Contributed by Kasper Nihlmark / During a two-week trip to New York City from my native Sweden, I had the chance to catch a glimpse of the city’s art scene firsthand. As a sculptor, I was predisposed to wander about sculpture parks and museums. The Pratt Institute’s Sculpture Park, which stretches across its campus in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill, showcases more than 70 works and a wide range of techniques and materials. Notwithstanding its broadly educational purpose, each piece is well-chosen and nicely integrated with the rest. Among the most striking is Nova Mihai Popa’s Ecstasy, a joyful composition of positive and negative shape.
In addition to his regular practice of solitary drawing, painting, and sculpture, Jim Condron is working on a project that involves an array of other artists, writers, and thinkers. The pieces produced are on display in “Collected Things,” a solo exhibition at Art Cake, through June 17. On the occasion of this charming and poignant show, _Two Coats of Paint_ invited Condron to share some of the artists, objects, and ideas that inform his work. Here’s his list.
Contributed by Adam Simon / I only watched parts of The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist – the six-episode MTV/Smithsonian Channel reality show in which seven artists compete for an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and $100k in prize money. Not having an MTV account, my viewing was repeatedly interrupted by ads, and I bailed after watching a few episodes. I was sorry to bail in a way because there were things I liked about The Exhibit. The artists were impressive as thinking, creative individuals and I was taken with how supportive they appeared of each other, remarkable given the stakes. If there were times of cutthroat competition, they were carefully edited out, happened off camera, or just weren’t in the bits that I saw. I’m guessing the comradery I witnessed was genuine. That said, there is a striking degree to which The Exhibit, as a reality TV show, resembles any other reality TV show, whether it’s American Idol, The Apprentice, or Top Chef. A quick scan shows over 400 reality TV shows listed on Wikipedia, dating back to my favorite, the British Up series in 1964.]
Contributed by Sharon Butler / There’s no sweeter time to visit a seaside town than during the springtime off-season, before the tourists jam the streets, take all the parking spots, and hog the waterfront picnic benches. One beautiful morning last week, I dropped everything and drove out to the East End of Long Island to smell the salt air and feel the sea breeze on my face. Enroute, I stopped at three terrific venues.
Contributed by Astrid Dick / On December 18th, 2022, Argentina, my country of origin, won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar against France, my country of residence. It was perhaps the most epic and thrilling final in this international tournament’s history. Two months later, Argentina’s victory is still slowly settling in my mind. As time passes, I realize more than ever how football – or fútbol, soccer, calcio, etc – at its highest level is a collective practice that parallels the practice of art, where the individual and the team refine and adapt their senses and skill, where gestures leave their imprint in memory, and where a decisive move can determine the outcome.
Contributed by Frank Webster / In the month of October, I participated in the residency program at the Burren College of Art. During my stay, I hiked extensively documenting the region both photographically and in paintings. The Burren is an UNESCO Global Geopark located in County Clare in the west of Ireland. It is a geologically and environmentally unique area with a rich archeological, cultural, and historical legacy. Here are selections from my journal along with a few images from my travels.
Contributed by Ellen Letcher and Julie Torres / We are huge Katherine Bradford fans, and when we told Two Coats of Paint editor Sharon Butler we were driving up to Maine to see her retrospective at the Portland Museum of Art, she invited us to share five things about the show, illustrated with photos. We aren’t writers, and at first this seemed like an easy way for us to organize our thoughts. Still, it proved too difficult because, flying between us, we had millions of complicated emotions. For an exhibition that feels so important, so timely, and so thoroughly moving, reducing the experience to just Five Things was daunting.
Contributed by Frank Webster / The High Arctic has always fascinated me. Since falling in love with Barry Lopez’s classic Arctic Dreams some two decades ago, I have dreamed of visiting the far north. So I was very excited to receive word that I had been accepted for the Arctic Circle expedition. A couple of pandemic postponements later, I finally was able to go on the voyage in June of 2022.
On March 31, 2022 Two Coats of Paint contributor Julia Kunin spoke with artist-reporters Violetta Oliinyk and Taras Polataiko to see how they were doing, and then she followed up on May 7. Due to unexpected technical issues at Two Coats of Paint, we have been unable to publish these interviews until today.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Northern Vermont seems far away now, but in ten years it may be an entrenched artists enclave. And Johnson, thanks to still-affordable housing and the VSCs rich arts program, could be its center. Here’s a report from my visit a few weeks ago.