Painters at VOLTA

Armory Arts Week is over, but I wanted to share some work from VOLTA, one of the smaller, more interesting fairs. VOLTA is different from the other fairs because the international galleries, selected by a panel of curators, present solo installations by emerging artists. This year more than half of the 90+ artists were painters. Overall, the work tended toward garishly colorful near-representation. Images of impressionistic, seemingly unfinished figures, mid-century modernist architecture, and images of vintage bookcovers displayed on shelves were also plentiful. Here are a few images with links to more info about each of the painters at VOLTA.

SBD, Untitled, 2010, mixed media, 12.36 x 9.96.” Presented by P74 Gallery, Slovenia.
My choice for Best in Show: SBD Small but Dangers

SBD is Mateja Rojc (b.1977 in Ljubljana, Slovenia) and her partner Simon Hudolin-Sal?i (b.1977 in Kranj, Slovenia).  According to their statement, SBD does not mean anything: it is an intentionally misspelled and paraphrased expression ‘Small, but Mighty’ (sitan, ali dinamitan), used in the context of the south-eastern Europe to denote a singular rebellious and powerful subject, capable of confronting and winning over an enemy who is usually much better consolidated. This expression, typical for the misfit-mentality of a Balkan man/woman, has become an operative term and a personal artistic brand of Rojc and Hudolin � Sal?i, a couple who live in a tiny Slovenian village of Cerkno. 
Summer Wheat, “Moldy Brain Eater,” 2010, acrylic and oil on canvas, 16 x 20.” Presented by Sams�n, Boston.

I particularly liked Summer Wheat’s artist statement: “I don�t describe my work as ‘abstract painting.’ I see it as failed representational sculpture, and I love its failure. How can I make paint three-dimensional? How can I depict a subject matter that is more than its form? These are the impossible questions that push me to abuse the purity of paint and uplift the awkward moments in human life. My paintings are full of messy human content: dorkiness, disappointment, humor and loss. They are impersonations in which the emotional content overwhelms the physical. Fascinated by vulnerability, I exalt in the incomplete.”

Amadeo Azar, “Disorder,” 2010, Watercolor on paper, 39.5 x 59.” Presented by Nora Fisch Arte Contempor�neo, Buenos Aires

Aaron Johnson, “I Dreamed I Painted Flowers All Over Your Naked Body, and in that Dream I Awoke from Dreaming, My Eyes Opened to See the Flowers Rot, Turning First Putrid, then Molten, then Burst Your Flesh into Flame,” 2010, acrylic on polyester knit mesh, 185 x 117 cm (presented by MiTO)

 Ryan Schneider, “The Display,” 2011, oil on canvas, 54 x 78.” Schneider’s booth installation included studio trappings like his futon sofa, wall of postcard images, dirty palettes and empty beer bottles. Presented by Priska C. Juschka Fine Art.

Peter Opheim, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 110 x 98.”  Presented by Steven Zevitas Gallery
 Jennie Ottinger, “Death Comes for Archbishop (book cover),” Gouache on paper (cover), Summarized and hollowed book, 9 x 6.” presented by Johansson Projects
Manfred Schneider, “Collector’s Hobby,” 2008, Charcoal, enamel on paper, 59 x 43,.” (Presented by Sebastian Brandl, Munich) 
Martin Galle, Return of the Mac, 2010, acrylic, oil on canvas, 90 x 120.” (Presented by ASPN, Leipzig)

Painters at VOLTA include:
1. Aaron Johnson
2. Amadeo Azar
3. Andrey Klassen
4. Andy Leleisi-uao
5. Bertram Hasenauer
6. Bradley Castellanos
7. Che Lovelace
8. Christian-Schoeler.
9. Deborah-Grant
10. Dil-Hildebrand
11. Dirk-Vander-Eecken
12. EVOL
13. Florian-Heinke
14. Fredrik-Hofwander
15. Herbert-Nauderer
16. Ida-Kvetny
17. Jennie-Ottinger
18. Jim-Houser
19. Kristopher-Benedict
20. Kwon-Kyunghwan
21. Laurina-Paperina
22. Manfred-Schneider
23. Martin-Galle
24. Mary-Temple
25. Nadia-Hebson
26. Natasha-Kissell
27. Nelleke-Beltjens
28. Nicky-Broekhuysen
29. Oana-Farcas
30. Paul-Chiappe
31. Paul-Nugent
32. Peter-Opheim
33. Richard-Colman
34. Ryan-Brown
35. Ryan-Schneider
36. Sabine-Banovic
37. SBD
38. Shay-Kun 
39. Summer-Wheat
40. Susanne-Simonson
41. Tadashi-Moriyama
42. Theo-Boettger
43. Tim-Okamura
44. Tina-Schwarz
45. Willem-Andersson
46. Winnie-Truong
47. Yevgeniy-Fiks

Related post:
VOLTA Part II: How the Work Was Installed

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  1. Looking at the Volta site, I am again (more than ever) convinced that the artist statement should be done away with; we need not justify what we are doing with half hearted explanations. While I also enjoy Summer Wheat's work, reading that she considers her paintings "failed" versions of something else adds nothing to my impression of them. They are paintings and whether or not she considers them failures of some kind is of no importance to me. It reminds me of college art critiques where the student apologises and offers an excuse for some weakness the teacher has pointed out. The only difference here is that the apology has been turned around to make a post-post modern point.
    Yes, lots of architecture and landscape as well as the continuing visual mash-up trend where everything is thrown in but the kitchen sink. I looked through all the work listed and only found one painting containing (dead) deer though there were a few of humans with animal heads (another trend). The book trend is interesting – perhaps a kind of nostalgia for fast disappearing objects. It also seems obvious that many people are actually drawing rather than using a paint brush, but these days it's all the same.

  2. "I am again (more than ever) convinced that the artist statement should be done away with; we need not justify what we are doing with halfhearted explanations."

    Agreed. Makes the picture makers look more like conceptualists who have to explain everything.

  3. I like what and how you see!

  4. I want to hear more from Dr LM Smith even though he urges us to hear less.

  5. Aren't most in effect being conceptual artists anyway? It's like they are calling attention to being too-cool-for-school. So that makes their statements some act as a tool in that. Like a title placard.

    I think it should be required for art students to take a course revolved solely around art statement writing. What if they wrote a new art statement monthly for a semester?

    Clearly alot of these artists can't write. That doesn't surprise me. But having to write about your art frequently tends to have the good effect of calling yourself out on what you do and don't do.

    Maybe some of these artists haven't had the experience of being called out. Or maybe they have. Or maybe the way they write their statements is reflective of how they don't feel their work needs to be justified.

  6. Great coverage of small fair. Thanks mucho.

  7. "I think it should be required for art students to take a course revolved solely around art statement writing."

    I think it should be required that no artists go to college, and never read or write in mainstream art historical language. There seems to be a generic sameness to nyc ptg. since most artists are taught which pool of signifiers count as art, and which don't. Eurocentric North American at that. So painters are picking among the same pool of images for viable sources. Give me an untrained female Pollock, any day.

  8. Thanks for giving me the clearest idea about the painting content at Volta that I've heard yet…Now I'm going to look through yr blog for the same thing at the armory…

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