Gregory Amenoff has discovered a new decisiveness. He generated his previous paintings improvisationally, arriving at images directly through the process of painting. In contrast, Amenoff’s new large-scale canvases are based on small pencil studies, which he made during a trip to Paris in the summer of 2012. “I was staying in a nice apartment so I couldn’t paint–I’m a sloppy painter. I bought a couple hundred colored pencils and some fairly hard paper, and I decided to develop some new images,” Amenoff told me. “For the first time in two years I was really excited by the images.”
Gregory Amenoff, Polaris, 2012, oil on canvas, 66 x 60 inches.
While in Paris, Amenoff also saw “Dream and Reality,” a Symbolist exhibition at the Musee D’Orsay that included work by Gustave Moreau, August Strindberg, and Odilon Redon. When he returned to his studio in the fall, Amenoff began the series of paintings stemming from the small pencil drawings. “Translating the small colored pencil studies to a larger size onto canvas was a big challenge,” says Amenoff. “I lost several that just weren’t good enough–they didn’t have the right surfaces–and the color changed a lot as well.”
Amenoff’s paintings have always been informed by the brooding landscapes of early twentieth century painters such as Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove, but this new work, which features a highly saturated palette, luxurious surfaces, exuberant light effects, and unapologetically theatrical space, has a deeper connection with the Symbolist work he saw in Paris. In the press release for the 2012 French exhibition, the curator writes:
the 19th century artist had to reconcile a desire to live in the contemporary world, accepting the realities of industrialisation and new working conditions, with a desire for an “elsewhere” drawn from mythology, legend and ancient civilisations, or drawn from the inner world of dreams, imagination and the mind.
I suspect that Amenoff, Chair of the Visual Arts Division in the School of the Arts at Columbia, must feel a pull between the traditional idea that paintings must be “resolved” and the new focus in contemporary painting on the irresolute. The results are triumphantly operatic.
Gregory Amenoff, Rising, 2012, oil on canvas, 82 x 76 inches.
Gregory Amenoff, Trace, 2012, oil on canvas, 64 x 62 inches.
Even though making art is often an experience that happens in the solitude of one's studio, it rarely occurs in a vacuum. Artists rely on each other for support, reinforcement, inspiration, and challenge, forming communities to avoid feeling like fish out of water in this world. Tim Gowan was one of those artists who cherished […]
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Snapshot: Overlooking the Central Baltic Sea from @fotografiska.stockholm. We saw the @shirin__neshat and @therealpeterlindbergh shows — strange combo, but both moving in their own way. The place is dark and loud — more like a nightclub than a gallery. The bar on the top floor is beautiful.
Latest post, link in profile / Inside: Arthouse art house / Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The set-up of Vasilis Katsoupis’ slickly but somewhat facilely resonant feature debut Inside is deceptively simple. A high-end art thief is helicoptered onto the roof of a luxury Manhattan high-rise and, with the aid of a techie accomplice, hacks into the security system of an absurdly opulent penthouse, owned by a high-end art collector who is evidently away for a season or two. The thief is targeting several of Egon Schiele’s signature vampy drawings and a singularly valuable self-portrait. Link in profile
Swedish-born and UK-based, artist, activist, writer and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö (31 December 1938 - 8 August 2005) fought for freedom from oppression, but especially for women’s rights. “THE GREAT COSMIC MOTHER” @modernamuseet is her first retrospective. Swipe for the image that was considered blasphemous and obscene in the 1970s.
Rejecting abstract art as a Western male privilege, she asked: “How does one communicate women’s strength, struggle, rising up from oppression, blood, childbirth, sexuality – in stripes and triangles?”
In the studio of Prince Eugen Napoleon Nicolaus of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Närke (1 August 1865 – 17 August 1947) was a Swedish painter, art collector, and patron of artists. Swipe through for a wide angle of his attic studio. Yes, it has a water view :) #stockholmartist #Waldemarsudde #Djurgården #princeeugen #landscapepainting
Save the date: Two Coats of Paint is hosting our first Hudson Valley Gallery Crawl on Oct 14 and 15. 💥 To kick off the weekend, we`re organizing a live conversation on the evening of Friday, October 13, moderated by Two Coats of Paint publisher @sharon_butler / Details to come ✍️
Participating galleries include: Analog Diary Art Sales & Research Artport Kingston Buster Levi Collar Works D’Arcy Simpson Art Works Susan Eley Fine Art Elijah Wheat Showroom Front Room Gallery Galerie Gris Garage Gallery Garrison Art Center Geary Joyce Goldstein Gallery Alexander Gray Associates Carrie Haddad Gallery Headstone Gallery Hudson Hall LABspace Lightforms Art Center Lockwood Gallery Mother Gallery Opalka Gallery Private Public Gallery The Re Institute SEPTEMBER Pamela Salisbury Gallery Turley Gallery Visitor Center Woodstock Artists Association & Museum
Latest post, link in profile / Ed Ruscha’s retro spective / Contributed by Laurie Fendrich / The work of the Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha is often referred to as a West Coast version of Pop Art. The implication, of course, is that since it didn’t come out of New York, it must be inferior. His retrospective “Now Then,” his first at the Museum of Modern Art and first in New York since 1983, contains over 200 works from 1958 to the present…. Despite its outward similarity to conceptual art and New York Pop Art, Ruscha’s work feels decidedly different. Link in profile
Image: Ed Ruscha, The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1965-68, oil on canvas, 135.89 x 339.09 cm