Wu Jian’an’s Image Confrontation

Wu Jian’an, 36 Color Balls (X), 2018. Watercolor on paper, 53 x 52 cm (20 3/4 x 20 1/2 in). Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art ©Wu Jian’an.

In Wu Jian’an’s art forms and concepts, there are visual tricks, reflections on the polymorphism of cultural heritage, and manifestations of humanity and divinity. Chambers Fine Art is now featuring Wu’s recent works. His representative series, 500 Brushstrokes, is rife with randomness and has some characteristics of action painting. Much of this lies in the fact that Wu places no restrictions on his objects, and the materials they use, such as brushes, colors, and paper, or even whether they draw delicately. 500 Brushstrokes thus have a strong conceptual nature, meaning that each stroke represents a person, an individual, which has a more distinct meaning in China with a large population. Different people create brushstrokes that, whether consciously or unconsciously, bear their own imprints—bold, elegant, or discreet. Yet to make them a work of art, the artist’s aesthetic sense is essential. Wu reads such random acts and intentionally reassembles and collages them, which also speaks to the appeal of art.

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Whose Stripe Is It, Anyway?

Astrid Dick, “Paris Bleu” (2021–22), oil on canvas, 80 x 70 inches

I never know when I might see a painting that makes me want to look again, look longer, and think harder about what is in front of me. Recently, I gave a reading at M. David & Co., a Brooklyn gallery run by the artist Michael David. At the reading, each poet stood in front of a large painting made of two different-sized canvases abutted together that hung alone on a recessed wall. Even though someone always seemed to be standing in front of the painting, I was struck by what I saw. After the reading, as people were hanging out, drinking wine, and talking, David introduced me to the artist, Astrid Dick, whose work was included in the two-person exhibition with Erika Ranee Painting Paintings: A Leap of Fate at M. David & Co. (October 28–December 11, 2022). When I talked to Dick about the painting, I learned that a critic had told her that she could not paint stripes because Sean Scully and Frank Stella had already painted them. This struck me as one of those patently foolish statements — like “painting is dead” — that still circulates in the art world.

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Interview with Monika Gloviczki

Dr. Monika L. Gloviczki was born in Poland. She studied medicine in Warsaw and in Paris, at the Faculty of Medicine – CHU Necker-Enfants Malades, where she earned her MD and PhD title.


In 2007, she moved to the United States and joined Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where she worked until 2013.
Gloviczki’s artistic education begun at an early age with her father, Stanislaw Kazmierczyk, a Polish artist painter and illustrator, who taught her basics of drawings, gouache, and oil painting. She also followed classes of drawings and paintings in Warsaw and later in Paris, at the Ateliers du Carrousel du Louvre. In the US she attended a two-year colourists’ school class. Since 2013, Monika Gloviczki has been a recognized painter, exhibiting regularly. She has had 33 group exhibitions, most in the US but also in France, Italy, and Azerbaijan. Among the shows the most important to be mentioned are the annual exhibitions at “Agora Gallery” in New York, NY, from 2016 to present; three exhibitions at M.A.D.S. Art Gallery in Milano, Italy in 2021; the “Art 3F” Art fair in Paris from 2018 to 2020 and the “19th Salon International d’Art Contemporain” in Paris, in 2016. Her works belong to private and public collections in the US and in France.

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Tjebbe Beekman: Symbiosis

Ira, 2020. Acrylic, sand, and plaster on canvas mounted to wood panels, 32 1/2 x 25 3/8 inches each. Courtesy the artist and GRIMM, Amsterdam and New York.

In conversing with the Dutch painter Tjebbe Beekman about his upcoming exhibition at Grimm, it seemed to me that it mattered as an introduction to his work:
He says he has spent “the last 25 years, just about, in dirty rooms with loud music on,” and how that “impacts what he does just as surely as the political climate” and his actual living place,
The studio where I work now is around 160 square meters. The studio is for an artist [painter] like me of course one of the most sacred and important places there is, at the border of Amsterdam in a nature park overlooking a lake and we live on a houseboat in the center of the city.

I’ve divided the place into a dirty room (very much the studio cell that is exemplary for an artist studio only now with a lake view) and a clean room where I can finish the paintings in a more home-like or gallery-like atmosphere where we grow plants, I have my record collection and book collection to choose from, and we built in a kitchen and shower, etc.

So different from his studio in Berlin, “overlooking the biggest prison for political opponents in Berlin GDR time.” And the light in Berlin had been so different:

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Whose Mother Is Nature Anyway?

Carolee Schneemann, Secret Garden” (1956), oil on canvas (all photos by Annabel Keenan/Hyperallergic)

There’s something almost intoxicating when an exhibition’s message trickles down so profoundly into daily life. I’m Not Your Mother, a group show at PPOW, pokes holes in fundamental, seldom-questioned aspects of the history of western landscape painting, humanity’s relationship with nature, and the experience of being a mother. Broad as that may seem, the show focuses in on the concept of mother nature and underscores the connection between the feminization and exploitation of the environment.

The romanticized idea of nature as the mother of all beings has roots in western landscape painting, a fact made clear by the show’s inclusion of an 1877 work by the Hudson River School artist Jasper Francis Cropsey. The painting shows a fertile landscape encompassing a calm lake surrounded by luscious trees just starting to change color. An elevated bank bends into the lake, providing two figures with easy access to fish or contemplate nature’s beauty.

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James Siena’s Radical Abstraction

James Siena, “Trectiuff” (2020), acrylic and graphite on linen, 75 x 120 inches (all images courtesy Miles McEnergy Gallery)

Drawing a line is central to James Siena’s painting practice. The lines are repeated according to a pre-established set of rules, or what the artist calls a “visual algorithm.” This is how he described the impetus to work this way in a lecture he gave at Youngstown State University in 2018: “At a certain point I wanted to make drawings and works that act as machines. The way they act as machines is you have to find your way into them and find your way out of them. As you undo the making of them they come to life.” Siena’s description reminds me of Raymond Queneau, co-founder of Oulipo, a group dedicated to writing under structural constraints, who described fellow oulipians as “rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape.”

Working this way Siena seems never to have stepped into the same machine twice. Between 2005, when I first wrote about his work, and the present, he has made optically vibrant geometric abstractions; evoked different human orifices; depicted angry old men made entirely of wrinkles (imagine conceptual mystic Sol LeWitt meets Mad magazine’s’ Basil Wolverton), some of whom were masturbating; suggested visual mazes and topographical maps; and seemingly become a painting machine run amok, both repeating and mis-recognizing a lost original.

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Giovanni Comin’s Putto with a Skull and a Book

Giovanni Comin, “Putto with a skull and a book (allegory of vanitas)”. Late XVII century (before 1695), Carrara marble, cm 80. Courtesy of Botticelli Antichità, Florence.

This inedited kneeling putto has its face directed towards the onlooker. Indeed, he shows us his weeping, which must be read as the most primordial answers to the discovery of the inevitability of the common human destiny, that is its material transience [1]. A painful feeling that has in the presence of the skull – on which our child rests his right hand and which he holds to himself by means of the mantle that partly dresses him – his primary cause. The skull, which is without the mandible and the incisors and canines of the upper dental arch, is placed over a closed volume. The dense shadows arising from its concave eye sockets and deeply hollowed nostrils are aligned almost vertically to the putto’s face, but opposing it for the play of solids and voids. The putto is in fact characterized by a hyper-expressive facial expression with a strong prominence chiaroscuro. In short, we are faced with the lively reaction of one on the silent and perennial impassivity of the other.

The work is carved in a single block of Carrara marble and is presented on the left side, entirely covered by the rough marks of the pointed chisel and the mallet, both tools used by the artist for the first roughing. The back also offers some similar tracks; in the center the wall of the marble is substantially smooth, with, however, the presence of an evident difference in height in the middle.

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How Is Artificial Intelligence Changing Art History?

DALL-E image based on the prompt: “An Impressionist painting of a tomato climbing a ladder by the sea.”

People get up in arms whenever the hand of the artist is detached from the final artwork. “Are photographs real art?” they muttered in the 19th Century. “God I hate this Pollock guy,” cried haters witnessing a splattered canvas that the artist seemingly never touched. So it’s no wonder that AI image-generators have got art historians in a twist, as more artists make use of these tools to inform their practice. I love diving into what gets people’s blood boiling in the art world, and this summer AI crept its way onto the leaderboard of irritants. But why? And what might it teach us about art history and visual consumption?

DALL-E 2, a text-to-image AI generation program, went live to audiences this autumn. The initial version of the model — which takes its tongue-in-cheek name from Disney’s lovable 2008 robot WALL-E and the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí — was released in January 2021 by the OpenAI research lab.

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Robert C. Morgan: The Loggia Paintings: Early and Recent Work at The Scully Tomasko Foundation

Robert C. Morgan. Courtesy of the artist.

Formalist painting most frequently hinges on a construct of empiricism which holds that geometric forms, line, and color, ordered in harmony are sufficient content such that form is synonymous with the content of the work. This line of reasoning positions formalism within the discourse of modernism and this, as the artist has said “raises the question as to the role of formalism after post modernism” (1).

The intellectual rigor that distinguishes the paintings of Robert C. Morgan from conventional formalist work, lies in its conceptual underpinning. The reaction of natural light and its relationship to the internal components is the basis of the function of Morgan’s work. Morgan’s paintings are intimate in scale and at first glance seem to be situated with in the discourse of formalism. The fifteen paintings from the Loggia Series of 2019, are primarily square, painted in a limited pallet of pure colors rendering geometric forms, are constructed entirely of straight lines and right angles. The series seem to be executed in a systemic manner. The curator Lawrence Alloway described systemic painting by saying “form becomes meaningful, not because of ingenuity or surprise, but because of repetition and extension.

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Anish Kapoor – The Vantablack Feud

Anish Kapoor – Cloud Gate is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image credit: Mariano Mantel

It’s not often that colors are at the heart of controversies, however famous Indian-born British artist, Anish Kapoor managed to do exactly that. His studio purchased the exclusive rights to the artistic use of Surrey NanoSystem’s “blackest black”, Vantablack coating. It’s safe to say the art world did not sit idly by. At the heart of the feud is the notion of exclusivity, and not necessarily exclusivity in appearance, but specifically the exclusivity of a color. So who is Anish Kapoor and what happened?

Born in Mumbai in 1954, Anish Kapoor is a British sculptor known for his use of abstract forms, and his love for rich colors and polished surfaces. Upon leaving school, Kapoor spent a few years on a Kibbutz in Israel, where he decided to stay and train to become an engineer. Within 6 months, the realization that life as an engineer wasn’t for him had dawned and he decided to pursue a career in art, in London instead. After completing his studies in art, the young artist returned to his native India for a visit. On this trip, he gained a new perspective on the country, finding a new appreciation for its colors, shapes and textures.

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