Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vantage and Scale; When Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary. Cornelius Völker at the Von der Heydt - Museum

In March I had the opportunity to visit Wuppertal, Germany for the opening of my solo exhibition WACHSSPUREN at the Gallerie Kunstkomplex. In earlier posts I gave details about my travels and the exhibition, but I have not had a chance to post about a worthy painting exhibition I saw at the Von der Heydt Museum located in the city of Wuppertal. 

I started out one morning walking to the mid-town Museum location to meet my friend and artist Bodo Berheide, where we planned to see a newly installed exhibition of German Expressionism. How appropriate to be in Germany to see this exhibit, and I was looking forward to works that might be more obscure in the big picture and may not have traveled as widely as many well know iconic works from the period. Big disappointment, when we arrived we found the installation "still in progress" and were informed the show would not officially open for several days. We had seen posters for another exhibition that was located at the Museum's crosstown facility so we so we caught the rail and walked across town. The ads and posters for the Cornelius Völker exhibit,  gave a modest indication it was a figurative painting exhibition. 

Bodo and I were pleasantly surprised when we entered the museum to find a powerful exhibition of large-scale, lushly painted works that included subjects of the ordinary and mundane, that of insignificance, waste and detritus, and all charged with an energy beyond their material intent. The work of Cornelius Völker is compelling, not just for the scale and vantage of his subject matter, but also for the swift spontaneous strokes of rich thick paint lathered onto the surface with skillful mastery.

Völker, born in Kronach, Germany, studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Dieter Krieg. While Völker has exhibited in the US, the majority of his activity has been in Germany, with notable sites in Belgium, Norway and Austria. The exhibition in Wuppertal continues to the end of May. For more details on the artist visit his website: Cornelius Völker

Hands 2003 oil on canvas 78.7 x 118.1 inches

Hands 2003 oil on canvas DETAIL

Hands 2003 oil on canvas DETAIL

Bodo in front of Hands painting shows a sense of scale.

Gallery Installation View.

Books 2007 oil on canvas 118.1 x 70.9 inch

Books 2007 oil on canvas DETAIL

Lighter 2009/2010 oil on canvas 94.5 x 63.0 inch

Browning GPDA 2009 oil on canvas 39.4 x 41.3 inch

Smith & Wesson Detetive Specialt 2009 oil on canvas 39.4 x 41.3 inchs

Man 2007 oil on canvas 74.8 x 55.1 inch

Man 2007 oil on canvas DETAIL

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's it all aboutAlfie ?

Summer mini-exhibit 1

I love to hear Dionne Warwick sing the song from Alfie, the film about the quirky character played by Michael Caine who occasionally breaks from role to address to the screen audience. In this post I'm beginning my summer mini-exhibits, and I've selected three works I made in the late nineties that often draw the same question from the viewing audience; What's it all about? 

perforation, transfer print & graphite on prepared paper © 1999, size: 37 X 41"

perforation, detail

obsession, transfer print, acrylic & graphite on prepared paper
© 1997, size: 30 X 21"

distressed image II, transfer print, oil & graphite on prepared paper on panel
© 1997, size: 62 X 44"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Looks Like Light at the End of the Tunnel !!

Graduation was over a week ago and I have most of the loose ends of the semester behind me. Our administrative assistant, or I should say our spectacular administrative assistant, has just touched down in Rome for two weeks, and my voice mail had a glorious message stating that "court for next week had been cancelled and you are NOT required to report for jury duty"!!!

I'm thinking I better run get a lottery ticket before this buona fortuna washes away !!

I always look forward to spring, ending the semester,  starting my gardening, and getting time for myself in the studio. I began last week by unpacking about six cartons of work that had been patiently waiting for attention. Suddenly I feel like I can take a breath and focus on me and my work. I'm letting communication devices dictate less of my time, and I am scheduled to attend the Sixth International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown at the beginning of June. I look forward to seeing good friends there from across the country, networking and making new acquaintances, enjoying good food, and in general, soaking up the energy that will be flowing that week.

I have several shows lined up for later this year, and fortunately most of the work is completed. So that means I can work on new projects and ideas I've been contemplating for a while. I have a bit more cleaning and arranging to do in the studio, but I plan to devote a good bit of time to developing those new ideas, and once resolved, I'll post some examples. In the mean time and for the next few months, I plan to post work that  in some way or another has not had much exposure. With so many gallery closings, exhibition venues struggling with budget cuts and the variations that come with summer schedules, I'll be using Studio RSVP as a way to present mini-exhibitions. Some will be my work and some posts will include whatever I find that interests me in the process. I hope it will interest you too. Come visit occasionally and let's see what turns up over the summer !!

Afternoon sun on my porch where I plan to spend time reading and ruminating.