Joy Garnett, detail from O.P.P., shown full view below.
. Boom and Bust, Joy Garnett’s solo show of six large paintings at the Winkleman Gallery (through November 13), is all about that moment when something happens, something very unlike what was immediately before or will be immediately after. I know Garnett gathers her images from the Internet, and that her previous work focused on images of war. Here she has worked from images of military explosions. That fleeting instant, rendered in oil, is sublime—each a mandala against a night sky. I lingered safely before the paintings, choosing not to think about what came next.
Installation view: Rose and O.P.P., with full view below..
Continuing clockwise around the gallery, with Roil at right
and full view below
Continuing around, looking toward entrance, with views of Sploosh, center, and Lost, right
. Before I start today's post, a request: Send me to Miami. Info and Paypal link are on the sidebar, right. Merci. .
I’m in the home stretch for a solo that will open in 10 days at the Arden Gallery in Boston. I’m getting ready to send out an email announcement—and that has inspired this Marketing Mondays post. Some e-announcements are effective; others are not. A few thoughts:
Want your email to get read?
You have three good opportunities in an email to reach your reader: the message line, the information in the email itself, and an image. If you have provided a jpeg or PDF attachment and gotten someone to click onto it, bingo.
. What’s in the subject line?Spam filters automatically sequester certain words and phrases: Good Day, Take a Look, and Hello, Friend. Look through the messages in your own filter and don’t use anything like what you find there. On the other hand, directness gets through. Here are a few messages I received recently. I’ve put them in order of Ho-Hum (completely non specific) to Gotta See It (who, what and where piques my interest enough to find out when). . . . . New Exhibition . . . . Reminder . . . . Request to view . . . . Exhibit Opens on Thursday . . . . Open Studios this Weekend . . . . San Francisco Open Studios, 2010 . . . . Joy Garnett: “Boom & Bust” opens at Winkleman
. Don’t send an attachment and nothing else What am I, a mind reader? Give me a reason to click on that jpeg (not a PDF). Besides, I want to know it’s you and not a spammer who has hijacked your e-address with a virus-bearing attachment. In other words, give me some information. Yes, there will be redundancy between the email message and the information on the attachment. That’s OK. Redundancy can be effective. Effective. . Give me an image
If you want to pique my interest sufficiently to click onto the jpeg—or just to read what’s in the body of the email—give me a peek at what you’re talking about. We’re visual people; that means an image. Dealers and curators get dozens, possibly hundreds, of emails a day. An image gives your email a fighting chance of being seen. (I know this is true, because I’m on the press list for all the galleries that have participated in every art fair I've covered and I get dozens of emails a day. Unless those emails give me a good visual reason not to, my m.o. is delete, delete, delete.) . . . . Apparently Macs and PCs open mail differently, but an embedded email should be visible in both platforms. Size it down so that you’re not sending a 10-megapixel image that will take me five minutes to download. In PC, I have sent images to myself, allowing the program to automatically make the images smaller. When I get them, they’re a manageable 640 pixels wide and the standard 72 dpi. You can resize them in Photoshop, too. (Someone more Photoshop savvy than I can tell you how or if it’s possible to resize a bunch at once. Anyone want to comment?) . . . . .Send thebest picture of your best work, same as you would on a postcard.And make sure thelive links in your document are functioning. There’s nothing more frustrating for a reader than to open a document with bad pictures and links that hit a dead end..
Finally, edit fortypos. You don't see them in the document on your monitor, but I guarantee they will be the first thing anyone sees when they open your email. Send yourself a copy before you send it out to the world. Take a break and then go open your email. Those typos should pop out at you, too.
Further reading: C-Monster's Dear Artists and Publicists: Let Me Help You Do Your Job. (And scroll down to the comments for a chuckle.) . Update: Several of you have commented about the pitfalls of sending emails in large numbers from your personal accounts. Right you are. Send too many and the providers will flag you as a spammer, with the result that they shut you down for 24 hours (I know! Thank you, Comcast.) In an upcoming MM post, I'll talk about the outside-party sender, such as Constant Contact, which allows you to send announcements, newsletters and invitations in whatever number you choose. I have to do a bit of research for that one--and I'm juggling some pressing deadlines--so it will be several weeks. In the meantime, here's a question for you: What's the best day to send an email? Answer in the next MM post that deals with e-announcements..
Cordy Ryman, Trapped Wave, 2010, acrylic and enamel on wood, 62 x 62.5 x 2 inches
Viewing Cordy Ryman’s solo show at DCKT (up through the 31st) I’m struck by the family resemblance his work has—not to his famous parents, Merrill Wagner and Robert—but to the genetic ties he shares with other painters, sculptors and quilters who have stacked or pieced wood, fabric and paper, or engaged hard-edge abstraction in service to the concentric square.
Take a look:
Frank Stella, Color Maze, 1966, via the Internet
Gee’s Bend quilter, Black Square, via the Internet
Jackie Winsor, Burned and Red Inside Out Piece, via the Internet
Jen Stark, Square, 2007, handcut paper, 12 x 12 x 3 inches, via the Internet
Stephen Westfall, Too Much Love, 2008, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches, at Lennon, Weinberg via the Internet
Ben Dowell, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches, at the Hogar Collection via the Internet
Last week I talked about the differences between and among the CV, résumé and bio. This week I’d like to talk about the résumé itself. . The Basics A standard résumé for artists organizes information this way: . Education . Solo Exhibitions . Group Exhibitions . Awards . Collections . Bibliography Additional information you may wish to list: . Academic Affiliations . Curatorial Projects . Writing . Professional Activities . .. The Specifics . List your M.F.A. (or M.A.), then B.F.A (or B.A.). If you don’t have an art degree, list your education up top only if it relates to the work you’re doing now. The degree of a surgeon turned painter is relevant if she’s making art that addresses medical or anatomical issues, for instance. If you don’t have an art degree, don’t sweat it. Unless you want you teach, it’s the work and your networking that will advance your career. . If you have one solo exhibition and several two-artist exhibitions, make a category: Solo and Two-Artist Exhibitions. As you well know, solo and two-artist shows require a lot more ambition and work on your part. Dealers know this, so they look at that category with interest: Where was the show (commercial, non-profit, academic venue)? In a large city or small town? When? All of this information serves to place you in terms of professional achievements and standing. And it’s relative: A modest résumé may make you a catch for a small city gallery; for Pace, not so much . By the way, using One-Man Shows as a category is passé, even if you’re a man. Stick with the more gender neutral Solo or One-Person . Credit the curator. It’s not only respectful to the person who selected your work; it underscores the fact that the curator selected you for the show . Careful with juried shows. They’re a good thing early in your career when you’re building your résumé and looking for exposure; and I think it’s a good idea to list the juror, especially if it’s in a good venue with a respected juror (otherwise why would you have bothered to enter the show?). By midcareer, however, you should be off and running in academic galleries, libraries, co-ops, non-profits and, ideally, in commercial galleries. Don’t list juried shows in a separate category; just fold them into your listing year by year . Collections: List museums, institutions and corporate collections. If you have a lot of each, you could create little subheads; otherwise put the museum collections first, alphabetically, followed by all the others, alphabetically. When you’re listing a lot of items, alphabetizing introduces an element of order . Keep the private collections private, as in Private Collections in North America and Europe. No one cares if Josephine Schmo, or the Blow Family owns your work. On the other hand, if it’s part of the Rubell Family Collection, or the Cisneros Fontanals Collection, or any large private holding that’s publicly known, by all means include it in your alphabetical list . Be selective. If you’ve been showing since 1975, keep the kitchen-sink version as a CV and offer selected listings on the resume. Your 1980 solo at the Dorothy Sbornak Gallery of the Miami Beach Senior Citizens Center is useful as a historical fact on your personal and private CV, not as a current documentation. On the other hand, a 1980 group exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach remains viable . How do you list additonal informationif you have just one item in each category? A category needs two or more to be a category, so you might create an Additional Projects subhead and list the show you curated, the article you wrote and your involvement as the founder of the ABC Project. The résumé will change to accommodate new categories as your achievements grow . When does career become more important than education? While some galleries always list the education first, I’m of the thinking that once you reach midcareer, your experience and achievements carry more weight than where you went to school. Personally, I now put my education last. (If you got your M.F.A. from Yale, disregard what I just said.) . Format The basic K.I.S.S. formula works here: Keep It Simple, Stupid (not you personally, of course) . Make sure your name and contact information are on the first page, and that your name is on every successive page. Basic information, right? You would be amazed at how many artists leave this off. I've seen it . Even better, create a letterhead that you can use for the résumé, your statement, and any correspondence. Make one using available fonts in your word processing software. Use the letterhead for the first page only; your name and email address on the subsequent pages is enough . Number the pages. We tend to secure résumé pages with a paper clip or not at all. What happens if the pages end up scattered? . List your achievements with the most recent first. If you have several exhibitions in any one year, format the document in either of these ways. Be consistent with solo and group exhibitions, and with subsequent information: 2010 Exhibition . . . . .Exhibition . . . . .Exhibition . . . . .Exhibition or 2010 Exhibition Exhibition Exhibition
. Don’t get carried away with a variety of fonts. Pick one. Then to highlight the title of the exhibition, use “Quotes,” Bold, or Italic. Pick one. Underline tends to be used in the bibliography for book titles . While I'm at it, here's my personal peeve: U.S. Post Office designations. There's a logic to the two-letter system, but it's post-officese; for instance NY, MA, CA and PA are designed to get the mail delivered to New York, Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania. In English those states are abbreviated as N.Y., Mass., Calif., Pa. . You don’t need to list an Objective, as conventional job-hunting résumés do. Everyone in the art world knows what you want . What information can you leave off? The résumé is by nature a selected list, so leave off the least important items; they're typically from early in your career anyway. This may make your career seem shorter than it actually is, but the résumé is designed for perusal. . That brings us to the age issue. Artists of both sexes are judged by what they have achieved and when, so a selected list of recent shows and activities will focus the reader on your career now. If you're showing regionally, age may not be such a big deal. If you want a bigger career, it is. Joan Snyder, who has a string of important museum exhibitions, gallery solos, and a MacArthur Grant, thank you very much, is free to post her age (70) anywhere. She has the bonafides to back up the number, and has had them for a long time. Louise Bourgeois was a late bloomer careerwise, but by the time she’d reached 90, she was close to art world sainthood and her age became a badge of achievement. So when you get to be that age, by all means reinstate those early exhibitions if they're that important to you (they won't be, though) . I have taken the years off my degrees, and removed my earliest exhibition listings. The perpetual double standard being what it is, ageism is worse for women. If you want to disregard me because of my age and sex, I’m not going to make it easy for you . Last thoughts Want to see how other artists have structured their résumés? Make a point of looking at what the galleries provide. Or if you want to do it this minute, look for them online. While I have noted some basic categories and formats, you have plenty of latitude as to what you include and how you present it. But . . . . Don't over design it. Leave that to the graphic designers, whose presentation is as much to showcase their skills as their achievements. But there are useful variations. One artist I know has created a sidebar to list the awards and grants he has received (it's a long and impressive list, worthy of being showcased that way) . Skip the headshot of you on the résumé —unless you’re an actor or a Realtor. And trust me, if you’re not an actor, you’ll end up looking like you sell real estate . Online versions offer you greater opportunities to structure a résumé. Live links are a great way to direct your reader to an exhibition installation or a good review online elsewhere. And templates for websites and blogs allow you to explore new options, such as sidebar information, even slide shows and videos. I include exhibition images on the sidebar of my online résumé, but I keep the print version standard . What does new technology offer? Personally, I’d love to see a 30 second tour of an artist’s studio or short video of the artist being interviewed by a journalist, accessed by a click; or a 360 view of a solo exhibition in quiet animation on the sidebar of an online résumé. And if you want to put a picture of yourself in the studio, why not? ..
Now, of course, you have to go and make the work that gets into the show that gets listed on the résumé.
Installation view into the large main gallery, with Brooklyn, Wol,Oh April and Big Blue .
Joan Snyder has been busy. Her show, A Year in the Painting Life, at Betty Cuningham in Chelsea, offers a look at what she worked on during the past 365 days. The number of paintings is impressive, both in number (15) and in size (the cenerpiece of the show, Oh April, is 54 by 210 inches, almost 18 feet wide).
Brooklyn, 2010; acrylic, pastel, burlap, fabric, herbs and rosebuds on linen, 54 x 72 inches
If I had to describe Joan Snyder’s painting to someone who had never seen it before, I would call it "Woodstock abstract expressionism"—fields of rosebuds, petals, seeds, herbs, straw and mud in concert with muscular brushwork, lovely colors and raggy burlap. (Maybe it's no coincidence that she lives part time in Woodstock?) Her paintings almost always feel like springtime—or more precisely, like the point in a cycle that has just ended with or is just about to begin with, spring. I don’t love every painting, but I respect Snyder’s unique vision and means of expression, which has been consistent for over 40 years. And you can get lost up close in her surfaces. .
This wall is at your shoulders when you walk into the main gallery
At right: The Fall with Other Things in Mind, 2009; oil, acrylic, papier mache, cloth, seeds, dried flowers and herbs on linen; 54 x 72 inches ..
Information unavailable on website for painting in foreground. The gallery website shows a different painting in its place. I love the palette of this one
View between front gallery and main gallery
Left: Summer Fugue, 2010; oil, acrylic, papier mache, cord, wooden frame, burlap, silk on linen and wood panels
Right: Are Mine, 2010; oil, glitter, rosebuds and burlap on panel, 30 x 30 inches.
Detail of Are Mine below:
A Year in the Painting Life is up through October 30. Installation shots on the gallery website are plentiful. Navigating it is tortuous; there's a small window that requires you to scroll up and down as well as back and forth. But stick with it. Snyder's work is worth the inconvenience of the site.
Judy Pfaff at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe through October 16
No information on the gallery website for this work
As an artist who finds inspiration in the order of the grid, I can get a bit twitchy around tangles. Judy Pfaff and Jennifer Steinkamp both have solo exhibitions in Chelsea in which entangled elements are the essence of the work.
Judy Pfaff’s show, Five Decades, I love. No twitching here. In the front gallery of Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe four large wall-hung sculptures push out into the center of the room. I wish the space were larger so that each work could have more breathing room; on the other hand, the proximity of the works pulls you into an intimate relationship with each one. There’s nothing you can do but get up close and personal. And for Pfaff’s work, that means getting to peer past the burgeoning form into the structure of the work itself. .
Detail of the work shown top
Judy Pfaff: Es Possible, 1989, painted wiggle board and steel, 96 x 144 x 48 inches. Detail below:
The show is a survey, with work from the Seventies on. The hallway features prints, including some with encaustic, which give them a materiality in two dimensions. The back gallery, illuminated by a large skylight, holds two works, one a single free-hanging work, linear and volumetric, rather more like dimensional drawing than scuplture. Five Decades is up through October 16.
Judy Pfaff: Los Voces, 1992, lacquered steel, steel, aluminum wire, 96 x 123 x 96 inches
Jennifer Steinkamp’s installation at Lehman Maupin, on the other hand, made me twitch. Normally I enjoy Steinkamp’s work. This time, not so much (though I love the simplicity of the installation). Three videos, one projected on each of the gallery’s walls, feature video animations of kinetic interlacements. My first association was to knitting, but as the blue and red strands slithered and undulated across the screen, the associations became more organic—veins and arteries, then worms and eels. It’s not a show you want to see when you’re tripping, I’ll tell you that. It’s up through October 23.
Above and below: Jennifer Steinkamp at Lehman Maupin
Both works are from the Premature series
By chance, at the James Cohan Gallery across the street, one of Ingrid Calame’s paintingsfeatured a similar—and altogether more inviting—tangle. While the exhibition features some of Calame’s tradmark tracings, the artist also showed oil-on-aluminam-panel paintings derived from the markings on a factory floor. The show, Swing Shift, ran through October 9.
Ingrid Calame at James Cohan Gallery: Arcelor Mittal Steel Shipping Building One, Right Nos. 274, 275, 277, 2010, oil on aluminum, 36 X 72 inches .
Artist Annell Livingston writes about my work for the new blog, Vasari 21, founded by Ann Landi. Click pic for info and a link
Recent Solo: "Silk Road"
"Joanne Mattera: The Silk Road Series" was at Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont, New York, May-July. Some paintings are available for viewing at the gallery. Click pic for gallery info
Recent: August Geometry
More than just a summer show. Au-gust: adjective, respected and impressive. At the Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta. Click pic for info
I'm having a great year of exhibitions and catalogs. This volume, published by Space Gallery, Denver, on the occasion of the exhibition, "Pattern: Geometric|Organic," is viewable online and available for sale as a hard-copy volume. Click pic for exhibition info and a link to the catalog. That's my "Chromatic Geometry 29" on the cover
James Panero Reviews Doppler Shift
Writing in The New Criterion, Panero calls Doppler Shift "a smart group show, " noting the work of "artists who interest me most these days." There's a nice shout out to Mary Birmingham, the curator; to Mel Prest, who originated the concept; and to me, among others. Click pic for the review
Search This Blog
"Textility," curated by Mary Birmingham and myself for the Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Summit (where Birmingham is the chief curator), looked at contemporary painting, sculpture and work on paper in which textile elements were referenced or employed. The exhibition is over, but you can see this exhibition on line. Click on the links below to read and see more.
Review of Textility
Click pic to access review. Then click on page images to enlarge them for legibility
Thank You, Ivan
Ivan Karp, legendary art dealer, 1926-2012. Photo by Melanie Eve Barocas. Click pick for my tribute to Ivan, where your comments are welcome
New Digital Prints
Above, "Silk Trail 386." Below: "Silk Trail 339." Both 2012, unique digital prints on 11 x 8.5 inch archival Epson paper. Click either image to see more and find out where they are available
Miami Nice from Artcritical
December 2, 2011: “ . . . stand-out exhibits at Aqua included . . . the funky abstractionist stable of Conrad Wilde Gallery of Tucson, Arizona, amongst them the sensual encaustic monochromes of Joanne Mattera and the biomorphic reliefs of Ruth Hiller."--David Cohen, artcritical.com. Click pic for entire review. Above: John Dempcy, Hiller, Mattera
Miles Conrad, director of Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, and me at the Aqua Art Fair. Photo: artcritical.com
My book, The Art of Encaustic Painting, was published by Watson-Guptill in 2001. It's the first commercially published book on contemporary encaustic. There are three sections: history, with images of the famed Greco-Egyptian Fayum portraits; a gallery of contemporary painting and sculpture (including the work of Jasper Johns, Kay WalkingStick, Heather Hutchison, Johannes Girardoni and myself), and technical information, including an interview with Michael Duffy, a conservator at the Museum of Modern Art.