Sunday, July 26, 2009

David Shelton Gallery Saturday, July 25.

What can I really say about an exciting show of excellent work from San Antonio’s art stars presented in the slickest of galleries? It’s worth the drive to say the least.

Daniel Saldana

Kimberly Aubuchon

Michael Velliquette

Alejandro Diaz

See more photos here.

photos Jeremiah Teutsch

Friday July 24.

Found and Nueva Street Gallery are both located in the shops at La Villita. Given that their target audience is weary tourists, you can count on some bright, cute, portable pictures ideal for remembering your visit to the Alamo.

Art House Studio shows off textiles and re-upholstered furniture by Jane Bishop, Martha Henry, and Clare Watters. Fancy.

A warehouse complex filled with a cacophony of sound is where you find JACS (jacStudio), hopefully. I roamed what I thought was the extent of the spaces and failed to find the Drawing: Impromptu show. Luckily I roamed far enough to find David Shek Vega’s studio space. When it comes to graffiti-art, Vega does it right. Admittedly, this is a style that ordinarily doesn’t interest me all that much, but Vega’s work pushes me towards conversion. The power of Shek’s work comes about through technical precision and easy-does-it compositions. There is a grace and attractiveness to these pieces that leaves me stunned.

(above) David "Shek" Vega

one performance at the warehouse

all photos Jeremiah Teutsch

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday July, 23.

Galleria Ortiz Contemporary presents works from Jorge Garza and Cindy Palmer. It is nice to see that this gallery can be consistent in its exhibitions. The ability to find, study, and constantly display horrible art must get tiresome.

I didn’t ask, but I have a feeling that Mr. Garza is a fan of Jasper Johns and maybe some Sol LeWitts too.

Cindy Palmer’s mixed-media abstract drek. Note the blending of diverse textures to create a uniform sense of ineptitude.

The International Academy of Design & Technology puts on a show of student work; I think that should pretty much sum it up. I can see that superheroes and anatomical hearts are very poplar with this group of students.

Andy Aranda

all photos Jeremiah Teutsch

The Colloquium

Potter-Belmar Labs, also known as Leslie Raymond and Jason Jay Stevens, have put together an entertaining and engaging forum for artists to present and talk about their work. I think this is an excellent event and if you weren’t there you missed out. Luckily for all of us, the Colloquium will be a reoccurring event. Chuck Ramirez embraces the iphone, the Prime Eights (Angela Guerra and Mark Walley) are super elegant designers, Margaret Craig presents poetry, Chris Sauter shows work and proves yet again that he is an artistic powerhouse, Gary Schott’s wit materializes in ingenious machines, Albert Alvarez gives an intense and insightful video presentation even if we can’t eek a retort out of him. If you were there, you would have seen Hills Snyder’s enticing short video. Consider the future an opportunity.

Franco at SAMA.

Tuesday the 21st, a SAMA Conversation with Franco Mondini-Ruiz; or more specifically, a conversation from Franco. I don’t like Franco’s work, but he is certainly an enigmatic character with pull. Hearing Franco talk is all you need to understand how and why he has been so successful. My compliments to Contemporary Curator David Rubin’s ability to keep Franco on track--and sometimes--on topic.

Some additions to the Contemporary galleries are a welcome sight. Rubin has brought out a Philip Pearlstein that reminds me why I like painting as an art form. The Don Eddy and Richard Anuszkiewicz works are much appreciated, as well. I like the Donald Lipski F.I.S.H #2 (as seen under the I-35 bridge on the Riverwalk Museum Reach) gracing the space of the museum, but I hope the Christian Marclay drum set won’t be hidden in storage for too long.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Artpace International Artist-In-Residence 09.2

(Full disclosure: I was an intern at Artpace for the duration of this residence.)

Silke Otto-Knapp presents a series of relief and intaglio etchings in metallic inks based on dance. The images in this series are presented in such a way that close investigation of the print surface is necessary to extract the sketchy figures from their surrounding iridescence. I can appreciate the formal subtlety of this collection, but it fails to engage me outside of its simplicity and graphic presence.

Silke Otto-Knapp
The full moon this fall, All night long I have paced around the pond, 2009

Originally commissioned and produced at Artpace San Antonio

Charlie Morris confronts all things political with an adroit sensitivity and subtlety. Morris’s ability to address such a horrible subject as politics is commendable, even more so is his ability to do it successfully with a selection of pieces so perilously simple. A testament to military power and failure is reduced to a chalk-white pallet of commodities. An investigation into the manufacture and release of a lethal biological substance is pared down to a series of photos and a tenebrous video documenting the project. An exercise in censorship is literally carved out of an edition of the Marquis de Sade’s infamous Juliette. With this act, an incendiary record of the most obscene fantasies is abated to a hollowed out collection of impotent pages. This structure creates a confined space where you, the viewer, could explore the darkest depths of your perversions—fill in the blanks. What I find most interesting about this group of works is the connection I found between the disparate parts. The Marquis de Sade book was published at the height of the French political instability of the 18th century. De Sade, a revolutionary, wrote his smut with fierce political undertones, damning the ruling class by drawing allusion to their social debauchery through the sexual debauchery of his characters, for which he was imprisoned on multiple occasions. At that time, the story of the Death of Socrates (told in Plato’s Phaedo, in which Socrates willfully drinks hemlock to act as his own executioner to fulfill his death sentence for corrupting the youth of Athens and heresy to the gods) was a very popular subject for artists and revolutionaries alike. Needless to say the French Revolution and the subsequent Reign of Terror left the nation fractured and in a turmoil of heightened suspicion of military action.

Charlie Morris
Half to Whole, 2009
Originally commissioned and produced at Artpace San Antonio

Anne Collier presents the most engaging work of the exhibition. Collier presents a selection of images culled from the film Eyes of Laura Mars. Through these images, the viewer is presented with a close-up of just that: the eyes of Laura Mars. No nostalgia here. All connotations of reveling in a comfortable past are stripped away as the immediacy of the experience creates a liminal space where only your senses and your psyche exist. There is something unnerving about being stared at; you can’t look away. The dark room, with nothing but a carousel projector and a projection only adds to the tension. Alone in the space, you are deprived of all sensory input except that of the cold stare of the subject. Granted these stunning, pruned images have a warm, inviting glow, but it is the situation that creates a lasting sensation. No sound but that of the rotating carousel amplifies the tedium as it tolls out its familiar mechanical report in measured time. Being presented with so little, but facing so much, peaks one’s self-consciousness and anxiety. It makes you uncomfortable, and it lingers.

Anne Collier
Woman With A Camera (35mm), 2009

Originally commissioned and produced at Artpace San Antonio

all photos courtesy of Artpace

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Artpace 09.2

The review of the Artpace International Artist-In-Residence 09.2 will be posted Monday evening.