My brother visited Austin last December, and my husband and I took him on a sightseeing tour of several great places around Austin, including a couple of places to see art.
One day, we made it over to the Davis Gallery to see the really awesome wood sculpture of Caprice Pierucci. Her work really blows me away. It’s both very labor-intensive and very organic in appearance. I love the undulations and how she makes wood appear so fluid! Take a look:
The next day we headed over to the Blanton to see the “Turner to Monet: Masterpieces from The Walters Art Museum” exhibit, which was slightly underwhelming. But then we headed up to the second floor to view the American and Contemporary galleries. A lot of wonderful humongous works and a few interesting and even awesome installations.
I was hoping to see a piece by Byron Kim titled “Synedoche,” that I had seen years ago. It’s a 20-panel piece that is composed essentially of portraits of 20 people randomly encountered on the UT campus—but each panel is a solid color— the color of their skin, representing the whole person (hence the title), with the group of painted panels representing the larger population. I’ve seen another larger portion of this project, which I thought I saw here in Austin, and which has even more impact. The initial work received a lot of acclaim in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. There is a 400-panel iteration of this at the National Gallery that I would really love to see in person.
Unfortunately, this was not on display during our brief visit to the Blanton, but here is a group of photos I shot from the Contemporary galleries there. For artists and explanations of the work, you really owe it to yourself to go to the Blanton and take a look yourself. Many of these pieces become even more interesting when you find out the motivation and intent behind their creation.
Full Day of Visiting Artist Studios, Last Day of E.A.S.T.
I decided to spend the final day of EAST visiting more artists’ studios rather than hanging around The Vortex. If you came to see me at The Vortex yesterday, my apologies for not being there; if you’d like to see more of my paintings, you can always schedule a private visit at my home studio; just contact me and we’ll set something up.
I started at neighbor Robbie Ortiz’s studio, where he and fellow painter Stephen Schwake were showing their work. Robbie does some amazing cubistic paintings and drawings; visit his website at: RobbieOrtiz.com.
Stephen does large paintings and drawings influenced by “80’s skateboard graphics, hot rods, science, stained glass, American roots music, mid-century modern design, art history, and World War II fighter planes.” His site is StephenSchwake.com.
Next, I headed down to the Artpost, where I visited with Court Lurie for a bit. I really love her abstract paintings! Court is very deservedly a rising star in the Austin art world.
I popped my head into a few other studios; there’s a glass artist named Nicholas Dertrien who is doing some pretty amazing blown glass sculpture of the human body, some complete with (what I think are) internal organs.
I also peeked at the work of sculptors/installation artists Scott Proctor and Marianne McGrath.
Then I drove up to the Pump Project Satellite, where I met painter Keva Richardson (love her work), and visited with good friend Jill Alo at Women Printmakers of Austin, where I also ran into friend and fellow encaustic artist Maggie Jordan. Popped into Damon Arhos studio, too.
Stopped in to see Daphne Holland’s new work, and chatted with Juan Moreno, two more encaustic artists from Texas Wax. Stopped into Bay6 Studio, where I talked to Kevin Kuhn briefly (he’s taken over the Texas Wax website, bless his heart), and Sharon Kyle Kuhn, the encaustic artist who started the Austin Chapter of Texas Wax.
By this time, it was after 5:30, and I still had at least 6 more artists on my must-see list but knew I only had time for one more. So I zipped over to Jennifer Chenoweth‘s to see her new work and the work of Virginia Fleck. Her work is always so interesting, and her home itself is an amazing work of art! Good call: Jennifer very kindly packed up a bowl of her delicious chicken pesole to take with me after my very brief visit.
And that, my friends, was my whirlwind one day tour of EAST 2010 (seeing only about 1/10th of the artists participating this year).
Sculpture by Hank Waddell and paintings by Shawn Camp at Shawn Camp’s studio during E.A.S.T. 2010
An artist is not an isolated system. In order to survive he has to interact continuously with the world around him… Theoretically there are no limits to his involvement.— Hans Haacke
EAST Artists Tour
This year, for the first time, artists were able to visit other artists’s studios on a few weeknights in the week between the two EAST public tour weekends. This is a really great development! A major drawback of being a participating artist in EAST these past years has always been that you’re stuck at your own studio and can’t get out to see new work, new artists, new spaces, new ideas, and visit with your artist friends. It was one of the main reasons why I didn’t open my studio last year, and instead spent the time visiting as many artists and studios as I could comfortably squeeze in.
The folks who organized this actually pulled it off more or less at the last moment, so I think that not all the artists were even aware of it. I found out too late to make it during the first two nights, but managed to get to three artist’s studios on the third night.
First, I got to visit with neighbor and painter extraordinaire Jennifer Balkan. Jennifer is a very painterly figurative painter who often uses bits of maps in her work (and she’s really, really nice!). I saw her work during the very first EAST Tour that I visited—maybe it was #2 in 2004 (when there were only 51 locations)—and I was blown away by her work then.
Jennifer just gets better and better, and her work is currently included in this great invitational “Women Painting Women” show at Robert Lange Studio in Charleston. You can see the show and read the articles from American Art Collector, ArtMag, & Art See at: Robert Lange Studio, and you can visit her website and see more of her work and info at: JenniferBalkan.com.
Next, I visited with neighbor, friend and painter Ines Batllo in her wonderful new studio. Ines is a Catalan painter whose paintings in oil and encaustic are skillful, deep, and full of soul. She’s doing some very interesting three-dimensional work with encaustic. She and I were having such a great conversation that I forgot to take any photos there, but you can view her work online at: inespaintings.com.
My last visit of the evening was to Shawn Camp’s studio, with Shawn Camp’s paintings and Hank Waddell’s sculptures.
Shawn’s paintings are so luscious; they are very thick with gorgeous paint, and I just want to roll in them (like in the movie “What Dreams May Come”). His work also references the landscape from an aerial perspective. I first saw Shawn’s work at the Davis Gallery in 2006, when he showed with the awesome sculptor Caprice Pierucci, and I just fell in love Shawn’s work at that time (and Caprice’s!).
Well, I fell heads over heels in love with one particular little painting of Shawn’s this night, and so, soon I will be able to look at it every day. Yes! I am buying a small painting from Shawn, and I could hardly be more excited! (EAST folks, take note: The EAST Artists Tour is definitely worth it for artist and artist alike!). 🙂
Sculptor Hank Waddell’s work is very cool, and so is he. He uses a lot of construction materials in his work, makes beautiful and intriguing sculptures in wood, bamboo, metal, foam and more. He also creates some very cool (and affordable) lead airplanes, and is always, always surprising. Hank was one of the very few artists chosen for the 24th “New American Talent” at Arthouse’s Jones Center. The work was selected by New American Talent juror, Hamza Walker, Curator and Director of Education, The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago.”
I met Hank when he was president of the Texas Society of Sculptors, and I was taking over as webmaster. We’ve both since moved on from our positions at TSOS, but we have stayed friends, and I designed his newest website. To see Hank’s fantastic and fun work, visit his site at: HankWaddell.com.