Kaveri Raina at Hammond Harkins Galleries, Columbus, Ohio

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Prefer the Past,  Acrylic, burlap, 70 x 40 inches

Alchemy is occurring at Hammond Harkins Galleries in Columbus, Ohio where Kaveri Raina has opened a portal to another world in her magical first solo at the gallery.

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Prefer the Past (detail) 

Kaveri, a native of New Delhi, spent part of her childhood in India before relocating to the United States in 2000, and the works on display at Hammond Harkins reflect that dual sense of place. But it would be a disservice to Ms. Raina to say the canvases merely straddle two worlds; They create new ones. By fusing her connections with India, it’s traditions, colors, textures and mythology with a contemporary approach to painting Ms. Raina re-interprets centuries of tradition with fresh eyes, synthesizing a bridge between past and future. The paintings burlap supports, referencing the vessels that transported the rice and staples of her youth and the humble textiles of the marginalized become transportive vessels of another sort under Kaveri’s skillful hand. Painting from both the back and front of the support and using the burlap’s rugged, tactile transparency, Ms. Kaveri evokes the push and pull of past and present, the ephemeral and the visceral, the seen and unseen, the forgotten and the remembered. Her use of overlapping mythical forms, staining of surface and lush layered color further envelope the viewer in a landscape of dreams and memory, awakening the senses and catapulting the viewer from the temporal realm into the sensual beyond.

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Gallery view from entrance

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Walking Around, Acrylic, oil pastel, burlap, 60 x 48 Inches

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From left: Shy Around and Prefer the Past

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Shy Around,  Acrylic, burlap, 60 x 48 Inches

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From Right: Will I Be Missed (Future), Overthrow Slightly and Stray Delight

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Will I Be Missed (Future), Acrylic, dye, burlap, 70 x 40 Inches

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Overthrow Slightly, Acrylic, dye, burlap, 70 x 40 Inches

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Stray Delight, Acrylic, burlap, 70 x 40 inches

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From right: Forgotten Pleasures, Shy In, Hanuman Mukut and Will I Be Missed

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Forgotten Pleasures, Acrylic, dye, burlap , 70 x 40 inches

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Forgotten Pleasures (Detail)

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Shy In, Acrylic, burlap, 60 x 48 Inches

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Hanuman Mukut

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Will I Be Missed, Acrylic, dye, burlap, 70 x 40 inches

For more information about Hammond Harkins Galleries and Kaveri Raina please check out their websites at:

http://www.hammondharkins.com

http://www.kaveriraina.com

Agnes Martin at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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Mid-Winter, c. 1954, Oil on Canvas

I had always drifted on the periphery of Agnes Martin fandom. But truth be told I had never seen more than one or two of her canvases at a time and they were mostly later paintings. So my understanding of Martin and her work was the art knowledge equivalent of cocktail chatter. Quick sound bites and surface sheen but very little substance. That all changed during my recent visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s steller showing of Martin’s work.

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From left: Mid-Winter, Untitled 1955 & Untitled 1954

I’m not a religious person by any means, but I’d be downplaying my experience at this exhibition if I’d didn’t at least in some way state that I felt like I’d been to church by the time I’d left. Not in a sacred “smells and bells” churchy type way, but in a more secular introspective reverent one. I arrived very early at LACMA and was the first into the galleries. I spent at least 20 minutes completely alone. Me and Agnes. And something happened. What occurs when one has the luxury of silence these days and the luxury too of being alone with a large collection of an artists oeuvre is transformative. Listening to the work becomes easier. One’s observational sense becomes keener. It felt as if Agnes and I were having a conversation; a really substantial one at that. And I found myself roaming from room to room, tears spilling down my cheeks.

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Untitled  c. 1955, Oil on canvas, 83.8 x 134.6

It’s cliché to say great work makes the viewer feel something. In a sense it does, but I believe great work does something much more significant. Truly transcendent work creates a form of communion, not just within the triangle of artist, artwork and viewer, but it charges the viewer with a type of abstract otherness. It connects us to the beyond. Opening a portal  of pure feeling. And for that I am thankful.

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Untitled c. 1955 , Oil on canvas, 118.1 x 168.3

This exhibition was organized by the Tate Modern in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The exhibition continues from now until September, 11 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art before opening at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on October, 7. For more information about LACMA and this exhibition please check out the LACMA website. http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/agnes-martin

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From left: Beach, 1957 and Harbor No. 1, 1957

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Beach, 1957,Oil on canvas

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Beach (detail)

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Harbor No. 1, 1957, Oil on canvas, 126.3 x 101.6

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From left: Untitled 1958 and Untitled c. 1957

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Untitled 1958, Oil on canvas, 165.1 x 165.1

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Untitled c. 1957, Oil on canvas, 86.4 x 86.4

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From left: Heather 1958, The Heavenly Race (Running) c. 1959, Desert Rain 1957, Untitled 1959

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Heather 1958, Oil on canvas, 177.8 x 177.8

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The Heavenly Race (Running) c 1959, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 90.2

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Desert Rain 1957, Oil on canvas

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Untitled 1959, Oil paint and Ink on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5

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Rain (Study) 1958, Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 63.5

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Untitled 1958, Oil on canvas, 60 x 60

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Burning Tree 1961, Wood and metal 33 x 53.3

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Buds c. 1959, Oil on canvas, 127 x 127

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From left: Untitled 1960, Untitled 1962, Little Sister 1962 and The Islands 1961

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The Islands 1961

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The Islands 1961 (Detail)

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Little Sister 1962, Oil paint, ink and brass nails on canvas and wood, 25.1 x 24.2

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Little Sister 1962 (Detail)

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Untitled 1962, Oil on canvas mounted on board with nails, 24.8 x 24.8

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Untitled 1960, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5

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Islands No. 4 c. 1961, Oil on canvas, 37.8 x 37.8

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Brown Composition 1961, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5

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From left: Horizon 1960, Untitled 1960 and Untitled 1960

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Horizon 1960, Oil on canvas, 38.1 x 38.1

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Untitled 1960, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5

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Untitled 1960, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5

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From left: Falling Blue 1963 and A Grey Stone 1963

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Falling Blue 1963, Oil on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Falling Blue 1963 (Detail)

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A Grey Stone 1963, Oil on canvas, 190.5 x 190.5

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A Grey Stone 1963 (Detail)

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White Stone 1964, Oil and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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White Stone 1964 (Detail)

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Adventure 1967, Acrylic paint and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Adventure 1967 (Detail)

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Small works on paper

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Aspiration 1960, Ink on paper, 28 x 24

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Aspiration 1960 (Detail)

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Balconies/Galleries 1962, Ink on paper, 22.9 x 22.9

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Balconies/Galleries 1962 (Detail)

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Weeds 1963, Ink and watercolor on paper, 22.9 x 22.9

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Weeds 1963 (Detail)

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On a Clear Day 1973, Thirty screen prints printed in gray on cream colored japanese paper, each 30.5 x 30.5

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On a Clear Day 1973 (Detail)

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From left: Untitled #12 1981 and Untitled IX 1982

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Untitled #12 1981, Acrylic and colored pencil on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled #12 1981 (Detail)

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Untitled IX 1982, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled IX 1982 (Detail)

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From left: Untitled #8 1974 and Untitled #4 1975

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Untitled #8 1974, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled #8 1974 (Detail)

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Untitled #4 1975, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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From left: Untitled #1 1989 and Untitled #8 1989

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Untitled #1 1989, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled #8 1989, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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From left: Untitled #15 1988 and Untitled #12 1984

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Untitled #12 1984, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled #12 1984 (Detail)

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Untitled #14 1977, Ink, graphite and gesso on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9

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Untitled #14 1977 (Detail)

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Untitled 1978, Watercolor and ink on paper, 22.9 x 22.9

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Untitled 1978, Watercolor and ink on paper, 22.9 x 22.9

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From left: Affection 2001 and Gratitude 2001

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Affection 2001, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

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Gratitude 2001, Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

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Blessings 2001, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

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Blessings 2001 (Detail)

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From left: Untitled #12 2002 and Untitled #4 2002

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Untitled #12 2002, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

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 Untitled #4 2002, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

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The Sea 2003, Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4

Harmony Hammond at Alexander Gray Associates

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Bandaged Grid #1, 2015, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas 44.25″ x 76.5″ x 5″

I’ve never thought of canvas like skin but these works by Harmony Hammond in her recent solo at Alexander Gray Associates have a corporeal aspect. They are distinctly mortal. From the moment one enters the gallery and turns left to see Bandaged Grid #1. One feels the presence of body and all of the serene messiness that comes with being human. These works are peeled, torn, painted, pierced and layered. Yet nothing is obvious. One must lean in to really listen to them and see them as they are. These pieces felt like the doors between the living and the dead in Egyptian Mastabas. One foot distinctly in the physical world at once fleshy, mortal and concrete, and yet simultaneously of the mystical realm.

For more information about Harmony Hammond please check out the Alexander Gray Associates website at:

http://www.alexandergray.com/artists/harmony-hammond/

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Bandaged Grid #1 (Detail)

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Bandaged Grid #1 (Detail)

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Ledger Drawings, 2015, One of Suite of Five Ink on Paper, 11.75″ x 9.5″

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Ledger Drawings (Detail)

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From left: Naples Grid and Things Various

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Naples Grid, 2015, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, 80.25″ x 54.5″ x 5

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Things Various, 2015, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, 80.25″ x 54.25″ x 5

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White Rims #7, 2015, Monotype on Paper with Metal Grommets, 47″ x 33.5″

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White Rims #7 (Detail)

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White Rims #4, 2015, Monotype on Paper with Metal Grommets, 47″ x 33.5″

Hilary Harnischfeger, last Fall at Rachel Uffner Gallery

Hilary Harnischfeger’s show at Rachel Uffner Gallery last fall was terrific. This was my first introduction to Hilary’s work and I have been thinking about these pieces ever since. This post somehow slipped through my fingers till now, but the work stayed with me.

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Bovina, 2015, ceramic, hydrostone, pigment, crushed glass, druzy quartz, steel, 22″ x 19″ x 16″

I’ve captioned the works below as best I could, but for more information about Hilary Harnischfeger, her work and Rachel Uffner Gallery please consult:

http://www.racheluffnergallery.com/artists/hilary-harnischfeger

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Bovina, Detail

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#27, 2015, ceramic, hydrostone, pigment, paper, crushed glass, druzy quartz, steel, 22″ x 19″ x 16″

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#27 Detail

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Chandigarh, 2015, ceramic, paper, hydrostone, pigment, oil stick, herkimer diamond, wood, 23″ x 18″ x 10″

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Harlequin, 2015, ceramic, paper, hydrostone, pigment, paper, apophyllite, wood, 16″ x 17″ x 4″

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Electric Lady Land at REBEL art space

Electric Lady Land at REBEL art space in the Back Street Arts District in Palm Springs is a survey of 14 LA based female artists curated by Susan Carter Hall. The show is part of REBEL art space’s goal to introduce local art collectors to a wide range of new and established talent, and this curatorial cross pollination at REBEL is a growing trend locally to bring LA based artists to the Coachella valley to show their work. One of the first curators to do this was Mike McLain, an LA and Coachella based artist, who began a geographic creative cross pollination project at the Coachella Valley Art Center called LAnCV. But Electric Lady Land strikes its own path by focusing solely on female artists from the LA area.

For more information about REBEL art space please check out their website at

http://www.rebelps.com

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Dianna Cohen, rainbow us, Plastic bags and thread, 2010

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Dianna Cohen (detail))

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Suné Woods, In Flight(3), Mixed media collage, 2016

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Stephanie Vovas, Rachel in Los Angeles, Archival pigment print, 2015

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Tanya Batura, Monochrome J, Clay & acrylic, 2010

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Essi Zimm, I am the King of  the Cats, Mixed media collage and oil on panel board, 2016

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Essi Zimm (detail)

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Laurie Yehia, 18 AT BAY, Switch plates and oil paint on wood panel, 2016

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Maja Ruznic, The Forgiver Has Forgiven But Emotional Memory Lingers

Oil on Canvas, 2016

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Maja Ruznic, (detail)

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Susan Carter Hall, In Loving Memory, Oil on Canvas, 2015

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Susan Carter Hall (detail)

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Erin Morrison, Red Palm, Ink and wax on gypsum cement, 2016

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Erin Morrison (detail)

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Kim Kei, Was it You, Was it Me, Ink and oil on paper, 2015

Barbara Ellmann: An Open Book 2 at the Marks Art Center

I had the great pleasure of seeing Barbara Ellmann’s dynamic exhibition, An Open Book 2, at the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts in Palm Desert, California last month. The exhibition, which ran from February 4 to March 11, was partially funded by the McCallum Theatre Institute’s Aesthetic Education Program, produced in conjunction with the Marks Art Center at the College of the Desert and was beautifully curated by Sophia Marisa Lucas. The Marks always presents terrifically exciting, innovative shows and I am continually impressed by the quality of their curatorial focus. An Open Book 2 was no exception.

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For more information about the Marks Art Center and Barbara Ellmann:

http://www.collegeofthedesert.edu/community/gallery/Pages/default.aspx

https://barbaraellmann.com

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Maria Lassnig at MOMA PS1

Maria Lassnig’s recent retrospective at MOMA PS1 was one of the most beautifully honest and strangely grotesque showings of work I have seen in some time. I saw the exhibition in July during a trip to NY and I can still feel the work.

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Maria Lassnig Kopf (Head) Oil on Fiberboard, 1956

Maria worked in relative obscurity and became known to a larger audience later in her life. She died just recently in May in Vienna at the age of 94. The work in the exhibition is marked by a distinct palette and a muscular, expressive, raw and often off putting energy. The exhibition and much of Maria’s studio practice was devoted to the self-portrait. The impulse behind her works came from what she described as “body awareness”, a surrealist take on painting guided by one’s mental perception of oneself . Laceratingly honest, and self-reflective in ways that would make one blanch, these works positively vibrate.

For more information regarding Maria and her work check out the MOMA PS1 website and the website of Hauser & Wirth. There’s also an overview of her career in her New York Times Obituary written by Randy Kennedy.

http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/376

http://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/19/maria-lassnig/biography/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/09/arts/design/maria-lassnig-painter-of-self-from-the-inside-out-dies-at-94.html?_r=0

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Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt/Abstrakter Kopf (Self-Portrait/Abstract Head) Oil on Canvas, 1956

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Maria Lassnig Kopfheit (Headness) Oil on Fiberboard, 1956- 57

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Maria Lassnig Zwei Formen übereinander/Schwarze Flächenteilung (Two Forms Superimposed/Black Surface Distribution)                  

Oil on Jute, 1952

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Maria Lassnig Ungeteilte Form (Undivided Form) Oil on Jute, 1952 – 53

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Maria Lassnig, Both works:  Ohne Titel (Untitled) Oil on Canvas, 1960

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Ohne Titel (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Left: Woman Laokoon (Woman Laocoön) Oil on Canvas, 1976

Right: Dreifaches Selbstporträt (New Self) Oil, Charcoal on Canvas, 1970 – 72

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Woman Laokoon (Detail)

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Dreifaches Selbstporträt (New Self) Oil, Charcoal on Canvas, 1970 – 72

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Dreifaches Selbstporträt (Detail)

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Dreifaches Selbstporträt (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt unter Plastik (Self-Portrait Under Plastic) Oil on Canvas, 1972

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Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt hit Maulkorb (Self-Portrait with Muzzle) Oil on Canvas, 1973

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Maria Lassnig Left: Das Innere nacho auBen (Inside Out) Oil on Canvas, 1992

Right: Selbstporträt hit Nervenlinien (Self-Portrait with Nervous Lines) Oil on Canvas, 1996

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Das Innere nacho auBen (Detail)

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Das Innere nacho auBen (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Ohne Titel (Untitled) Oil on Canvas, 2002

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Ohne Titel (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Ich trage die Verantwortung (I Bear Responsibility) Oil on Canvas, 1981

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Ich trage die Verantwortung (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Dame hit Hirn (Lady with Brain) Oil on Canvas, Undated

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Dame hit Hirn (Detail)

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Maria Lassnig Eiserne Jungfrau und fleischige Jungfrau (Iron Virgin and Fleshy Virgin) Oil on Canvas, 2004

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Eiserne Jungfrau und fleischige Jungfrau (Detail)

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