This May two of three Donut District galleries made a debut on the art fair circuit at Nada Nyc. Know More Games employed a Paintings Plus exo-modern Transcendental display case featuring art by Win McCarthy, Boru O’Brien O’Connell, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Avery K.Singer, Andrew Gbur, David X Levine, Sam Anderson, Curran Hatleberg. While 247365 juxtaposed Elizabeth Jaeger’s figurative sculpture with mostly abstracts by Julia Benjamin, Lukas Geronimas, Theodore Sefcik, D. Heidkamp, and Sebastian Black.
Miles Huston’s show “L’état C’est Moi” (I am the state) at Still House in Red Hook, features five unique sculptures, two framed colored pencil drawings, and an icon painted directly on the wall. Each piece is highly crafted and conceptually dense. The various subjects are simultaneously specific and cryptic, for instance– a King Lear/King Louis XIV two sided bust, a Charlie Chaplin mask ensconced in artificial grass, and a diorama of daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s free fall from space. Readings of these works are not particularly open to interpretation, and ambiguity is pushed into the margins. Despite a wide range of materials and approaches in this show, connections between all the works are instantly and inevitably created. While many of these pieces could stand alone, there is one universal thread which brings everything together:
Huston believes that the existence of each artwork in this show is inevitable and that the systems required for their creation have always been in place. Huston sees himself as an ‘organizer’ and his artworks as ‘demonstrations’. His role is to gather and carve out the parts, and make the proper arrangements in order to accelerate systems that inevitably lead to the manifestation of the art object. In this way, he thinks of his objects as ‘ready-mades’ because the cultural/physical material and conceptual mechanisms that allow for their creation are already functioning. Huston’s aim is to observe and reveal subtle connections, find new meanings, and ultimately, even if just for a fleeting instant, expose the rhythms underlying everything.
Les Blank, amazing filmmaker, passed away. More info in the SF Chronicle eulogy at http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Les-Blank-documentary-filmmaker-dies-4416133.php
Paul Bley, p.
Mark Levenson, b.
Barry Altschul, dr.
Roma, 1.Juli 1966
The paintings in Brian Belott’s current solo show are goof-fully cobbled together with sundry socks and combs, g-clefs, neon acid, wobbly grids, miscellaneous geometries, and directional arrows to point out the best parts. Because most of the works are framed and trapped under glass like scientific specimens, it may seem that this artist has an instinct to ‘contain’. But many of us in the Taste & Power family know the naked truth about Belott– that he crackles like a roman candle– you can douse him, but that only makes him burn hotter: he cannot be contained. Belott operates near the gurgling core from where all art emerges, and he gives off energy for the rest of us. The radiation levels were high at his October mid-exhibition karaoke and styrofoam themed performance art bash.
Know More Games’ awesome new Carroll Gardens location is host to an insane looking art show. Featuring eight large painted things, a cryptic audiobook soundtrack called “Anne of Carowinds”, and an amorphous book display, a tight-knit group of Philadelphia artists–Gwendolyn Kurtz, Phil Cote, Lindsay Kovnat, Lindsey Dickson, Nick Payne, Brian Mckelligott, Jesse Greenberg, Justin Samson, and Drew Gillespie–bring their weirdness to New York. With a no-rules approach, the art looks like paintings of sculptures of totem-pole-billboards from the some indefinite moment in distant time and space. There are frames too–made out of things like crushed beer cans, broken pencils, neck ties, and squashed rubber balls. In addition to unpredictable shapes and surfaces, the narratives twist in and out, like in Nick Payne’s picture of hermit crabs and monkeys cooking stew, Phil Cote’s snazzy party camera, and Lindsay Kovnat’s vacuum tube subway cityscape.
I asked artist Justin Samson for some background information about the show and its origins,
DH: Tell me about Philadelphia?
JS: Everyone in the show is working in Philly, except Drew, who now lives in San Francisco and has a real job involving human computer relations. Drew initially brought me down to Philadelphia in 2007, I moved in 2008. At that time there were so many people here, mostly from RISD/pink house/Ryan Trecartin/Experimental People scene. Since then, so many people have moved on. This exhibition is like the last great collaboration.
Is everyone’s studio in the same spot?
Gwen, Phil, Lindsey D, and myself have studios in the same building, formally PIFAS. Lindsay K had a studio there for years and was the studio manager after PIFAS. Now Lindsey D is the studio manager. Brian M painted his piece at the studio, but does not have a studio at our building. Nick painted his in his own studio. He lives in upstate NY now. You should visit our studio.
Which pieces are collaborations?
About two years ago I had this idea, since there were so many great and inspiring artists here in Philly that aren’t involved in the market scene, but are really innovative and creative, I would give several people large canvases and they would do their thing and we would have a show. Sometime after that I came across five large sort of canvases that used to be a display, or set or something, and I thought these would be perfect for that project. It wasn’t what I had in mind originally, but it could work. I then made a couple other panels and invited more artists. We were going to make a mural, one long painting, and it was decided that a frame would look great, and hold it together visually. Phil Cote and I worked together on the concept of the frame.
Did the same artist who painted the rectangle panel, make the frame above and below it?
I photographed each individual piece, frame, panel, and worked on photoshop to determine the best aesthetic combo. I gave each artist two frame sections to do something with, some people worked on more, some on none. Some only one person worked on, but their frame would be on someone else’s panel. One example of the last frame to be made, Since Brian didn’t have a studio with us he was unable to work on the frames, but he did give us the idea to chop up a preexisting frame and attach it to the new frame, so I chopped up a frame I found and attached it to the frame. I then painted it a color. I then asked Lindsey, Phil and Gwen what I should do next. Lindsey said paint the inside a different color, so I did, then she did something to it, then Phil painted a crackle on top. Gwen suggested I add a strip of fur along the edge, so I did, but that was on another frame.
Can you describe some of the other materials you used?
We were completely experimental with the process, what ever was at hand. Phil cut styrofoam cups in half, glued them to a frame and painted a giant fade over it. Lindsey’s uncle is a tie designer so she had garbage bags full of ties–she cut some up and attached them to the frame, then painted it. We found some pencils and karate chopped them which determined their size, painted them pink, put them down, and that frame was done. Then we had beer cans lying around so I attached them to a frame mimicking the ties. Lindsey painted it and another one was done.
Were these works shown before?
The panels, minus the collaborations, were shown at CK1, a gallery we made up that was in Phil and Gwen’s house. We thru a New Years day party at their place. New Years day is huge in Philly because of the Mummers parade. Everyone in the whole town drinks on the street and gets wasted. Philadelphia is a wild place, you can ride your bike on the sidewalk right in front of a cop and they won’t even look at you. It really is an Artist paradise, except there is no market. That is what NY is for. Kinder Schnott in der nacht isn’t a commercial venture. That is why this felt so good, we didn’t have to worry about selling, there were no restrictions.
When did the project begin?
We started in the spring of 2011, so the project really took a whole year to complete. We all do our own things of course, I almost put the project in storage when Know More Games contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a project separate from my own work. I said, “I have just the right thing”
What is the exhibition’s guiding principle ?
Freedom. Everyone created their own panel representing their individual style, and was connected with the collaborative element. Philadelphia has been really inspiring. From the outdoor stucco wall murals, the trash, and provincial style of window displays. Also the politics of the revolution sinks in. It’s all around Philly, much more than in NY. Philadelphia was America’s first capital. On my daily commute I pass Independence hall, thru old city every day. It feels very European.
In his exhibition statement for “New Solutions” curator Brian Faucette enacts a fictional email exchange between a distraught homeowner and a design agency concerning the strange behavior of Ryu—a prominent interior decorator gone berserk. With the sculptures situated in Mr. Fine Art, an expansive artist space and residence on the Bowery, each artist seems to embody some aspect of Ryu’s neurosis.
Jory Rabinovitz and Jules Marquis take the interior design theme most literally. With sponge painting Rabinovitz employs a classic and kitschy decorators technique executed by way of post-minimal process art. Each sponge is a hand cast cube cut to the dimensions of the shimmering grid shape painted on the wall. The excess sponges and painters tape accumulated from the creation of the work are contained in two blue transparent cubes that also match the interior dimensions of the wall grid.
Jules Marquis, an artistic collaboration between Daniel Turner and Colin Snapp, uses an image of a young Muslim bride in elaborate ceremonial dress to create a wallpaper border that snakes across part of the gallery wall. The specificity of the image is undercut by its repetition and placement, and the flowery shapes and warm color tones allow the piece to function less as global voyeurism and more as a traditional domestic wallpaper covering.
Sam Anderson thinks small. She assembled a menagerie of tiny handcrafted humanoid figurines and assorted small curiosities found on site in the exhibition space. The objects are displayed on and around various square pedestals creating an intimate tableau of subtle human drama, which the viewer, feeling like a giant, must climb down the beanstalk to fully comprehend.
The most painterly sculptor of the group is Winston McCarthy who applies unfired kiln clay sealed to curving metal bars with epoxy and colorful pigments. A close inspection of these forms reveals strange organic surfaces, material struggle, and decay. When viewing the objects as a group, these wiry shapes move with the fluidity of expressionist brush strokes.
Jacques Vidal’s interior design strategy is to create a room within a room. His “Houston Room” is inspired in part by both a recording studio and a jail. He pays homage to regional rappers from Texas with a smirking plaster bust lodged behind yellow bars and a floor lined with prescription codeine cough syrup or ‘sizzurp’. The spiraling handmade clock on the wall is meant to speed and slow time to simulate the drug’s effects– suitably, a strange feeling of disorientation permeates the entire exhibition.
“I’m not one for showing off. But I guess my guitar-playing sticks out.”
Rest in peace, Bert Jansch. I have loved your music ever since I discovered your 1965 self-titled debut record in Twisted Village’s legendary Cambridge basement store. I have since collected several others, and I will cherish them forever. You were better than Nick Drake.
and Donovan loved you maybe most of all.
there are two of them!
For those skeptical as to the veracity of my claim as to his superior musical sens-abilities, here’s Fahey’s version for comparison. By no means a bad recording, just not as good as Bert Jansch’s masterpiece.
To be fair, I believe he did record a better version of the song at some point, though I’m too lazy to go digging through my records to verify this, but I have done extensive surveys with that version, and the vote is unanimous…after playing the two songs back to back, Bert’s version kills it.
Anyways, enough with that shit, right? Here’s another amazing song by Bert.
He was also a founding member of the band Pentangle.
Blues Run the Game
Bert Jansch play’s “Angie”
And that’s how you play a guitar.
Colin Snapp and Dan Turner
Joe Graham Felson
Jay Peter Salvas
Link to Gallery: K N O W M O R E G A M E S