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News: The Hopkins Review Presents: A Conversation with Jill Nathanson, May  7, 2022 - Thu Nhat Pham for The Hopkins Review

The Hopkins Review Presents: A Conversation with Jill Nathanson

May 7, 2022 - Thu Nhat Pham for The Hopkins Review

Jill Nathanson in conversation with Thu Nhat Pham, THR Editorial Assistant


Jill Nathanson, Light Wrestle, 2020, 45 1/2 x 95 1/2 inches. Private Collection.

How did the paintings [in the folio] come to be?

It’s hard to know where to start. I think abstract painting, for any serious painter, is a manifestation of a whole understanding of what painting is about and what abstract painting might do. The paintings manifest something about painting and about abstract painting: I’ll leave that to the side.

I’ll say that the paintings in the folio are painted with thick poured acrylic polymer paints, and they’re very transparent. All the paint is absolutely transparent, and it’s poured onto a wood panel that’s been prepared and painted white so that the light reflects off of it. This is a very unforgiving process: pouring thick plastic onto wood and letting it dry and then pouring more thick transparent plastic on top of it. There’s no room for a mistakes or corrections really.

And so, I worked from studies. I worked from transparent plastic studies, which take me a very long time to create. So, a lot of the creative process goes on a small scale and the paintings are enlarged versions of these color studies. There are certain things that I want each color study to accomplish visually, and I want that visual experience to call forth all kinds of other intellectual, emotional, spiritual kinds of responses. But it all really starts with a small six by nine inch plastic study.

Really, it also goes back to discoveries that I made when I was an undergraduate at Bennington College. I discovered what was then a really important art movement: Color Field painting. I fell in love with it, and I was encouraged to be experimental. I experimented with acrylic paint and discovered that I just loved thick transparent color and that working with thick transparent colors, sometimes in relationship to opaque color, I felt that I could make discoveries that I hadn’t seen anybody else work with.

A lot of my life as a painter, over almost 50 years, has been about pure color relationships, color in fields, transparency, and materiality.

So that’s sort of an intro to how things get going.

What are the oppositions that you try to balance in your painting process?

What are the oppositions that I try to balance in my painting process? You initially asked me if there were three words that I could choose to describe my painting process and my approach to painting. I kind of bristled or pulled back from that because I don’t think that there are descriptive words that I’d like to use. I feel like there are challenges or oppositions that my painting is involved with and that my whole painting life has been involved with trying to engage.

One of them would be “Shape Versus Field.” This probably sounds very meaningless and like “what’s the difference between shape and field?” But, in fact, it has a very important position in the history of abstraction and particularly abstraction over the last, say 50 years. At a certain point in high modernism in America there was a quality of field in painting that was very important, I would say, from Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock. And then into the pure color painting of color field painters, there was a sense of the painting as being kind of a field of energy or maybe opposing energies or moving energies. But it was kind of anti-shape. It was polyphonic painting where every part of the surface was equally important. It became kind of allover painting (that’s one way to talk about it). But I would say painting as a field that transmits a kind of energy was very important in high modernism.

Then that really fell out of fashion.

Now, some of my favorite painters, let’s say Amy Sillman who is a very wonderful contemporary painter, are very focused on shape and discovering new ways of thinking about shape: shape that’s flat, shape that kind of pushes and pulls in space, etcetera. There’s kind of been a re-emergence of a focus on shape. And I love a lot of that painting. It’s so exciting to me. I think it’s a wonderful moment in abstract painting. There are so many people I could mention who were involved with creating a new feeling of shape, kind of funky, a little bit troubling, a little bit awkward, kind of anti-heroic. I love this painting, but I would say that for me: I’m involved with kind of negotiating that opposition between field and shape and not having one take over from the other. So, “Field and Shape,” and when I say “Field,” I mean color as an energy field, and how do you have an energy field that also has a shape. They don’t really work together, but that’s kind of the ambition and the process and the way of thinking or hoping or approaching a painting or the story I tell myself about what I’m doing. Whether it’s overstated or not, that’s how I talk about it to myself.

Another one is “Color as light / color as matter.” Paint color has two realities. It’s gloppy, expensive stuff you get in jars or tubes or whatever. You mix it and it’s totally material. It’s glop but it’s also light. You put colors together, they vibrate, and you have a quality of light that you can create in a painting. The opposition between those two things, I think, is so key to the magic of painting throughout history and really is a focus of abstract painting. How do you find your way to really give that experience of the material of paint, simultaneously the light quality of paint, and simultaneously the object of a painting, which is a big, heavy thing that’s stuck on a wall. It costs money and takes up space, and it’s very, very material, and how do you have it feel like it is this transcendent light kind of a thing at the same time as you’re not making an illusion? So, that material light thing is a big biggie for me.

A third opposition that I was thinking about: a range of abstract painting as an image because everything, every painting, has an image, and abstract painting as a process of looking, a kind of meditation. I think every painting that’s worth its salt is both: there’s an image that you look at (“Oh yeah! I see that image, I like that image!”), but it’s also a process that engages you in putting it together, as in time with your optical nerves or muscles or whatever works in your eyes, which I don’t really know that much about. It’s a process and it’s also an image.

So those are the things: “Shape versus Field,” “Color in paint versus Material in paint,” and “Image versus Process.” They’re all kind of interrelated, but I think it’s worth it to kind of tease them out.

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News: MUSEUM ACQUISITION | Frederick J. Brown acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May  6, 2022 - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

MUSEUM ACQUISITION | Frederick J. Brown acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

May 6, 2022 - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Frederick J. Brown: Acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Frederick J. Brown
Dr. Leon Banks (Study for Last Supper), 1982
Oil on linen
32 x 24 1/4 inches
Signed, dated and titled on verso

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News: GOLDEN Lecture Series | Perle Fine: Out of Exile, May  6, 2022 - The Art Students League

GOLDEN Lecture Series | Perle Fine: Out of Exile

May 6, 2022 - The Art Students League



Perle Fine in her Provincetown Studio, early 1950s. Photo: Maurice Berezov © A.E. Artworks
 
GOLDEN Lecture Series | Perle Fine: Out of Exile
Maddy Berezov, Kathleen L. Housley, and Susan W. Knowles in Conversation
Art Students League, New York
April 28, 2022
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News: The New York Times | Showcasing the Diversity of the South, May  6, 2022 - Claudia Dreifus for The New York Times

The New York Times | Showcasing the Diversity of the South

May 6, 2022 - Claudia Dreifus for The New York Times

Arising from one man’s collection, the Ogden Museum strives to serve a broad audience while showing that Southern art is not merely regional.

NEW ORLEANS — A signature work at a recent exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is a photograph of a cellphone showing on its screen the framed image of an antebellum mansion.

It is a photograph within a photograph. But what makes it an eye-catcher is that the pictured iPhone is clearly in the hand of a Black man, RaMell Ross.

Mr. Ross, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, artist and photographer, often documents the people and land of Hale County, Ala.

Over the decades, some of the giants of Southern photography — Walker Evans, William Eggleston and William Christenberry — have made Hale County their subject. They are, of course, white men. By featuring this particular image, Mr. Ross and the curators of the Ogden are demonstrating their determination to show this place in a new way.

...

Mr. Ogden’s collection was broad. And huge. It documented almost every aspect of Southern art, from the colonial period through the present day. By the 1990s, he said, he owned at least 1,000 paintings, sculptures and photographs.

Among his treasures was a room-size work, a mural really, by the abstract expressionist Ida Kohlmeyer; vibrant scenes from Clementine Hunter, who spent her whole life on a plantation; a Sam Gilliam drape painting, and a work by Julian Onderdonk, a Texas landscape artist famous for his depictions of fields of bluebonnets. There were canvasses rolled up under the beds; the cupboards were full of Sophie Newcomb vases and George Ohr pottery. Continue Reading

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Yahoo News | A Crucial Site of the Abstract Expressionist Movement Was Just Named One of America's Most Endangered Places

May 5, 2022 - Sarah DiMarco for Yahoo News

When you ask art historians and gallerists where the heart of the Abstract Expressionist movement lived, they'll mention New York City a bit, but also point you a bit further east. The quaint East Hampton enclave of Springs is often regarded as a creativity incubator for artists, but one integral spot to the Abstract movement has been long overlooked: the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center.

Art couple James Brooks and Charlotte Park settled onto the idyllic, 11-acre parcel in 1954, deeming it as an artistic escape for all, and built a series of studios for creatives to work their magic. In a matter of months, it became the meeting spot for renowned artists such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning. Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center as one of America's Most Endangered Places in 2022.

For nearly a decade, local activists and art enthusiasts have been fighting to save Brooks' and Park's original home and studios from demolition while raising enough funds to preserve the location as a community landmark. Marietta Gavaris, an activist and painter who currently resides in Springs, believes the restoration of the arts and nature center would both help solidify Springs's mark on the art world and give the residents a place to feel inspired.

"It's one thing to see art hanging in a museum, but when you can explore where it was actually created and how artists interacted with nature, it's an indescribable experience," says Gavaris. "With its 11 acres and the adjoining hiking trails, we want art and nature enthusiasts alike to come to the site and enjoy not only the historic artist impact but just its environment."

Christine Berry, one of the founders of the Berry Campbell Gallery, adds that the site is also crucial in helping to tell the stories of female Expressionists, including that of Charlotte Park. A student of Yale's School of Fine Art and member of the prestigious New York School, Park was instrumental in shaping abstract art as we know it today with her ability to translate lush landscapes into forceful, painterly works. However, as with many other women of the time, her contributions were overshadowed by her male counterparts.

"On paper, Charlotte [Park] had almost the same exact resume as her husband, James [Brooks], and yet, so few people knew about her work," says Berry. "It's only as of late that her name is becoming part of the canon of art history. Her work was not representational in any way, but rather conceptual interpretations of every single day from her beautiful property in the spring."

Her studio at the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center stands as an exhibition of her artistic process and solidifies the importance women have in the art world. Though as the years go on, Park's studio—along with the other structures on the campus—deteriorates more and more. Echoes of the site's demolition began in 2013 after the city of East Hampton purchased the land. However, the residents of Springs lobbied together to designate it a town historic landmark in 2014. Since then, Gavaris along with Preservation Long Island and other activists have been actively working with the members of the East Hampton town board to devise a plan that preserves the property and helps it reach its full potential.

Gavaris notes that the major roadblock currently in the town's way of preserving the site is the funding and support. The Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center asks advocates to sign a petition on their site in support of the restoration of the home and studios of artists James Brooks and Charlotte Park.

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News: James Brooks and Charlotte Park Home and Studios: A Crucial Site of the Abstract Expressionist Movement Was Just Named One of America's Most Endangered Places, May  5, 2022 - Sara DiMarco for Veranda

James Brooks and Charlotte Park Home and Studios: A Crucial Site of the Abstract Expressionist Movement Was Just Named One of America's Most Endangered Places

May 5, 2022 - Sara DiMarco for Veranda

Sara DiMarco for Veranda
View Works by Charlotte Park

"Christine Berry, one of the founders of the Berry Campbell Gallery, adds that the site is also crucial in helping to tell the stories of female Expressionists, including that of Charlotte Park. A student of Yale's School of Fine Art and member of the prestigious New York School, Park was instrumental in shaping abstract art as we know it today with her ability to translate lush landscapes into forceful, painterly works. However, as with many other women of the time, her contributions were overshadowed by her male counterparts"
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News: UPCOMING EVENT | In Conversation: Nanette Carter and Cheryl R. Riley, May  4, 2022 - Berry Campbell

UPCOMING EVENT | In Conversation: Nanette Carter and Cheryl R. Riley

May 4, 2022 - Berry Campbell



In Conversation: Nanette Carter and Cheryl R. Riley
Thursday, May 19, 2022
6 p.m. | Talk Begins 6:30 p.m.
 
In Person at Berry Campbell
530 W 24th Street, New York
 
Streaming Live on Instagram: @BerryCampbell
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