Looking Back

Now that the end-of-year lists have been published, everyone is looking ahead to what’s looming for 2010. Not me. I’m going to spend the month in retrospection. The Miami extravaganza aside, I normally post two or three times a week, which means I don't get to write about everything that interests me. So this month I’m going to dedicate my blog time to a look back at all the art I wish I'd been able to squeeze into the year: some gallery and museums shows, a great public sculpture, and a few studio visits.

To start, I’m going to look at my own favorite posts. Here's what I chose out of the 172 I wrote (though to tell the truth, I liked them all). Click on the titles to access the posts.

Cold? Come Stand Next to These

A stretch of frigid weather inspired this winter post, in which a suggestion of licking flames and glowing embers from Teresita Fernandez, Julian Jackson and others, even Fra Angelico, heated up the room, at least conceptually.
Here, Morris Louis at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Armory Week: Salvage Operation


Left, Sarah Braman at Museum 52, New York; at the Armory Fair
Right, Joy Garnett, Unmonumental 126

For this post I got to be both reporter and curator, pairing the trash-into-art sculptures I saw throughout the fairs with photos from Joy Garnett's Unmonumental series. Big thanks to Joy for letting me pull images from her blog,
Newsgrist. And a first for me: I was able to limit my Armory coverage to three posts.

Stephen Haller: Remembering Morandi

My dear friend and mentor remembers his good friend and mentor. It took 40 years for the story to get told, and I’m pleased to be the one who got Stephen to tell it over the course of two months and several interviews
Here, Stephen in the viewing room of his gallery holding a book on Morandi. That frontispiece photo of the artist was shot by Stephen in Morandi's home in Bologna in the 60s

Paper: Pressed, Stained, Slashed, Folded at MoMA

MoMA's second-floor drawing galleries often have the best shows in the house: thoughful and generally small in scale, the very opposite of the bombastic blockbusters upstairs. And because the work is typically organized from work in the collection, photography is allowed. (I posted about the Geo/Metric show there in 2008.)
Here, work by Eva Hesse, foreground, and Dorothea Rockburne

What I Saw This Summer

In this eight-parter, which started in August, I wrote about the art I saw in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Boston, and Brunswick, Maine; in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; up the Northway in Washington County, and then farther north in Montreal.
Here, Grace DeGennaro's studio in Brunswick, Maine

Getting High in West Chelsea

My running route used to take me under a rusted hulk of railroad overpass, a home to pigeons that paved the sidewalk below with their droppings. What a difference now! The newly renovated High Line is a park is where you come to stroll and look out at the Hudson.
Here, the tracks planted with native wildflowers


Trunks, branches and roots were everywhere in evidence. I saw plenty of arboreal attitude in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Miami. I looked to metaphors to explain the abundance. Are we putting down roots for stability? Branching out? Out on a limb? All of the above?
Here, Sandra Allen, Ballast, 2009, graphite on 15 sheets of paper; at Carroll and Sons Gallery, Boston

Fair and Fair Alike: Miami 2009

It’s my annual obsession, er, opus. The thematic posts were the most interesting because they went beyond reporting on the who, what, where and allowed me to begin to make visual sense of an event that brought together some 1000+ dealers and 10,000+ artists.
Here, from Working the Angles: Robert Mangold at the Pace Wildenstein booth, at ABMB

Marketing Mondays

The series in 2009 comprised 43 posts. I’m kind of amazed that I found enough to write about--and the time to write about it. Thanks for your responses, which really move the posts along. The first post for 2010 is already up. The sidebar lists them all, with links.
Here, Jackie Battenfield signing her book The Artist's Guide. And guess who's quoted in it?

A chance to write about my own projects

In this down economy I decided to focus instead on group shows. I wrote about them--not as a reviewer, of course, but as a participant. I also got to be a sho’nuff curator, for BlogPix, and moderated two blogger panels.
Here, an installation of my Silk Road paintings in Slippery When Wet at Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn

These are links to some of my projects this year:
. Blogpix, the Show
. Blogpix, the Panel
. Art Bloggers at Art Miami
. GeoMetrics at Gallery 128
. Summer Guest House at Marcia Wood Gallery
. The L’eau Down: Slippery When Wet
. A First Look at DM Contemporary


LXV said...

Joanne, As if I wasn't already a fan. This seals it. You have outdone yourself all year with excellent posts: great ideas, fair reporting (you can take that both ways), generous illustrations. Your blog is the first one I check every morning. I am inspired!

Lori Buff said...

A friend of mine does something similar, she makes a list of all of the highlights from the previous year. This helps her to focus on what she wants to repeat or expand upon in the New Year. Looking back seems to be a great way to move forward.

tony said...

There are times, Joanne, when I wonder if you haven't unlocked the mystery of how to convert a day of 24 hours into 36 or more. I stand back in admiration & thank you for what you have done & let us share.

Glenn said...

Your writing, reporting, advice and insight continues to be a source of inspiration and education for me. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to write and for the energy and dedication you devote to this endeavor. We are all the richer for your efforts!

Joanne Mattera said...

Thanks, everyone. Now the pressure's on!

But may I return the kind words and say how much I appreciate your comments, and those of everyone who has left a word of encouragement or an opinion (even if I don't always agree with it; it keeps the dialog lively--right Tony?)

mikesorgatz said...

Happy New Year and congratulations on creating such an interesting blog. I especially liked the Stephen Haller/Morandi piece, What I Saw..., and the Marketing Mondays series. Great work and all the best in 2010!