Book 4. The Painting Factory. I’m a big fan of Andy Warhol. I love books by and about Warhol, movies about Warhol and I love his art. I was very intrigued by The Painting Factory, the catalogue for a contemporary abstract painting exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2012. The starting point is Warhol’s abstract paintings – The Shadows, the Rorschachs, etc. Warhol’s aesthetic and screen printing influenced these 21st century abstract painters. The works are conceptual, minimal, multi-layered, mainly monochromatic; process and mechanical reproduction results in a ‘minimalist, factory-like aesthetic’. Artists include Mark Bradford, Christopher Wool, Glenn Lignon, Tauba Auerbach and Rudolf Stingel. Excellent interviews and essays, terrific reproductions.
Book 3. ILLUMInations; the catalogue for the 2011 Venice Biennale. Jose and I intend to visit la Biennale di Venezia in the near future so I was happy to see that the Weldon library has a good collection of the Biennale’s catalogues. In 2011 Christian Marclay’s The Clock was shown. The National Gallery of Canada with The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston purchased one edition of The Clock. I was fortunate to see it at the NGC in Ottawa when the Van Gogh show was on in 2012. The Clock is truly brilliant, everyone should see it! The catalogue for 2011 shows many great pieces of art. I was particularly struck by Franz West, also seen in Extreme Abstraction, Duvier del Dago, Kristaps Gelzis, and Karla Black to name only a few. It will be so great to see art from all over Africa, the Middle East, India, the Nordic countries, the Balkans, etc. Can’t wait!
We went to catch the Carl Beam show at the Art Gallery of Windsor on Saturday before it closed on the 22nd. I love Carl Beam’s work and it was nice to see so many works together. We also saw an excellent photo show by Brenda Francis Pelkey. Out of curiosity we went to see Caesar’s Casino. What a riot! We were amazed by how large it was and dazzled by all the lights. The theme song from the Godfather ran through our heads and Donald Trump was on the big screen TVs. We got a good laugh out of that. It is so cheesy that we expected to find pole dancing somewhere. What I don’t get is this, out of all the money they bilk those suckers out of, why do they buy such cheap gaudy reproductions of Italian art? Anyway, the cheesy “glamour”, the disconnect between authentic Italian classical art and the tacky stuff they use in casinos like this is worthy of an art project.
Book 2: Extreme Abstraction Revisited. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo has had some spectacular abstract art exhibitions. In 2005 Extreme Abstraction took place and resulted in the book Extreme Abstraction Revisited. Extreme Abstraction showed the works of some 173 painters and sculptors from around the world and exhibited a very wide range of practice. Artists included Jean Arp, Agnes Martin, Linda Benglis, and many contemporary artists. I loved the plastic bag installation by Jim Lambie. The book concentrates on the more contemporary works. This is a colourful picture book showing installation views. Makes me really sorry I missed this show.
Being a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, I am allowed an alumni card to borrow books from Weldon Library. The collection of art books at Weldon is really great – extensive and current. I love to be informed about contemporary abstract painting practice. I will use this blog to talk about the books that I have read and find informative. Book 1: abstrackt abstract. An exhibition catalogue for an international abstract art show of the same name at the Museum Moderner Kunst Karnten in 2008. Artists include Bernard Frize, Mary Heilmann, Gunther Forg, and Albert Oehlen. Excellent introductory essays, excellent photographs, good variety of practice. These artists are all seen as referencing Modernism but reshaping historical abstract art and going beyond.
I decided create a Pinterest Account. It not only allows me to ‘pin’ my work but also to pin work from other artists. I have a board called Contemporary Abstract Art where I pin work from artists whom I admire. I find this board very inspiring and return to it often. I can also contact people who have pinned my art to their boards.
Went to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery to see the exhibition Kent Monkman: The Four Continents. We loved these paintings! The detailed imagery, the humour, the story telling, the mixing of contemporary and classical art. Great stuff! Thank you KW Art Gallery for bringing that show.