27 November 2009

Painting & Drawing 

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Dorsch Gallery, Miami
Rod Barton, London
Galerie Voss, Dusseldorf
Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Dorsch Gallery, Miami
Robert Thiele, M-355-6, 2008
Robert Thiele: 30

November 29 - December 31, 2009

Drawing from the artist's studios in Brooklyn and Miami, 30 surveys the work of Robert Thiele from 1979 forward. The exhibition presents the first broad selection of the artist's work, including sculpture, paintings and works on paper. The exhibition will occupy Dorsch Gallery's entire 5,000 square foot space in the heart of Miami's Wynwood Arts District during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009. Thiele "has been at the center of the Miami art scene, as well as a participant in prestigious national and international exhibitions, for decades," writes critic Helen Kohen.

In the east gallery, the exhibition 30 will show, for the first time since the 1980s, Thiele's monumental concrete column sculptures, some of which are over 10 feet tall.  The exhibition pairs these haunting structures with a 1990s frieze of 20 white paintings, each between 2 and 3 feet tall and five inches deep. Most of his paintings are assertive; they project off the wall. In sculptural explorations in the 1970s the artist also wrapped glass-fronted constructions with canvas. Versions of these constructions can also be seen embedded in some of the concrete column sculptures.
Selected paintings from the 1990s and 2000s will be in the west gallery, showing Thiele's unique blend of painting and three-dimensional form, plexi-fronted constructions, opaque planes of color, figure and organic abstraction. The oscillation between sculpture and painting - and between other dichotomies - are themes. Concealment arises as another. Material and methods associated with the picture plane are obscured in order to conceal. Text and numbers do not coalesce into words or sentences. Shapes may reference primitive forms or figuration, but the abstraction is extreme, so the connection remains a glimmer, rather than a certainty.
This exhibition has four related components: the exhibition itself at Dorsch Gallery in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, a printed newspaper, a hyperlinked electronic version of the newspaper, and a fully illustrated catalog with installation shots from the exhibition. Essays by Peter Boswell, curator at Miami Art Museum, and Helen Kohen, former art critic for the Miami Herald and current art historian in charge of the Vasari Project, an archive of Miami's art history, appear in full in the newspaper and catalog.

The essays in the newspaper and catalog consider Thiele's importance to a community's art history and also offer a serious address to his work. Boswell provides an art historian's detailed analysis of the work. For Boswell, Thiele's works alternately bring to mind totemic sculptures and works by Clyfford Still, Susan Rothenberg and Christian Boltanski. Despite these similarities, Thiele's works are difficult to explain. Boswell's is a model methodology for considering an artist whose work is keenly felt and experienced but is hard to articulate.
Kohen situates Thiele in the broader development of the visual art scene in Miami from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Thiele came to Miami in the 1960s, after earning a Bachelors and Masters in Art from Kent State University in Ohio, playing professional football, and being drafted into the armed services during the Vietnam War. He came to Miami at the request of Patrick DeLong to teach art at Miami Dade College. Over the next thirty years, he took part in Miami's art scene as a practicing artist. As an educator, he shaped the perspectives of countless art students, some of whom are now well-known, including William Cordova and Gean Moreno. Thiele was instrumental in forming the beginnings of the College's art collection, acquiring works by the likes of Joseph Beuys before most had caught on to that artist's importance. The acquisition was fortuitous for the college, certainly; it also shows the nature of the ideas he brought to Miami at that time, and continues to bring to this day.

Thiele began exhibiting in the early 1970s. He participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibition in 1975. He and Salvatore La Rosa were the first South Florida artists to be included in this national biennial exhibition. He has been awarded Florida's Individual Artist Fellowship three times. His numerous solo and group exhibitions include many in public institutions. Among these are the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Musee Cantini, Marseilles, France; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Sculpture Center, NY. The distinguished critics and curators who have written essays on his work include Peter Frank, Paula Harper, Michael Kimmelman, Mark Ormond, Carter Ratcliff, and Robert J. Sindelir. Thiele divides his time between studios in Miami, Florida and New York since moving into the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood DUMBO in 1990.

Robert Thiele
M-355-6, 2008
Wood, laminated canvas, etched acrylic sheet, mixed media
19.5" x 12" x 5"
Courtesy of Dorsch Gallery, Miami

Dorsch Gallery
151 NW 24 St
Miami, FL 33127
+1 3055761278

12-5pm Tuesday-Saturday

Rod Barton, London
HEIDI LOCHER, Untitled, 2009 (No.3)
Heidi Locher
Unmarked: Broken Symmetries

21st November - 19th December, 2009

Rod Barton is proud to present the first solo exhibition in London by artist Heidi Locher.
Displayed at this exhibition are five new paintings from her new series of work titled Unmarked: Broken Symmetries.

This exhibition is accompanied by the following text written by David Mellor:

Unmarked: Broken Symmetries.

To begin to view these paintings we might remember the archaeology of a particular type- an kenotic portrait -in Modernist figuration, made by painters such as Jawlensky or Malevich; elementary faces which re-vamped numinous heads crossed by elementary marks. And then, perhaps to gain more historical perspective, the opening of a more expressionist, painterly figuration, this time filling and bursting the face portrayed with braided paint, from Velasquez to Matisse's dirtily brushed milliner wife in 1905, or, later, de Kooning.

As her recent paintings developed, Heidi Locher recognised two kinds of face which were appearing on her canvasses: the emptied-out, kenotic, and the full one, replete and already assigned and cursed with patriarchal meanings. When full, a purple lassoo declines to an apex below, to a 'chin': but when empty it rises to a point above ( Ubu's face, bound in a pastry sack and claimed by gravity), dumb and unmarked, apart from the odd wipings and dribble, like the upturned face of a pale and scarified Madonna.

The full ones, the ones full of painterly plenitude, are open heart tissues of flesh as old, printed, medical photographs, paint as voluptuous meat - what Bacon wished for. The full ones are open-chested, like the preliminaries to an autopsy. Here is a mire of flesh whose 'fullness' is composed of the noise of the world.

Author of these paintings, Locher sees herself oscillating between the empty and the full- for don't both refer to women? And she has written and wondered whether she should admit the noise of the world, to "let the voices in" to the white faces circumscribed by those purple horse collars; that is, to engorge them, to flood them with a register of jangles latent in these pulsing purses of red and white paint, to live inside the empty-faced ones.

Heidi Locher completed her MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2006, previously she graduated as an Architect from the Royal College of Art and subsequently setup her own architectural practice, Paxton Locher Architects. Recent exhibitions include Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London, Kingsgate Workshop Trust, London and Jerwood Gallery, London.

Untitled, 2009 (No.3)
Oil on canvas
120 x 88 cm
© the artist, courtesy of Rod Barton, London

One Paget Street
+44 (0) 7989437214

Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf
Frank Bauer, Flughafen (JFK 2) 2009 

27. November 2009 - 16. January 2010

Galerie Voss will show new paintings by Frank Bauer from November 27, 2009 to January 16, 2010.

The mostly large sized paintings show airport scenes from all over the world. Indeed, these deserted, rather technical paintings differ from the artist's well known party and everyday scenes. But both series do inherit a certain emptiness. While it is possible to find this blankness only behind the curtains of Bauer's party people, the airport series shows this characteristic state already in the compositional level of the paintings. The layout of the motifs reflects a feeling of emptiness, conveyed by these places, where no-one likes to stay: only the lower quarter shows the actual airport with its planes, ground vehicles and landing strips. The rest is dominated by the immense sky, mostly leaden, and always vastly blank to the scenes on the ground.

The exhibition is completed by two large scale paintings, that have been developed in collaboration with Düsseldorf-based artist Björn Dreßler.

Frank Bauer, Flughafen (JFK 2) 2009
Oil on canvas
220 x 300 cm
© the artist, courtesy of Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf
Galerie Voss
Mühlengasse 3
D-40213 Düsseldorf
+49 211 134982

Tue-Fri: 10am-6pm / Sat: 11am-2pm

Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
Elina Merenmies, Le Reniement de St. Pierre, 2009 
Paintings on Canvas and Paper

26 November - 20 December 2009

Elina Merenmies (born 1967) is one of the most original and talented artists I have ever met. Her works create a world of their own that is simultaneously familiar and true while strange and wonderful.

Elina Merenmies's new ink paintings are so fine that the mere thought of them gives one shivers.  While the subjects are similar to those of her previous works - forests, abstract sets of lines taking shape to resemble something figurative; figures often disfigured and strange yet comforting and extremely beautiful - the new works show even more clearly that this artist understands people, life and the world, and has the ability to give the things that she understands visible and artistically deep form.

We are also treated to new oil tempera works after a long while. They range from very small to very large paintings, with themes from sentient forests to human existential, perhaps even religious, angst. They are skillfully painted with execution ranging from washes in broad detail to painstakingly minute work.

Elina Merenmies will next display her works in Sweden and Denmark. In March 2010, she will have an exhibition at the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn, Sweden, followed by another in the autumn of the year at the Kristianstad Konsthall gallery, also in Sweden, and in 2011 at Söderjyllands Kunstmuseum in Tönder, Denmark.

In addition, Galerie Anhava will display works by Elina Merenmies at the Armory Show in New York in March 2010.

Elina Merenmies
Le Reniement de St. Pierre, 2009
ink on paper, 50,5 x 35 cm
© the artist, courtesy of Galerie Anhava

Galerie Anhava
Mannerheiminaukio 3
00100 Helsinki
+358 (0) 9 669989

Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Jon Thompson - Paintings from The Toronto Cycle at Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London 
Paintings from The Toronto Cycle
12 November - 19 December 2009

'Rediscover the vertebrate and the biped that you are, in your mind, O man. Until you do, you are superficial.'
 (Paul Valery)

Colour, mood, atmosphere, sense of place - these are the flesh, blood and bones of Thompson's remarkable paintings.

For many years, Thompson has been profoundly affected by the written and recorded work of the great Canadian pianist and theorist, Glenn Gould. He draws many parallels between Gould's approach and his own or, more precisely, Gould's understanding of musical expression and his own understanding of the business of painting.

'Gould's idea of repetition through translation - the building of an imaginal entity capable of taking passage from the inside to the outside followed by the translation of mental 'stuff'. 'the music itself', into a perceivable form, is not one unfamiliar to painters... Colour, mood, atmosphere, sense of place are all factors which come to exist in my mind's eye in an utterly compelling and extremely precise form.

There is a very real sense in which the great pianist recomposes the work as he plays it. And you can hear the tension that must exist between the pianist as composer and the pianist as performer - the maker and the listener - at work, stretching phrases to breaking point, making breathless the silences, delaying and sometimes thickening, deepening and drawing out sounds as he strives to 'resurrect' the work into new meaning; strives to match the continuum which is playing endlessly in his mind: 'the music itself'. Precisely the same kind of things occur in the act of making a painting except that in the case of painting, each action and each judgment is made against the presumption of a final simultaneity; 'the thing itself'.'

Image © Jon Thompson
Courtesy of Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London

Anthony Reynolds Gallery
60 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7BG
+44 (0) 207 439 2201

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm - Independent directories of emerging & professional contemporary art
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December 9-10 Sculpture / Installation
December 16-17 Mixed / Multi Media
January 13-14 Photography, Film & Video
January 20-21 Painting / Drawing 
January 27-28 Sculpture / Installation 
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