The work in Defining Fields has a zen-like formal quality that stems from a hands-on working process. The simplicity of marks, shapes, and color create a quiet presence and belies the generous amount of time spent to create the tactile surfaces. They offer the viewer a chance to tune out and contemplate what is in front of them.
Elisa Soliven arranges pieces of colored ceramic into grid-like compositions embedded in sculptural clay vessels. The muted color of the clay forms embrace the separated pieces and hold them together creating a community of colored shapes that maintain an individual sovereignty.
Jimbo Blachly paints abstract spaces that are symbolic of thought processes and levels of understanding.… Read more here
Festival of Political Pleasure
curated by Carol Bruns
Against a social-political background of global war against the people and the planet, and a cultural background of industrial scale art production, this exhibition is an exuberant festival, a conceptual shift, a seed bank of values such as human scale, humor, spontaneity, sensual use of materials, intuition—-creating a sense of hospitality and a utopian aesthetic. It puts these values back into play combining art works both figurative and abstract without false division or the idea that art history is a linear progress—it shows that differences are a resource, not a contest. Here, the art is setting up a situation in opposition to the global destruction going on around us, and implies a way to live now.… Read more here
Curated by Chris Bors and Fred Fleisher
We can see how the exaggerated, caustic and often scarily playful could be wielded towards a politics of discontent by surveying examples of hyperbole throughout history including the writings of Oscar Wilde, James Ensor’s paintings, the caricatures of Honoré Daumier, the chaotic art of the Dadaists, underground cartoonists of the 1960s and 70s like Robert Crumb and contemporary painters such as Peter Saul and Judith Bernstein. This magnified attitude is exemplified in 1998’s Bulworth, starring Warren Beatty, a film that preceded Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency by almost 20 years. Professional wrestling and reality television, whose scripted feuds and over-the-top melodrama create heightened conflict, whichTrump has also been heavily involved with, are two forms of entertainment that remain undeniably popular despite their spurious nature.… Read more here
Cracking Up, Breaking Down
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“What A World, What A World”
I find myself saying “What a world” a lot. Usually in response to some incomprehensible human behavior or some new social/political development that I can’t believe is happening. I associate the phrase “What a world” with The Wizard of Oz, when the Wicked Witch of the West is melting and speaks the words “What a world, what a world…Who would have thought that some little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness.” Even as a child this intrigued me, how the evil side can also be astonished by behavior and circumstance. We assume that ethics, morality, beliefs start from an objective vantage point. The current political crises, that seems to pit multiple incompatible and mutually incomprehensible world views against each other, is a terrifying embodiment of this phenomenon.… Read more here