Hint Hint

I was just looking over Charles Donelan’s reviews on the Santa Barbara Independent and found this one. In it, I said something about assemblage that Charles (once again!) articulated more clearly and forcefully; namely, he called assemblage “one of our city’s most characteristic indigenous art forms.” I like it Charles.

Hint, hint: I have some sneaky co-conspirators to make a point about that in 2016. You probably didn’t hear it here first.


Please do run screaming…

art-on-the-internet-37The other day, Frank Goss and I gave a little talk to a group of forty-two artists affiliated with Art Without Limits. We were invited by Julie McLeod and found a warm reception in a crowded and historic room downtown.

Frank’s stories were so warm and relatable. I was there, ostensibly, to discuss “Art on the Internet.” (It’s been a hobby of mine for a while…) In any case, I think I delivered the good news with all of the subtlety and gentility of a rusty meat cleaver. THWACK! The internet is “disrupting” the art industry. THWACK! It will probably due to art what it has done to human sexuality. THWACK! Thank you for your kind attention. Please do not run screaming from the room. (There was nothing but sinew left by that point.)

In any case, some people asked for a copy of my presentation. I have put it up here without images(or flippant conclusion slides).


The Family that Blogs Together?

booksandbodkins.com is now online! Aren’t you curious about “bluestocking bohemia?”

A bodkin is a:
• a blunt, thick needle with a large eye used especially for drawing tape or cord through a hem
• a long pin used for fastening hair
• a strange metaphor for my sister, Sierra?

We’re planning a new collaborative blogging venture, Bumpkin and Bodkin. (Tagline: It’s all good among kin.) No, she’s online now - in a non-FB capacity, with articles about… crafts, travel… other stuff.


What I Said / What I Meant to Say

Art Ltd magazine published a “Spotlight on Santa Barbara” feature this month to tell the story of various developments in the art scene of Santa Barbara. I recommend reading it if you want a good sense of what’s cooking up here.

It also seems worth taking a moment to correct myself.

Here’s what I (apparently) said, “[the gallery is not interested in deciding what’s good or bad based on whether the work is representational or abstract.” I (apparently) went on, “This rejection of the idea that the narrative of art in American inevitably leads to the triumph of abstraction dates to a very specific moment, which is when Alfred Barr acquired Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World for the Museum of Modern Art in 1948. Art historically speaking, that decision is our point of departure, so naturally, this Andrew Wyeth show is important to us, because it represents what we are all about.” For the record, the painting was purchased in 1949. While we’re correcting misunderstandings, I am not, in fact, the curator, though I am quite proud of the show.

What I meant to say is that the gallery does not stake out a particular position between abstraction and representation. We believe that rich results can be had from either approach. In some sense, the Andrew Wyeth exhibition embodies the idea, since it was Alfred Barr’s private acquisition of Christina’s World that upended the midcentury thought that representational art was on its way out. That’s what I should have said.

A big thank you to Art Ltd and to the writer, Charles Donelan, for their efforts to focus a little attention on the 805.


The West Coast Underground

Sweet siren Google,
Alert me to the allusions of asymptomatic articles!
Sing to me of Smith and Bontecou, too…

This morning, I received an e-mail alerting me to a new article in the NY Times about a series of monographs on “obscure” abstract artists of the mid-twentieth century.  Among these, Hassel Smith, who is described as, “…once mentioned along with abstract masters like de Kooning, Kline and Motherwell, then devolved to “West Coast underground legend,” then (kind of) vanished.”

Here is the slideshow: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/03/22/books/20130322-GALLERY.html

Ah, the West Coast Underground… my old stomping grounds.  I was more of a imaginary figment than a legend there, but I find great comfort in knowing that great minds and spirits like Hassel preceded me.  Having curated two exhibitions from his estate, I find it somehow fitting to hear him described as “underground.”