Skye Livingston joins Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective with Not Quite a Mountain View, on view at Abrams Claghorn through August 31st!
Read Jennifer's interview with her in our Spring 2015 issue where they discuss her delicate works inspired by the body.
Skye Livingston is an interdisciplinary artist working with textiles, paper, and organic materials. She has received several awards for her work, including “Best of Show” in the Kansas City Art Institute’s 2012 BFA Exhibition, an award juried by artist Andres Serrano and director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum Julian Zugazagoitia. Her work is included in the collection of The Wichita Center for the Arts in Wichita, KS as well as numerous private collections. She has completed several residencies including the Artist in Residence program at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. She received her BFA in Fiber, and BA in Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute and is currently maintaining her studio practice in Ashland, W
My work utilizes skin-like materials and recognizable motifs to rearrange the concept of home. Through elements oftranslucency, fragility and repetition, I investigate the idea that our homes and our identities are enmeshed within each other, aswell as individually faceted: we create and discard them through a psychological process of growing and shedding skins. Byutilizing repetitive processes and creating collections of subtly unique multiples, I aim to depict and memorialize this overlapbetween mental and physical space, and consider each piece a small monument, both personal and universal.
Bernie Lubell's interactive artworks were first introduced to us in 2015. We were looking back on the year, sharing our favorite works. While he's lived in San Francisco for a number of years, his work has been shown locally and internationally, and has received varying number of awards, including the Guggenheim Artists Fellowship in 2011. We're delighted he has joined us for Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective!
I make interactive installations that focus on the intersection of science and the arts -- but my work is adamantly low -tech. These installations use no computers or video or motors and are entirely powered by visitors to the show. As visitors work together to animate the mechanisms they create a theatre for themselves and each other. By requiring participation, touch and manipulation I get the audience to engage their bodies as well as their minds. As they play, participants tap into the vast reservoir of knowledge stored in each of their own bodies and they become active partners in constructing an understanding. The way that pieces move and feel and sound as you rock them, pedal, crank, press against and listen applies the kinesthetic comprehension's of childhood to the tasks of philosophy.
The use of wood and ancient technologies to examine 21st century issues adds a disarming historical perspective to my enterprise. The pieces are funny, friendly and personal even as they tackle serious issues such as the nature of conscoiusness or the origins of life. The malleable woods I use are ill suited to be machines and yet they do work. Hovering at the line between working and not gives the mechanisms that tenuous yet tenacious character which mirrors control issues in our daily lives. And their very unlikeliness allows each installation to comment on itself.
My work resembles three dimensional Medieval diagrams, mapping questions about our place in the universe. But these are maps of the incompleteness of our knowledge that call for participation and they are diagrams you may literally inhabit.
See the work!
Review by Roula Seikaly
Walking into the gallery, the first piece I encountered is Home Sale Prices By Year 1971-2015, Median San Francisco, CA, Median California, Median United States (2017), which represents the series Data, Rumberger’s latest undertaking. Strung between a supporting column and the gallery’s eastern wall, the commissioned piece visualizes a data set using gray, gold, and yellow thread. Color choices are important to the artist, who noted in our email exchange that gold and yellow used in this piece reference popular and positive notions – “the golden state” and “gold rush” – commonly associated with California. Sourcing data points – average sale prices of homes in this instance – from various online sites as the raw material for her sculpture, Rumberger’s delicate creation portrays the indelicate reality that owning a home in the Bay Area is simply out of reach for all but the very rich. As an artist who was priced out of her studio space, the cool or impartial statistics with which she works are all too familiar. Further into the gallery, additional data visualizations such as Rape/Sexual Assault Against Intimate Female Partners in the US 1992-2013 publicly portray the personal horrors through which far too many women suffer privately.
Directly opposite Rumberger’s threaded creation are four wall-based sculptures which, at first glance, suggest dioramas or mock schemes for potential installations, but they are not. The fantastical views, all representing the artist’s long term series Metafictions, are discrete objects. Home Sale Prices… is mirrored in the tiny display, its physicality perfectly matching the gallery layout. The artist emphatically asserts that the miniatures – and this applies across the spectrum of her practice – are works unto themselves, and that the overarching “metafiction” assignation is realized when the miniature and full-scale versions of the work are completed. Using metafiction as a grounding point, our attention is drawn to the objects on view, how they relate to and depart from one another in form and content, and ultimately the impermanence or fiction of exhibitions.
Seeing Rumberger’s large and small pieces exhibited together satisfies a kind of desire, perhaps one akin to starting and completing a project. In this way, she neatly ties up what would otherwise be nagging experiential loose ends. But meeting desire’s needs is not guaranteed. After seeing small representations from her beautiful/chilling series The March Hare, I sought out – perhaps subconsciously – the piece’s larger pendant image. Hung at a distance from their tiny counterparts, these nearly life-sized paintings juxtapose popular notions of rabbits – fertility, sexuality, life – and death, here represented in eyes drawn from photographs of Civil War militia men. In this instance, my desire was satisfied. Conversely, what reads as incomplete, when either full-size or miniature versions of her data series installation or pieces from other painted series - Santa/President and Modernist Alchemy – are not accompanied by their complementary piece, a palpable cognitive lack is felt.
Join Verge PDX this Sunday for the opening reception of Danielle Schlunegger-Warner's solo exhibition at the Red Fox in North Portland on Sunday February 12th, 7-9pm.
This solo exhibition will be on display at Red Fox during regular business hours for the month of February. If you aren't able to make the opening, be sure to stop by during the month.
About the Artist:
Danielle Schlunegger-Warner grew up amongst the shell shops and sand dunes of Ventura, CA. Her artwork is strongly influenced by 18th century Cabinets of Curiosity and early explorers.
Inspired by natural history and the museums that house it, Danielle creates her own worlds within this established context. Her new work presents a vision of exploration and conquest during the Age of Discovery in the Americas, searching for the misguided promise of untouched land and wild creatures from the perspective of naturalists and scientists, who are themselves invaders.
For her solo show at The Red Fox, Danielle presents a series of bear trophies that span the geographical history of the American Continent. In this new work she uses the addition of museum style info graphics to tell the story of the complicated relationship humans often have with the natural world. Pages from a used copy of "The Rise of the American Civilization" by early 20th C. historian, Charles Austin Beard, are just visible underneath the faux fur of the sculpted heads, linking their endangerment and extinction to parallel moments in American history. In addition to this series, Bobcat specimens from her natural history project, The Marcus Kelli Collection will also be on view.
About Verge PDX
Verge is a Portland-based curatorial project. We regularly rotate art from talented emerging artists in Portland businesses. Find out more: http://vergepdx.com/ or @vergepdx on Instagram
Instagram & Twitter: @naturalistandco
The Red Fox
5128 N Albina
Portland OR 97217
3pm - 1:30am daily
The Red Fox is 21 and over.
Vieno James's body of work, Glory, opened at Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Norfolk, VA last week. His work is a mixed media study of history that compels me to dive deeper into those history books, and ask, what kind of history are we creating right now? I was so happy to be able to talk to Vieno about Glory, and several other interests!
Q&A by Nazish Chunara
First, I want to ask why. What drew you to discuss the US and war? Is this a subject you were always drawn to?
My experience in Japan made me realize that a large chunk of the world views America negatively. I also realized that during my stay, I was somewhat a representative or ambassador of the American people. I knew that the United States exploited many countries in the name of “democracy”, and something in my gut told me that it was time to examine this subject. I wasn't always drawn to this subject in particular, I'm interested in anything that my heart tells me to examine. I needed to draw the work from my system and bring it into the physical world.
What is your research process like?
I just go to the library and get lost. I walk almost unconsciously through the isles, stop when my spirit tells me, and grab the book that I'm “looking” for. After gathering about 10 books or so, I have everything to help me come to a conclusion on what I want to say in my work. After the books, I speak with “random” people in my community to get their opinions and ideas about the whatever the topic is. Funny enough, this usually confirms my thoughts. After that, I watch documentaries and news stories to inform myself visually and to stay up to date.
In what ways have you found that we glorify war?
Glorification of wars and war heroes are all around. I see it in movies like Troy and 300. Kids are getting rewarded for kill streaks online everyday. I saw many Republicans during the campaign bringing veterans on stage to talk about our nation's good vs the evil brown people of the Orient. Our president, Trump, is trying to fight a war of attrition against ISIS, another good v. evil case. ISIS glorifies its martyrs and soldiers in this so called “holy Caliphate v evil Crusaders” war.
Haha, anyways, I used mud, blood red paint, and spit in the areas that represent the battlefield. The blue areas are filled with glitter and the figures are almost like constellations in the night sky. To me it's a timeless heaven and earth view of the Battle of Gaugamela plains, Iraq and the current battles going on in the same area of Mosul, in our times.
The figures in the work are holding the traditional weaponry of Persian and Macedonian warriors. In many areas you can see the Macedonian battle technique of the phalanx being used by the figures. There are other symbols in the work, and they refer back to Picasso's Guernica; the fallen horse, the slain warrior with the broken blade, the flowers and the black bird in the top right.
What would a battle stage map of the last decade look like for the US? What materials would you use to represent this?
Great question! I'm actually about to take a hard look at America with my next series. The work I'm thinking about creating most likely wouldn't be a battle map. The works will look like ancient Egyptian artifacts. It would be made of scrap metal, concrete, wood, denim, old auto parts, American flags, anything that could represent the absolute death of America's Industrial Age. I'd also like to talk about big businesses, gangs violence, American history and ideology; our role in the world. It would be riddled with transfer prints of the recent riots in this country, and figures and images of old industrial cities like Detroit. My ideas are pretty rough at the moment, but that's the direction I want to head in next. It'll probably be a 2 year project made out of multiple bodies of work that focus on different subjects like industry, agriculture, ideology, race, politics, and societal movement.
You've scattered silhouettes throughout this body of work, as if they're peering into our world. Tell me a bit about mixing the abstract with the figurative.
Haha! They're there to watch the viewers. I only include them when the time is right though. Like when a brush stroke does not carry the emotional weight of seeing a human locked in combat.
What was it like preparing for your solo show Glory at the Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Virginia? It looked amazing!
Thank you, Nazish! Soooo many all-nighters in the studio. A lot of "Watch the throne." And a ton of frustrating moments. It was fucking amazing! I like having a fire under my ass when I work.
I’ve noticed, looking through all the work on your site, you’ve touched basis with many important subjects: environmental, printed (press), war, race and more. Is there a subject that you haven’t covered but would like to?
Thanks for taking a look at everything, Nazish! This is going to sound boring, but agriculture, hunting, and food is my dream subject! I want to cover it so badly. If you control food, you control the world. I believe that crops and livestock are the only thing on this planet with intrinsic value. One ear of corn can produce fifty more. I'd probably talk about farming throughout history, slaves from around the world, what people grow all across the planet, hunting, gathering, and how it's shaped their food, culture, and modern society. It'd be a lifetime's journey around our planet.
It was a pleasure speaking with you, Vieno!
San Francisco-based curator A.R. Vazquez-Concepcion untangles threads of history, knowledge production, and colonialism in Bestiario/Menagerie, a vibrant, 10-person group exhibition on view at Adobe Books Back Gallery through January 28.
Bestiario or “bestiary”, roughly translated, describes a compendium of animals – imaginary and real – that was bound in book or illuminated manuscript form. Dating to second century Greece, bestiaries reflected a desire to understand the natural and spiritual worlds through collecting, categorization, and comparison.
Review by Roula Seikaly
Centuries on, cabinets of curiosities were amassed as Enlightenment thinking and imperialist expansion brought western Europeans into contact with worldwide civilizations. Through dedicated study of physical artifacts, it was believed, a civilization’s value could be assessed. The sinister footnote to that ambitious effort is, of course, that colonized societies were treated as foreign, as the other, and in need of “civilizing” through paternalistic intervention.
The artifacts that were assembled in personal and later, public curio collections, were regarded as representations of the unfamiliar, and knowledge derived from observation was passed generationally as authoritative. In Bestiario/Menagerie, the objects and the artistic practices that produce them reject containment and the purported “authority” of knowledge through provocative juxtaposition.
Vazquez-Concepcion makes the most of Adobe Books’ intimate gallery, spacing each object to hold its own and, when considered relationally, deliver a deeper and decidedly more troubling understanding when viewed together.
Marcela Pardo Ariza’s “Dissident” (2016), in which a humorously unruly pencil line interrupts the banal familiarity of a Post-It note, is both funnier and more frightening next to Fernando Pintado’s “Non Nobis Domine Non Nobis” (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us) (2016). Its title excerpted from a short Latin hymn that expresses humility and thanks for spiritual blessings, this four-panel charcoal and paint piece portrays crusading Knights Templar who waged multiple wars to reclaim Jerusalem from Muslim invaders. In this pairing, notions of rebellion expand and align an innocuous graphite mark and state-sanctioned terrorists bent on delivering apocalyptic violence in the name of Christianity.
Stretching diagonally across the gallery, Santiago Insignares’ colorful biomorphic sculptures “Restriction”, “Implication”, and “Posthumous” (2016) address traumatic experiences and how memory enforces such events as mile markers in our lives. Without knowing that the meat of Insignares’ inspiration includes systematic massacre, displays of tortured bodies, and domestic violence, these sculptures might earn little more than a passing glance. Insignares interrogates authority’s unchecked abuses, and how knowledge is obscured to mask the gravest offenses.
The motley assemblage that is Bestiario/Menagerie demonstrates both the best and worst of human inclinations: curiosity is an evolutionary gift. Building knowledge through collecting, comparing, and analyzing has helped the human species amass a compendium more comprehensive than any bestiary or curio cabinet could contain. When knowledge, or presumed knowledge, is used to subjugate others, we lose our humanity. Through these objects and the juxtapositions they activate, the knots of history, knowledge production, and the ever-present danger of using it to exploit others begin to unravel.
How often do we get out work done a week or so early? Not often, in my experience. Luckily Camilla completed her works for Meager Form early, and we got to reap the benefits. Here's a look into my studio visit with her!
Meager Form is comprised of sculptures and collographs that depict the relationship between strength and vulnerability. Camilla, who has been greatly influenced by TS Eliot for this series, spoke with me for about an hour and we discussed everything from art, to neighbors, family and social trends.
Preview by Nazish Chunara
Camilla used her own hands as a guide for these sculptures and was able to vary them in size and gesture. They're beautfully depicted, all the way down to the lines in the palms which are curiously detailed. The weight of hands versus the weight of hair provide a little fight. You only have parts of a body to create an identity, if that's even what you want to do. Camilla's works are intentionally left unidentified which leaves ample room for wonder. Whose body could be attached to these hands or feet or braid of hair? It could be yours, mine, your professor's, maybe your mom from a few years ago or the hand of someone you have yet to meet. It's pretty magical to think about.
Though these limbs leave room for you to elaborate on, they are also representative of the things we potentially have in common. We're all ideally born with ten fingers and a set of life lines to get our palms read. The exploration of identity is high right now, which makes Camilla's works stand out even more. There is no eye color, shape, finger nail, or skin color to point out and run with.
Alternatively, there's is much security to be found in There is space all around you. Wrapped in itself, these feet are kept warm, cozy and safe. It's like creating a personal bubble; there's space for yourself provided by yourself, which immeditely led me to the idea of the imporance of self care.
We can have our heads in the clouds, just as long as our feet are on the ground - isn't that how it goes? Camilla's works trigger a number of varying thoughts to tinker with.
Reminicent of etchings, the prints below were made through the process of collography. The images are carved onto board, covered in ink and transfered onto paper. This was my first experience with it. Of course, I asked her if she ever considered incorporating color (I bet she's gotten that one too many times.) I realized that it's unnecessary because the texture created with this technique is so deep, that they are extremely vibrant as is.
Meager Form ships off to Penny Contemporary this week. If you have the chance, I recommend saying hello to Camilla and checking out the work personally!
PS, Camilla has a new system of screen printing and it's with watercolor. Check out the following piece, along with many others in With Liberty and Justice for Some at Walter Maciel Gallery Los Angeles, starting January 7th, 2017.
Thank you for having me over Camilla!
I visited Human Condition the week of Halloween at the abandoned Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center. With three floors and over 8o artists, I decided to start at the top, with curation. I reached out to John Wolf, the Los Angeles based art advisor and mastermind behind this large exhibition.
Q&A by Nazish Chunara
How did Human Condition come together? What was the process like?
The Human Condition stemmed from a personal desire to feel emotion. I had a shortlist of figurative artists that elicited a visceral feeling to me. At the moment of inception, I did not have a physical space for the show. It was when a client of mine mentioned the acquisition of the abandoned hospital that a light bulb illuminated. Upon viewing the space I knew that it was within these walls that previously stored so much human emotion I would find a great fit for the show.
What do you see through the lens of this role in the contemporary art world that you may not have otherwise known about?
People are craving a different experience. The white walls of a gallery have gotten tired. The site specificity of unique exhibitions like this are what excites younger generations to educate themselves on the art world.
What is your role as an art broker?
As a private art dealer, I assist clients in creating outstanding collections based on pre-defined goals. I work in contemporary, post-war, and emerging. I work tirelessly to source the best works for clients, whether new to collecting or established.
What is something every artist should know, from an art broker’s perspective?
Kindness and being really cooperative will get you everywhere. You have to earn your stripes just like anyone else. No one owes you anything just because you’re an artist. Your ego is not your amigo. Share.
When or how did you decide to pursue a career in the arts?
I was a collector and passionate about art, educating myself at every chance I could get. It was an organic process to become an advisor as I was being asked by myriad friends and colleagues for advice. It was shortly after I realized I could make a living doing it!
Other than centers such as The Getty, I’ve never experienced art this way. What kind of feedback have you received about this exhibition?
People have been “delightfully” overwhelmed, they have mentioned enjoying having so many works to experience. The excitement of turning a corner and seeing something different and unexpected is a fantastical experience.
With the current political climate, what kind of efforts do you foresee within the contemporary art world?
Anytime there is dramatic political change, artists and culture rise up in response. Whether with blatant statements, or with process change and enhanced creativity - there will be a surge of new work that is truly inspirational. Whatever your opinion on the new president, one thing is certain - disruption will take place, and positive movement in the art world, and I believe, enhanced investment in buying work.
Photos // Josh White
For a full artist list, check out the exhibiton's website:
2231 S. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Exhibition through November 30th
Hours | Fri, Sat and Sun 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
You can also see the works on Artsy
This exhibition of Margaret Smithers-Crump’s work is one of 8 selected from among 137 proposals submitted for consideration for Manifest’s 13th season. It is the first solo exhibition Manifest has ever presented in multiple spaces at the gallery.
Three individual works will occupy two galleries, creating an environment through which viewers must pass, like small prey or symbiotic organisms, in order to experience them fully. As large wall-based installations the works insist upon a visceral, corporeal involvement on the part of the viewer. It is no accident that Smithers-Crump's works function perfectly to bridge, both literally and conceptually, between the two group exhibits also on view at this time.
Of her work the artist states:
"Through its inherent associations to life, death, and renewal, Vital explores water as the source and resource for all living beings and by extension, the vulnerability of the oceans. Acting as metaphors for a fragile existence, the glass-like artworks in this exhibition underscore the vital necessity of water on our planet.
Each installation is made of hundreds of unique hand cut, painted, and chemically bonded units of primarily recycled plexiglas. Individually formed and shaped by heat, these translucent pieces become both membranous and organic.
As glass is easily shattered, each of these plexiglas installations reminds us of the fragility of life on Earth and of the importance of water to its survival.”
Margaret Smithers-Crump is a Canadian artist based in Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Painting from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1973. For the last twenty years, Smithers-Crump has been exploring the aesthetic potential of Plexiglas in both painting and installations. She has had a series of solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and the United States including her recent one person exhibitions at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Galveston Art Center, Galveston,TX; Imperial Center for the Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mount, NC; Penn College of Technology - Penn State, Williamsport, PA; and Lawndale Art Center, Houston,TX.
The Recollections of Stones Unturned
Exhibition | Nov 4th through December 23rd, 2016
Kent Fine Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Yulia Pinkusevich. The Recollections of Stones Unturned is a project that gazes back at our moment in time through a distant future lens. Earth and Mars have now changed in unexpected ways. Viewers encounter clues to what has happened through the collection of Guðríður, a voyager obsessed with the early days of Mars exploration. Her collection consists of a series of large scale laser etchings depicting the first human+machine traces and marks made upon Mars along with geological specimens found across Guðríður’s journey. Other elements of this collection include two resonant instruments; a glass harmonica and cast iron bell apparatus. Video and text complete the experience. This installation contemplates the similarities between Mars and Earth considering the ways progress has evolved on Earth and its subsequent extraterrestrial trajectories on Mars.
Pinkusevich’s installation grew out of her time and research while an Artist in Residence at Autodesk, Pier 9 in San Francisco. Working alongside artists and scientists who focus on bioengineering, astrophysicist, robotics, speculative architecture, bio-nano tech and much more, she became immersed in a world of scientific explorations. Thus began a year long investigation into the new geologies of foreign worlds. At Pier 9, she had full access to state of the art technology as well as data from cutting edge scientific communities, all developing into a fascination with extraterrestrial landscapes like Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Mars.
Our Venison team uses this blog page to post short articles about events, projects, journeys, and art adventures that we find relevant to the contemporary lives of fellow artists.