts of the prints.

It’s also relevant that, as seen in these photos, the images display a soft light (and what I call “blurriness” may be merely the artists’ decision on the lighting) that Wolford has attributed to Vermeer. These three Pinays are artists in the diaspora who don’t slight their “Filipino” art works by ignoring non-Filipino influences inevitable for those attuned to the world as a global village. The photographs’ attractiveness, therefore, is enhanced by learning from the Dutch Master’s influence (both in light and the setting up of domestic/interior scenes) before making the images resound with their own Filipinized visions.
--from "A MEDITATION ON IDENTITY: “SUITE NOTHING” MAY SOUND THE SAME -- BUT IS NOT THE SAME -- AS “SWEET NOTHING”


***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, San Francisco


Wednesday, March 03, 2004

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