1/30/2006

Ellen Altfest

31 comments:

zipthwung said...

so if this wasnt at Bellweather and was maybe at Agora or the proposition or spike or wherever...well it would lose some of its shine no?

But still,

I'm a roaming cowboy riding all day long,
Tumbleweeds around me sing their lonely song.
Nights underneath the prairie moon,
I ride along and sing this tune.

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.

I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

w.w. said...

Art Fag City wrote that exact same comment on their blog.

http://artfagcity.blogspot.com/

fb said...

i feel like i should really like these but something isn't there for me. they feel a little stodgy. i remember really liking the green - and the paint handling/surface in general - but i think the context issue is interesting here. i can't tell. i recently saw a drawing of hers that i didn't know was hers and was responding to it across the room. it was super great. really.

But it does annoy me a bit that the critics went so apeshit for this show.

Edna said...

at least they went ape shit for a woman and not for one of the usual gang of prepubescent manchildren.

Anonymous said...

i hope that poem guys tops posting poems, its really a drag, stay at art forum talkback for that crap. leave it alone here.

as to ellen altfest, contxt is everything. somebody already mentioned this on another blog, that if the work were at an uptown "forum" type or tibor ne nagy type of gallery, it would have gone unnoticed, i really believe that. its realism, not transgressive by any means. i also agree that Bellweather is hugely overrated the work all feels derivative in a huge way, oh well, good for her, i hope she did well, and will not become a stereotype of herself once she sells and has a market etc.

fb said...

indeed edna, indeed.

Anonymous said...

ok here's an example of how all the recent postings and flap on this website have been confusing to me: i want to be supportive to a woman, ellen altfest. but i dont want to be all softheaded about women and not demand the same quality. so: the truth is i think altfest's paintings are boring and the only thing that makes them seem right for a "progressive" context instead of a schlockier one is the extreme cropping.
ugh. give me bueys and a dead hare any day.

can do said...

why does artwork have to be transgressive to be relevant/contemporary?

Edna said...

I agree Anon. You shouldn't support anything you don't think is good. I'm not a huge fan of Altfest, but it's mildly refreshing that Becky shows and supports a lot of female artists.

The context dilemma is intriguing. I'd like to hear it applied to the really schlocky chaps showing every dribble they can apply to canvas at places like Anton Kern et al.

e

Anonymous said...

Are you getting this website confused with Edna's anonymous???? This here website is where paintings get posted and people say stuff. This ain't no chick-festival.

gpd said...

I don't think the point is that artwork has to be transgressive to be interesting and let's face it, what is transgressive is always relative. maybe it feels transgressive to altfest to make these totally old school, yale surfaces?
and when was the last time we made transgression a standard for anything?

hey anon, take your rage elsewhere!

soft head said...

I don't love this work but I do find it radiant and strange. I think certain of her paintings would stand out as excellent even at a community center.

Painter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edna said...

that's what you want, ultimately: a work that will stand out at a community center.

soft head said...

No doubt, Edna. Glad we are in agreement.

Anonymous said...

oops!!! i thought it was a chickfest! sorry!! i'll go back where i belong, to edna's chickfest! and i'll keep my "RAGE" to myself. by the way gpd i put quote marks around progressive and i didnt say transgressive.

Anonymous said...

You seem so angry!!!! Why you so mad Anon.? I am anon too, but different. You are a freak out. I like you though.

Anonymous said...

i was mad cuz someone said "take your rage elsewhere" and it seemed like a real blowoff to me-- especially if that rage is getting my words wrong! sorry, i didnt mean to be mean, just sarcastic. i'll try to be more moderate. i'm all hopped up.

Anonymous said...

and now a word from a completely different anon #3:
well to suport another anon, maybe transgressive is good! if it just means not the same old boring thig--- yale or otherwise---

zipthwung said...

Art Fag City wrote that exact same comment on their blog.

http://artfagcity.blogspot.com/

No shit sherlock. Hmm the exact same thing. Not quite. THey didnt mention the three galleries I mentioned - the VANITY galleries that let people play artist. What makes a painting worth more? Popularity? Harmony? Beauty? BRANDING? Or institutional critique?
What do these paintings do to merrit another word? This is NEW FUCKING YORK. I've seen it all, and more.

That said I like them, they remind me of my grandparents who lived a life on the range. Hence the lyrics. Tell me again why poetry is not an honest or valid response to a painting? Especially this one? Many art critics are poets, and much criticism is poetry. Maybe its out of fashion at the moment. Maybe this painting is, too.

Mountain Man said...

I don't know Z, I guess you seem to want to take up a lot of space with that poem and people get mad when they have to scroll down past it for so long to see the next comment. Just a guess.

Anonymouses, you are all very exciting.

burrito brother said...

Whoa! Man... I leave for a weekend and all hell breaks loose.
Feminism and Poetry aside, I didn't find to much to be excited about by this show. She needs to beef up the subject matter... make me care about the brush and tumbleweed... It was better than most shows I see in that space though. The relevancy thing is interesting, a slippery slope - so we seem to agree that this style of painting is not 'relevant', but then is any painting relevant now?

Painter said...

BB welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Relevant, whatever... some say only video and computer generated is relevant now...
maybe it is relevant to make work contrary to that.

can do said...

I love that bit in Miranda July's movie where the curator says that the work has to look like it could only be made right now. Retarded.

zipthwung said...

“The nature of really serious art,” he tells us with a straight face, “is that you don't know what you're looking at.”

A senior curator of New York's MoMA

http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:pBF0i5oURtYJ:www.hgea.org/~kwsiu/WhatIsArt.pdf+tourist+Smashes+Chinese+Vases%3B+Malevich+Painting+Discovered&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3&client=firefox-a

I'm never mystified, I allways know whats going on in a painting. I would have posted the whole article, but SOMEONE doesn't like SCROLLING.

Mountain Man said...

I swear, I can definitely handle the scrolling. Really. I can.

Ellen's work stirs up the controversy. Interesting for a perceptual painter to be able to...I like all the arguments around her work. And just for the record, the tumbleweed kinda had me. I was in it, I felt. But maybe that's just me.

gpd said...

yo anon,
whichever one of you tried to call this a chick-fest and make edna feel bad. did you think that no one was gonna call you out on that bad behavior? that's the rage i don't wanna see here - no bad vibes against the ladies, especially edna, get it? i don't care if you're a chick or not, it ain't polite.

plus, the transgressive part of my last posting was in response to what "can do" asked in the posting following yours.

zipthwung said...

Hey I just had some serious deja-vu - and not in an ironic way. Something to do with a thread going down or some shit.

Maybe its that "They Live" is on the TV. I dont know.

Also - tone is a hard thing to follow on the interweb.

I think Edna can take it, but maybe that tough crust masks a chiken pot pie. who knows?

Astrid said...

It does not matter where this work is shown, it is absorbing to look at it. In December, 2005, I began my visit to NYC at the Van Gogh drawing show at the Met and ended with Ellen's work at Bellweather,(It seems I might only be interested in what many folks like to call "representational" art, by listing these two artists, but get that out of your minds...I will look at practically anything). It was actually a pretty good visit to New York and I was only annoyed by Chelsea once or twice. Perhaps I ate enough. Anyway, you can call what Ellen is doing a style, but that is besides the point. Anyone can say: "this reminds me of (fill in artists name)". That is actually just a lazy way of describing. What Ellen is doing is looking, and recording, incrementally, the subtle and nebulous shifts of activity that occur over the surfaces of things in front of her. I am not saying that this is the only or best way to paint, but I am saying that it is very fine to choose an approach and honor it for long enough to see where it takes you. I like this work. It is adding to the discussion of paintings that it looks like, not just repeating a dead end dance. Each mark that's put down is very specific. The entire surface is built from tiny marks where nothing repeats. So it feels patterned, at first, but is quite idiosyncratic when viewed for awhile. It made me think about the Van Gogh drawings, and how I so admire the personality of each mark and how all the marks buzz together in one of his drawings. An image - a picture - and a dissolution of the same. I also like the surprise of seeing Ellen's paintings from far away and from close up, and how I am rewarded by either distance. It is sad if you can't see this work in person. I feel like she is adding something to the still life and plein-aire approaches to making paintings.

I like what Soft Head said: radiant and strange.

In the interest of full disclosure: Astrid is my real name. I live in Philadelphia. I make drawings, sculpture and installations. I just had a wonderful time reading many posts at PaintersNYC, and I know Ellen a little bit from attending a residency with her. Thanks for the blog.

A.

adam williams said...

I'm not too familiar with this persons art but by looking at this painting I am reminded of Philip Pearlstein or Janet Fish's work.

Although I admire their brushwork and ability with color none of their work really pops out at me.