A look at Chris Burden's video art piece made from the surviving Super8 footage of having himself shot with a rifle.
One of the most powerful works on display at the deYoung Museum, The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro is a piece that exposes what guns, religion, and fictionalized martyrs all have in common.
Of all the Morris Louis works out there, this one is the most powerful, and frankly, terrifying. It is an Ambi, instead of his allowing the thinned paint to slide down in one direction, here it goes in two directions towards the centre, but that is not what's the scary thing here. The scary thing is that the outermost coating is black, as if they are teeth closing, holding us in the mouth, preparing to chew us to oblivion.
I feel as if the colours, the blues, yellows, red, greens, they are living on the outside, as if they were being used to draw us towards them, to allow us to be chomped upon. It is a terrifying work, and certainly my favorite Louis work in any museum.
The only thing I can say about this work is that it is what it is, and the methodology seems to support the antithesis of the title. This is a picture of cool greys,
We all remember the moment we fall in love, right? For me and The Anderson, it was here, staring at this piece, a good five minutes after I arrived and made my first fast circuit around the place. This was the piece that got me, the piece that I fell in love with, the piece and made me think about doing this series, writing these pieces, going back again and again and again.
I have a thing for sculptures that use found objects, and more so for things that bring them together in a way that establishes an emotional sensation, which this does in spades.
To me, this is a story. A story of disunity, how we are all constructed of bits and pieces, often cast-offs of what we used to be, might have been, wanted to become. We are a disunity of these ideas, these dreams, and when we take that step forward, when we reach for a whole, a cohesion, we are still that muddled whole, that assemblage of pieces disloyal and ill-fitting.
But we try.
We take that step, just like the Canton woman, and we reach forward. It is likely that once we pull the weight off the back foot and try to take another, we'll still be this inharmonious entity without a singular form, but we will have gone forward, perhaps placed ourselves in a new scenario where our inability to become a single thing is our calling card, our definition, our desired trait.
Like maybe an art museum, where these things are celebrated.
Mary Abstract Expressionism was not killed by Pop Art. In fact, it continued in a fascinating direction, and has bubbled up from time to time into the popular art discourse. Mary Weatherford is one of those Abstract Expressionists who happened to have been born after the deaths of Pollack, Kline, and Ryan. Her work is in the vein of Joan Mitchell, Morris Louis, and the de Koonings, and though this is hte first piece of hers I've witnessed in the flesh, I was incredibly moved by experiencing it. it is a piece that comes to me with an impact of Joan Mitchel's 1970s and 80s work or early Philip Guston abstract pieces, but then there's the neon, a single stripe of neao buzzing blue through teh center, immediately bringing the power of Barnett Newman to the party. In a sense, this is a synthesis of the great Abstract Expressionist work of the 1950s, but using the neon tube seems to push the idea that this is a piece of technology as well, and since neon signage is the way I see the 1950s, it all ties togehter. The fact that this is a piece of 2017 is so impressive.
The Anderson Collection is so smart with this piece. It is placed across from the Frankenthaler, between a Morris Louis, a Robert Motherwell, nest to the alcove where slumbers Lucifer, the Kline, the David Smith, the Gottleib, and the Rothkos. It is set among the Abstract Expressionist master that is seems to be speaking of, or perhaps speaking to, and that makes it a heavy punch.
A look at a piece in the Anderson that I completely over-looked... I mean saw beneath...
Norman Lewis is one of the very few African-Americans you read about when looking into the art of the era that brought us Abstract Expressionism. He was often exhibited alongside the works of the rest of the New York School. He was a master, but after being considered a major figure at the time, he was shunted to the side in the following decades, which is a shame as I find his work to be incredibly engaging. The inclusion of three of Lewis' work as a temporary exhibition is a very nice touch, especially since the three works are hung on the free-standing wall that has the Pollock work Lucifer on the other side.
The piece Untitled from 1949 is a joy. I had only once seen a Lewis painting, and it was far more like the larger canvas, also Untitled. Here, Lewis is working in rough-hewn geometry, seeming to create a series of somewhat hazy intersecting and interlocking triangles. The effect is impressive, as it brings the eye not to the pinnacle of the forms, but to the splashes of color that are present at random intervals. Those alone made me wonder what was the idea here - to create an image which celebrated the colors presented by giving them room to land thoroughly, or was it to show them being consumed by the black and grey, as if they had once ruled the canvas and now the darkness was seeping in from all side.
This work was not my favorite of the Lewis pieces, but it was the one I spent the most time with on two of my visits.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.