Thursday, June 11, 2015

By This River Exhibition Curated by Michael Solway for the Weston Art Gallery

is pleased to announce
By This River
an exhibition presented by
By This River   
Curated by Michael Solway  

Dove Bradshaw 
Jim Campbell

Jacci Den Hartog
Ben Patterson
Steve Roden
Gregory Thorp

A group exhibition exploring the sensorial,
historical, and ephemeral
dispersal of water from rivers to oceans. 

The Weston Art Gallery
The Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH

June 19 – August 30, 2015

Opening reception 
Friday, June 19, 6:00 – 9:00 pm 
Special Fluxus Performance 
with Ben Patterson, 7:00 pm 

Gallery Talk with Michael Solway 
Thursday, June 25, 7:00 pm

Exhibition Sponsors  
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Helen and Brian Heekin, Barbara and Gates Moss 

Exhibition Co-Sponsor 
Elizabeth Stone

The Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts presents By This River, a group exhibition curated by Michael Solway, Director of the Carl Solway Gallery (Cincinnati, OH). Featuring  Dove Bradshaw (New York, NY), Jim Campbell (San Francisco, CA), Jacci Den Hartog (Los Angeles, CA), Ben Patterson (Wiesbaden, Germany), Steve Roden (Pasadena, CA), and Gregory Thorp (New Haven, CT). 
By This River had its thematic origins in 2006, when curator Michael Solway lived near the Los Angeles River. The concept comes from an ongoing conversation between Solway—born in Cincinnati by the Ohio River—and Fluxus pioneer Ben Patterson who was born in Pittsburgh where three rivers meet, now living in Wiesbaden, Germany, by the Rhine River. They discussed the instinct we have to return to or relocate to live near major bodies of water such as rivers and oceans. The concept has deep-rooted spiritual and literary origins of course, tracing the social, political, oral histories of freedom, discovery, and exploration. 
By This River brings together recent works in photography, painting, sculpture, works on paper, video, sound, and a series of interactive constructions. The combination of these six very different artists’ works placed throughout the Weston Art Gallery’s upper and lower galleries juxtaposes as a visual and audible chorus celebrating the exhibition’s theme about the fluidity, beauty, grace, and force of water.

Dove Bradshaw, born in New York in 1949, pioneered the use of Indeterminacy (a process of using chance to create artworks) by enlisting the unpredictable effects of time, weather, erosion, and indoor and outdoor atmospheric conditions on natural, chemical, and manufactured materials. She has created chemical paintings that change with the atmosphere—indoor erosion sculptures of salt and outdoor stone sculptures that weather. Bradshaw is represented in the permanent collections of many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); MOMA (New York); the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC); the Art Institute of Chicago; the British Museum; the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); and the Marble Palace/Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg. The Contingency Series, Bradshaw’s first significant body of two-dimensional work (1984-2011), began by using materials reactive to the environment, instead of paint. By This River will include a salt sculpture and recent paintings from this extended series. 

Jim Campbell, born in Chicago in 1956, lives in San Francisco, CA. He received degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. He transitioned from filmmaking to interactive video installations in the mid-1980s. Campbell’s custom electronic sculptures and installations have made him a leading figure in the use of computer technology as an art form. His work is part of numerous public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); MOMA (New York); Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In the fall of 2010, Campbell's work, Scattered Light, was installed in the Madison Square Park Conservancy in Manhattan making it his largest and most extensive public art piece to date. 

Jacci Den Hartog, born in Iowa in 1960, lives in Los Angeles, CA. Currently she is Program Director of Sculpture/New Genres and Professor at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles. Awards and honors include: John F. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artists Grant; Art Matters, Inc., Artists Grant; Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant; City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship Award; Purchase Award, Alberta DuPont Bonsal Foundation for the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; and California Community Foundation, Mid-Career Artist Grant. Exhibitions include: Nantes Museum, Nantes, France; San Francisco Art Institute; Kansas City Art Institute; Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; The Suburban (Chicago); and commissioned public art at Angels Knoll Plaza, Los Angeles. 

Ben Patterson was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1934 and lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, by the Rhine River. Patterson is an American musician, artist, and one of the founders of the Fluxus movement. He moved to Cologne, Germany, in 1960 where he became active in the radical contemporary music scene, performing in festivals in Cologne, Paris, Venice, and elsewhere. During this pre-Fluxus period, he created and performed some of his early seminal works: Paper Piece, Lemons, and Variations for Double Bass. Late in 1961, Patterson moved to Paris, where he collaborated with Robert Filliou (Puzzle poems) and published his Methods and Processes. He was in Wiesbaden with George Maciunas to organize the historic 1962 Fluxus International Festival and continued to be a major presence at Fluxus events until the early 1970s, when he retired to pursue ordinary life in New York City. Although he remained outside the art world for more than 17 years, he resurfaced for such events as the 20th Anniversary Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden in 1982. In 1988, Patterson came out of retirement with his exhibition titled Ordinary Life at the Emily Harvey Gallery, NY. In 1992, he returned to Germany to establish a headquarters from where he works and travels. Ben Patterson’s work has been featured in many recent Fluxus exhibitions and performances throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, and the Americas. In 1996, Patterson inaugurated the Public Entrance to his Museum for the Subconscious at Mt. 13th Month in Namibia, Africa. The traveling retrospective exhibition, Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of FLUX/us, was organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, in 2012. 

Steve Roden born in Los Angeles in 1962 and living in Pasadena, CA, is an American sound and visual artist who pioneered the lowercase style of music; where quiet, usually unheard, sounds are amplified to form complex and rich soundscapes. His discography includes Forms of Paper, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Public Library. Roden’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Fellows of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles); the San Francisco State University, Fine Arts Gallery (San Francisco); the Las Vegas Art Museum (Las Vegas); the Mercosur Biennial (Porto Allegre, Brazil); the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (both Downtown and La Jolla); the Serpentine Gallery (London); the Drawing Room (London); the Sculpture Center (New York); the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); the UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); MOCA Miami, FL; and the Drawing Center (New York). Steve Roden received the 2011 Artist Grant of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and a California Community Foundation Getty Fellowship Grant. 

Gregory Thorp was born in Rhode Island in 1948 and lives in New Haven, CT, and Ashland, MA. Since the early 1970s, Thorp has been photographing his obsessions: train stations (Union Terminal in Cincinnati, OH), corn fields, cemetery markers, yellow school buses, and places of interest that combine music-related histories. For nearly forty years he has captured the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, working as a photographer for the Ohio River Company, and, more recently, other barge companies hired to move coal up and down stretches of the river. , LPA (Cincinnati), and numerous private collections. 

Further information: 
Dennis Harrington, Director, The Weston Art Gallery 
(513) 977-4166 | 

Image: Gregory Thorp – Ohio River, 2015/1978

The Weston Art Gallery
The Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH  45202-2517

Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sunday  noon - 5:00 pm
Open late on Procter & Gamble Hall performance evenings

Admission is free and open to the public.

Since 1995, the Weston Art Gallery's mission has been to present and support the
visual arts of the Tri-state region through exhibitions and special programs. Its objectives
are to foster an awareness and appreciation of the visual arts among area residents
and to support the development of professional and emerging artists of the region.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Joan Snyder's Exhibition at Franklin Parrasch Gallery Reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail

ennouncement Featured Image
Really, 2015
oil, acrylic, paper mache, pastel, paper, mud, graphite, and glitter on canvas
36 x 120 inches

by Hovey Brock
June 3, 2015

Franklin Parrasch Gallery | May 9 – June 20, 2015

Joan Snyder’s current exhibition takes its title from the ancient Roman code of party decorum, where the image of a rose on the banquet hall ceiling functioned as an emblem of confidentiality reminding merrymakers to keep secret the indiscretions made by tongues unhinged by wine—not unlike “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Juicy roses of paint, a recurring theme in Snyder’s work over decades, appear in the current show, as do references to grief, rage, and other powerful emotions. In the catalogue essay, Snyder makes frequent references to the grieving process, with allusions to the Kaddish, and a pungent quote from Proust on the paradoxical evanescence of grief. The rich metaphorical matrix of the rose as image, the poetry of the inscriptions on the paintings, as well as Snyder’s mastery of collage materials, surface, scale, color, and mark-making add up to a rare experience of unmistakable power and, yes, beauty.

Snyder has always painted in the first person, which made her paintings so remarkable, revolutionary even, when she began to emerge in the late ’60s. Abstract paintings that conveyed a personal point of view, grounded in everyday life, seemed unthinkable at the time, and amazingly, still do to many. In the late ’70s a painting teacher of mine dismissed Snyder’s paintings as “menses,” referring no doubt to her overt feminist content. Yet it is precisely this sensibility grounded in life as it is lived, rather than in some theoretical construct, that gives her work such authority. Over a long career she has painstakingly developed a personal iconography that distills her experience.

In this exhibition of paintings from the last two years, roses of one form or another appear in seven out of the eight paintings. The rose iconography fans out, as all living metaphors should, to cover a range of associations. As the notes to “Symphony VII” (2014) in the catalogue show, Snyder lays out on a grid a series of “roses” across the top of the canvas, suggesting, in her words, a symphonic structure of theme and variations. Built of papier-mâché and acrylic modeling paste, each rose is a pulsating gesture whose material intensity and rich color push at the boundary of its container. There is a Dionysian intensity to the application of the paint and modeling materials that form the roses as well as the lines and dashes—harkening back to earlier iconographic tropes—that underscore the roses along the top row. Beneath the lines and dashes, Snyder has placed dried flowers and stems of plants covered over by a honey-colored resin. In the lower right corner floats the ghost of a rose, a pastel drawing on a sheet of silk. The mood this rose projects is elegiac, in sharp contrast to the vibrant roses along the top row. In “Symphony VII” Snyder appears to set up a narrative referring to burying the dead, grief, and remembrance. One of the features of the work that gives it such impact is the tension between the formal rigor of the design and the openness of the facture.

Where “Symphony VII” contrasts the worlds of the living and the dead, “Really” (2015) talks about those acts that separate the living. A central spasmodic gesture in blue paint stick anchors the center of the painting’s ten-foot span. Just to the right of the gesture the inscription “of fatal consequence of rage” appears in charcoal, a phrase evidently lifted from the music Snyder was listening to when she was working on the painting. Snyder tells in the catalogue how she also wrote “you’re fucking kidding me,” to her partner’s “dismay.” Evidently she painted over that phrase, although the word “really” does appear a few times at various scales. The work has a clear musical reference in its frieze-like structure, as if Snyder were reproducing a sequence of sounds as a series of gestures. Music as a theme makes sense with these paintings, given its potential to magnify the emotions, or even to unlock repressed feelings.

One of the most powerful pieces in the show is “Winter Rose” (2013). It has a stark vertical structure: a huge dark brooding rose occupies the upper third of the painting. Floating uneasily along the bottom quarter of the canvas is another much smaller rose, a child to an overbearing parent. The beautifully modulated cream-colored gulf that separates them is flecked with pale dashes of light green. Just above the child rose floats a dark violet dash, evidently separated from all the other dark violet dashes that encircle and isolate the parent rose up top. No reproduction can do justice to the sumptuousness of the color scheme. Here Snyder is at the height of her powers as a painter capable of conjuring a world of subjective experience with just a few simple elements. The title itself suggests an emotional winter—a frozen standoff between two alienated parties, the parent and the child.

Following the original meaning of “sub rosa,” there is much in this show that remains unsaid. Snyder never mentions in the catalogue for what or for whom she grieves. Indeed, she begins it with the impossibility of communication: “How often have I felt when speaking with others that we only scratch the surface of what’s truly meant and felt?” The paintings clearly bear witness to this Sisyphean task to try to communicate more fully when language fails, as it always does. The crux of Snyder’s accomplishment is finding joy in the very act of rolling the boulder back up the hill. This work invites us to the banquet of loss, misunderstanding, and all the things that come between us and the ones we love most—the inevitable passage she refers to in the catalogue, when the rose moves from Aphrodite to Eros, and then to Harpocrates, the god of silence.

Joan Snyder: Sub Rosa is on view through June 20, 2015 at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, 53 East 64th Street, New York. For further information, please contact the gallery during business hours, Tuesday-Saturday 10a-6p, at 212-246-5360, or

franklin parrasch gallery
53 e 64th st, ny, ny 10065
t 212-246-5360
f 646-429-8770

Franklin Parrasch Gallery

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Photographs by John Coplans in Group Exhibition at Jarla Partilager, Berlin






John Coplans in Group Exhibition at
Jarla Partilager, Berlin


May 1, 2015—January 2016


Works by John Coplans, Franz West, Olle Baertling, Miroslaw Balka, Bernd & Hilla Becker, and Isa Genzken  //  Catalogue viewable online

"It is important to note that Jarla Partilager, while not existing in an imaginary outside, has nothing in common with those highly personalized "instant-collections" (Clemens Krümmel) so typical for our new economy, so symptomatic of...structural transformation. The artists collected for Jarla Partilager are not instantly acquired, but collected in depth and over a long period of time."  —Isabelle Graw, "Where Are We Now?"

John Coplans, Hand, Three Panels, Vertical, 1990. Silver gelatin prints dry mounted on museum board, overall 308 cm x 118 cm

"One could say that in his works, Coplans affirms the possibility of an 'authentic artist's body' against all odds, although what we perceive to be his body is of course highly mediated and staged. The depiction of his seemingly authentic body also benefits from a tradition that makes it much easier for the male body not to be coerced by normative ideals of beauty."

—From the catalogue essay by Isabelle Graw

Catalogue text by Isabelle Graw viewable online here.

Copyright © 2015 The John Coplans Trust, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The John Coplans Trust
5 Hanna Lane #5
BeaconNY 12508