In the Studio with Francis Cape : Fragments

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The Other End of the Line, 2010 interior with work by DeWitt Godfrey, Gina Occhiogrosso, Margo Mensing, Richard Garrison, Matt Harle photo Paul Kennedy

Francis Cape’s straightforward-appearing art communicates a world view that is complex and sophisticated. As the son of a British diplomat, Cape was born in Portugal and grew up in major cities all over the world. This, and his apprenticeship to a wood carver in York, England from 1974-79 are early markers that led to his life with artist/wife Liza Phillips.  Their innovative yet traditional art practices enliven the light-filled rooms of their renovated home and studios in Narrowsburg, New York, a low-income Republican area of Sullivan County that was recently devastated by a derecho, a kind of horizontal tornado. Cape told me that thirty trees were down on his land, and I could see he was already in the process of turning some fallen trees into firewood and hauling others away. In Narrowsburg, Cape serves as a volunteer ambulance driver and head of the Democratic Party and considers this his “social practice.” Continue reading

Empowered Women

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Installation view of SEED, at Paul Kasmin Gallery, June 21 – August 10, 2018. Wangechi Mutu in foreground. Photo: Christopher Stach

“Seed” at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York brings together 29 emerging to seasoned artists whose work embraces female archetypes — the goddess, warrior, mystic, sage, lover, maiden, and matriarch.  The layout allows works to “talk to each other” and the selection avoids or confronts stereotypes.  Curated by Yvonne Force, one theme is “the complexity and resonance of a long association between the natural world, sexuality and fertility, and spirituality and mysticism.” Continue reading

Part 2 of Interview with Agnieszka Kurant: Cambridge Analytica and The End of Signature

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Currency Converter, 2016. Various objects, pigment print on archival paper. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
. Photo: Jean Vong

Agnieszka Kurant discusses the concept of collective signatures, including one for the façade of the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology. Continue reading

Agnieszka Kurant: Complex Systems

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Agnieszka Kurant A.A.I (10-15) 2017 Termite mounds built by colonies of termites from colored sand, gold and crystals .Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
. Photo: Dylan Wilson

“My work is about how aggregated social capital can be used for good causes. Its value can even be calculated.” – Agnieszka Kurant

Agnieszka Kurant  is preparing to install one of her collective signatures on the façade of the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology. Her commission for the SFMOMA was launched earlier this month.  In 2017, Kurant’s recent exhibitions include a solo show at SCAD MoA in Savannah and at the CCA in Tel Aviv and commissions for Guggenheim Bilbao and for Bonner Kunstverein. In 2015 she did a commission for the façade of the Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 2013-2014, the artist presented a major solo exhibition at the Sculpture Center, New York. Continue reading

Shezad Dawood in the Studio

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Shezad Dawood (b. 1974, London); Kalimpong; 2016; virtual reality; © Shezad Dawood; courtesy of Timothy Taylor, London/New York

Shezad Dawood’s neon “Wrathful Activity, Fierce Energy,” his bronze and cement digital sculptures, his virtual reality work “Kalimpong,” and his de-materialized collage/paintings at the Rubin Museum  are worth visiting through January 28, 2019. They add up to a spectacular show in many media. This London-born and London-based artist has a Ph.D. from Leeds Metropolitan University and is a research fellow in experimental media at the University of Westminster. His feature film Piercing Brightness (2013) has been shown at film festivals and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Dawood has also published two books and many articles. “Kalimpong”  was a physical and psychological thrill to experience. Continue reading

In the Studio with Miriam Ancis

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Round About (detail). Steel, Acrylic. 66 x 60 x 13 1/2. 2018

Miriam Ancis is among the dozens of artists whom curators and artists recommended to me in January. I first met Miriam at the New York Foundation for Arts in 2017 when she showed me abstract conceptual work she was developing. We exchanged twenty-seven emails as I also exchanged countless emails with other innovative artists.  More on my artist selection process at the end. Continue reading