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Monday, May 31, 2004

"[] (BREAST)" (1998) by MARTIN WANSERSKI
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

I met Martin Wanserski at Fundacion Valparaiso, an artist colony established by Danish artist Paul Beckett and his wife Beatrice in Almeria, Spain. Martin made this enchanting breast which he kindly gave to me! It's a nice souvenir from my stay at Fundacion Valparaiso which, like other colonies, gave me the enjoyable chance to meet visual artists as much as writers. At Fundacion Valparaiso, I wrote some of the short stories that make up my short story collection which mostly involves characters in the art world, BEHIND THE BLUE CANVAS. This includes the short story "La Luna 'Before Silence of Winter Comes'" -- a story that reflects how I had learned during my stint at Fundacion Valparaiso that the moon begins as red, and pales only as it ascends up the night sky. Here's an excerpt from that story:

--from LA LUNA "BEFORE SILENCE OF WINTER COMES"

               When I met him, I was looking at a scarlet moon. Midnight was still mere fiction.
               Virgin moons are swathed in blood. They first appear suffused in red, the longest wave light emanating from the spectrum of the sun as it sinks beneath the horizon. As night matures and the moon reaches for the stars, la luna whitens. Since I preferred the radiance of a ruby to the self-effacement of a pearl, I considered the moon's nightly cycle as emblematic of time's dangerous potential for diluting the spirit. After all, life is not easy.
               "You don't know what you're doing but you will. You've got great guts," he said as I looked at "La Luna Naranja," the largest work in the front room of the 7th Boulevard Gallery. The red-orange moon was a circle whose edges touched four sides of the 68" X 68" canvas. I was communing with my paintings as the show was scheduled to end the following day. I turned towards the confident voice, mentally leaving Mojacar, Spain where I first saw an infant moon.


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



TWO SQUATTING MEN (BRONZE, INDONESIAN)
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

Nifty lil' peeps....they make me smile.

***
Prov.: Bruce Frank Ethnographic Arts, New York



Thursday, May 27, 2004

"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

[THIRD MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

UPDATE:

Clare Rojas will be exhibiting at the San Francisco Art Institute WALTER AND MCBEAN GALLERIES as a result of having received the Tournesol Award. Clare received this award last year--the first year it was awarded.  The Tournesol award was/is given through Headlands Center for the Arts.  The award was/is given to a recent (within the last 5 years) MFA graduate in painting living in the Bay Area.  The recipient receives a one year residency at Headlands, $10,000 and a solo show in a reputable Bay Area gallery.  (Chris Oliveria, also in Galatea's collection, came in 2nd place next to Clare last year). Clare's exhibition will run from June 18 – July 31, 2004.

***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, then San Francisco, now Los Angeles; direct from Artist




Saturday, May 22, 2004

"HORN OF PLENTY" (1999) (OIL ON CANVAS, 18 X 22 IN) by CHESTER ARNOLD
Location: Hallway Outside Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

I've long followed and admired Chester Arnold for the way he keeps his approaches fresh. It's also a delight to live with one of his paintings; you can see a reproduction of "Horn of Plenty" at this Artnet link. His current show of new works entitled "Reconstruction" continues to reveal a lively mind. Aptly, it receives a glowing review in today's San Francisco Chronicle. Here's information on Arnold's exhibit followed by an excerpt from the Chronicle review by Kenneth Baker:

CHESTER ARNOLD
RECONSTRUCTION: PAINTINGS
Catharine Clark Gallery

49 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA
415 399-1439

from SF Chronicle
"Art as a spectator to our times: Arnold's paintings draw viewer's mind to contemporary events"

In new work at Catherine Clark, Bay Area painter Chester Arnold persists in trying to redress his art form's apparent loss of force as a medium of witness to its time.

Now that digital technology has dispelled the credibility the camera once enjoyed, painting as a tracer of passing history perhaps has some ground to regain from photography.

Arnold moves on two fronts. In pictures such as "Triumph" and "Special Concerns of Men," he deploys a stylized realism to make more or less topical allegory. In others, such as "Gravity Rules, Though Men Die Trying" and "The Rapture," he invents images that permit a display of his medium.

In "The Rapture," numberless tiny human figures fill a large canvas edge to edge. Ominously, they each raise an arm in the same direction. Painting the figures at this scale required reducing them to a few flicks of the brush, producing an inflected field that, from across the room, goes all but abstract. A field painting about forebodings of mob psychology, Arnold apparently titled his show "Reconstruction" for its echo of current war talk, though the title redoubles too blatantly the irony of such a picture as "Triumph" (2003-04).

Here a battle-hammered European-style triumphal arch towers over an anarchic urban desert landscape. The picture's high viewpoint takes in a scattering of faceleess men, vehicles and nameless rubble, raked by hot sunlight. Plumes of smoke rise nearby and far off. A Baghdad of the mind.

Making such paintings may be Arnold's way of redeeming time -- the very time in which fellow men do terrible things to one another -- and of burning off some of the helplessness we all feel at the ungovernability of life.




***
Prov.: George Adams Gallery, New York



Friday, May 21, 2004

"ROSE ON THORN" (PHOTOGRAPH) by Cal Strobel
Location: Babaylan Lodge

"[] (CACTUS FLOWER)" (PHOTOGRAPH) by Cal Strobel
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

These photographs by Cal Strobel came to mind as I'm reshuffling some art works around as a result of having to move apartments within San Francisco. Beautiful work -- Cal focused in on the cactus to turn the image into something more abstract, the pattern of leaves each narrowing to a spiky tip. And the "rose on thorn" photograph is so lovely I put it on the cover of my 2002 book, Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole. They were also exhibited during my Six Directions poetry project.

Meanwhile, here's a poem inspired by Cal's photograph of a cactus flower:


CACTUS ABSTRACTION
When the earth speaks, who is really listening?
-- Cal Strobel


Leaves sharpen into points
for a reason

that does not obviate Compassion.

By forming rust-stained edges of blades
leaves create lines

to draw a Mandala.

"...when the truth thus revealed
flies in the face of our egotistic expectations

how will we respond?"

In Rome, an African slave
forgave the men who shackled him

by recognizing "nothing human is alien."

We learn to define Love
by detaching from the singular

even as examples occur through the specific.

He sees her red satin skirt wrinkled
above ripped fishnets

by the entrance to the same dark alley

cutting across San Francisco's Howard Street
and Manila's Tandang Sora Avenue.

He uses his rent money
to guide her to a cafe's cushioned seat

where they share cups of tea for an hour.

Steam rises
to bathe them and the world we share

with mint, honey, blueberries, vanilla,

apples, cinnamon, oranges, roses,
jasmine, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Britain,

Ireland, China, New Orleans, Baguio City,

Tennessee, pine cones, loam, surf,
rain forests, meadows, cool caves dotting a canyon,

mud, grit, a feather, a cracked pebble, the earth
           we share...


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist




DOUBLE CIRCLE (JANUARY, 1996) (OIL ON GRAPHITE ON CANVAS, 12 x 9 IN) by EVE ASCHHEIM
Location: Hallway Before Turret, Pygmalion-First Floor

REGULAR II (MARCH, 1997) (OIL ON GRAPHITE ON CANVAS, 9 X 12 IN) by EVE ASCHHEIM
Location: Hallway Before Turret, Pygmalion-First Floor

AUREOLE (JULY, 1997) (OIL ON GRAPHITE ON CANVAS, 12 IN DIAMETER) by EVE ASCHHEIM
Location: Hallway Before Turret, Pygmalion-First Floor

CONWAY (1995) (OIL, CHARCOAL, GRAPHITE ON CANVAS, 14 x 11 IN) by EVE ASCHHEIM
Location: Hallway Before Turret, Pygmalion-First Floor

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

UPDATE:
Eve Aschheim, along with Max Cole, is mentioned in today's Artnet article about their drawings being donated to the Museum of Modern Art. While she works in other mediums, Eve has deservedly received awards for her drawings!

Eve's paintings have inspired poems from poets or appeared in collaborations with other writers; I recommend her first monograph -- Eve Aschheim: Paintings and Drawings -- for seeing the beauty of her works over the years. Meanwhile, here's the Artnet article:

MORE KRAMARSY DRAWINGS FOR MOMA
Museum of Modern Art trustee Werner H. Kramarksy has given the museum a collection of 81 drawings by contemporary artists, ranging from Carl Andre and Mel Bochner to Ed Ruscha and Tony Smith. This gift comes in addition to the 95 drawings that Kramarsky has donated to the museum since 1999. Twenty-four of the 70 artists represented in the new donation are entering the museum collection for the first time: Eve Aschheim, Brad Brown, Kenneth Capps, Anne Chu, Max Cole, Elena Del Rivero, Lee Etheredge IV, Kendra Ferguson, Cheryl Goldsleger, Teo Gonzalez, Christine Hiebert, Nancy Holt, Ann Ledy, Lee Lozano, Julia Mangold, Stefana McClure, Stephen Metts, Tatsuo Miyajima, Deborah Gottheil Nehmad, Gloria Ortiz Hernandez, Laurie Reid, Winston Roeth, Eric Saxon, Joan Waltemath.


***
Prov.: Stefan Stux Fine Arts, New York



Monday, May 17, 2004

"WHITE LIGHT (FOR NATALIE AURA)" (1998) (OIL AND GRAPHITE ON CLAYBOARD, 11 x 14 IN) by ELENORE WEBER
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"WHITE LIGHT 23" (1999) (OIL AND GRAPHITE ON CLAYBOARD, 11 x 14 IN) by ELENORE WEBER
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"WHITE LIGHT 17" (1999) (OIL AND GRAPHITE ON LINEN, 58 X 52 IN) by ELENORE WEBER
Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Elenore Weber's paintings are among the most popular among those visiting Galatea. What's great about the effect of her works is how they grab you immediately (deceptively so, given their minimalism) and also continue to grow in resonance. Here's Elenore's Artist Statement for her "White Light" series:

"Composition offers the most varied range of possibility for abstract painting, allowing the artist to explore beyond mere decorative concerns. I use composition in the process of self-realization and in turn, to express my understanding of humanity.

"I am most interested in composing around and about the white space of the canvas. This white space is most sensuous and evocative to me, when it is left pure, unencumbered by texture or repetitive markings. The white space is dynamic, expressing my inner "light" or my feeling for space. It is the mysterious, ever-fluctuating space of the mind with its past and present. The wide expanse we so desire to embrace and the knowledge of boundaries, which experience brings.

"This inner light or space is made plastic through the choreography of grid-like elements, each of which originate intuitively and possess their own attitude, rhythm or force. The space becomes elastic -- expanding and contracting, embracing and emancipating the painted or drawn elements which in turn shape it. Elements dissolve and step forward; grids loosen, then tighten; notes run and then slow in suspension.

"The paintings have an emotional, intuitive foundation upon which a minimal number of primary forms and colors are organized. The works acquire soul when they achieve what Le Corbusier termed a state of 'mathematical lyricism', wherein the architecture of the painting delivers an expression of the artist's light."



It would be logical that someone who can articulate white light in the above manner would be interested in poetry. As I once shared a conversation with her in her studio, I am pleased to confirm said interest.

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



"UNTITLED" (1999) (OIL, MIXED MEDIA ON PANEL, 71.75 X 71.75 IN) by RON EHRLICH
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"UNTITLED" (2003) (OIL, MIXED MEDIA ON PANEL, 16 X 16 IN) by RON EHRLICH
Location: Hallway to Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

DRAWING IN ET'S ART/POETRY JOURNAL (VOL. II) (2002) by RON EHRLICH
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

Ron Ehrlich's painterly surfaces clearly benefit from his stint studying ceramics in Japan. His approach not just enlivens but (to my eye) spirit-ualizes his lovely lush surfaces.

UPDATE:
This is to correct the first mention which omitted inclusion of Ron's drawing, the third item listed above.

***
Prov.: Stephen Haller Gallery, New York



DRAWING IN ET'S ART/POETRY JOURNAL (VOL. II) (2002 by MARIE J. SAQUING
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Speaking of my Art/Poetry Journals again, Marie Saquing is another artist who drew in it, in her case an image of handcuffs. I met Marie when we collaborated together on what became my first produced play, a Valentine's Day show entitled "Clit Chat" at Bindlestiff Studios, San Francisco, 2002. 'Twas a hoot of a play, whose text later came to play an integral role in my poetics essay, "A Poetics of Everything, Everything, Everything..." forthcoming in the anthology, PINOY POETICS, edited by poet, scholar and editor Nick Carbo.

***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



DRAWING IN E.T.'S ART/POETRY JOURNAL, VOL. II (2001) by PHIL SIMS
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

Speaking of drawings in my Art/Poetry Journals, one of my favorites is one done by Phil Sims. He had such a nifty process for making the drawing -- he took a rectangular piece of paper and placed it over the page. Then he made cross-hatch marks around four edges. When he took off the cardboard, what was left on the page was a perfect rectangle demarcated by lines going towards the edges of the page. Brilliant -- and an apt fit for how his abstract paintings resonate lyrically off the edges of the canvas! Really fabulous!

***
Prov.: Direct from Artist

TWO DRAWINGS IN E.T.'S ART/POETRY JOURNAL (2001) by G. SCOTT MACLEOD
Location: Library, Pygmalion-Second Floor

[FOURTH MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

One of the highlights of my 2001 residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico was meeting Montreal-based artist Scott MacLeod. It was great seeing him make these Taos-inspired paintings here. In my journal, he made drawings (one of them of a "Gotland Grave") related to his "Ancestral Homes" series; some images here (I was really pleased to hear later that his series were exhibited in 2002 at the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago). I really love this series as it's narrative-laden while also working effectively as purely visual (even abstract) imagery. I also had a chance to listen to Scott sing -- an all around Renaissance Man.

UPDATE:
Here is information on Scott's latest exhibit opening this month!!

McAuslan Brewery Presents
Lachine Canal: Past and Present
Paintings and drawings by G. Scott MacLeod

Thursday, May 27, 2004 from 5 pm to 7 pm
Reception at the St. Ambroise Annex, 5080 St. Ambroise St., Montreal, QC

For more information, contact G. Scott MacLeod
Telephone: 514.271.1468
macleod_nine@hotmail.com
www.macleod9.com

For advanced viewing go to http://www.macleod9.com/lachine/index.htm

Artists have often captured the beautiful and sublime, nature or a park, but how often do artists draw on Montreal’s early industrial history for their inspiration? Scott MacLeod has seized upon a vanishing history that of the Lachine Canal, a historic artery of Canada’s industrial history rapidly changing into a residential and recreational place.

The Lachine Canal is a living legacy of Canada’s economic and social history. Once a 14.5-kilometer water route linking Montreal’s Old Port to Lake St. Louis the canal opened in 1825. When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1970 a long history of canal shipping ended. Scott MacLeod’s paintings and drawings bring out the essence of the industrial era, and art becomes a vehicle for expressing a context of buildings, bridges, cranes, docks, and boats that part of life for Canadians.

A source of hydraulic power this industrial corridor was one of the main manufacturing production centres in Canada from the mid-19th century to Second World War, the Canal will change rapidly over the next 20 years as the City of Montreal redevelops its waterfront areas into housing, loft, and recreation areas with walking and bicycle paths and boating along its waterfront.

Industrial architecture with a past history, a living museum in the present,carries all the traces and markings of its past with a quiet majesty. Artists seldom document the areas that do not display a certain wealth, and Scott MacLeod is a rare individual for he has captured these scenes with a bright and accomplished series of oil and graphite works.

The paintings and sketches in this show range from a Railway Bridge to the Five Roses Flour Mill building. An old iron bridge becomes a sublime piece of sculpture while a 75-ton Floating Crane used to unload goods stands starkly against the sky. The Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge is pure beautiful engineering and in another work a boat sits in Lock No. 5 lit up by night-lights. Some subjects such as the Redpath Sugar, Northern Electric and Corticelli Buildings or “Jackknife Bridge” becomes panoramic paintings that recreate the feeling that the Lachine Canal with its coal derricks, Coleco Building, Canada Malting Building is a living museum of industrial building and marine artifacts. The majesty and industrial history of Canada is nowhere more evident than in the Lachine Canal. Scott MacLeod brings it to life. For its generous support of Scott MacLeod’s exhibition, and understanding of the proud heritage that the Lachine Canal and its architecture represent, Montreal’s McAuslan Brewery should be warmly thanked.
-- John K. Grande

Writer and art critic John Grande's reviews and feature articles have been published extensively in Artforum, Vice Versa, Sculpture, Art Papers, British Journal of Photography, Espace Sculpture, Public Art Review, Vie des Arts, Art On Paper, The Globe & Mail, Circa & Canadian Forum. The author of Balance: Art and Nature (Black Rose Books, 1994), Intertwining: Landscape, Technology, Issues, Artists (Black Rose Books, 1998) and Jouer avec le feu: Armand Vaillancourt: Sculpteur engagé (Montreal: Lanctot, 2001). John Grande has published numerous catalogue essays on selected artists and has taught art history at Bishops University. He co-authored Judy Garfin: Natural Disguise (Vehicule Press, Montreal, 1998) and Nils-Udo: Art with Nature (Wienand Verlag, Koln, Germany 2000) and his latest book is David Sorensen: Abstraction From Here to Now (Centre culturel Yvonne L. Bombardier, Valcourt, 2001) Mr. Grande’s Art Nature Dialogues has been published by SUNY Press in 2004, as a newly revised edition of Balance: Art and Nature will appear with Black Rose Books.

Ecrivain et critique d?art, John K. Grande a publié de nombreux articles et compte-rendus dans Artforum, Vice Versa, Sculpture, British Journal of Photography, Espace Sculpture, CIRCA, Public Art Review, Vie des Arts, Adbusters et Canadian Forum. Auteur de Art, nature et société (Editions Ecosociété, 1997), de Intertwining: Landscape, Technology, Issues, Artists
(Black Rose Books, 1998), de Jouer avec le feu: Armand Vaillancourt; artiste engagé (Lanctot, 2001), de David Sorensen: abstraction d'ici a maintenant (Centre culturel Yvonnne L. Bombardier, 2001) et co-auteur de Nils-Udo: De l'art avec la nature (Wienand Verlag, Cologne, Allemagne, 2000), M. Grande est recemment completé un nouveau livre consacré à l'art environnemental... Art Nature Dialogues publié en 2004 (SUNY Press, NY).


***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



"JUSTICE" SCULPTURE (BRONZE)
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

This sculpture is the latest addition to Galatea, courtesy of friends Harry and Barbara who visited this weekend. Thank you! She is blind but the scales are balanced!

***
Prov.: H & B Lee



Thursday, May 13, 2004

"PARVA, XXXIV" (1993) (ACRYLIC ON WOOD, 5.75 x 32 x 4 IN) by ANNE TRUITT
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

Anne Truitt is another artist whose work have inspired my poems. My book Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole consists of three sections, the last of which is entitled "Triptych for Anne Truitt." Each of the section's three poems riffs off from Anne Truitt's journals.

UPDATE:
Anne Truitt's works are mentioned in two current reviews:

FLASH ART:
The May/June 2004 issue of Flash Art reviews "A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-68" at MOCA, Los Angeles. Featured artists, in addition to Truitt, include Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, John McCracken, Frank Stella, Larry Bell, Robert Rhyman, Robert Mangold, Claes Oldenburg, and Anna Chave. Here's an excerpt:

As the first large-scale historical exhibitiosn of minimalism in the United States, "A Minimal Future?" presents a rare opportunity to view collectively a good number of significant works. Actually experiencing pieces by Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Anne Truitt, and others allows for an understanding that texts and photographs cannot hope to communicate. The gaze of a mobile viewer is required to activate these objects. Color, material, and scale are only as important as they are able to produce shifting relationships between the viewer, the work, and the architecture of the galleries." -Amy Dove

ARTFORUM:
The May 2004 issue of Artforum reviews Anne Truitt's works on paper at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Here's an excerpt:

The earliest works here, made in San Francisco in the late '50s, demonstrate some affinities with Abstract Expressionism -- once working drawing from 1958 is reminiscent of Franz Kline -- but it's clear that Truitt was not funamentally focused on the expressive gesture. Blocky shapes and thick lines give way to feather, mottled brushwork that resembles Japanese ink painting more than Abstract Expressionism; as these forms become less dense and more fragmented, they yield to negative space....

Truit has traveled a great distance from the drawings of the late '50s to the burnished, luminous sculptures she continues to make. The exhibition offers a persuasive narrative of hte first part of that trajectory and reminds us that the expressiveness of Truitt's work, then as now, lies in nuances of line and color, suggestive asymmetry, and lustrous surface. -Philip Auslander


*****

Here is one of the three prose poems inspired by Anne Truitt's journals in my last poetry collection, Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (Marsh Hawk Press, NY):

The Continuance of The Gaze
-- after PROSPECT by Anne Truitt

Can you see with such compassion that I might mistake your lucidity for the high line of a clearing sky, when instead it is the song of foam cresting a distant wave? Can you pay the price for risking perception and imperceptibility? Can you be surrounded—sink into, then be uplifted—by the singularity of a color emanating from a teal painting tiny enough to stand on one hand? I have felt Michelangelo’s slaves surge out of stone. I trust in radiance. Let: Us.

By moving around an object, toward it or away from it, one controls its meaning. Is it preferable to narrow the baseline of one’s subjectivity? To limit experience to what is immediately above and below this wire that links the fragile mind to a heart so strong it becomes the house of redemption? Can ecstasy transcend the most momentary meeting with forces that beget religion—how, in a World War II concentration camp a woman could have been so cruel to pregnant women by tying their legs together? I concede no joy in what I have fought so hard to learn: rupture is Beauty, like the slow walk of childbirth up a spine frozen in a yearning.

I am trying, you see, to articulate fortitude. Deflections often guide the course of living. Yet I wish to avoid shrinking away from exposing my body to my promiscuous mind. How else can I, with a mere glance, recognize a white bird against a grey sky to be the same gesture I have been painting for years as a single brushstroke of turquoise? I treasure the fragmented seconds when a line of meaning intersects the line of my sight’s trajectory. In those delicate seeds of intersection, I never fail to feel you in the very air against my cheek—transcending my memory of our last embrace when your body against mine introduced the limits of sunlight’s expanse. Against all that I have ever learned of Desire—against everything that is a natural instinct to me—I foretold the permanence of absence against my lonely breasts.

How dangerous: the sky! Without a horizon, the sky manifests a physical infinity. I wish to bear this lack of limits, but the eye clamors against the reverse of claustrophobia. The eye consistently searches for a perch so that one can see with context. I make do with the sheen of stones and rivers within sunlit days—sunshine so brilliant I come to see a lapis lazuli color as indomitable. I fear so many things, after all, from the ripening of a mango to the scalpel hovering over my father’s heart to feeling the fragility of your existence with the unyielding onset of my amnesia. How to reconcile with my childish refusal to shade my eyes when fate is a form of will: I attract what I fear? These are among the many words, you see, that I have uttered, only to pray they become like raindrops into the lake of a mischievous god’s forgetfulness. Of course, I (perversity defining me as much as any other concept) must now tempt fate by publicly conceding: I also fear the possibility of a broken blood vessel dotting the eye an unforgiving scarlet.

Still, I must not forego the delight of neutrality. How the totality of white allows a canvas to reveal the chaos of color, the pulse of a shade, the flux of meaning. Too often, I am histrionic, thereby creating my own chains. I know the imperatives of my desire and pain are colored green, like the glimmer of Antarctic berg ice. Green ice is thought to have been exposed by the shear of mountain glaciers. Somehow, the ice survives intact and rides out into the South Atlantic Ocean—a broken rib of emerald from a maternal continent! Still, I must not forego the wisdom of neutrality, even if the best I can muster is jade: still green, but with an unperturbed face.

I sense that I will end this day, this poem, with the inability to distinguish between a human scream and a high wind. Duende—it exposes with insistence just a half-breath away from savagery. I could not have predicted the price of masterfully cultivating what is within me: I am addicted to Art that arises as it wills from vacuums that laugh at my attempts to measure them. Though I treasure fragile violets that dare to bloom ahead of spring, this is a sentence of diversion. Duende, Garcia Lorca reminds, is two-faced to enable death and geometry to infiltrate each other’s worlds. Now, I greet each day as an exposed nerve. Oh, sometimes, I wish merely to be pale. That is not all: too often, I finally surface from verdant depths to see a sky so lurid it is nonreverberative.

Thus, artists end in their beginnings: the memory of memories. Water evaporates into air: we end with knowing failure: the invaluable predicate of all honest compassion. I am struck by how often I leave others with mere marks that evoke the pawing of animals that hunt. Through this path, I have learned how yellow can look decidedly determined. I believe I now realize I prefer psychological insecurity—yes, even that dark path where I fell to my knees and still (oh still!) you showed no pity. The capacity for recognizing the colors of perseverance matters, you see. Color is also a narrative—even when aesthetically displeasing to the eye. Yet, always, worthy is the price. I shall retain the capacity to feel you in the breeze lifting my hair from the palpable nape of my neck. Always, worthy is the price: Yes!


***
Prov.: Danese Gallery, New York
N.B. Files contain Letter



"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

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

UPDATE:
Clare Rojas is one of the artists in Galatea's collection, along with Stella Lai, Reanne Estrada, Chris Oliveria, Manuel Ocampo, who are featured in the exhibition inaugurating the relocation in Los Angeles by one of my favorite galleries, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery. Here's their Press Release for the exhibit opening tomorrow:

Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery is pleased to announce its new location at 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, California. "Change of Address" is a group exhibition featuring the work of Nick Ackerman, Felipe Dulzaides, Reanne Estrada, Michael Henry, Stella Lai, Anna Maltz, Manuel Ocampo, Chris Oliveria, Clare Rojas, Jon Rubin & Franklin Williams. The exhibition will run from May 14th through June 26th, 2004. An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 14th, from 6-8pm, which will include a performance by the Southern California-based punk rock band the Smut Peddlers.

Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery opened in 2000 in Oakland, California with an inaugural exhibition featuring the work of Mark Gonzales, Chris Johanson and Jon-Paul Villegas, laying the foundation for its programming of installation based work by innovative young artists. In the last four years the gallery has hosted many exhibitions including that of painting, works on paper, installation, video, photography, sculpture, audio works and performance. While the gallery is interested in collaborating with a variety of artists, it will continue to focus on and establish the careers of a small group of emerging artists as well as expand into international programming. The recent relocation to Los Angeles as well as participation in national and international art fairs are part of our commitment to develop this vision.

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



Monday, May 10, 2004

FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS by JANINE LIM
Location: Babaylan Lodge

These are the latest works to join Galatea. I got the U.C. Berkeley graduate Janine Lim's works after she donated them to a fundraiser for maganda, the literary journal at whose launch I read poems last night. "Maganda" is Tagalog for "Beauty" ... and these photos are. And, for my insurance man (whose requirements, yawn, after all instigated this blog), here's one of the poems I read, which I share as it was inspired by a Boticelli painting:

"The Birth of Venus" by Boticelli
--for Christopher and James Dickey

I peeked through the doorway
to ensure no guard
sniffed the chilly air
of the cavernous hall
where my footsteps stalled.

I whispered to my boy,
"Go ahead. Touch it."
He placed his palm
against the paint. I covered
my son's hand with mine

To feel the painting exist...
To know my son lives...
To feel me there for the all of it.


***
Prov.: maganda Fundraiser, Berkeley, CA



Sunday, May 09, 2004

"BYRON'S DREAM" (GREEK PRINT)
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

This print was a gift from one of the world's foremost experts in ancient Greek Art, Jerry Pollitt, and his wife Susan Mattheson. It's an honor to receive it from Jerry whose work has been most inspirational for my poetry; the first section of the three sections in my poetry collection Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole resulted from a tour of ancient Greek sites under Jerry's guidance. The section includes a prose poem dedicated to Jerry, and here it is!


THE KRITIOS BOY
-- for Jerome Pollitt

But what does it mean for a warrior to fall in love with his victim the moment he plunges a sword? My mother says I am long overdue for "spawning progeny." It is true: I cannot recall the year I last received a bouquet of spring flowers, even the most modest nosegay of bluebells. But I do remember tiny petals unfurling around yellow hearts. Below a blanket of pollen, they were dotted with moles -- like the artist's faint scratches to depict locked eyes between Achilles and the Amazon queen Penthesilea as his sword penetrated her breast.

I am unsure with metaphors -- I allow them to bleed from my pen, only to feel the "new uneasiness" among the Greeks shortly after emerging victorious from the Persian Wars. I am compelled to nod when I see the marble "Kritios Boy" break the tradition of the kouros stance. By shifting away from a rigid, full frontal position, the right leg slightly bent, the statue seems immortalized in hesitation. Many centuries later, I look at a photograph of the "Kritios Boy" and feel my spine begin to curve. I would like to fall, I think as I peep at the faces of strangers surrounding me in the cafe. I would like to bite my knees to mimic a snake swallowing its tail. She aborts histrionics with a memory of welcoming that particular day with a promise to buy herself yellow roses. She had anticipated that during the hours of their blooming, she also would allow herself a memory of fiction: a lover offering her the dozen blooms after a soft kiss on her unlined brow, a toddler playing by her feet.

I look again at the "Kritios Boy" and am appalled. Children should never become symbols for the mysteries their parents can never solve. I learned this lesson when I was six years old and gave a poor neighbor an old dress. I still had treasured the white eyelet lace edging its hem and sleeves. But my neighbor's parents cut them off to approximate a dress never worn -- a blue dress imprinted with yellow abstract flakes. I had called the yellows "roses." My poor neighbor had called them "daffodils." I had preserved her illusion with a polite silence. But no consolation exists in a memory I now possess that never fails to make me catch my breath.


Saturday, May 08, 2004

SAKE BOWL AND SIX SAKE CUPS (CERAMIC) by SHINSAKU HAMADA
Location: Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

LARGE FLOWER VASE (CERAMIC) by SHINSAKU HAMADA
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

Born in 1929, Shinsaku Hamada is the second son of Shoji Hamada (one of the most influential masters of studio pottery and once declared a "national treasure" of Japan). Shinsaku Hamada produces ceramics at Mashiko, Tochigi-Ken.

***
Prov.: The Kono Family



ETCHED METAL AND GLASS PLATE by NOI
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

Simply lovely.

***
Prov.: Jim and Sue Mayer



"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 SHORTCUT" (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

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

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).

UPDATE:
Melissa E. Feldman reviews Stella Lai's last exhibit at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery in the current (May) issue of Art in America. I'm posting here an excerpt which relate to some of the works in Galatea:

"...a graphic sensibility informed by anime and advertising, and a trio of Hello Kitty-meets-Felix the Cat cartoon figures (a girlish kitten, bear and bunny) whose big, expressionless eyes look out from beneath helmets covering their oversize heads. Behind the overall prettiness of Lai's Asian-flavored imagery there's often a feeling of melancholy or menace.

"The show's title, 'Don't Touch Me,' was spelled out on the wall by a 9.5-foot-long grid of identical plastic bear heads the size of Ping-Pong balls, some adorned with crocheted blue ski masks. From afar, one perceived only the color pattern, which made this mock LED sign resemble a blue-and-white birthday cake. The adjacent wall carried the same warning painted in Chinese characters that seemed designed to evoke Russian Constructivist typography or to resemble a cityscape. A curled-up figure painted on a tiny blackboard could be seen taking refuge within the red outlines of the last character.

"Another hideout for her trio is a kind of resort depicted in a series of 30-by-22-inch gouache-on-paper works titled 'Four Seasons Vacation.' Within a multi-tiered checkerboard of Asian-style pools, pagodas and bridges, they can be found dozing, swimming, hanging from bamboo monkey bars or staring off into space from a pink treetop. Elsewhere they sweep, hang laundry, fetch water, even climb up an electric pole. Are they hotel guests or employees? And why are they all wearing only white undershirts and panties? These scenes occur in a flattened, stacked space that resembles both axonometric architectural diagrams and traditional Chinese landscape painting. The rendering is so precise that these gouaches -- each in a dominant palette of blues, greens, yellows or pinks -- could pass for digital prints."

***
Prov.: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, (then San Francisco, now Los Angeles); New Langton Arts; Direct from Artist



Friday, May 07, 2004

"[] (Color Abstract)" by VENANCIO "V.C." IGARTA
Location: Galatea Offsite/San Francisco Apartment

"[] (Color Abstract)" (1984) by VENANCIO "V.C." IGARTA
Location: Yellow Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

"[] (Color Abstract)" (1984) by VENANCIO "V.C." IGARTA
Location: Library Bathroom, Pygmalion-First Floor

"[] (Self-Portrait)" (INK ON PAPER) by VENANCIO "V.C." IGARTA
Location: Babaylan Lodge

"[] (Self-Portrait)" (INK ON PAPER) by VENANCIO "V.C." IGARTA
Location: Babaylan Lodge

In my visit this week to lecture at Sonoma State University, I said several times that the title of my 2005 book from Marsh Hawk Press (New York) will be I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED. I mention that here because, in discussing Venancio "V.C." Igarta, I reference a link to an article I wrote about him -- at http://www.oovrag.com/~oov/essays/essay2001a-1c.shtml. In that article, I mention how "I write poetry to disrupt because I must write in English, now the only language in which I am fluent but whose history in the Philippines troubles me." I was more immature then when I stated that (not to say I'm so mature now); I now understand that I write poetry to do nothing less, nothing more, than to attempt to manifest Beauty." What I since have learned since writing the V.C. Igarta essay is that, for me, one needs to love the raw material generating one's art -- and, in my case, that would be English since it's the language in which I write my poems.

Anyway, this article just about says it all about how I feel about Mr. Igarta, though I excerpt these paragraphs below as they relate to the three paintings in Galatea's collection:

"In the early 1980s Igarta painted multi-colored, multi-toned brushstrokes overlapping with each other to generate new colors. Several evoke bolts of unfolding cloth and use a loose pointillist style. I consider these abstractions among Igarta's most accomplished paintings. Yet, as Igarta mentioned in several of our conversations -- unable to disguise his bitterness and hurt -- many Filipinos apparently thought he painted abstractly because he presumably "can't draw." By loosening such charges, these Filipinos were unaware of or dismissed his earlier figurative works. In fact, Igarta is best known for "Northern Philippines," a 1941 painting depicting a Philippine village scene dominated by a white-dressed woman with a bowl on her head. The work was reproduced in FORTUNE Magazine and subsequently became the first work by a Filipino artist to be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("Met") in New York.

"I've sometimes wondered if Igarta might have ended prematurely his investigation of abstraction—of color and geometry. Whether or not this is the case, the problematic response from various Filipinos to the purest evocation of his painterly concerns is but another sad and little-known dimension to the history of the "Manongs," the generation of Filipino men who immigrated in the early 20th century to work in the agricultural fields of primarily California and Hawai'i. Igarta is the foremost visual artist of that generation. In fact, I find it appropriate now that it was [Carlos] Villa who reminded me of my promise to write on Igarta's paintings, for Villa is a child of Manongs and part of a relatively small group of Filipino Americans born in the 1930s (at the time, the U.S. government maintained quotas for how many Filipino women could immigrate to the U.S., and the ratio of men to women ran about 40 to 1).

Igarta arrived in the U.S. in 1930 at age 18. In California, he worked in the lettuce farms of San Fernando Valley and the asparagus farms in Stockton. The Great Depression was underway and many Filipino migrant works became jobless after being targets of racial prejudice. In our conversations, Igarta often mentioned a sister he left behind in the Philippines whose advice he never forgot during his most difficult years: "Never beg." Traveling eastward, Igarta arrived in New York City in 1934, jobless and penniless.

"Igarta began his art studies in 1937 at the National Academy of Design where he invested his meager salary of $1.50 a day on enrollment costs. The following year, he moved his studies to the Art Students League. He also would come to have his first exhibition in 1938 when one of his watercolors was chosen for a juried show at the Pennsylvania Academy. In May 1942, his "Northern Philippines" was exhibited at the Ferargil Gallery, and then featured in FORTUNE as part of a review. The publicity benefited Igarta as the painting would come to be part of a national juried show at the Met. Subsequently, he would come to show in other major museums and with such renowned artists as William de Kooning, Fernan Leger, Man Ray, Ben Shahn and Rufino Tamayo.

"Igarta's works from the 1940s and 1950s reflect his nostalgia for the Philippines. Villagers, the farmlands of his hometown Sinait, carabaos, nipa huts, the sea and mountains populate his canvases, including "Northern Philippines." When he began painting abstractions during the 1980s, the vividness of his palette reflected his memories of the same landscape through the colors replete in his birthland. He was attracted to tropical colors like oranges, crimson, pinks, greens, blues and yellows.

"In 1982, he began exploring abstraction as a result of being inspired by Josef Albers' groundbreaking rectangle-based paintings that explored colors' interactions with each other. Igarta often took pride in having painted more color combinations than Albers. In a recent conversation, Bose agreed with me that Igarta's break from the art world to work for Color Aid, a manufacturer of silk-screened art paper, actually enhanced Igarta's explorations of color; while at the company, Igarta created the paper works now used in many art schools. Igarta could mix colors without the aid of a spectograph and has mentioned how he helped cause two of Color Aid's competitors to go out of business."


*****

Of the three abstract paintings hanging in Galatea, one is actually the FIRST painting Igarta made as regards his color experimentations (before it left his hands for my home, he affirmed it as such by writing that on the back of the canvas). It's an honor for Galatea to be its guardian.


***
Prov.: Direct From Artist




"[] (MOTHERING)" (CERAMIC SCULPTURE) by SATOKO BARASH
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

This is the latest art work to enter Galatea. I acquired it when I went to Sonoma State University yesterday to do two lectures on "Poetry As A Way Of Life" at two classes there. While walking around campus, I noticed some tables set up for a ceramics sale, went over, and fell in love with this headless torso figure with a bird perched on the neck. Inside the neck were a few ceramic eggs. The sale was going on along with an ongoing juried show of ceramic sculptures by SSU students. Fortuitously, I met the artist who happened to drop by the table. She said the sculpture was inspired by at least three elements -- the darkness she felt from reading Philip Pullman's saga, His Dark Materials ("I prefer him to Harry Potter!" she added), that she is so into mothering nowadays (for reasons I didn't wish to ask about as it's none of my business), and she'd long thought of a bird as a symbol for herself. The torso definitely looks pregnant: a slightly swollen belly and ripe breasts...Always wonderful talking to artists about their works....

***
Prov.: Direct from Artist, SSU



Thursday, May 06, 2004

"[] (HAND, MAPPED OUT, PAINTED/DRAWN AGAINST HAND-MADE PAPER) by SANTIAGO BOSE
Location: Babaylan Lodge

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

This work was a gift from Santiago Bose. Nothing I can say would ever capture how meaningful this artist is to me. His significance includes having been the instigator for my book of art essays and art-inspired poems, MY ROMANCE (Giraffe Books, Quezon City).

UPDATE:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines currently has an exhibit, through May 16, 2004, of Santiago Bose's work; the show is titled "In Memory of a TALISMAN." A helpful catalogue is available, for which I thank Philippine poet Alfred Yuson for my copy; here's an excerpt from the essay by art critic Alice Guillermo:

"Santiago Bose was probably the first Filipino artist to integrate traditional symbols in his work, but he did not go about it in a shallow, simplistic manner making use of them as pure formal designs or decorative elements. He was well aware of the problems and ironies that this raised and he face them with unflinching honesty. For him, this artistic practice was to be contextualized in the life and struggle of the communities. 'Even now, the respect for indigenous people is only lip service. You know, if you see if there are centers where indigenous people are in control of their own destinished -- nowhere. The mining and the logging firms just go there and cut it and they don't even consider what these indigenous people think. Until now it is the same, it has really never changed, except that if you want to be a successful Asian artist, you know you should be able to master the language and have awesome beads or symbols of ethnicity on your body. (Laughs). That's one of the gimmicks that Filipino artists employ and now it works.'

"For Bose, the relation between the artist and the community with its symbols must be clearly defined, 'It is important that occasionally you have to stand back and distance yourself and look at it critically and at least create dialogue. Go to the villages and ask what those Igorots think of you, whether you are just exploiting their culture without putting back any input into their own communities. In fact it is very problematic now because many of the militant Igorot groups are accusing contemporary Igorot artists of just exploiting the culture, without returning to the culture or respecting the culture.'"


For me, what the above excerpt *also* shows is Bose touching on the ever-thorny issue of appropriation (something that reverberates given how I notice in much "pomo" poetry the use of appropriation/collage as, de facto, an excuse for laziness -- for not having to address MEANINGFULLY the issues referenced by the appropriated lines...a complex issue, too big for me to address here now but....worth raising, I think....)

***
Prov.: Direct from Artist



Wednesday, May 05, 2004

"WALLPAPER FOR GIRLS: YOUR MOTHER AS STRIPPER TATTOOS" (1997) (OIL ON VINYL, 30 x 30 IN) by INKA ESSENHIGH
Location: Red Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

This work by Inka Essenhigh, made before she became an art star, is fabulous for showing off her fabulous drawing ability. It's also interesting how the vinyl is a precursor for the kind of slick, enamel backgrounds on paintings which would come to make her famous.

UPDATE:
SITE SANTA FE INTERNATIONAL
(from Artnet.com):
SITE Santa Fe's Fifth International Biennial, everyone's favorite exhibition opening in the desert in the middle of summer, July 18, 2004-Jan. 9, 2005, is organized by Robert Storr and titled "Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque." A preliminary list of the artists in the show includes Ricci Albenda, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Burns, Francesco Clemente, Bruce Conner, Robert Crumb, John Currin, Carroll Dunham, James Esber, Inka Essenhigh, Tom Friedman, Ellen Gallagher, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Mark Greenwold, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jasper Johns, Kim Jones, Mike Kelley, Maria Lassnig, Sherrie Levine, Christian Marclay, Paul McCarthy, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Elizabeth Murray, Bruce Nauman, Hermann Nitsch, Jim Nutt, Tony Oursler, Gary Panter, Lamar Peterson, Raymond Pettibon, Lari Pittman, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Alexander Ross, Susan Rothenberg, Peter Saul, Jenny Saville, Thomas Schütte, Jim Shaw, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Fred Tomaselli, Adriana Varejão, Davor Vrankiè, Kara Walker, John Waters, John Wesley, Franz West and Lisa Yuskavage.

***
Prov.: Stefan Stux Fine Arts




Tuesday, May 04, 2004

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

[SECOND MENTION DUE TO UPDATE]

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.

UPDATE:

Victor has a new exhibit opening soon:

Victor Rodríguez
May 15 - June 17, 2004
Galeria Ramis Barquet
532 WEST 24TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10011
TEL.212.675.3421

And just coz I find it interesting, I'm cutnpasting here the Press Release from Victor's 2002 exhibition:

CINEMA NOTEBOOKS

Galeria Ramis Barquet, March 7 - April 7, 2002

Ramis Barquet is pleased to announce "Cinema Notebooks", an exhibition of new paintings by Victor Rodriguez.

Working in the vein of Photorealism in a scale that evokes billboard advertising, the paintings of Victor Rodriguez depict narratives that range from the glamorous to the mundane in which the artist's wife plays on diverse roles as starlet, housewife, or as a young urbanite in domestic settings.

In this exhibition, the series Cinema Notebooks is derived from the artist's fascination with the media, as well as with capturing the act of posing for the still camera. Since photographs often serve as studies for his paintings, Rodriguez's quotes of Antonioni's "Blow-Up" seem pertinent. Other paintings depict imaginary covers for Cahiers du Cinema which combine art historical sources, Disney-inspired iconography and references to medications such as Viagra and Prozac.

Victor Rodriguez was born in Mexico City in 1970. He has exhibited extensively in Mexico, Spain, France and the U. S. Presently, he lives and works in Brooklyn.


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



Monday, May 03, 2004

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"MOONLIGHT" (1999) (WATERBASED MIXED MEDIA ON WOOD, 24 X 24 IN) by RICHARD TSAO
Location: Atop Turret Steps, Pygmalion-Second Floor

How nice to hear from Richard Tsao inviting me to Bangkok for his latest exhibit; Richard is one of the artists whose paintings inspired stories in my collection of short stories set in the art world, Behind The Blue Canvas. Anyway, here's the info from his gallery in Thailand:

100 Tonson Gallery requests the pleasure of your company at the opening of
"portraits", an art exhibition, by Richard Tsao

Thursday, May 20th, 2004 at 7.00 p.m.
On view until June 20th, 2004

Two exhibition brochures with essays by New York based independent curator, Karen Lim (Singapore) and Gail Gregg, an artist and writer living in New York, will accompany the exhibition.

100 Tonson Gallery is pleased to present portraits, an exhibition of new work by Richard Tsao, an artist from Thailand who lives in New York City. This will be Tsao's first solo exhibition in Thailand. Please join the artist for the opening reception of the exhibition which will take place on Thursday, May 20 from 6pm to 8pm. The exhibition will continue through Sunday, June 20.

portraits, a photo-based work-on-paper project, was inspired by Tsao's trip to the National Palace Museum in Taipei. After studying the museum's immense collection of Chinese scroll paintings and the inscribed stone portraits of sages and gods, Tsao began experimenting with the photo-carborundum print process he employs for this project. These portraits bathed in veils of light and thin layers of color reveal images that seem to fade away into endless space. Luminous and ghost-like, these portraits tell a story that refers to historic Chinese paintings; they are marked with symbols and mythological deities that drift and glow in unexpected colors.

In addition to the portraits, a collection of six abstract paintings for which Tsao is primarily known is also included in this exhibition. His colorful and spontaneous, but yet labor intensive, paintings on wood are inspired by extra-terrestrial landscape. Like his portraiture-based work, Tsao's paintings respond to subtle changes, such as the alterations in light-gleanings from the physical world as they reflect the artist's own internal processes.

Tsao was born and raised in Thailand and has been living in New York City ever since he left Thailand for America at the age of 17. It was in New York City that he chose to further his education and pursue his passion for painting and drawing. Tsao has exhibited widely in the United States and other parts of the world and has had numerous one person exhibitions in New York City. His work is also collected in many private collections.

Organized by 100 Tonson Gallery
Ek-Anong (Aey) Phanachet
Director
100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: 662-684-1527, 662-652-1191
Opening Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 11 am- 7 pm

Public and Media Enquires Benjamas Phuprasert, gallery manager
For details, call 06-5714681,+66 (0)2 652 1191, (0)2684 1527 Fax: +66 (0)2 652 1191
or email info@100tonsongallery.com

***
Prov.: Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York




THREE FRENCH ARMOIRES (19TH CENTURY)
Location: Master Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor
Location: Red Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor


Old doors into 21st century technology....nice juxtapositions.

***
Prov.: Mostly French, Calistoga, CA



Saturday, May 01, 2004

"OUTFIT DRAWING NO. 2" (12 X 14 IN UNFRAMED; 21 X 25 IN FRAMED) by JULIE ALLEN
Location: Hallway Over Foyer, Pygmalion-Second Floor

I love the delicacy in Julie Allen's drawing. In the past, she also has made a fabulous series of underwear from such materials as wax paper, saran wrap, glassine and tape. See images here at Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand; I didn't see that exhibit but once saw some works from that series over at Joseph Helman Gallery (New York) -- I've never forgotten them for both challenging and enchanting my eyes....

***
Prov.: "Take Home A Nude," a 1999 benefit for the New York Academy of Art



"111TH ST. BASIN, GOWANUS CANAL" (1987) (OIL ON CANVAS, 28.1 X 54 IN) by RANDY DUDLEY
Location: Dining Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

"AUTHORITY GRAIN TERMINAL - RED HOOK" (1990) (OIL ON CANVAS, 28.5 X 54 IN) by RANDY DUDLEY
Location: Hallway In Front of Turret Stairs, Pygmalion-First Floor

Randy Dudley is a painter's painter. Plus, Dudley paints fog/mist as distinctly as anyone can in the second referenced painting above.

Here's an excerpt from Kenneth Brown's coverage of a 1999 Pratt exhibit on Brooklyn that included the first referenced painting above (from Brooklyn Courier Papers):

"Randy Dudley was born in Peoria, Illinois, but now calls Brooklyn home. His remarkable oils are more like photographic images in their stunning attention to detail. Varying views of the Gowanus Canal prompt his imagination, with the bucolic waterway dominating the image. But Dudley adds some curious imagse that are confusing, mysterious and even humorous, all at the same time. "

It's that uncertainty that enlivens Dudley's images to make them, for me, transcend photorealism.

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



OVAL BOWL
Location: Library, Pygmalion-First Floor

FOOTED BOWL
Location: Living Room, Pygmalion-First Floor

From Ceramica's collection of Renaissance inspired maiolica, formed and handpainted by artisans from Tuscan and Umbrian Regions. These pieces offer the Raffaellesco pattern (the golden dragons which I love).

***
Prov.: Ceramica, Positano, Italy



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