New York

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.

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