Gallery

ATL vs NYC

Two blogs in one day! Who would have thought! This particular blog is going to be the actual blog recap for the week, like standard in terms of my usual blog posts. Rewind and Explain, the blog before this was the recap for New York and really for me was just a collection of the places I went now online in a solidified place so that I can come back to it later and do more research. This weeks 'Atlanta Weekend" is the culmination of a weeks worth of stress, chaos, and a bit of a crazy harebrained idea on my part for what happened this week in the studio.


This weekend I made my way up to Atlanta to stop in at my fav galley in town as well as drop off one of my pieces for a small pop up down in Midtown called Materials and Craft. It may just be one of my small ceramic mugs I made earlier in the semester, but it's still worth it to me to make the trip up here and kill multiple birds with multiple stones. And here's why...

First of all, Atlanta is a relatively close (to my current location near Savannah), huge hub for the art world, coming in behind New York and then Miami in terms of places to network in the USA. It is easy for me to come visit because most of my high school, and undergrad friends now call the city home. Plus I am familiar enough that it isn't a huge expenditure every time I visit.

Second, the galleries up here are right on par with places in Miami and New York. For one, I have noticed that a number of dealers that I saw in Art basel, and just last weekend in New York, have galleries in Atlanta too. Why? I am not sure but it is something that I plan on asking my professors why I see them next week.

Third and most importantly- it's the closest place to where I am at right now that I could see myself actually living and working in. I mean technically New York would be a dream big or go home kind of deal, but Atlanta is actually attainable in terms of financial reason too. It's not out of my price range right out of grad school. So maybe I can treat Atlanta like a stepping stone and jump to NYC after getting in the door in the ATL. Or---do both?


As for this week in the studio I really pushed the envelope to get things done. Friday was our first all faculty critique of the semester, meaning we needed to all have work down and ready to show for the past two months worth of time we'd been on classes. I hustled and came back from New York with a strong idea of what I wanted to present the faculty so I hit the ground running glazed my work in an orderly, painterly style. The final five pieces I intended to present were in the kiln on Tuesday for the final glaze firing and I was set. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, the problems with the kilns (if you have been following my blogs I have mentioned the issue before) are still rearing their ugly heads, and I ended up not presenting any work at all. You read that correctly, I, Courtney Ryan, did not present any work. Not presenting work, is not-I repeat, is not, something that I do. It was hard for me to present at the critique the way I did, and I don't intend to rehash the order of events here because it is irrelevant in terms of my blog post. Just know that I really had a hard time doing the presentation that I did and I really hope that I don't have to do it again. I felt like I let my fellow students down, like I was taking a pass on the critique for not showing. But more so, I was sad at myself. Which is why coming to Atlanta this weekend to get away from the studio and just put my work out there in a different kind of way was needed.

As for artists I am into this week- I had intended to talk about Annabeth Rosen, whom I have seen now in three different cities...New York, Miami, and now Atlanta. Zemer Peled and my Instagram relationship of following her work as it progresses in relation to my own skills and techniques. Xu Zhen and his use of the icing piping for his paintings, which I saw in New York and it inspired me to get larger frosting tips for my own ceramic pieces. And lastly Hieronymus Bosch and his maximalist aesthetic, which visiting artist Claire Ashely re-mentioned to me last week during the studio visit I had with her.

Below are some images of these artists work and I think that the visuals alone show their influence on my pieces, which are seen, bisqued (the first firing in the kin) and unglazed above.

Here is also a clip from Zemer's website, showing how she works in the studio. I relate to her work the most out of the artist I have talked about today just because she is such a personable artist, despite her fame. (And for her obsessive tendencies, which can be seen in this clip.)

Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Zemer Peled utilizes a process of creation and destruction to make sculptures consisting of thousands of handcrafted porcelain shards resulting in works that can be read in relation to art historical tradition, outsider art, and natural phenomena. The sculpture’s narrative impulses lean to encounters with the otherworldly—like complex topiaries marking a not-so-distant land--yet they remain distinctly tied to earth’s patterns. This conflation of the foreign and familiar creates a frenzied dislocation in the work. Inspired by migratory habits of birds, a sweep of feathers, and cycles of change, the works spiral outwardly in rhythmic patterns, interpreting not only the dynamism of nature, but also the startling strangeness of a life lived in transition. Using white and colored porcelains, Peled transforms sharp slivers of porcelain into feathers, petals, leaves, and spines that describe objects of unknowable origins: seductive but untrustworthy. The forms are complexly ordered from the inside out, often bulging or spilling over with textures both delicate and severe. In some works, large scale-like ceramic pieces appear airy, delicate, and fluffy, as if one's breath might break it. In others, Peled's fragments are geometric barbs that mysteriously take on an alluring form - offering a sense of softness despite a sharp actuality. The forms are never static; the visual dance of sharp ceramic parts conveys a sense of constant movement. Like a murmuration of starlings, the sculptures appear to shift shapes as you move around them, an identity becoming and unbecoming in front of you. The act of making for Peled is a feat of endurance, improvisation, and adaptation with the aim to embody a fleeting but fundamental feeling of mystery. The construction of her sculpture parallels negotiations any outsider makes in encountering a new world as they delicately construct a self that is both adaptable and resilient. Peled (b. 1983) was born and raised in a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel. After completing her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem), she earned her MA at the Royal College of Art (UK). In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, including such venues as Sotheby's and Saatchi Gallery (London), Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv), and the Orangerie du Senate (Paris), among others. The artist currently lives and works in Long Beach, CA. 
 For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at thuvanarts.com. His art films can be seen at thuvanarts.com/take1 Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts : http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-minh-swenson/

 

 

 

Rewind and Explain

Let me begin by saying that this blog post will not be the typical flavor you may be accustomed to in terms of my weekly updates. Last week I traveled up to Manhattan with Jessamy for a weekend of gallery hopping, museum exploring, and conference attending...which prompted no blogs from either of us by the usual Sunday at 5pm deadline. Fortunately however, we asked in advance to gain the support of our instructors within the department, and were given a pass to make the blog post up at a later time. That blog post will be this right here and now. I intend to just give a recap of the places we went, the art we saw, and the overall gist of what living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 3 days was like.

To begin-our flight was at 6:45AM on Friday morning, meaning we woke up in Atlanta around 4AM (Jessamy at 3:30AM) to get to the airport on time. A nice flight and a bit of a nap later, we landed in the LGA airport and were officially in New York by 9:10AM. From that point on we went non-stop for the next 3 days straight. Not actually resting until we were back on the plane to Atlanta Sunday evening.

Myself in front of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon)

Friday was a day filled with galleries in the Chelsea District of Manhattan with our professor Jason Hoelscher, a New York native of ten years. He met us at our hostel on 88th street right next to Central Park, and rode the subway down to Chelsea. For me it was like seeing the "as seen on tv" art galleries. It was all the places you hear about as a student in class, but going to the physical location really made the world seem much smaller, and more importantly-more attainable.

Some of the galleries we went to and that I grabbed a press release for are:

  • Driscoll and Babcock 525 West 25th Street
  • DC Moore Gallery 535 West 22nd Street
  • Danese Corey 511 West 22nd Street
  • Allan Stone Projects 535 West 22nd Street
  • P.P.O.W. 535 West 22nd Street 3rd Floor
  • Ron Gorchov 547 West 25th Street
  • UNIX Gallery (No address listed...very odd...but this was the Univ, of Tennessee show called Orange)
  • Nancy Margolis Gallery 523 West 25th Street
  • 303 Gallery 555 West 21st Street
  • Gladstone Gallery 515 West 24th Street
  • Paula Cooper Gallery 534 West 21st Street

At the end of the day after taking in the art for miles and miles of walking in downtown Manhattan, we went out for dinner with Jasons' friend Andy and had an overall exciting discussion about owning a gallery, working in New York, how to market yourself as an artist, and what it is like to work professionally in the art world in the city itself. Andy will be coming down to visit GSU soon, and I feel like ALL the students can benefit from his extensive knowledge and charismatic character. He was one of the nicest, coolest, and most down to earth people Jason could have introduced us to. He cared about what we had to say, was interested in our work, and really did make Jessamy and I feel totally welcomed. Plus-he can pick a pretty fantastic dinner spot in the city! Jessamy had a Cauliflower Steak and I had Grilled Baby Chicken...both of which were to die for.

Looking at big art in a big coat.

Saturday we got up and made it a museum day, as well as seeing a bit of the sites in the city. We went to:

  • The MoMA
  • The Met
  • Central Park
  • The High Line
  • Time Square
  • The Flat Iron
  • Grand Central Station
  • Wall Street
  • The 9/11 Twin Towers Memorial
  • Broadway
  • Columbus Ave
  • Empire State Building
  • 42nd Street
  • 5th Ave

....the list goes on and on...we walked everywhere, ate everything, and really just explored the city as much as possible!

Jessamy and I in front of 303 Gallery, which inspired the 303 Gallery at GSU...we think.

Sunday was our last day in the city, so we got up and mulled around Central park. Went and found a coffee shop were we met a gentleman named Matt, who actually is the cousin of a UGA student we know and will be in the Trifecta show this summer. Which again made the world so much smaller. We gave him our number and he ended up texting us and told us that he was glad we stopped in and to keep in touch. So more connections to add to the books! Like Jeff and Derek said-make friends and get connected--both of which Jessamy and I did at every moment possible. We managed to explore the Guggenheim Museum for the majority of the day and then it was back to the airport for us after walking around more of the Upper West Side of town, as well as the Upper East Side.

After a long day of walking around the city-our feet were dying. So we took advantage of the subway bench.

After a long day of walking around the city-our feet were dying. So we took advantage of the subway bench.

Honestly, I could see myself living in New York if I was in the gallery scene or was teaching at a University there. The city is a jungle, but one that I think I could manage to live in for a bit. It felt so much like Dublin, London, and Atlanta that I could easily make the transition to the city life. Just need to find the job to support the lifestyle or the gallery to represent my work. I'll let the pictures tell most of the story for the weekend however. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and this trip can't be described fully in words. It was one for the books.

 

 

New to New York

This week marks a special time in my life, in that I will be traveling to New York City for the first time. It has been called the city that never sleeps, at least so I've been told by every main stream media outlet that references the place. But for me it's going to be a non stop, go go go kind of adventure looking at art, going to a super art conference, and eating everything I can get my hands on. Jessamy (my grad school battle buddy) and I are going up there this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the annual CAA conference, which is summed up as:

The College Art Association Annual Conference is the largest international gathering of professionals in the visual arts. The program is filled with opportunities to join more than 250 stimulating sessions and meetings on a wide range of topics on art scholarship and practice; to engage in in-depth discussions on new scholarship, innovative art, and issues in the arts today; and to connect with colleagues from across the country and around the world.
— CAA

We will be staying at an old international student youth hostel in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, two blocks out from Central Park and only a short subway ride to the conference center and all things New York. What I am most looking forward to aside from going to NYC, is the conference itself. CAA is the largest art conference currently, and I feel like I have been climbing the ladder up to this point. Although I am not presenting at this conference, I hope to do so in the future. This year I applied for a number of things at CAA, but it was all revolving around simply attending the event. I applied for the graduate travel grant which allows students from far away access to the conference with a travel stipend, and lodging, as well as complimentary conference admission. Unfortunately however I was not awarded that grant, but I was offered a position to work the conference by Katie Aspey, the Director of Programs at CAA. She was very helpful in attempting to get me involved in working the event, but after some talk with my professors they advised that this first go around I should just attend the conference and explore the city. Ms. Aspey gave me a rain check for next year's conference so theres hope for the future in getting more involved like I have at SLSA and SECAC. As for the conference, Jessamy and I will be using the new and improved CAA-Pay as you Wish day passes for the conference. Which gets us in for the day and lets us not be so locking into the full registration of the conference cost, even at the discounted student rate.


Lately I have been reading up on things to do in the city and places to see as well as artists who might have shows going on that I have to put on my to do list. What has been extremely helpful has been the New Yorkers "Goings On About Town" column online. You can actually click through what sort of things you want to see and the art column is fantastically jam packed with the current things to do and see in the city. Galleries such as the Gagosian Gallery on 24th Street, The Pace Gallery downtown, Matthew Marks Gallery, and the Sean Kelly Gallery are a few on my list of maybe swinging into and seeing what exhibitions in a top tier gallery are like in person. In particular the Gagosian is having a showing of a new Mark Tansey work called "Reverb" which he completed just early this year. I really enjoyed learning about Tansey in class with Julie McGuire, and the theoretical reasoning behind his work has always interested me. His work deals with:

Each of Tansey’s paintings is a visual and metaphorical adventure in the nature and implications of perception, meaning, and interpretation in art. Working with the conventions and structures of figurative painting, he creates visual corollaries for sometimes arcane literary, philosophical, historical, and mathematical concepts. His exhaustive knowledge of art history accumulates in paintings through a time-intensive process. Images are mined from a vast trove of primary and secondary sources assembled over decades—magazine, journal and newspaper clippings, as well as his own photographs—which he submits to an intensive process of manipulation. The strictly duotone paintings have a precise photographic quality reminiscent of scientific illustration, achieved by applying gesso then washing, brushing and scraping paint into it.
— Gagosian

Next up lets talk about museums. New York is the stomping ground for good art and some of the best museums around are located in the big city. On our list of places to see are The Met, the MoMA, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim. If there were any bigger names in the art world this blog couldn't handle them all at once. Old school Velasquez paintings art housed in the Met, but then right down the hall new works by up and coming artists flood the walls. Down the road in The Metropolitan Museum of Art there is an exhibition on Maiolica, Italian Renaissance Ceramics by Timothy Wilson, which I know some of the ceramic students would love to hear about since they just completed their very own maiolica project last semester.


As for a quick update on whats happening in my studio...here's the deal...I have no idea, well, yes I do. I put up on my wall about 725printer points worth of color images of all sorts of things. Let me just leave you with some images of what has been happening, and I'll explain more later. For the rest of the day I am going to Savannah to grade assignments, read heavy theory articles for homework, and probably have some kind of fancy dinner.

Studio Visit Overload

When you have the opportunity to sign up for a studio visit from the visiting artist, lecturer, gallery director, or whatever important person happens to be on campus that day, you take it.  It's usually a problem to get a time slot in to speak to them so when I know there is a visit opportunity coming around I keep my phone on hand so that as soon as the email goes out I can sign up for a time slot.

This week was full of people, to include Jason Sweet from Atlanta, Nancy Bookhart who is a friend of my Professors, and Leonie Bradbury a gallery director in Boston.  I feel like this past month has been so packed with studio visits they are starting to run together in my head.  Luckily I keep track of them in my notebook which helps me to look back on the things we discussed.  I received some very enlightening feedback from Jason Sweet, who happens to be the instructor to one of my friends from undergrad.  He told me that my work represented landscapes of a home environment and that the new direction I was taking in my most recent work reflected those same thoughts, except it added the emotion of anger and rage.  I think he only said that because I gauged out the eyeballs of a stuffed teddybear, but I did it so I could put them back in at a later point in time.  I know that sounds awful, but I couldn't run his entire body through the kiln, eyes intact.

Leonie Bradbury shared a number of her secrets about running a gallery, and how to create call for entries and sending out prospectus opportunities to artists.  Later in June I will be curating a show at Augusta University with my friend Jessamy, completely by ourselves.  So we wanted to do a little research in the mind of someones who's been doing it for years...which is basically all we talked to Leonie about.  She is a curator of contemporary art and currently works as the Director and Curator of the Galleries at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. She is also the co-founder of "Alter Projects" an independent curatorial collaborative that designs custom arts programming.  She came to visit us because she is in the same Ph.D. program as my Professor in Philosophy and Art Theory at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art.

Also this week I will be completing my project from my third research symposium.  I made 240 test tiles with my undergraduate copartner and this week we will be glazing the tiles for our final project.  I have not seen any new art work outside of whats been happening in the Center for Art and Theater, the BFA Juried Art Show and the Form and Content show.  Which might I say were both amazing.  The awards ceremony which was held just this past Friday night was packed out with students, faculty, and family members.  I was awarded the Roxie Scholarship and acknowledged along with a number of other students!  The semester is winding down and things are getting tight on the calendar.  I have a lot to get done and only a little time to do it, so I'm headed back to the studio to work on pieces for the next critique, the ENOP Bird for Howard Lumber, two papers, and a revised artist statement.  Noting too crazy.....yet.

Art in the Big City

What a week this has been.  This past week was my first Spring Break in over 3 years, my first of my graduate career, and although I had planned to fill it with relaxation and easy going days...very little of that happened.  The first weekend of my break I went and saw The Lady Chablis in Savannah, she is the Drag Queen featured in the famous book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.  It was her 59th birthday celebration and I somehow managed to get the entire crowd to sing her happy birthday while she was on stage.  And in doing so I was brought on stage and received a gift from her in return, a photograph of her and John Cusack which she kissed with her bright red lipstick and gave me a hug.  What a night that was!

The middle of the week was full of work however once I returned to Statesboro.  I spent all day Monday throwing bowls for the Club mud sale coming up near the end of March and then Tuesday consisted of trimming, loading two glaze kilns, and a bisque kiln.  I made new porcelain tests, recorded all of my fabric tests in my journal, and made a five gallon bucket of porcelain to work with later.  I also unloaded two of my newest pieces from the kiln, which are total tests in my book.  They are both made from stone ware and cotton, coated in white engobe, and then coated in a porcelain overlay.  In my mind, this should give me the white-blue color I am dying to see, but in almost a cheating sort of manner.  It'll be porcelain, but not actually a porcelain piece, just an exterior shell of porcelain.  Pretty sneaky if I do say so myself.  Those two pieces will get glazed and fired for my upcoming critique on the 30th, so stay tuned for photos of them soon.

Art wise I made my way up to Atlanta to see the last day showing of Ceramics at the Marcia Wood Gallery on Monroe Street.  This trip was so worth the drive up.  The ceramic work on display was amazing and actually gave me numerous ideas/solutions to questions I had about my own work.  I saw ceramics with hair, ceramics made from hair, ceramics made from slip casting, ceramics on shelving, ceramics on bases, ceramics made from porcelain and stoneware....I saw it all.

While I was gawking at the delicate works on stone bases by Dawn Holder, I met her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Holder.  They were in town to see their daughters work on the last day of its showing and I by chance began talking to them about how much I appreciated her use of a base, with ceramics.  Her father said "I have not clue why she uses stones to place the work on, probably because they look bad on a shelf alone and thats just what she wanted to do." (This answer made me think of my own father, who would also give a similar non-invasive answer to a question he had no clue how to respond to.) Her mother was just as welcoming to my inquiries, and we talked about Sister Wendy, and what the difference in viewing a 2D work is to viewing a 3D work.  She also asked me about my work and to see images, which I gladly, and as calmly as I could muster, showed her on my phone.  We came upon my bubble wrap, hair piece called Wrap and she insisted I giver her my information, seeing as she worked at UPS.  She had just met the people who make bubble wrap, the creators, and told me she would forward my work along to them seeing how I transformed their product completely but retaining it's original integrity.

Then the unthinkable happened.  A woman walked up, who I had thought was an employee of the gallery (due to my ignorance) and began talking to us.  I didn't recognize her as Marcia Wood herself, the gallery owner.  I told her I was a student of Komatsu, one of the ceramicist on display in her show, and how I had enjoyed speaking to Mr. and mrs. Holder about their daughter Dawn's work.  She graciously walked us around the gallery and explained some of the processes behind the works, answered my questions, and listened to the three of us babble on about the layout and overall aesthetic of the show.  We finished speaking and I asked if there was any type of printed media I could take with me, since there were not labels on the walls.  I was handed a printout, I thanked her for sharing her information with me.

And seeing the art, made all the difference!  Dawn Holders work was very inspirational.  She uses stone bases for her slip cast ceramics.  Which actually look perfect with the pieces.  They seem like barnacles laying on rocks, but she too uses natural materials in ceramics and then burns to material out in the kiln.  So it's a different kind of slip casting, more like slip bunking...which is pretty much what I do, just with different materials.  I've seen her grass works in person too before, but her work at Marcia Wood was much better in my opinion (probably because I could decipher the process behind them!)

Tomorrow though, I must return to school and get back to work.  I've spent the week running like crazy, while inserting a little fun, food, and laziness along the way but now I've got to head back to Statesboro.  It's a three hour drive from Atlanta, could be longer depending on traffic.  I celebrated my sisters 25th birthday, saw a drag show, ate copious amounts of food, saw some fantastic art, and received notice that I made it into my third conference and will be going to Ireland 100%.  I'd say it's been a pretty solid, productive, and crazy awesome week.

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