Posts From the monthly archives: "May 2017"

Classic meets modern in Katie Scott’s eclectic home featured in the latest Traditional Home Spring issue. With it’s traditional exterior, you are met with bursts of contemporary elements upon entering the designer’s home. In the entry-way, you are greeted with a modern acrylic console with a contemporary painting by artist Sarah…(Read More)

The Frieze Art Fair in New York is an annual event on Randall’s Island. It’s in it’s sixth year. The fair includes over 200 modern contemporary art galleries from over 30 countries. This fair is like a tiny city brimming with the who’s who of the art world, and the finest…(Read More)

French elements give a Texas home a timeless look designed by Houston-based designer Meg Lonergan. Home builders Marvin Morris and Steve Hullinger of Morris Hullinger Design Build worked alongside Lonergan to create a vision that incorporated the “classic, romantic, collected feel of Provence” as well as bringing modern elements to the table, such as…(Read More)

Meet: Madeline Denaro

Artist Madeline Denaro talks Eastern Philosophy's influence on her artwork, creative first instincts, and what is next. 

 

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

I was born and raised in New York (Bronx) of Irish Catholic parents. I currently live and work in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN ARTIST? DID YOU GO TO ART SCHOOL?

I think I have always been an artist of sorts. My mother was very visual, and always explored the use of color and design in everyday living. I think this influence combined with my father’s strong mathematical and mechanical mind instilled something that became very essential in me. My first creative instincts were in fashion design, and my first drawing skills were fashion sketches. I attended the South Florida Art Institute with a Fine Arts degree in Painting and Sculpture. Traveling to Europe often as well as independently studying in London and Germany helped me enormously in my formative years.

 

HOW HAS YOUR WORK TRANSFORMED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?

My first love in art school and for many years later was figurative painting. I started abstracting the figure in the early 90’s and using much mixed media and metals to the work. The pieces were as much painterly sculptures as they were sculptural paintings.  The lure of organic form eventually replaced the figure completely although figurative gestures still seem to flow from my brush.

 

HOW MUCH OF YOUR ABSTRACTED COMPOSITIONS ARE LEFT TO CHANCE?

I describe myself as a “process artist” meaning that I "follow” where the art process leads me. This mode of working allows for the art to be constantly evolving. I only plan the size of the piece prior to painting. Other than size,  I don’t intellectualize, plan ahead, know the palette, etc. Everything comes in the moment in the state of working.  

 


CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR PROCESS OF CREATING A PIECE?

Painting for me is a form of engagement, an engagement within the process of painting. There are no visual elements as I approach the work. I don’t begin with any graphic nor do any ideas concern me. Actually I shun all visual concepts at this time. The palette is also secondary to the art making and during this stage may change several times. Drawing, as an additional medium, is incorporated during the act of painting and is very much an active element in my repetitive process of adding and subtracting -  I build, destroy, erase, paint over. As the work evolves and the painting starts to take on a certain presence, the color is reconciled, form emerges and I feel that a communication starts to be buried within the surface of the piece.

 

WHAT DO YOU WISH THE VIEWER TO EXPERIENCE WHEN LOOKING AT YOUR WORK?

I wish for the viewer to not only interpret the visible, but to allow the work to have an action - to receive what is passed to the viewer. This bypasses analysis and enters one directly.

 

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR STUDIO.

I do think that each painting is a series of ritualistic layers. I start by stretching the canvas, layering gesso, which is the primer of the surface, and then the actual application of the first layers of paint. There is something in this self - preparedness that I find necessary before I start the work. If someone else prepared the canvas, it would not be the same. It’s all part of “the birthing process” of the work. No days are the same - one day I may be doing more structural or preparation work, and another day I may engage mostly in the act of painting. The business of art needs to be incorporated as well. This includes photographing the work, maintaining my website, and dealing with the galleries’ needs. There needs to be a structure and aim to each day in the studio.

 


WHO DO YOU ADMIRE OR DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?

I think everything that is a part of my life has an effect on my art. All impressions that I absorb somehow have an influence on the person who paints in the moment. I am involved in the study of Eastern Philosophy, especially the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff who has greatly influenced my being and definitely my art. Allowing myself to be open to something Higher and much larger than myself inspires my work. 


WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?

I honor Dimmitt Contemporary Art for such a strong commitment to the Arts. Kathy and Bailey are favorites and it is my commitment to make our bond even stronger in our future together. It is great to have their support and encouragement in my endeavors. I have several upcoming shows so I am constantly producing new work. I believe that as soon as I have some down-time, I plan to start a series of small sculptures. With all my art I allow ideas to percolate, then I will start to feel what medium I will use for this new venture. It’s a mysterious process, but that’s how art is.

Meet: Logan Ledford

Artist Logan Ledford shares with us the inspiration she draws from living in the Big Easy, the process behind her color spots, and what is next for her.

 

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

I grew up in Baton Rouge, LA and went to LSU. After graduating college, I moved to New Orleans, LA in 2011. I have lived and worked here ever since.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF NEW ORLEANS? DOES THE CITY INSPIRE YOUR WORK IN ANY WAY?

New Orleans is an amazing city it basically lives in color. It's vibrant, open to all, and there's never a dull moment. It's impossible to sit still here, the energy is contagious. The color and people here constantly inspire my work. I pull color combos from painted shotgun houses, intricate costumes, and (of course) Mardi Gras. I also feel that people have "color personas" and I create color combos to represent the people I meet.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN ARTIST?

I have been painting and drawing since I was 3 years old. I have taken art classes every year since then, and even continued education after college at the New Orleans Art Academy. I have a degree from LSU in Interior Design and Art History.

 

HOW HAS YOUR WORK DEVELOPED FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TO NOW?

I took a break from painting after college and spent about 4 years in the advertising industry working as a graphic designer. While working downtown I decided to start painting again at home after work hours. My first series I started were more "traditional" brushy abstract paintings, they were dark and a little lost looking. I also really enjoyed print making in school and started creating color blocked monoprints with acrylic art and a plastic platen. I based them off of architectural photographs I took in Europe post college. From these initial prints I started to minimize the shapes and number of colors I used with each print, eventually landing on my signature color spot I use in my current work. The first color spots to begin with were actually very small, about 1-2 inches in diameter. The more I kept painting the larger they got and I started to use the grid system. The largest spot I have created to date is about 15 inches in diameter.

 

HOW DO YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR COLOR COMBINATIONS FOR YOUR COLOR SPOT COMPOSITIONS?

There are a few different ways I like to create my color combos. I take a lot of pictures around the city, and I will reference those for color combos. Sometimes it's as simple as 2 color tones plus 2 contrasting tones. Other times I browse Pinterest. I also work with clients on commissions where we decide on a color palette ahead of time. Once the 15-25 colors have been picked out, I disperse the colors throughout the painting keeping eye movement and contrast at the forefront.

 

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR PROCESS OF CREATING A PIECE?

The background color goes on first, even if it's just 2 coats of white. I always start with plotting out the grid which I do ahead of time using Adobe Illustrator. I print this grid guide out and find the X,Y center coordinate for each spot and make a note, then I mark it with a pencil on the canvas. Next, I pull aside the colors I want to use for that specific painting, they usually all end up in a pile on the floor so I can spread them out and see them. I pick 4 colors at a time and use a plastic platen to create each one. I measure the diameter of the spot as it's being printed. Each spot is hand painted/printed, then the platen is washed clean to start the next one. A piece can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours to create depending on size and the number of spots. Drying can take up to 2 weeks.

 

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR STUDIO.

I have breakfast and answer emails in the morning. Then I usually walk into the studio around 9 to 9:30am.I put on some music from my spotify daily mix list or listen to a murder podcast (for some reason I find them thrilling). I pick up where I left off from the day before with work, whether it's painting backgrounds, completing a painting grid, or varnishing and wiring work to ship off. Sometimes I try to sit down at my desk and make a "realistic" to do list of what I want to get done that day, I find it helps to make those small goals. I usually take a lunch break and walk my dog, then go back to work from about 1-5pm.I try to keep this routine up as much as possible or else I can get extremely side tracked with my week!

 

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE OR DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?

I love so many artists! Ida Kohlmeyer, Ellsworth Kelly, Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly, Warhol, Kusama, Ray Geary, Phillip Low, Mark Lovejoy, and Ashley Longshore! I could keep going but I'll stop :)

I also draw a lot of inspiration from visiting museums & galleries, anytime I travel I try to visit at least 3.


WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?

Wow! Great question, I'm having a show in New Orleans with Ashton Despot in June then another solo show NYC in July with Lilac Gallery. I am doing more and more sculpture and am experimenting with plaster as a background medium. I'm currently working on a sculpture series that focuses on the history and evolution of the chair. I also will be doing more canvas pieces that only use 1 or 2 colors.

 

 

Meet: Sarah Ferguson

Austin-based artist Sarah Ferguson discusses her creation process, inspiration, and how her work has developed throughout the years. 

 

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

I was born in Boulder, CO. When I was three, I moved to Austin, TX with my Mom and Dad and became a big sister to my twin brothers. At six, my parents made the bold decision to move our family overseas for 6 months. We resided in the Castello di Spannocchia in Tuscany. It is now the Spannocchia Foundation (www.spannochia.org), an educational center with a mission to sustain cultural landscapes for future generations by providing guests and interns with lessons on Italian culture, organic farming and environmental responsibility. Although I was very young, the memories of our time there remain quite vivid and have influenced my life profoundly. Afterwards, we moved to Spokane, WA for two years before moving back to Austin, TX just before I entered 3rd grade. With the exception of one year of college in California, I have lived in Austin ever since. For the most part, I am the rare, original Austinite.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN ARTIST?

I do not remember a moment when I decided to be an artist. Art is just something I've always had to do, in one form or another. Shortly after college, I began accepting commissions from individuals and sold several pieces to a corporation. However, once my husband and I chose to start a family, and I gave birth to our daughter, my focus shifted to motherhood. It was not until my daughter entered adolescence that I started painting again regularly. Becoming the artist I am today was a very organic process, never something I sought out. In 2010, a friend of mine introduced my work to one of Austin's most established and well-known galleries, Wally Workman Gallery (www.wallyworkmangallery.com). Wally contacted me, I brought some pieces into the gallery, we talked and I left with a contract. I was, and still am, very grateful to my friend for the introduction and to Wally for the opportunity, for that is when I truly embarked on my profession.

 

ARE YOU FORMALLY TRAINED?

I studied photography extensively in high school. After graduation, I decided to take a gap year before entering Savannah College of Art and Design as a photography major. But, as is the case with many in their 20s, plans changed. I worked at an interior design firm, backpacked throughout Europe and spent a year at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA before settling down. Ultimately, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Edward's University with a B.A. in Studio Art.

 

HOW HAS YOUR WORK DEVELOPED FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TO NOW?

Basic Geometry (particularly the square and rectangle) and color exploration have been consistent elements throughout my evolution as an artist.As an art major in college, I concentrated on collage. For the background, 2-3 colors were applied loosely in horizontal and vertical strokes spanning the height and width of the canvas. The top layer consisted of squares cut out from origami paper, tissue paper, newspaper and magazines. Charcoal and pastels were used to accent the paper squares.

After college, I progressed towards a more disciplined, orderly version of the background layer. Tape was adhered to the canvas horizontally and vertically and paint applied inside the exposed squares outlined by the tape. Multiple layers using the same technique and the introduction to color gradation resulted in hard edge paintings with apparent depth. 

From there, an obsession with the precision of line and the square, as well as a mathematical application to color mixing and gradation followed. The result being pieces that were more rigid and refined.

Honing my approach to color gradation and expanding the concept of gradation to include geometric shapes produced pieces with subtle optical illusions. I also introduced a singular contrasting color to create a focal point of lightness or darkness.

More recently, I have found myself playing around with the notion of dimensional, shifting and sometimes fragmented planes.

 

THE USE OF COLOR IS SUCH A PROMINENT COMPONENT OF YOUR WORK - HOW DO YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR COLORS FOR YOUR COMPOSITIONS?

Color inspiration is found everywhere, everyday. When I am struck by a color or a combination of colors I usually try to capture it in a photograph. Although I am aware of vetted color systems and theories, I reference them only to use as a foundation for my advancement. For me, the experience and knowledge I’ve gained through daily experimentation with color has proven to be the most fruitful and enjoyable. My reaction to color is an emotional one. I believe that may explain why my work is generally monochromatic. Working with too many colors can easily be overwhelming and unsettling, but lately I am challenging myself by introducing gradations using 2-3 colors and employing a contrasting color to create focal point.

 

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR PROCESS OF CREATING A PIECE?

I use my basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator to work through concepts on my computer. It allows me to play around with color and pattern easily without commitment. Once I settle on a concept, I gather my t-square ruler, a pencil and eraser and transpose the geometry onto the canvas, assigning a number to each shape.

Before applying paint to the canvas I mix all the colors, which is quite time-consuming and mathematical. It usually takes 2-4 days depending on the size of canvas and the amount of colors that need to be mixed. I keep detailed notes of color mixtures for each painting, along with color charts displaying the gradation of color. I often have to ignore the result of the mathematical measurements and rely on gut instinct and my eyes to tweak color gradations ever so slightly. Once I'm content with the gradation, colors are assigned a number corresponding with a numbered shape on the canvas. Each paint color goes into its own airtight container and labeled.

Once the colors are mixed, I apply tape to mask off the areas I need to paint. I am quite discriminatory about tape. I inspect the edges of each roll scrupulously to ensure a smooth, hard edge, and have developed and refined a technique over the years when applying tape to the canvas. With the tape intact, paint color is applied to the appropriate field with a foam brush in continuous, fluid strokes. Multiple layers of paint are applied until I reach the desired opacity. I let the layer dry, remove the tape, and repeat the process with subsequent layers. Pulling tape off the last layer for the final reveal is either superbly gratifying or dreadfully mediocre. Although my process is regimented and seemingly straightforward, the end result of each painting is usually a bit different than expected. To me, it mirrors life's pattern, an invitation to both the applied and the sublime.

I am not prolific. On average, I complete about 6-10 paintings each year. My process is rather tedious and leaves very little room for error. I’m tense, hyper-focused, methodical and meticulous throughout the creation of each piece. As a result, once I complete a painting, I am filled with both exhilaration and exhaustion. It always takes me a while to find my footing, get motivated and begin again.

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NECESSITIES YOU REQUIRE WHEN CREATING A PAINTING? 

Concept creation: My computer and Adobe Illustrator.

Paint mixing: My 20-year-old trusty smock, rubber gloves, Golden or Matisse acrylic paint, measurement spoons and cups, small rubber spatulas, palette and palette knife, cloth rags, recycled 32 oz yogurt container with water, journal to document color mixtures, white card stock for color sampling, glass jars with lids, tape for labeling, Sharpie permanent marker.

Concept to canvas:

36” t-square, pencil, erasure, blue or green masking tape, scissors and/or xacto knife, coded paint mixtures, foam brushes, stretched canvas.

Throughout the entire process, I listen to copious amounts of music, podcasts and audiobooks.

 

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE OR DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?

I have been influenced by many over the years – family, friends, teachers, other artists. They have all inspired me through both example and encouragement.

I relish reading non-fiction and watching documentaries about art and artists. Several years ago, I learned of Carmen Herrera. I was struck by her outlook and approach to her work and found it not unlike my own. She painted in anonymity for the majority of her life, shadowed by her male contemporaries and snubbed as a Cuban living in America. She realized recognition late in life, with international appreciation arriving at the age of 101 with solo shows at the Whitney Museum and Lisson Gallery in 2016. She's truly awe-inspiring.

 

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?

One of my favorite quotes comes from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow --“Our todays and yesterdays are the blocks with which we build.” I find it reflects my approach to life and my artistic process, both literally and figuratively. I learn from experience and attend to my intuitions in an effort to harness a discipline that is reliable and propels me forward, but that process is inherently continuous. It requires constant edits and evolution. Because of that, I rarely project too far into the future, choosing instead to be open and flexible in the present. I will say that recently I have been drawn to more subdued color, larger scale and revisiting the idea of a small format series of paintings. Also, I have been approached to collaborate on a project that would expand my vocation beyond fine art. As always, there is more to come, so stay tuned.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Auction

On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast. It was a Category 4 storm and it’s effects were unimaginable. It formed on August 8th and didn’t dissipate until September 3rd.  It created the most damage in U.S. history except for Hurricane Katrina. It caused $180 billion in damage and affected 13 million people. Harvey made three separate landfalls in six days. Harvey was the wettest tropical storm in US history. It’s peak landfall occurred on September 1st.  One-third of Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, was underwater.

 

After the impact of Harvey, people from Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky are trying to rebuild their lives. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has stated that more than $125 billion dollars in federal relief. It's in great need of our care.

 

On September 30th, Dimmitt Contemporary Art teamed up with Laura Rathe Fine Art, Houston-based artists Katherine Houston and Cookie Ashton to put on an art auction and fundraiser to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

 

After such a successful night, we were able to raise over $80,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  100% of the proceeds from the event went to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Ed Emmett.

 

Contributing Artists:

 

To our contributing artists and those who participated, we could not have done it without you. It is with immeasurable pride that we announce the success of this event.

 

Ironically, it’s in these moments of devastation that we experience the strength of  humanity. In the midst of true hardship, our community banded together to support one another. The fundraiser proved the true value of Houston and the related areas. We're hoping that this event helps in some of the lives of those who are trying to put their lives back in order after the wake of Harvey.

 

This event was a beautiful moment during what will be a long road to recovery. What artists and those that support the arts have to offer is al commitment to building strong community. In sharing this we heal as a place, and we were able to produce tangible funds to create impactful change.  

 

“Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.” - Richard Kramler

 

As Seen: Traditional Home Spring 2017

Classic meets modern in Katie Scott's eclectic home featured in the latest Traditional Home Spring issue. With it's traditional exterior, you are met with bursts of contemporary elements upon entering the designer's home. In the entry-way, you are greeted with a modern acrylic console with a contemporary painting by artist Sarah Ferguson that immediately demands the viewer's attention. "It dives deep. It sparks curiosity." 

Artwork: Sarah Ferguson

Displayed in Scott's master bath are pieces by artists Nicola Rix, which adds an electric pop of color to the space along with the antique chair. Scott's personality shines throughout her design work - she is fearless which is clearly evident throughout her carefully curated home. She presents a shock factor, leaving her guests wanting more. 

Artwork: Nicola Rix

Our Frieze New York 2017 Favorites

The Frieze Art Fair in New York is an annual event on Randall’s Island. It’s in it’s sixth year. The fair includes over 200 modern contemporary art galleries from over 30 countries. This fair is like a tiny city brimming with the who’s who of the art world, and the finest work made today. The tent was densely filled with top-drawer art. Visitors poured over the work in hopes of acquisition or just for their own visual delight.

Our visit to the fair this year was profitable. We gathered together with colleagues, artists, and friends from around the world. We saw works by artists we love, discovered works by artists we did not know, and remembered artists we had forgotten. We scheduled studio visits, met up with old friends and made new ones. We ended the trip excited to return again next year.

Below are some of the artists and their work that we relished in viewing this year at Frieze.

JOHN CURRIN 

GAGOSIAN

The Gagosian’s spotlight booth was one of the most thorough displays at the fair. The museum grey walls displayed over 100 gilt framed drawings by John Currin hung in salon style. The works, chosen by Currin, were shown for the first time and spanned more than a decade. Currin is well known for his lush caricature paintings of contemporary figures. He’s revered for both his humor and a draftsmanship, that is impressively comparable to Durer.

The works ranged from casual yet exquisite doodles, to finely rendered and fully resolved drawings. Each titillating scene has some element of explicit perversity mixed with a rash sense of humor. The drawings are made as if he was a Mannerist in the 16th century. Currin’s choice to hark back to this era is not a coincidence. Instead it is a decision made with exacting calculation. The Mannerists were incredibly skilled at the art of exaggeration and manipulation. Often using bright unrealistic colors to describe the most luscious and decadent beauty. One might call both the Mannerists and Currin visual hedonists. Both parties enjoying the employment of their own rendering skills to envision what they desire. These lush scenarios are both sweet and sickening. That strange beauty is exactly what gives Currin’s work such a strong draw. 

In an interview with ARTNews Nate Freeman asks the artist if there is any unrealized sketch he would like to return to, Currin responded, “ Well, something I’ve always wished I made a painting of is a drawing of three doctors,” he said. “One is white, one is black, and in the middle is Jesus, or God, and he’s got a beard and the whole bit, and they’re looking over X-rays, and… actually, maybe it’s best as a drawing.” Drawing for Currin seems to be about envisioning fantasies, either in the forms of jokes or of sexual desires. In this way, he speaks to the dirty secrets we all share.

 

KENNY SCHARF 

HONOR FRASER

Walking into Honor Fraser’s both was like taking a step back in time into the 80s East Village art scene. The booth featured a spotlight on Kenny Scharf. Each work was made between 1978 and 1985 and was clad with sci-fi arcade motifs. The work  exemplifies youthful energy, pop culture and an unrepentant stylistic gumption. The walls were adorned with hot colored mixed media paintings, and a small section was dedicated to salon hung collages. Plexi-case plinths displayed Scharf’s quintessential unique assemblages sculptures.

AMILCAR DE CASTRO

SILVIA CINTRA

One of the most thorough and engaging solo booths at the fair displayed an impressive collection of Amilcar de Castro. The artist was involved with the Neo-Concrete movement in Brazil in the 1950’s. Similar to that of Lygia Pape, whose fantastic retrospective is currently on view at the Met Brauer, de Castro plays with geometry in paper, and metal. In the exhibition, larger sculptural pieces lived in the centre of the booth, one wall had shelves with smaller scale metal works, and one wall showed his diagrammatic geometric drawings. These drawings, full of subtlety and simplicity were what captivated me most. Their thoughtful pensive graphite lines, in the most minimal execution, alluded to the poetics of three dimensional space with the least amount of effort.

SAM MOYER

SEAN KELLY

Sam Moyer’s work at Sean Kelly immediately demanded my attention. Known for her diverse body of work including paintings, structures, and sculptural objects, Moyer’s practice draws inspiration from architectural space and the materiality of utilitarian objects.  She became notable at the beginning of her career for dying fabrics outside to make them look like like marble. Her practice has expanded to include an array of materials. Now she has begun to incorporate marble slabs into the work with fabric and paint. She has even started to re-create brush stroked with marble imbedded in canvas. This twisting and confusion of materials, blending of their edges, confusing their fidelity, and simulating their surfaces, is at the crux of her work. This innovation of combining textures of materials speaks to the transformation and mutability of objects. She manipulates these materials into beautifully abstract works whose formal devices push the margins of artistic vocabulary and mixed media.

ZHANG WEI

BOERS-LI

Zhang Wei is considered one of the first abstract painters in China. In the early 1980’s , Wei encountered Abstract Expressionists and its protagonists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg. This influence offered Wei a different view on his own artistic practice. It encouraged him to aim for personal freedom of expression in his work. He accomplished this through taking on non-representational form. His paintings take on intuitive and immediate approaches indicative of action painting. Wei combines this western impact with a traditional Chinese history. His ab-ex inspired works re-present marks associated with Chinese ink and calligraphy techniques. Action painters probably looked to eastern calligraphy as inspiration. So it makes sense that Wei would have keen interests in tying the two modes of making together.

LAURENT GRASSO

GALERIE PERROTIN

Laurent Grasso is a sophisticated artist. His work although conceptual in spirit dives deeply into a re-presentation of art history. He often uses early renaissance paintings as inspiration into new painted work. He creates these divine oil paintings in tandem with minimalist sculpture. At Edouard Malingue Gallery he presented “Anechoic Wall” is a mesmerizing sculpture. This piece is part of a series of sculptures of different forms and materials including wood, metal and marble that are inspired by fossilized sound.  These sculptures take advantage of geometry to replicate the sound effects in Anechoic rooms in which sound waves and magnetics and muted. The artwork presented at Frieze was constructed of copper a material known for its incredible conductive properties but also its strong capacity of reflection. Not only does this piece create an incredible and breathtaking sound intervention in space, it doubles as an incredible reflector, and gorgeous minimalist object.

ROCHELLE FEINSTEIN 

ON STELLAR RAYS

Rochelle Feinstein is a celebrated New York based artist. She is a senior female painter, video artist and sculptor. Her work lives in a slippery place where modernist history intersects with popular culture and personal history. This fearless approach to make fine art messy with the inclusion of the personal is precisely what makes her work powerful. In her early work ,she created images of grids that revisited the popular modernist motifs but combined them with representations of everyday objects. The paintings included allusions to the field, the tv monitor, dish towels and stain glass. Recently, she has continued with her explorations of written word. She explores text both through its content and the influence of its style. In the booth for On Stellar Rays, she lines the walls with hand written confessional style notes scribbled on 8.5 x 11 inch paper in black ink. This make-shift wall paper creates a strange circumstance for more conservative abstract works on canvas, and a plinth mounted singular sculpture. This intermixing of diaristic style writing with works that recall iconic styles of ‘fine art’ is a perfect introduction to the ethics in Rochelle Feinstein’s work.

VIRGINIA JARAMILLO 

HALES

The large color-rich acrylic paintings by Virginia Jaramillo at Hales booth at Frieze almost seemed to dance and talk to one another. Each curvilinear pictograph on the paintings seem to echo slight and elegant movements at one another. The paintings were made in the 1970’s. In addition to being featured in the recently opened and fantastic exhibition, “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” at the Brooklyn Museum. Jaramillo had a 1971 work bought by the museum through the inaugural Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund—Yahtzee! During the VIP preview this year. In 1971, She was included in an amazing exhibition in Houston called “The DeLuxe Show”sponsored by the one and only Dominique de Menil. It was one of the first racially integrated exhibitions, and she was one of the few female artists involved. Her work represent an great historical legacy

Jaramillo was an early pioneer of “felt-abstraction”, a movement that encouraged abstract, spare and elegant forms that owed some inspiration to the Hard-Edge school of making. Jaramillo’s minimal, color saturated, and specific abstractions seem to be more than the representation of a school of thought. They have an inexplicable feeling of sincerity. Her compositions evolved from the linear style of Green Dawn Number 1 (1972), which was shown at the Whitney, to works that are curvilinear and invested in the formal qualities of the edge of the canvas. From bold abstract canvases and sculptural mixed media compositions to meticulously formed pulp paintings, Jaramillo has forged a unique voice, experimenting with material and process to pursue her ongoing explorations of human perception of reality.

ANISH KAPOOR 

LISSON

Anish Kapoor’s densely pigmented or chrome half domes were a sensation at Frieze. The artist is commonly referred to as one of our Contemporary masters. This wall work is in a vibrant cadmium yellow. It’s perfect geometry and inviting proportions almost suck a viewer into it’s half planet orbit. Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. He’s known most for his public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering. He manoeuvres between vastly different scales and across numerous series of work.

 

As Seen: Luxe Magazine May 2017

French elements give a Texas home a timeless look designed by Houston-based designer Meg Lonergan. Home builders Marvin Morris and Steve Hullinger of Morris Hullinger Design Build worked alongside Lonergan to create a vision that incorporated the "classic, romantic, collected feel of Provence" as well as bringing modern elements to the table, such as the stunning artwork collection. 

Artwork: Donald Martiny 

Artwork: Gregory Hayes

When it came to sourcing artwork, Lonergan wanted to create a juxtaposition where contemporary artwork meets the timeless, antiquated backdrop of the home. In the dining room, we worked together to commission the perfect piece by Donald Martiny. Known for his irresistible, sculptural brushstroke paintings, his work demands the viewers attention. Martiny's work also hangs in the One World Trade Center in New York in which he commissioned two massive sculptures.

In the living room, we also worked together to commission the perfect Gregory Hayes piece to go above the mantle. Hayes' artwork is exceptional because it is unlike any other. When the viewer gets up close and personal with Hayes' work, they will see the incredible detail that composes the work. His compositions are made of tiny dots, each it's own, to create a larger picture that immediately draws the viewer into the work, similar to how Martiny's work demands the viewers attention. 

 

Our Dallas Art Fair 2017 Favorites

The Dallas Art Fair is expanding. This year over 30 additional galleries participated including blue chip institutions like Gagosian. We were thrilled once again to attend the fair and view some incredible work by established and emerging artists. The city and the fair celebrate a rising collector base. The fair does an excellent job of transplanting successful galleries from US and international epicentres to house work temporarily in Dallas. Major galleries such as CANADA and Morgan Lehman gallery participated this year in the crowded high energy art world convention.

Over the fair we were able to meet a lot of professional curators, gallerists and critics.  But, most of all we got the pleasure of viewing some incredible and inspiring work. The fair was a visual feast and it was hard to narrow our list - we managed to cut it down to a list of 7 favorites. 

 

Black and Navy Aug 31 2014, 2014

Flock, enamel and sparkle on tile over masonite

36 x 72 x 4.5 in.

Donald Sultan’s chrome poppies popped out at us in his piece “Black and Navy”. It was easy to become captivated by the textural interplay between flock, enamel and spackle. The enamel chrome flowers shone against the black light-absorbing flock glittering like a star in the blackest night sky. 

Sultan is a painter, print maker and sculptor from New York City. His work is in major collections such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. The paintings of poppies are his most iconic and popular series of works.

The paintings reference poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers and Sultan’s personal garden. He says the works reference more of the quotidian paper flowers that are sold on Veteran’s Day rather than the actual flowers. This reference to the man-made is also reflected through the use of synthetic materials such as the flocking and enamel paint. Although the work could easily fall into the same kitschy aesthetic space as a velvet painting, it doesn't. The painting's contrast, minimal design and emotional reference, allows elegance to override campiness. It reads less like flea market find and more like an Ellsworth Kelly. Sultan’s unique flare for combining everyday materials with a serious tenor of subject has made him an artist of significance.

 

 

Cattywampus, 2016

Oil on linen

55 x 51 in.

While weaving through fair's dense coordinators we were able to stumble upon the work of Sarah Dwyer.  The Irish artist utilizes a prominent drawing marks that move in and out of her layered abstract works. We were immediately struck by the vigorous and gestural marks. Her painted lines provide a journey through the work's surface. 

The large colour-filled paintings begin as intuitive explorations in paint. She is interested in how fantasy, and history are built into a painting. The more colouristic passages in the paintings seem to evoke moments when Dwyer is unconscious, letting the work make itself. The drawn lines seem to consciously rein in moments of physical and emotional history. The paintings evoke reconstructed or meditated memories. Dwyer reflects on personal memory as material for the work. She offers a dense stratified surface for a viewer to exhume illustrations from. The works seem to whisper “Come see my world, excavate my soiled layers, and draw upon your own personal histories.”  

Dwyer is London based and is represented by Jane Lombard Gallery in NYC, and Josh Lilly Gallery in London.

 

 

Holy Roller, 2017

Oil enamel on canvas and ester foam

56.5 x 16 x 11.5 in.

 

It was exciting to see Justin Adian’s work again during the Dallas Art Fair. Adian's work never disappoints us. We think its some of the most developed and exciting work we had the pleasure to view at the fair this year. His work hovers in a space between sculpture and painting. It is in this intermediary space between media that Adian finds his most fruitful inspiration. He claims that “ If you’re not sure what something is, it gives you a lot of freedom. " With this freedom, Adian makes playful, propositional and stunning work. 

Adian’s work begins by shaping Ester foam into unique geometric forms as his primary support. He then stretches material across the three-dimensional surface. The final touch is painting it with luxurious but utilitarian industrial boat paint. These abstract wall-mounted pieces recall  geometric abstractions like Carmen Herrera, who bent painting into the intimate and sculptural space of the viewer. The works are slick, colorful, succinct and powerful. They beckon your attention with the least amount of moves. His pieces offer color suspended in space all without even leaving the surface of a wall. The concise and simplicity of these wall works is what garners their impressive impact.   

 

 

Untitled (Tough Ray), 2015

Soft pastel and oil stick on satin with wood frame

60.5 x 48.5 in.

Larissa Lockshin is an emerging Canadian artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work epitomizes a young feminine spirit, as seen here in Untitled (Tough Ray). Candy-colored and painted on a satin surface, Lockin makes marks with laissez-faire execution. Utilizing clumsy materials like oil stick and soft pastel she creates doodle-like compositions of decorative motifs. The compositions are reminiscent of the drawings on the margins of a high school notebook. They have a quiet romantic nostalgia. The whismsical pastel colors and light imagery provide is unassuming and unpreticious. The nostalgic and saccharine images recall third wave feminist artists like Petra Collins and Aurel Schmidt whose work is both ironic and sincere in their devotion to the uber girly.

These airy fleshy pink satin canvases recall impressionist, and expressionist modes of making. Here we don’t see the uber slick or instead we see the expressions of a celebratory female. These seductive works have us lusting for more.

 

Petals, 2017

Oil on canvas

66 x 51 in.

Cornelius Volker’s paintings are representation and reference the history of art. Specifically, his work draws on Pop art and Action painting. While he replicates images of known subjects like flowers, or portraits he undoes the techniques of painting. The subject matter is a vehicle to explore both the material of paint, and the process of rendering illusionist images. In a calculated manner, Voker’s work is about the task of painting itself.

The German artist has pursued many subjects for his large-scale oil paintings.  Yet he always pursues the deconstruction of the history and techniques of painting. His handling of the medium of paint is both effortless and rigorous. He doesn’t waver in his confident application of paint.  Yet, he explores the different ways of rendering and how they effect the attitude of the painting. Through the paintings technical execution the subject and the history of painting talk to one another. The subjects however, always remind us of a common relationship to the world. He provides subjects that are common and relateable, like flowers, a portrait, a package of  imodium, or a hand gun. Although the images are beautiful they transcend being just a pretty picture. Instead, they evoke history, deconstruct illusion and wow us materially. 

Calvin’s Place, 2016

Acrylic and oil on canvas

65 x 72 in.

Anna Membrino works drew us in. The spatial and saturated large scale paintings beckoned me to know more. After inquiring we discovered Membrino begins with two dimensional and three dimensional assemblage as a jumping off point into her paintings. The colorful and surrealistic paintings recall still lives that seem to exist in a more alien or unusual world outside of our own. These surreal landscapes defy scale specificity. It’s difficult to define how big something is, or what perspective you take on as a viewer. The paintings work like a tableu vivant.  They beg you to come into their strange and color filled atmosphere, to play and enjoy their dream-like space. The images seem to exist at once in fantasy and a concrete reality. 

Anna Membrino is a Dallas based artist who was born in Maryland. She has an MFA from MFA Southern Methodist University and is represented by Erin Cluley Gallery.  

 

2017

Acrylic and spray paint on canvas

96 × 120 in

Katherine Bernhardt is definitely the hot, emerging artist right now in the contemporary art market. We were so excited to se her work in person at the Fair. She makes makes colorful patterned paintings of symbols in our popular culture lexicon. She creates dazzling, roughly drawn, textile-like compositions representing images like the ‘poop’ emoji, icons of cigarettes, or renditions of the smurfs. These hi-key, acid-colored, expedient images are dazzling and audacious. The large-scale paintings feel recall punk aesthetics through their ostentatious, powerful, and straightforward illustrative style. 

The artist who is New York based most of the time also frequents Morroco where she also collects and sells fine Berber hand woven rugs. The rugs are clearly inspiration for Bernhardt’s work of the last decade. As her paintings seem more invested in textile composition, and repetition. It is also confirmed by her straight from the tube colour palette, and the way she applies paint is more like staining a fabric than globbing on impasto painted matter. We love the multitude of references in her work and love her unique take on the process and subject of painting.

As Seen: Milieu Spring 2017

"Certain gallery owners immediately recognize new artists, as well as the value of more established ones. Kathy Dimmitt of Dimmitt Contemporary Art is exactly that kind of gallerist."

- AARON RAMBO

We are so thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Milieu Magazine! Aaron Rambo of FOUND is such a talented designer, and we are honored to be included among his favorite destinations in Houston. Grab your issue of Milieu and check us out!

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