Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Karin Mamma Andersson

Being an artist is to go around in circles
in different directions.
~ Karin Mamma Andersson

Sweden's Karin Mamma Andersson calls figurative painting and drawing her "first language" but also hard work. In her 2015 interview below, which includes a generous number of her remarkable artworks, Andersson talks about her artistic sensibility, her approach to her work, which she likens to an archeological dig, and her creative development.

(Andersson was interviewed in Stockholm, where she lives and works, by Christian Lund for the Louisiana Channel.)

Internationally recognized, Andersson is the recipient of a Carnegie Art Award (2006), has exhibited in the Venice Biennale (2003, Nordic Pavilion), and shown her work in Ireland, Germany, Norway, England, the United States, and elsewhere. Her deeply expressive work, which features evocative landscapes and private, domestic interiors, as well as references to Nordic and folk art and film, can be found in a number of museum collections, including those of the Dallas Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (all United States), and Goteborgs Konstmuseum, Malmo Konstmuseum, Moderna Museet, and Vasteras Konstmuseum (all Sweden).

Images of Andersson's work also appear at ArtNetThe GuardianPainter on Paintings, and The Paris Review.

Read other interviews with Karin Mamma Andersson online at BOMB and NY Arts magazine.

Among other articles about Andersson, see, especially: "Imagining Women's Lives in Painted Dreams" at Broadly (2016).

Books about the artist include Mamma Andersson: Dog Days (Kerber, 2012), Mamma Andersson (Aspen Art Press, 2011), Mamma Andersson & Jockum Nordstrom: Who Is Sleeping on My Pillow (David Zwirner Books, 2010), Mamma Andersson: Cry (Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2008), and Karin Mamma Andersson (Steidl & Moderna Museet, 2007). The books generally are available via re-sellers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

'Just as Beautiful' (Poem)

Just as Beautiful

While women sit in chairs
in the Dead Sea, bodies in

black swimsuits exposed
to the sun that's gone out

in the feeding centers
in Somalia, wild mustard

blooms again to knee-level
in Beit Hanun, and RPGs

land where they will
in Damascus. The buzzing

of drones breaks through
quiet, leaving dust: more bone.

Fleeing Mosul, the Iraqis
wait for tents and handouts,

trying to explain to children
the non-alternative fact that

is the word "displacement"—
of taking what you can carry

and leaving behind your dead.
It's in spaces between borders

life's lived, and lost in moments
just as beautiful there as here.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Muse Asks Did You Know?

Today's post is another in a periodic series of items about writers, poets, and poetry.

Did You Know . . .

✦ Poetry is delivered via water pipe in artist Jan Tichy's Beyond Streaming: A Sound Mural for Flint, a community-based response to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, installed at the Broad Art Museum through April 23.

Read the Beyond Streaming catalogue online (pdf).

✦ Poet Eileen Myles issued last spring the poetry record Aloha/irish trees (Fonograf Editions). Comprising new and old poems, the recording was made live. Sample tracks are available at the title link.

Aloha/irish trees Cover Art

Rae Armantrout's Conflation, released December 6, 2016, also is available from Fonograf Editions, a vinyl record-only poetry press that is part of Octopus Books. It features some of the poems in Armantrout's Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016).

✦ Henry David Thoreau's Walden is now Walden, a game. It's described as "a first person simulation of the life of philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond." An alpha version on opened this month. Here's the game's trailer:

Read Britt Peterson's article in Smithsonian magazine, "Can a Video Game Capture the Magic of Walden?" (March 2017).

✦ Hundreds of poems by Chinese immigrants who came to the United States between 1910 and 1940 were carved into the walls of San Francisco's Angel Island immigration-processing station. Some of the poems are included in Judy Young's Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 (University of Washington Press, 2nd Ed., 2014). Another book, Islanders (Conundrum, July 2016), by Teow Lim Goh, also features poems from Angel Island.

Beenish Ahmed wrote recently about the poems and Young's and Goh's books in "The Lost Poetry of the Angel Island Detention Center" for The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog.

✦ Poets and essayists selected for a Fremont Bridge Writer/Poet Residency are given a furnished studio with a water view in the northwest control tower, one of four at the bridge. The residency is sponsored by the Seattle, Washington, Office of Arts & Culture. Poets and writers, as well as translators and literary critics, selected for the Jan Nowak-Jezioranski College of Eastern Europe and Artist-in-Residence Programme A-I-R Wro spend their writing residency at Wojnowice Castle in Poland.

✦ Calligrams can be traced back to the 9th Century manuscript titled Aratea, each page of which has a poem describing a constellation. See "Aratea: Making Pictures with Words in the 9th Century" at the Public Domain Review.

Read "What Is Concrete Poetry?" at the iris, the Getty blog.

✦ Even Grindr, the dating app, has a poet-in-residence: Max Wallis. Read the poet's article in The Guardian, "'Sex and Poetry Have Always Gone Together'".

✦ California's Getty Research Institute has acquired examples of concrete poetry by Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay and Brazilian poet Augusto de Campos, and those works are on view in the GRI exhibition "Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space", which opens March 28 at Getty Center in Los Angeles and continues through July 30. For more information about the acquisition and the exhibition, read "Getty Acquires Concrete Poetry by Two Modern Pioneers of the Form" at Hyperallergic.

✦ Poet Charles Coe is the subject of the short documentary Charles Coe: Man of Letters, directed, filmed, and edited by Roberto Mighty. Coe's collections include All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents (Leapfrog Press) and Picnic on the Moon (Leapfrog Press).

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thought for the Day

I remember all the deadly false Edens
the birds fly into
those acres of glass
~ Dave Bonta

Quoted from Dave Bonta's Ice Mountain: An Elegy (Phoenicia Publishing, 2017), p. 110

See "Dave Bonta's 'Ice Mountain' Published" (January 24, 2017).

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Short

Exhibition Catalogue
Cover Art for Beautiful Losers*

Today's short is the trailer for Beautiful Losers (2008) by Aaron Rose. The film features Ed Templeton, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson, Thomas Campbell, Geoff McFedtridge, Mike Mills, Stephen Powers, Harmony Korine, and Shepard Fairy—a group of artists considered leaders in the 1990s "do-it-yourself" youth sub-cultures of skateboarding, surf, punk music, hip hope, and graffiti.

The music in the film is by Money Mark.

* Aaron Rose, Christian Strike, et al., Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture (D.A.P./Iconoclast, 2nd Ed., 2005)

The catalogue accompanied the exhibition at Orange County Museum of Art in 2005.

Friday, March 24, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ A former photojournalist for The Washington Post, Aida Muluneh also is an award-winning artist whose extraordinary work can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (she exhibited there in 2015), Dartmouth's Hood Museum, and the Museum of Biblical Art. She founded and directs the international photography festival Addis Foto Fest, in Ethiopia, where she was born. Muluneh's recent series The World is 9 comprises 28 images on life, love, and history.

✦ Artist Bill Murphy, the "unofficial recorder of Staten Island's changing landscape", has been commissioned to produce drawings and etchings of New York Wheel, a 630-foot-tall observatory modeled after London Eye and currently under construction. Murphy's a remarkable printmaker. Read Peter Malone's "The Artist Documenting the Rise of New York's Giant Ferris Wheel" at Hyperallergic.

✦ An experimental, interdisciplinary incubator space for the arts, The Centre for the Less Good Idea has been launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, by artist William Kentridge. The center kicked off its 2017 season March 1-5 with a series of performance-based installations involving more than 60 actors, dancers, poets, writers, composers, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and boxers.

✦ A global coalition of more than 200 creative professionals, Hands Off Our Revolution seeks to "help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism, fascism and the increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and unapologetic intolerance" in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere by "using our own particular forms, private and public spaces, to engage people in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience." Proceeds from the group's contemporary art exhibitions and "actions" will go to the arts and activist causes. Among the "who's who" of contributing members are Laurie Anderson, Sophie Calle, Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, and Yinka Shonibare.

Hands Off Our Revolution on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ As part of its winter 2017 film series, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., will host tomorrow, March 25, the documentary Gertrude Bell: Letters from Baghdad (Between the Rivers Productions, 2016), about the "female Lawrence of Arabia". The 95-minute film will be presented in the auditorium of the NGA's East Building at 3:00 p.m. Filmmakers Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbuhl will introduce the film. Watch the trailer.

Letters from Baghdad on FaceBook

✦ Following is an animation of illustrator Federico Babina's Archiatric, a series of visualizations of mental illnesses as architectures. The music for the video is by composer Elisabet Raspall.

Federico Babina on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ For her exhibition "Unearthed" at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, California, Julia Anne Goodman created a site-specific window installation, comprising two panels made from varieties of beets, that depict images of San Jose's winter constellations. Listen as Goodman describes her project, which is on view through May 7:

A satellite exhibition, "Julia Anne Goodman: On Verticality", at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center presents three bodies of Goodman's work that explore connections between the earth and stars. That show remains up through April 28.

San Jose ICA on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Pennsylvania's Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting through May 14 "American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent". The ticketed exhibition, which includes rarely seen landscapes, illustrations, and designs for ceramics and stained glass, examines how watercolor became "a uniquely American medium" in the hands of such artists as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, John La Farge, Thomas Moran, Thomas Eakins, George Inness, Charles DeMuth, and Edward Hopper, among others. More than 170 works from private and public collections, as well as watercolor sets and sketchbooks,  are on display. An exhibition preview and a slideshow are available at the link above. A 464-page catalogue with 360 color illustrations accompanies the show.

Catalogue Cover Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Continuing through September at Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, is "Profligate Beauty", drawn from the museum's own collection and celebrating important works by artists of the American South.

Ogden Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ A site-specific mural by Indonesian contemporary artist Eko Nugroho can be seen at the Asia Society's visitor center in New York City through April 16. The mural complements the Asia Society Museum's exhibition "Video Spotlight: Eko Nugroho", continuing through April 16. The latter features three single-channel videos in the museum's collection: Bercerobong (Like a Chimney) (2002), The Breeder (2003), and Let Me Love Me (2004). 

Asia Society on FaceBook

✭ The Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York, opens its 2017 season on May 13 with two exhibitions of note: "David Smith: The White Sculptures" and "Outlooks: Heather Hart". Both exhibitions will run through November 12.

The Smith exhibition, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Storm King's acquisition of 13 of Smith's sculptures, will be the first to critically examine Smith's use of the color white and the first public presentation bringing together Smith's 1962 Primo Piano series of monumental white-painted steel sculptures. Also on view will be earlier constructions created from white coral, and paintings, drawings, and photographs exploring the use of white. A video about Smith's career and a fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

The Hart exhibition will feature "an interactive, sculptural environment in the form of a domestic rooftop, which will be activated by performances, discussions, and events." 

Storm King on FaceBook and Instagram

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Catching Up with Artist Watch Artists 5

Following is the fifth in a periodic series about the careers and recent activities of artists I have showcased in my monthly Artist Watch column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life. Congratulations to all on their many noteworthy successes!

✭ Tina Spratt, Somerset, England (December 17, 2015, Artist Watch) ~ Tina will be a guest artist at this year's FLUX Exhibition at Chelsea College of Arts in London, July 12-16.

FLUX Exhibition on FaceBook

✭ Page Turner, Roanoke, Virginia (October 16, 2014, Artist Watch) ~ Three of Page's sculptures are on display in an all-women group show at Equity Gallery, New York City. The exhibition, "FemiNest", celebrating Women's History Month, continues through March 25. Page's participation in the show was a spotlight in the February 26, 2017, edition of The Roanoke Times.

Page Turner, Pinafore & Feathers, 2012
Assemblage, 10" x 4" x 4"

✭ Patrick Palmer, England (January 30, 2014, Artist Watch) ~ A number of Patrick's original paintings were displayed at London's Home House, a private members club in London.

✭ Salma Arastu, Berkeley, California (January 16, 2014, Artist Watch) ~ Salma was one of 50 author-presenters at February's Search for Meaning Festival at Seattle University, Seattle, Washington. In addition, her painting Equal Awards was displayed in a festival-related group show at Vachon Gallery, Seattle University. Salma's collaboration with Indian dancer Naina Shastri, "From Meera Bai to Rumi: In Search of Love", is an evening of dance, drama, painting, and poetry that takes place tomorrow, March 24, at 7:00 p.m., at Oakland Asian Cultural Center. From April 2 through May at ArtReach Gallery, First Congregational United Church, Portland, Oregon, Salma is exhibiting in "Celebration of Calligraphy: Sacred Words in Art".

✭ Alexandra Eldridge, Tesuque, New Mexico (January 19, 2017, Artist Watch) ~ Alexandra's artwork graces the cover of poet Donna Vorreyer's new chapbook The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017).

Cover Art

✭ Lisa Goesling, Palatine, Illinois (November 17, 2016, Artist Watch) ~ Lisa, awarded an Artist Residency in March/April at The Studios of Key West, was the featured artist at Vivid Art Gallery, Winnetka, Illinois, in February; she displayed some new work there, too.  In addition, Lisa was featured at Women and Art on FaceBook on December 21, 2016.

✭ Trine Bumiller, Denver, Colorado (August 15, 2013, Artist Watch) ~ Trine's painting A Delicate Balance appears in "Globalocation: Artnauts Collective Celebrates 20 Years", curated by George Rivera, at Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, beginning March 28; after the exhibition closes on August 31, the artwork becomes part of the permanent collection. Trine's solo show, "Centennial Art Exhibit", at Cozens Ranch Museum, Fraser, Colorado, near Winter Park Resort, closes April 22; her series of works (see "100 Paintings for 100 Years") had its beginnings during Trine's artist residency there.

Exhibition Poster

✭ Amy Pleasant, Seattle, Washington (May 19, 2016, Artist Watch) ~ In addition to writing a column at Huffington Post, Amy is teaching art to children at a group of shelters for homeless women and families. (Read Amy's "Post Election Reality: What is Mine to Do?")

✭ Manuja Waldia, Indianapolis, Indiana (February 18, 2016, Artist Watch) ~ Manuja's illustrations now grace the covers of 15 Shakespeare plays in the Pelican Shakespeare Series from Penguin Random House. Among the most recent covers are those for Richard II (March 7, 2017), As You Like It (June 13, 2017), and The Merchant of Venice (March 14, 2017).

Cover Art, Merchant of Venice

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Terry Winters

. . . Painting is a combination of carpentry and catastrophe. . . 
That instability allows for significant or surprising things
to happen, or at least the possibility.
~ Terry Winters*

Internationally known, American artist Terry Winters is a painter, printmaker, and draughtsman who frequently addresses via abstract and representational series his interests in information systems, scientific processes such as biological and living systems, and mathematical theories. Currently, he is displaying approximately 50 works on paper, dating from 1982 to 2014, in "Terry Winters: The Structure of Things", at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts; the show is on view through June 18. (Read a review of the exhibition at The Arts Fuse.)

One of Winters's recent projects, well worth exploring, is the Web-based Graz Cabinet, comprising 327 links and images on Pinterest. The links, Winters explains on his Website, map a series of connections between the natural history collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum and Winters's own paintings and graphics. For display in "The Painters' Cabinet: Terry Winters's Dialogue with Nature", an exhibition at Kunsthaus Graz last year (March 11 - August 21, 2016), Winters made large digital prints (each of the seven panels was 142" x 47") of the Pinterest project. Documented in an illustrated exhibition catalogue that includes a Kenneth Goldsmith essay, "Raiding the Digital Icebox: Meditations Around Terry Winters's Graz Cabinet" (listen to the exhibition's audioguide at Soundcloud), the project is a fascinating mix of art and science, the virtual and the organic, that underscores interconnections among various fields of knowledge while also challenging our traditional notions of production, consumption, and preservation.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 2013, Winters exhibits throughout the world. He lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, New York.

Following is a video with Winters, Unintended Things to Happen, in which the artist talks about his "painterly approach" to printmaking and drawing and other aspects of his work. (Anders Kold interviewed Winters in Denmark in August 2015.)

Terry Winters on Vimeo

* Quoted from Jennifer Samet, "Beer with a Painter: Terry Winters", Hyperallergic, February 7, 2015

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Season's Passing (Found Poem)

A Season's Passing

Winter, unsocial, grumbled
in the dark, its somber features

derived from too-long nights
spent un-illumined. In our caves,

we passed cracked and icy smiles
from one to another, fumbled

midnight repartee like writers
of reciprocally deadly jokes.

Not even poetry accounted
for the dullness of our senses

as we approached lights out.
Do we nudge, as we ought,

toward the favors of spring,
expect the melange of candles

on our night tables to pass
for inspiration after dinner?

What accounts for love's
friendly give and take we know

is light that dances, incandescent.

2017 © Maureen E. Doallas

This is a found poem. For source text, see the poem at Tom Clark's Blog.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Muse: The Digital Joyce

Anyone who has ever struggled with James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will be pleased to learn of the excellent Digital Multimedia Edition (DME) at JoycePortrait100*. 

The DME is the work of a research team from University College Dublin's Nation, Genre and Gender Project, which undertakes brilliant comparative social network analysis to gain new insights into literary works, and Athena Media, an international multimedia production and consultancy company in Dublin that specializes in online audio publishing. It is supported by the Irish Research Council and UCD Research and Innovation.

Visitors to the DME Website will find brief information about the novel's history and the DME project; an Introduction to the DME; a chapter-by-chapter facsimile of the original 1916 text, accessible via the site's main page, with each chapter supplemented with a map of social networks (see the characters visualization below) and audio that can be accessed at the site or via Soundcloud; archival photographs; notes on the text; and a free, downloadable, full-length audiobook recorded by Irish actors Same and Barry McGovern. The e-book is available for Kindle and Epub reader, as well as in pdf; plain text also is downloadable (see Downloads page).

Also on the DME Website is a section titled Stephen Dedalus's Dublin; the maps there orient readers to the Dublin that existed in Joyce's time and place the major locations described in the novel in a contemporary context. In addition, a section titled Joyce's Dublin, created by Athena Media, features a podcast series about Joyce's short story "The Dead" and other Joyce resources.

Here's a social network visualization for the protagonist Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:


* The 100 is a reference to the Decade of Centenaries, a national cultural program commemorating significant events in Irish history in the period of 1912-1922.

NGG Case Study of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thought for the Day

Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.
~ Rebecca Solnit

Quoted from Rebecca Solnit, "Getting the Hell out of Paradise" in Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (Haymarket Books, 3rd Ed., 2016), p. 77

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Kedi (Oscilloscope Laboratories), a documentary about the cats of Istanbul, Turkey, said to be "as integral to the identity of Istanbul as its monuments, the Bosporus, tea, raki and fish restaurants." 

The film, released to theatres in February, was produced and directed by Ceyda Torun.

See the cast of cats.

Kedi on FaceBook and Instagram

"The Extraordinary Lives of Istanbul's Street Cats", The Atlantic, December 22, 2016

Friday, March 17, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ The real estate enterprise, ArtCondo is for creative workers of all types in New York City. It describes itself as "a community-driven real estate enterprise with the long-term vision of helping creative individuals, creative industry businesses and non-profits purchase and develop buildings collectively. . . [with the aim of helping] artists and creative buyers purchase commercial work space, commercial buildings, co-op and condominium apartments, and townhouses" in New York City. The first information session was March 1. Another is planned for Wednesday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. Check the Website for details, additional meeting dates, and other information. MeetUp

ArtCondo on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Using a single piece of wood turned on a lathe and then sculpted and finished by hand, Ron Layport creates unique and beautiful wood vessels. His work can be found in a number of public art collections, including those of the Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian American Art Museum), Kamm Teapot Foundation, and Yale University. Read Jon Binzen's article "Metamorphosis: Ron Layport's Carved Vessels" at Fine Woodworking.

Here's an introduction to this master craftsman:

Ron Layport at William Zimmer Gallery

✦  Belinda Durrant, the Berkeley Castle Artist in Residence 2017, is a sculptor who works in lead and paper. She also does needlework and draws. Her conceptual work, which extends to imagery relating to clothing and personal possessions, is informed by her interests in science, history, social history, literature, and folklore; it also relies heavily on her dressmaking and other traditional skills. 

Belinda Durrant on FaceBook and Tumblr

✦ Contemporary tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis of Atlanta, Georgia, was the subject of a recent Atlanta magazine feature, "Atlanta Artist Jon Eric Riis's Tapestries Blend Beauty with Powerful Social Message".

✦ Here's the trailer for the documentary Eternity Has No Door of Escape - A Century of Art Brut (Les Films d'un jour), the first such film devoted to the history of Art Brut (also known as "outsider art"), from the early 20th Century to the present. Written and directed by Arthur Borgnis, the in-progress documentary focuses on Jean Dubuffet, Hans Prinzhorn, Harald Szeemann, and Alain Bourbonnais.

ETERNITY HAS NO DOOR OF ESCAPE - A century of Art Brut - Cut-up 3 from Arthur Borgnis on Vimeo.

See the film's crowd-funded site.

Eternity Has No Door of Escape on FaceBook

✦ Today's feature video looks at the work of sculptor Phyllida Barlow, who will represent Britain in a solo show at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, beginning in May. See the British Council post "British Pavilion: Phyllida Barlow" for additional information. Also see the council's UK at the Venice Biennale Website.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Save the Date! The 35th Annual Show & Sale of the Oregon Potters Association takes place April 21 - 23 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. More than 140 clay artists participate.

Ceramic Showcase on FaceBook

✭ As part of its picture-book art exhibitions, the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, will feature illustrator and poet Ashley Bryan in "Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan", April 1, 2017, through January 21, 2018. The exhibition is a showcase for more than 70 artworks from 20 of Bryan's books (he's written more than 50), including paintings from his most recent title, Freedom Over Me (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Also included are eight of Bryan's African art-inspired puppets, made from objects the artist found on the Maine island where he lives, and a biographical video.

Ashley Bryan Page at Simon & Schuster

Ashley Bryan Center on FaceBook

High Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Opening tonight at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, is "Jose Arpa: A Spanish Impressionist in Texas", on view through May 28. Organized by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas, this is the first major Arpa exhibition since 1998. The painter first visited San Antonio (1889), exhibited in the San Antonio International Fair (1900), and exhibited often through Texas and in New York. Winner of the "Texas Prize" at the Texas Wildflower Exhibition in 1927, he returned to Spain permanently in 1931. A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition (see image below).

Catalogue Cover Art

Deanne L. Joseph, "Jose Arpa y Persea's Spanish Impressionism", Cowboys & Indians, August 11, 2016

AMSET on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Photographer Richard Renaldi's black-and-white portraits, urban still lifes, and streetscapes — all made with an 8x10-inch view camera in the early hours of Sunday morning in New York City — can be seen through June 11 at Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York. "Richard Renaldi: Manhattan Sunday" is the first time Renaldi's new series has gone on view in a museum.

Eastman Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina, is presenting through July 16 "Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush", the artist's first solo museum exhibition. Comprising a 10-year survey, the exhibition features approximately 30 of Abney's narrative paintings, watercolors, and collages, and a large, site-specific wall mural. A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above. Accompanying the show is a full-color catalogue (see image below) with critical essays. Among exhibition-related events are a panel discussion, book discussions, teacher workshops, and an artist talk.

Catalogue Cover Art

Nasher Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Christine Cardellino, Sleeping Beauty, 2016
Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 24"
© Christine Cardellino


I am delighted to showcase today in my Artist Watch column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life the work of the masterful painter Christine Cardellino.

Christine, whose passion for art developed somewhat "belatedly", she says, displays in her work not only a deep and inspired interest in fairy tales, folklore, and fantasy, but also a fluid command of her brush and medium. 

Today's Artist Watch features seven of Christine's imaginative narrative paintings, her Artist Statement, and a biography.

Christine maintains a studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. I have visited her there and can attest to how marvelous her paintings are and how welcoming she is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Crafting a 'Shakuhachi'

Certainly, an advantage of being blind is that I'm 
attentive to what I'm hearing. Similarly, I'm also attentive
to what I'm feeling with my fingers.
~ Kelvin Falconer

Today, Wednesday Artist offers a lovely 11:40-minute film about a blind New Zealander, Kelvin Falconer, who crafts from the bamboo he grows and harvests an instrument known as a Japanese end-blown flute, or Shakuhachi. Falconer uses only his senses of touch and hearing both to select the bamboo he uses and to make the flute, which, as the notes to the film indicate, brings calm and focus to its maker's mind and what is happening in the present, or what Falconer describes as "meditation through sound and breath".  

Shakuhachi – One Man's Meditation from Hippy Parents on Vimeo.

Made in 2012, the documentary is by Michael Hobbs.

Learn more about Shakuhachi.

John Singer - Shauhachi Flutist

(My thanks to musician Bruno Gussoni for the link.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

'Embarrassed' (Poetry Film)

British poet and spoken word artist Holly McNish performs her poem about hypocritical social attitudes toward nursing in public in the fast-paced Embarrassed, a film directed by Jake Dypka. The film was produced for C4's Random Acts series of creative shorts. You'll want to watch the short several times to fully grasp its much-nuanced narrative.

Jake Dypka x Hollie McNish - Embarrassed from RANDOM ACTS on Vimeo.

Text of Poem

The poem "Embarrassed" can be found in McNish's collection Nobody Told Me (Black Friars Books, April 2016), which is described as a memoir about parenthood in poetry and prose. (The collection is available as an e-book, too.) Forthcoming is McNish's Cherry Pie collection (Burning Eye Books, April 2017).

A 2009 UK Slam Poetry champion, McNish is the first poet to record at London's Abby Road Studios; her CD Versus is available at iTunes and Amazon

Part of the poetry collective Point Blank Poets, McNish also is co-writer, with Sabrina Mahfouz, of the play Offside, which will begin performances this March in London, Edinburgh, and other locations.

Holly McNish on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Holly McNish Profile at The Poetry Society

Emma Cook, "Poetry, Breastfeeding and Sex", The Guardian, February 13, 2016

"Hollie McNish: The Things New Mothers Aren't Always Told", BBC Magazine, October 17, 2016

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Muse: 'Still Pilgrim'

Every pilgrim is a truth teller. 
~ from "Prologue: To Be a Pilgrim" in Still Pilgrim

Still Pilgrim Cover Art

How fitting that Angela Alaimo O'Donnell's new poetry collection Still Pilgrim* (Paraclete Press, March 15, 2017) should appear during the season of Lent, which calls on observant Christians to enter a 40-day period of quiet self-reflection — in O'Donnell's words, to "own what you own, [. . .] all the heavy history you'd like to lose" ("Prologue"); thereafter, to walk Jesus's own path toward renewal through death and resurrection. Celebrating the "moveable feast" that is Easter, we travel through this time as if pilgrims, sometimes painfully slowly, sometimes in joy, perhaps in solitude, even loneliness, at times in profound sorrow, yet ("still") persistent, because we know what reward awaits us at the end of the "long and level road", when we affirm our belief in the mystery of the incarnate, living Word.

Both an incomplete biography of a pilgrimage, the one we all begin the same way — "with no map, no stick, no wheels" ("Prologue") and with no known end date — and a still-to-be-finished autobiography of "The Still Pilgrim" herself, the collection's female persona to whom and in whom action and experience necessarily accrue, this collection of 58 luminous poems is distinguished by O'Donnell's complete command of the sonnet form**, her trademark lyricism, and her ability to reveal us to ourselves. Though silent, we are The Still Pilgrim's co-travelers; like her, exposed to the mysterious and profound (the sacred?), as well as the ordinary (the profane?), in a place where the "invention" of dawn,  the reciting of Beatitudes, the recounting of "[a]nother Annunciation", the imagining of the Eucharist, even the poetry of Heaven itself can impel us forward "like a race horse" ("The Still Pilgrim Runs") as we attend to the prosaic: preparing dinner, dealing with insomnia, getting directions. The ordinariness of the poems' details about The Still Pilgrim, such as her complaint of aching feet in her "best black heels", are what makes our identification with her possible. Her stories and experiences — from getting up in the morning, to childbearing and mothering, to falling in love — are ours, too, and not only for as long as we sojourn with her; we know what it's like to run "like a woman catching fire" ("The Still Pilgrim Runs"). And even if we have "need to leave" her side for a time (to put down our reading), we know we can return to resume the pilgrimage, to again "set foot upon the path /. . . walked so many times before" ("The Still Pilgrim's Refrain").

Throughout Still Pilgrim, O'Donnell invests that ordinariness I mention with meaning we co-pilgrims might overlook, because this is a Still Pilgrim who is alive and glorying in life***, despite having to deal with a "bubbled up" pot spewing "thick red sauce [. . .] all over / the pristine stove" ("The Still Pilgrim Recreates Creation"), or getting a diagnosis that makes it difficult for her "to tell / what was cloud and what was light, / what was water, what was sun. [. . .]" ("The Still Pilgrim Hears a Diagnosis"). Whatever she must confront, The Still Pilgrim can perceive and accept as "[a]nother blessing", "the moment [to] still dream of [. . .]" ("The Still Pilgrim Sings to Her Child"): an "ugly stump" becomes "[m]y birch [. . .] full of birds who sing" ("The Still Pilgrim Considers Two Birches"); the joy of a son setting off on his own is "worth /the pangs I felt" ("The Still Pilgrim Moves"). She is, this Still Pilgrim, thanks-full, and having "learned to love this world", can "[s]ing [even] mourning in the key of praise" ("The Still Pilgrim Gives Herself Driving Directions").

Arrayed over four beautifully conceived and well-organized sections, O'Donnell's Still Pilgrim poems demonstrate so much of what I admire about her poetry: her keen sense of the music of language, her playfulness in deploying words, the exquisite clarity and consistency of tone and meaning she achieves, her deft use of traditional form (her facility for contemporary sonnets spanning a range of expressive voices might have no equal), her deep understanding of and appreciation for her faith (and its attendant religious customs and practices), and especially her talent for uncovering compellingly human and universal truths about women and women's lives.

So many poems in Still Pilgrim can be singled out for praise. Still, a poem I come back to repeatedly, perhaps because it is suffused with such love and tenderness, is the following, which O'Donnell has dedicated to "my husband of thirty years":

The Still Pilgrim Reinvents Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayest in me behold
the clear conviction we'll never grow old.
When new green leaves hang from all the trees,
when boughs of blossoms bring us to our knees,
when bright birds fill the choir stalls and sing,
our slumped hearts wake and warm to spring.

In you I see the sky, such tender blue,
your fine eyes colored the same deep hue.
The world that lies about us here and now
a miracle that's taken place somehow.
It's happened before. What's now was then.
There's only beginning and no true end.

I'm twenty again, and you're twenty two.
And each red sun comes up for me and you.


"In you I see the sky. . . .": Love, after all, is what endures. Even as we are lost in our "broken kingdom", love can be found again, if we but break the bread and drink the wine and pray our way back home.

My commentary on Still Pilgrim is based on my receipt from the publisher of an advance electronic copy of the collection.

* O'Donnell plays wonderfully on the word "still" and its numerous meanings. Note that unlike the collection's title, whose exact meaning for the reader is opaque, each poem's title carries the word "The", letting us know the poem is about the persona for whom and in whom the poet's words accrue meaning within an exacting and formalized structure.**

** Do not neglect to read O'Donnell's wonderful Afterword, which is replete with felicitous discoveries for the reader.

*** Consider this in the context of the meaning of Easter.

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell is a poet, essayist, memoirist, and Fordham University professor. Among her poetry collections are Lovers' Almanac (Wipf & Stock, 2015), Waking My Mother (WordTech Communications, 2013) and Saint Sinatra and Other Poems (WordTech Communications, 2011). Her poetry, which is widely published in esteemed literary periodicals, also can be found in the excellent Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (Kasva Press, 2016; read my review), an anthology edited by Charles Ades Fishman and Smita Sahay. O'Donnell also is the author of the memoir Mortal Blessings (Ave Maria Press, 2014; read my review), Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith (Liturgical Press, 2015), and The Province of Joy: Praying with Flannery O'Connor (Paraclete Press, 2012). Her articles can be found in numerous periodicals, including The Christian Century and America magazine.

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell Website

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Thought for the Day

Dust can never
be a new life unless
you consider
the birth of stars.
~ Shahilla Shariff

Quoted from Shahilla Shariff's "Pieces: II" at World Literature Today ("Pieces" is from the collection Mother Load.)

Shahilla Sharif's Life Lines (Proverse Publishing, 2012)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is Whale Heart, an animation by third-year character animation art students at Denmark's The Animation Workshop. The film, directed and edited by Robert Allen, tells the story of Silas, a whaler in an isolated town, who must introduce the whaling life to his only son.

The Animation Workshop on FaceBook, Tumblr, and Instagram

Friday, March 10, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ To commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, will present tomorrow, Saturday, March 11, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., "Remembering Fukushima: Art and Conversations at the Cathedral". Scholars and artists will lead the communal reflection. The free event, hosted by Dignity Initiative Artist-in-Residence Eiko Otake, also presents performances and immersive all-day installations.

Watch Otake's A Body in Fukushima (Winter 2014).

Eiko Otake on FaceBook

✦ This year's Venice Biennale, the 57th International Art Exhibition, "Viva Arte Viva" (May 13 - November 26), features 120 artists, among them McArthur Binion, beloved local Sam Gilliam, and Senga Nengudi

✦ Under a Creative Commons license, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, announced last month that it has made available to "use, remix, and share" 375,000 digitized artworks. Read "Introducing Open Access at The Met".

✦ The site Women Photograph is a resource for women who are documentary and editorial photographers, and for picture editors, creative directors, or others who routinely hire photographers.

Women Photograph on Instagram and Twitter

✦ Meet Denver-based mixed-media artist Valerie Savarie:

Meet the Artist: Valerie Savarie from 5280 magazine on Vimeo.

Valerie Savarie Art on FaceBook

✦ The online art exhibits at The Ephemera Society of America include a "Victorian Fashion Alphabet".

The Ephemera Society on FaceBook

✦ Today's feature video is "Doug Aitken: The Nomadic Studio" (2016), an interview with the artist conducted by Christian Lund for the Louisiana Channel:

Doug Aitken Website

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The 40-year career of artist Louise B. Wheatley is celebrated in "Timeless Weft" Ancient Tapestries and the Art of Louise B. Wheatley" at Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. The Maryland artist's work, inspired by pre-Columbian and Egyptian Coptic textiles and made using ancient techniques and home-grown dyes, is on view through July 30.

ArtBMA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Art of Louise B. Wheatley at Tapestry Topics Online

✭ With "Reflections: Louise Nevelson, 1967", Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts, looks to the past to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nevelson's first museum retrospective. Largely curated and staged by the artist, the retrospective exhibition opened at Rose Art Museum in 1967, and was organized with the Whitney Museum of American Art. Included for the first time in the 2017 exhibition are such archival materials as installation photographs, correspondence, and artist-drawn floor plans. Museum visitors have the opportunity to use virtual-reality technology to see a computer-generated model of the exhibition as imagined by Nevelson. The exhibition continues through June 11.

The Rose Art Museum on FaceBook and Instagram 

✭ In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Gilcrease Museum offers "Creating the Modern Southwest". Drawn from the museum's permanent collection, the exhibition, on view through May 14, highlights Modernist influences in southwestern art and includes work by Georgia O'Keeffe, Nicolai Fechin, Gene Kloss, Victor Higgins, and Robert Henri.

Robert Henri, Gregorita, Indian of Santa Clara, 1917
Oil on Canvas
GM 0137.570

Gilcrease Museum on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

✭ The thematic exhibition "Prints and Processes", at Michigan's Grand Rapids Art Museum, examines the different methods, tools, and materials used to produce such common print forms as woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, screenprints, and monoprints. The prints on view through June 25 are drawn from GRAM's own collection, which dates to the 16th Century.

Mark di Suvero, Afterstudy for Marianne Moore, 1976
Lithograph on Paper
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Gift of Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler, 2016.13

✭ The color red and its many shades are featured in "RED" at Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey, through April 30. Featuring work by 10 artists — Emily Barletta, Serena Bocchino, Pat Brentano, Cathy Choi, Valerie Hammond, Julie Heffernan, Heidi Howard, Sean McDonough, Margeaux Walter, and Kimberly Witham — the exhibition examines how the use of red influences a work's narrative and multiplies its meanings.

HA Museum on FaceBook