Anderson Ranch: Wes Magyar

Wes Magyar, The Hunt, 2004, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60 in.
Wes Magyar, The Hunt, 2004, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60 in.

About Wes Magyar
Wes Magyar is a Denver-based painter and alumni of the University of Colorado, Boulder. His figurative works have been shown at The Denver Art Museum, Mobil Museum of Art, Arvada Center for the Arts, Dairy Center for the Arts, The Fort Collins Museum of Art, Mizel Ceter for Arts and Culture, and the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts. His paintings have also appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, Art Papers, Adbusters, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Westword. Magyar has artwork in the modern and contemporary collection of the Denver Art Museum, the Howard A. and Judy Tullman collection, Children’s Hospital Colorado, City of Aurora Colorado, Delta Dental as well as many private collections in United States, Canada and Europe.

Wes is also an accomplished photographer, providing documentation services for institutions such as the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Arts, Redline, the New York Yankees and many exceptional artists, galleries and collectors.

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Remnants, Works by Wes Magyar
Exhibition Dates: February 1 – February 29, 2016
Opening Reception: Rescheduled for Thursday, February 11, 5pm – 7pm

Anderson Ranch Arts Center
5263 Owl Creek Road
Snowmass Village, Colorado 81615

Paris: SMITH (dorothée smith) At Galerie Les filles du calvaire

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© SMITH 2016

For her second solo show at Galerie Les Filles du Calvary SMITH (Dorothée Smith) presents her two latest projects, “spectrographies” and “TRAUM” which are prolonging a reflection on identity and disorder in relationship to each other. Designing within the cross departmental areas of the laboratory, the projection room, the archives and the portrait gallery, SMITH develops a poetic para-scientific work that experiences the porosity of the border between imagination and rationality. The question of self-transformation, central in her work, is addressed here in terms of “destructive plasticity”, continuing the exploration of the conceptual apparatus of the philosopher Catherine Malabou. Through the figures of the ghost, fantasy, and that of a post-traumatic transformation, SMITH embodies the subjectivation processes that act in the same way as deletion, alteration, or injury of identity. Witnessing this creative destruction, her works invite the viewer to dip into a dark and diffuse atmosphere, in the heart of an aesthetic of studded auratic images that are conducive to contemplation and reverie.

The first room hosts “spectrographies” – a 59 minute film of a series of thermal images – and the remains of a previous creation, “cellularly”.

With the project “TRAUM”, including a short film, a performance, a series of 3D prints, photographs printed on aluminum and archival documents, microbiological SMITH projects her visions upward. It is based on the homonymous “Traum” (“Dream” in German) and “trauma” to describe the nosology (the branch of medical science dealing with the classification of diseases) of creative psychosis whose symptoms include trouble sleeping, waking hallucinations and psychological shock.

More details in the original French, below.

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SMITH (dorothée smith): SPECTROGRAPHIES & TRAUM
Exhibition Dates: du 5 au 27 février 2016
Opening: Thursday, February 4, 2016: 8pm – 10pm

Galerie Les filles du calvaire
17 rue des Filles-du-Calvaire
75003 Paris
T: +33 (0)1 42 74 47 05

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Pour son deuxième solo show à la Galerie Les Filles du calvaire, SMITH (Dorothée Smith) présente ses deux derniers projets, “Spectrographies” et “TRAUM”, qui prolongent une réflexion sur la plasticité identitaire et le trouble dans la relation à l’autre. Concevant un espace mixte à la croisée du laboratoire, de la salle de projection, du cabinet d’archives et de la galerie de portraits, la plasticienne développe une poétique para-scientifique qui éprouve la porosité de la frontière entre imaginaire et rationalité. La question de la métamorphose de soi, centrale dans son travail, est ici abordée sous l’angle de la « plasticité destructrice », poursuivant l’exploration de l’appareil conceptuel de la philosophe Catherine Malabou. A travers les figures du fantôme, du fantasme et celle d’une transformation post-traumatique, SMITH donne corps à des processus de subjectivation qui agissent en creux ou en négatif, à même l’effacement, l’altération ou la blessure de l’identité. Témoins de ces destructions créatrices, ses œuvres invitent à une immersion dans une atmosphère obscure et diffuse, au cœur d’une esthétique de l’image constellée et auratique, propices à la contemplation ou à la rêverie.

La première salle accueille ”Spectrographies” — un film de 59 minutes, une série de thermogrammes — et les vestiges d’une création antérieure, Cellulairement, installant d’emblée les conditions d’une œuvre survivante et rudérale, construite sur les ruines d’une autre dont la trace continue de la hanter. Dans le sillage de l’hantologie derridienne, SMITH y aborde les nouvelles technologies (implantées, injectées, projetées) comme des moyens de remédier à une absence, de prolonger la présence d’un être ou de donner consistance à son souvenir. Ses photographies thermiques sont ainsi peuplées de spectres qui sont autant de survivants, résistant à la mort, et d’absents, conjurant l’oubli. Le film, méta-cinématographique en ce qu’il met en abîme les moyens de sa réalisation, suit la progression d’une enquête onirique sur le fantôme : comment survivre à la disparition de l’autre ? Les restes de l’être aimé suffisent-ils à faire présence ? Le fantasme a-t-il un corps ? En cherchant à saisir cet absent, devenu intouchable, SMITH mobilise dans ”Spectrographies” la motivation créative du manque, la force plastique du désir, pour élaborer une véritable science du fantomatique, empruntant à la philosophie, à la littérature, au cinéma, aux sciences (sur)naturelles ou à la psychanalyse.

Avec le projet “TRAUM”, incluant un film de court-métrage, une performance, une série d’impressions 3D, des photographies tirées sur aluminium et des documents d’archives, SMITH projette ses visions microbiologiques dans la voûte céleste. Elle s’appuie sur l’homonymie entre « Traum » (« rêve » en allemand) et « trauma » pour décrire la nosographie d’une psychose créatrice, dont les symptômes incluent trouble du sommeil, éveil halluciné et choc psychologique. Inspirée par l’histoire de Vladimir M. Komarov et l’imaginaire aérospatial soviétique, cette fiction rétro-futuriste met en scène Yevgeni, opérateur de lancement d’astronef atteint de narcolepsie (trouble du sommeil chronique), et son ami cosmonaute, Vlad. Le premier ayant provoqué lors d’une crise de sommeil l’accident mortel d’une navette habitée par le second, il reste hanté par le souvenir traumatique de cette mort, au point d’en perdre son intégrité mentale et corporelle. Il fait l’expérience de plusieurs dépersonnalisations, des transformations imaginaires ou vécues, qui le mènent à la fusion totale avec un double féminin, Jenia. Seconde figure de plasticité négative, Vlad revient lui le hanter sous forme d’un drone avant d’être catastérisé (transformé en constellation), incarnant l’alignement de l’être, de la technique et du monde.

Attestant d’un hors-champ qui brouille les lignes de partages entre réalité et fiction, les figures en 3D et les portraits thermiques posées en regard, non sans évoquer les collections de Charcot, déclinent l’iconographie clinique de ces métamorphoses qui nivellent les plans biologique et astronomique. Aussi l’image d’un épiderme contaminé peut-elle tout à la fois apparaître comme un paysage cosmique et être l’indice d’une galaxie contagieuse logée au cœur de la chair, tout comme les prises de vues spatiales semblent reproduire le regard de Vlad, devenu drone, et annoncer sa future forme stellaire. L’intervention de plusieurs experts (cosmologiste, physicien, psychologue, médecin, philosophe…), sollicités pour corroborer les termes de cette fable crypto-scientifique, achève enfin de jeter un trouble sur son authenticité.

Leur polyphonie, la transversalité des perspectives soulevées et la pluralité des moyens plastiques mis en œuvre constituent ensemble une exposition matricielle, complexe et sophistiquée, qui densifie le projet poétique de SMITH : celui de saisir par l’art les termes d’un devenir plastique commun au vivant et à la pensée.

Florian Gaité

Le film Spectrographie a été sélectionné par la commission mécénat de la Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques qui lui a apporté son soutien.

Exposition produite avec la collaboration du Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Centre Pompidou – Hors-Pistes, Spectre Productions, Le Musée de la Danse de Rennes, Accès)s( cultures électroniques, Olympus France.

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SMITH (dorothée smith): SPECTROGRAPHIES & TRAUM
Exposition: du 5 au 27 février 2016
Vernissage: le jeudi 4 février de 18h à 21h

Galerie Les filles du calvaire
17 rue des Filles-du-Calvaire
75003 Paris
T: +33 (0)1 42 74 47 05

Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts At The Oakland Museum of California

Unfinished (red velvet and embroidery) quilt pieced together by Rosie Lee Tompkins

My Grandmother made quilts.

My time spent in her home was surrounded by Bible stories and piles of remnant fabric left over from sewing our lives together. We cut the oddly shaped remnants into squares and triangles and rectangles and pieced them together to make large geometric patterns, mostly squares next to squares in straight Germanic lines, with the most complex pattern used being a pinwheel. I still have a single sized quilt that I made by myself on her treadle sewing machine when I was nine-years old, and another, that I made on the same machine, which had an electric motor added to it by my Grandfather somewhere between the two, when I was thirty-four.

Quilts in my childhood were not art. They were functional and belonged on a bed, or folded up along the foot of one. Most of Grandma’s quilts were not even handed down to family members. The only reason I even have two is because I made them myself with her guidance. All of Grandma’s quilts went off to the orphans in Africa, sent there by her and her Lutheran Church-Lady friends. After my Grandmother passed away, I saw a documentary on PBS about an orphanage in (I think it was) Zimbabwe. The camera scanned one of the simple and clean dormitory rooms and on each well made bed was a handmade quilt. I had wondered if my Grandmother had made any of them – they were made in her style.

Yes, quilts have styles.

In the same way that you can guess the name of a painter just by observing the subject matter of a painting or observing how the paint was used, or a a photograph by how a photographer used their camera, quilters often create their own style by using familiar and similar fabrics from quilt to quilt and have a way of cutting their shapes, stitching things together, and tying off of their finished quilts, that make them uniquely their own.

"Black Yo-Yos on Green Hanging (Stevie)", quilted by Irene Bankhead and pieced together by Rosie Lee Tompkins
“Black Yo-Yos on Green Hanging (Stevie)”, quilted by Irene Bankhead and pieced together by Rosie Lee Tompkins

During this fall and winter, the Oakland Museum of California has brought together a small grouping of modern, contemporary quilts dating from the late 1980s and early 2000s. These quilts highlight the large collection of Oakland resident Eli Leon, who traveled the country in the 1980s on a Guggenheim Fellowship, collecting the stories of quilters and the quilts. The exhibition features twenty contemporary quilts that expand the notion of craft through their individual artistic expression.

This exhibition features quilts and stories from Northern Californian quilters Angie Tobias, Arbie Williams, Mattie Pickett, Rosie Lee Tompkins, and Sherry Byrd. As most women who quilt do, the featured quilters learned their craft from their mothers and grandmothers, for whom quilting was both a necessity and creative outlet. The exhibition also features the collaboration in which these quilts were made by noting who had done the piecing and who had done the quilting.

Looking at these 20 quilts is like entering a different world—one that is asymmetrical and tactile. We hope the exhibition alters your idea of what a quilt can be. — Carin Adams, Associate Curator of Art and Material Culture

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Yo-Yos: These are made from circles of fabric, with the edges turned and stitched onto the top of the quilt.
Half Squares: Triangles of fabric quilted together to form a square.

Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts
Exhibition Dates: September 12, 2015 – February 21, 2016

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street @ 10th
Oakland, California

Image: Unfinished (red velvet and embroidery), quilt pieced together by Rosie Lee Tompkins

In Remembrance of Pompeii’s Dead

 

Pompeii's dead appear posed as they were at the  moment of dead, and then arranged as part of exhibit and installation in 2015
Pompeii’s dead appear posed as they were at the moment of death, and then arranged as part of exhibit and installation in 2015

The year was 79 AD.  Mount Vesuvius erupts and at one point a mighty blast sends a  colossal cloud of hot gas and ash barreling down upon the Roman city of Pompeii, through its streets, temples, taverns and homes.

At that moment,  a child sits upright,  astride a  reclining parent’s waist. Elsewhere,  a couple lies together,  the woman in a near fetal position with head resting upon the side of her partner’s  upper body. Others die alone, one lying down, face up to impending fate,  hands clasped across the chest.

Since late May, and continuing through November 2, the remains of twenty of these people are gathered together to be part of a somber and compelling installation within a temporary pyramid situated in the ancient city’s amphitheater.

The pyramid is the work of Italian architect Francesco Venezia.

Within the pyramid the figures lie suspended over a black surface within  mini arena, and inside the circular walkway,  enabling visitors to  pay their respects to the dead, viewing them both as a group, and from multiple angles.

One might ask, “Why a pyramid in a Roman town?”  Well, yes, pyramids were Egyptian, but for some reason at least some of the  people of Pompeii were embracing Egyptian culture at the time. One of the first structures excavated was a temple to the Egyptian goddess, Isis.

The figures are alternately referred to as “bodies” and “casts”  They are both. They are mostly plaster, molded from the voids their decomposing bodies left in the layers of ash that archeologists excavated in the 1800s. Encased in the plaster are the victims’ bones. One sometimes sees an exposed piece of skull or heel bone.

Before this exhibit,  the bodies had been scattered around among the ruins in Pompeii, some of them contained in glass cases, usually in need of a Windex wipedown.  Displayed in that manner, these individuals came across as artifacts or curiosities. With this current exhibit there is a greater sense of their humanity. As a group they evoke more of the gravity of the horrible disaster that befell them.