Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Status update; Yari Ostovany, Brian Dettmer, Edwina White

As you can see from the sidebar, I now have prints available of selected works from the New York series and the Implicate Order series. The Implicate Order series seems to be winding to its natural conclusion; I've updated my website with favorites (both mine and other people's) and am looking for an appropriate venue to show them. Heart II has sold to some favorite collectors in California. Ring and Blue Orchid are safely home from Pittsburgh, thanks to Jean McClung of Urban Bytes and and Jill Larson of Fe Gallery, who crashed in my living room over Memorial Day weekend and drank me under the table. We had a blast. Thanks, gals!

My next series, I think, will be more expansive, more abstract and less rigid; right now I've been washing a lot of brushes, taking long random bike rides, and sitting on the window seat of the fire escape, fussing over my miniature garden. It feels like I'm being horribly lazy, but I've come to understand that this phase of the process is necessary. If I try to force it I just wreck a lot of canvas. The last two big pieces from 'The Implicate Order' are currently facing toward the wall in the studio, after I hit the wall with them and decided to organize the practical details of my life for awhile.

Last week an old studio mate of mine, Yari Ostovany, found me on LinkedIn. Upon perusing his website, I was thrilled to discover that not only is he producing some gorgeous work, but that we've followed parallel creative paths. He is also dealing directly with mystical and spiritual sensibilities, with series titles like 'Numinous' and 'Koans' and 'Conference of the Birds.'

'The Poet (II)' oil on canvas, 20"x 16" by Yari Ostovany

'Numinous Nr. 10', oil on canvas, 26"x 27" by Yari Ostovany

Yari's work, when I knew him in the early 90's, was surrealistic and expertly rendered; he, like I, was subjected to intense institutional abuse at the San Francisco Art Institute because we both thought it was important to actually learn to paint. The prevailing SFAI aesthetic was 'a piece of the floor,' which dominated not only the painting department but the film and photography departments as well. In the long run it has only added richness, depth and subtlety to the work, as frustrating as it was to be immersed in an entire art community that seemed philosophically opposed to the creation of images.

Finally, I saw a show recently at Kinz, Tillou and Feigen which rocked. The book sculptures by Brian Dettmer needed no fancy statements, or even titles, to blow you out of the water. What he does is obvious; he excavates old books with a scalpel, to wondrous effect.

Pictures don't do these sculptures justice. The layers and layers of images and text have been painstakingly cut to reveal a jungle of free but precise associations, and the outer surfaces of the books have been filed, sanded and shellacked until some of them resemble stones, or other natural landforms.

The other artist in the show, Edwina White, also works with old paper; her whimsical figurative images were economical and enchanting.

Art is looking up.


Anonymous said...

Interesting piece ... reminds me of another brooklyn based artist hannah corbett ... www.hannahcorbett.com

anna said...

it's interesting.
I missed the show.