acrstudio notes

Notes from the Arts + Crafts Research Studio of Andrew Cornell Robinson

Open Studios in NYC Fall 07

Making ones way through the maze of art produced and exhibited in our time and in our city while trying to form an opinion of ones own, can be a challenge to say the least. But I thought this week I would step around the white cubes of NYC and plunge head first into looking, by going straight to the source, the artist and their many open studios, yes my dears I went to Brooklyn and beyond. It’s a great way to see art for your self. Mind you it can be a challenge, especially when there are many studios to enter with the occasional brooding artist on the other side of the door awaiting your entry, with cheap wine and old cheese on paper plates. But that is the price to pay to see something new. And in the end there are lots of opportunities to look and talk about art. It’s my favorite way of looking at art.

There were over a hundred open studios during the Annual Gowanus Artists’ Studio Tour last month, and on that parade were potters, painters, sculptors, stained glass makers, and the like. A high point on this tour was seeing the ceramic sculptures by Pamela Sunday, whose work is reminiscent of Saint Clair Cemin’s playful organic plastic and ceramic forms. Sunday’s work taps into natural symmetries, and are stunning objects to behold. Also Elinor Dei Tos Pironti’s simple and methodical paintings have an alchemist’s sensibility to the way that she approaches color layered and drawn out across the canvas. There are also some great art spaces just off the canal. One of my favorites is the Reanimation Library, a small independent library which is building an anachronistic collection of resources made available for creative inspiration. This past weekend there was some great art to be seen at the Crane Street Studios Artists’ Community. It is hard to miss this colossal graffiti covered building just opposite from MoMA’s PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City. This open studio offered a bounty of incredibly talented and ambitious artists. Painter Ben Beshaw had some amusing realist paintings. His paintings often have a male protagonist, (an amusing self-portrait in most cases). In one painting, titled “Rainbow in the Dark” the artist stands with a steely gaze while he cradles a doe eyed rainbow tinted horse. In the background, according to the artist “is a laser light show in the sky, celebrating the rescue of the rainbow horse.” It was hard not to laugh at the sheer audacity of the artist whose talent and sense of humor are terrific. Maia Marinelli, a fascinating young Italian artist, has developed some powerful knit and sewn sculptures as well as a series of devastating photographs. In one series titled “Gretta’s Journal”, closely cropped photos capture the scarred bodies of young girls forced into prostitution. Another series called “Fear of Love” is a meditation on female sexual and emotional identities. Reminiscent of Sophie Calle’s enduring social narratives, and David Wojnarowicz’s acid poetic imagery, Marinelli’s work navigates soulful human commonalities with a sense of engaging mystery. Other artists of note are Cair Crawford’s monumental oil paintings which abstract semacodes and labyrinthine patterns. Robert Walden’s ontological road maps are a mesmerizing exploration of maps and meditations on the grid. Photographs by Anne-Katrin Grotepass contain compelling created and captured moments, reminiscent of the sculptural orchestrations of Sandy Skoglund, but there is a restraint in Grotepass’ work which is more contemplative.

In the idiosyncratic context of the artist’s studio, all sorts of wonderful things are available to see and understand. Everything is laid bare. There you can see what led to the decisions before the work of art is wrenched out of the artists’ lair and with any luck you can talk to the artist too.

The next big artist run happenings will be the Arts in Bushwick’s “Open Spaces” a one day art festival on December 2, 2007. You can find out more online. See website addresses below.

Open Studios and Events

  • ArtsInBushwick.org “Open Spaces” is a one day art festival on December 2, 2007 12 noon to 8pm in Bushwick Brooklyn. More than thirty spaces will be hosting events and exhibitions featuring over 200 local artists.

    The events will be centered in the neighborhoods of the Morgan and Jefferson stops on the L train. Check in at Ad Hoc near the Morgan stop and Wyckoff Starr Coffee near the Jefferson stop to pick up a brochure and map of events. All events are easily accessible by foot.

    Here is a link to their press release which I posted on my website. View the press release for the Arts in Bushwick “Open Spaces”

  • Crane Street Studios 18-19 November cranestreetstudios.blogspot.com
  • Annual Gowanus Artists’ Studio Tour 20-21 October agastbrooklyn.com

Selected Artist Websites

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2007 by in Art, Artist, Brooklyn, NYC, Painting, sculpture.

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