Friday, October 24, 2008

microworlds roundup

I have a pair of reviews coming up. One, which will be appearing in next week's Ithaca Times, addresses Barbara Page's new show of watercolors "Missing the Forest for the Trees." The paintings show slices of petrified wood, fossils rich in microcosmic detail. They are both carefully observed and abstract. The show is markedly uneven. Nevetheless, this is a rich vein of work, well worth following. "Missing" is on show now and through January 18th at the Museum of the Earth (Ithaca's natural history museum).

My second piece, to be appearing here only, delves into Christa Wolf's "Satterly Hill" monotypes, which were in a recently closed exhibit at the Main Street Gallery. This was an amazing show, so sorry if you live in the area and missed it. Expect my review some time this weekend.

More items of personal or topical interest:

* Nancy Geyer wrote a fine review of the Wolf show for the Times. My own take is different but
I believe complementary.

* During my junior year of high school (96-97), I attended this fine Connecticut private school, about an hour's drive from Boston. Subsequently, I got booted out as a poor student. But not before receiving eye-opening instruction from David Brewster, an excellent and energetic plein air oil landscapist. I believe that I acquired, then and there, a taste for gestural and painterly painting, one which persists to this day.

Anyway, David got a nice write-up in the June/July issue of Art New England. And check out the work on his site while you're there
it kicks.

* "Within Four Miles: The Work of Josh Dorman," the Brooklyn artist's first retrospective, is on display at LA's Craft and Folk Art Museum. He has some interesting things to say about his altered-map paintings in this LA Times article:
"I'm flattered to feel that my work can be viewed as 'folk art,' as some sort of natural product," he wrote in a recent e-mail. The contrivances, slickness and irony of much contemporary art puts him out of sync with the current moment, though he feels some kinship with James Siena and Daniel Zeller, whose meticulous line drawings, he surmises, have something to do with asserting control of a small, self-contained world when "we've lost control and we've lost having our say in the greater world."
I don't think I'm going to make it out to the West Coast this winter like I did the last. But I do see that he is also showing in New York City, in yet another cartographically themed group show. (I last encountered his work in the flesh a couple of years back in a show entitled "Personal Geographies" at Hunter College.)

* Also for to visit NYC: "Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964" at the Met. A review by Peter Schjeldahl and social commentary by Terry Teachout (the latter via And on Flickr (why not?).

* More map-as-art and again by a former teacher of mine: Mara Metcalf's delicate, nearly-monochromatic ink on paper micro-scapes.

*Related: fiction writer Steven Milhauser in the NYT on miniatures and recursion (see also and for example).


Blogger Kirstin said...

Wow Arthur! Great post! I'm going to spend a long time just taking in all the links. Love the term "microworlds roundup." Good to see you on the interwebs. Hope you are well.

9:11 AM  
Blogger arthur said...

Glad I could help you kill your Saturday morning!

11:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

Good to see your blog back, Arthur. Thanks for the link to the Milhauser article.

9:21 PM  

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