9/15/2006

Dona Nelson


74 comments:

Painter said...

Dona Nelson @
Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street
floor 4
New York, NY
NY 10001-5517
New York

Painter said...

There is a better image of this painting on James Wagner

zipthwung said...

its been done


its been done

JD said...

Can't wait to see this show; Nelson is such an intelligent artist. I'm very intrigued by the ropy physical one. Her "Stations of the Subway" show in 2001 was one of the best shows I'd seen that year; it still stays with me.

http://www.cheimread.com/exhibit01.html

no-where-man said...

"Brain Stain" came across as a bit gimkey.

harold hollingsworth said...

enjoy the works of hers we have here at the Microsoft Collection...

zipthwung said...

Yeah, I really enjoy the Microsoft collection. I also like the Altoids collection. Its curiously strong...

rosanna said...
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rosanna said...
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poppy said...

before i come across as completely dismissive, can someone answer something for me... the top painting is silly strings-n-things right? And the second one is exhibited backwards? or no? if not i am confused by its inclusion on the post..

poppy said...

I would agree that the Microsoft collection is like rock n roll and i want to slam my nads in a toilet seat when i see it.. but seriously can someone answer my first question?

average joe said...

front of painting and back of painting. It was exhibited hanging away from the wall for equal exposure.

closeuup said...

EXPERIMENTAL ABSTRACTION, 1967-1975
The sleeper exhibition of the summer is "High Times, Hard Time: New York Painting 1967-1975," organized by Hunter College art historian and Artforum contributing editor Katy Siegel in consultation with artist David Reed and premiering at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 6-Oct. 16, 2006. Included are over 40 works by 38 artists "from this period of total possibility and intense doubt," with a strong emphasis on women and African American artists who, if they are not overlooked today, certainly deserve more attention.

The works in the show are divided into five groups: expressive "flower power" abstraction, ca. 1968, by artists like Dan Christensen, Ralph Humphrey and Kenneth Showell; painting that comes off the stretcher bars, off the wall and onto the floor or ceiling, by Lynda Benglis, Lee Lozano, Manny Farber, Al Loving , Louise Fishman, Howardena Pindell, Richard Tuttle and others; painting that doubles as installation and performance art by Mel Bochner, Yayoi Kusama, Dorothea Rockburne, Carolee Schneemann and Franz Erhard Walther; early ‘70s painting that reflects the influence of film and video, by Roy Colmer, Lawrence Stafford, Michael Venezia and Jack Whitten; and painting that represents a certain return to traditional forms, by Joan Snyder, Mary Heilmann, Guy Goodwin, Elizabeth Murray and Pat Steir.

no-where-man said...

i saw steve martin at an opening tonight - i so wanted to tell him how awsome he is and how all his work changed my life.. and then. i didn't or even get my camrea out on time. i got scared and hid it in mini grilled cheese - which seems to be the trend now, lots of big chicks where there C.brown.... so forth that brought us to gavin's he was there looken like the grizzley man... all that said. i think paintings a back drops. somewhere betwixked the rich and hip.

kelli said...

No-Where would you recommend Steve Martin's book, just wondering.
This type of work is not my area of interest but I have to give credit to her and people like Louise Fishman who have been doing it for a long time. That being said I'm not totally clear on why and how younger artists are exploring gestural abstraction. It just seems strange for something that was once experimental to become academic.

Mookerjee said...

Nelso is, hands down one of the most interesting painters around..I lve that she's so cantankerous... and refuses to selltle in to what a Dona Nelson looks like she's a real prick to the system.

no-where-man said...

i enjoyed The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel (Hardcover) the most. i picture him infront of a damien hirst.

ilikeitalot said...

so right mookerjee. she's always pushing it as far as she can.
kelli: i know you don't know this work outside of what you see here, but it has nothing at all to do with fishman. i think fishman is much much older and it shows in her work which is more conservative. d. nelson does not fit neatly into any kind of mold and she is anything but conservative. she is so much more vital than any artist of her generation, and even more vital than most younger artists working today. i also think any mode of working is viable for younger artists, kelli. i mean figure painting is academic too. it's all about who is making it and what they have to say right? let's hope.

kalm james said...

Does anyone think that the back side of this painting is of equal interest to the front side? Okay I’m all for “experimental approaches” but this doesn’t seem to add that much as a painting. I’m interested in the traditional fabrication of paintings and the process, and everything that goes into it, but I’m looking for a little more attention or challenge to the norms.

Steve Martin did write a very perceptive article in the Times a year ago or so about a Southern Californian surrealist artist from the 40s. He’s definitely got some art history chops, and is an enthusiastic collector.

closeuup, will the “Experimental Abstraction” show travel? Seems New York is too cool to take the hint from the hinterland regarding what should be “seen”.

cha said...

I can't see that the painting's back warrants display. But sneaking a peek at backs... to find a clue about the artist or about the work.....

zipthwung said...

Hyberbole watch says:

"The installation is incredibly intelligent and exciting."

Incredibly intelligetn? How about "smart" -- that I could believe. Incredibly inelligent is reserved for Alan TOuring, who broke the Nazis Enigma Machine code. Incredibly intelligent sounds facetious.

"she is so much more vital than any artist of her generation, and even more vital than most younger artists working today"

uh huh.

WHo the fuck are you people? Bitter students? Paid shills?

closeuup said...

The exhibition debuts at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 6, continuing through October 15, 2006. It then travels through August 2008 and will also be hosted by the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, D.C. (November 21, 2006 – January 21, 2007) and the National Academy Museum in New York City (February 13 – April 22, 2007).

zipthwung said...

look out!

closeuup said...

Abstraction has intrinsic value--beyond its former avante garde status. As No-Wear-Man remarked--in these dark times things take on a new meaning. Co-optation does have to be fought back against, dont u think? Take back the night.

zipthwung said...

re: grapes

zipthwung said...

take back the farm

kelli said...

Ilikeitalot I'm not comparing her to Fishman just saying that they are both people who make tough, sometimes unpalatable work and haven't watered it down. I can think of younger artists who make work that looks similar in a suface way. Things mean something different the second time around. Maybe not less just different.

kelli said...

Closeup you know more about this type of work than me.
-how does abstraction function now outside of it's former avante garde status
-can you think of young artists who are similarly tough and experimental in this idiom

Cross said...

painter, thanks for including the James Wagner link above. It really makes this a completely different work from what I thought it was. I liked it in the post, but seeing all the cheesecloth detail killed it for me. "Cheesy" comes to mind.... really. And as for having done this a long time (?) what's with the 1999 charcoal on canvas landscape... another interruption which made me look away from this painter. Louise Fishman's the real deal... don't know for sure about this one. I'm thinking, not yet.

ilikeitalot said...

zip, do you get paid to be on the blogs all day? i would say you are a master of hyperbole too. and much more bitter than anyone on here. i haven't said anything bitter. if you were paying attention, i was being hopeful and positive. you may not understand those words.

ilikeitalot said...

kelli i am sorry if i misconstrued what you said. i agree that things mean something different the second time around. they actually are different the second time around and it is important to see the differences.

kelli said...

Ilikeitalot I wasn't picking a fight with you. The second question I asked Closeup was totally sincere. I can think of younger artists like Laleh Khorramian and Jonathan Meese who I really like who use abstraction but they are not purely abstract. Sort of fishing for names of people who are in nontraditional ways. Curious.

clement said...

ditto Cross

clement said...

thanks Kelli for the Laleh Khorramian name

brent hallard said...

Kelli, you know perhaps there is nothing purely abstract after-all. I mean we are people. All the information out there is not abstract, It's people ingested. Art then is not about abstract vs figure, but about people, their ideas and how they, as artists, digest the world around them: Experiences, the exotic stuff that happens both for real and in the head, that leads one to enter into or break with the various dialogues we have so far.
Our senses and experience need exercise, the inclusive, to keep them sharp.

Anyway, like your work!

dharmabum said...

I saw the Experimental Abstraction show last week, it left me a bit cold. I'm looking forward to other perspectives on this blog after regular contributors here get a look. The standouts for me were Elizabeth Murray and Pat Stier. I saw the Stier show in May in Philadelphia at Locks - knocked my socks.

wade said...

Right... no abstraction is abstract becase the human mind is formed to percieve... the world, not fucking ideas. So all images have properties related to the minds perception of the physical world, a la merleau-ponty

closeuup said...

Right now i am into Joan Tanner. This work feels experimental and rigorous to me. The ideas and poetry seems to come out of the way she uses the materials. I'm fascinated by that. It's not all painting tho. Mixed media. And she composes--which is the problem I have with this Dona. Lack of design. I need some drama.

Joan Tanner is 70.

clement said...

yes wade:

Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow...
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier-mache...
The sun was coming from the outside.

That scrawny cry--It was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

Wallace Stevens

clement said...

Joan Tanner is amazing. Thanks.

kalm james said...

Nice to see the conversation here break out of its routine discussion of psycho-surreal figuration for a while. Dona Nelson may or may not be one of the better abstract painters out there, in any case I like the direction the thinking has gone, so thanks painter. The close up showing the cheese cloth made me think of the late seventies work of Joe Zucker, He soaked cotton balls in acrylic and stuck them on the canvas like a gloppy mosaic.

What the hell is abstraction anyway? No real clear definition so the word just becomes a kind of grab-bag meaning anything that doesn’t have recognizable images. There was a great panel discussion at PS1 yesterday with Ron Gorchov that spent most of it’s time going over this very point. Mention was made of the "Experimental Abstraction" show as well, should be and interesting exhibit.

I don’t consider myself an abstractionist, but I always enjoy the subject’s pros and cons.

zipthwung said...

To all those people that have high praise for this work - when you do that it makes me question your sincerity(you say you are), your objectivity (are you friends with the artist?), your seriousness(hyperbole is not serious).

ilikeitalot - your argument that I also use hyperbole begs the question, as well as being false. I NEVER exagerate my claims. I am a security guard.


COuld someone answer kelli's question?

zipthwung said...

Support your claims.

kelli said...

Zip which question? The first one was a difficult question. Figuration gets around the problem of traditionalism by knowingly continuing an academic tradition, creating a postmodern mixture of styles, depicting subjects which are not traditional ( or being made by artists who have an identity which was excluded from tradition ) , or ironically letting the viewer know the artist is in on the joke. I'm secretly asking because if abstract painters have some extra tool in their grab bag I want to grab it and add it to mine. Khorramian is using animation and bits of figuration. Meese is a political artist. Neither is purely abstract. An idiom based on notions of the avante garde and progressive reduction and purity presents difficulty when it is continued.

Cooky Blaha said...
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Cooky Blaha said...

want some young abstract painters? I can only think of Elizabeth Neel, Wendy White......and the geometric abstractions of Barry Mcgee and Chris Johansen......
did the Jim Drain and Ara Peterson show signal the return of abstraction?(http://www.deitch.com/files/slideshows/hypno05_install_1.jpg)
Dan Walsh is not young........
Brian Fahlstrom is barely abstract
doesnt Mark Grotjahn do nonabstract stuff too?
and yes I do think abstraction is an incredibly slippery slope......I dont think its gonna get reinvented in a big way for like at least a decade or two

out of this show, I liked the B+W representational painting the most (or was it a big drawing?) and I did like it so there is my dose of positive feedback

Regardless of Nelson's skill, how can one argue that these works flout convention when I'm sure many of us have had art teachers in the past whose work resembled this?(I know I have) This is a classic pissy comment but if I opened an artforum from the 60s would I be surprised if this work was in it? Is that a bad thing?
and dont Steve's biggest arthistory chops come from piping Cindy? that article was interesting and the Jerk is amazing but the Picasso play and the vanity projects like shopgirl the movie get really tiresome. Anywho props for supporting the arts

zipthwung said...

"how does abstraction function now outside of it's former avante garde status

"Things mean something different the second time around. Maybe not less just different.

I saw the Nancy Rubens show - is she vital?
She occupies a lot of institutional airtime.

Take for example Kosuth's mind maze at Sean Kelley vs. Rob Pruitt's concrete poetry at Gavin Brown - a converstation? Or just another perfunctory swipe at abstract painting and art in general - shit your pants?
Circle the truth?

It seems to be a conversation when you line it up like that - yet it could just be schizophrenic paranoia. I dont know because I'm the only one I know, you know?

Or their work could be a reaction to one text or school of thought. (One I probably reject, as do they, if they do, and I think more so, the more I know).

Their work is reactionary. Its conservative, which is ironic. In the same way, this work is traditional and conservatively reactionary.

What is art about?

Art as idea, as idea?
Decoration?
Being human as being human?

If I want to feel something I'll kill someone. What a rush.

The idea of being avant guard is meaningless unless to be avant guard is to be as yet unamed and formless - beyond the hairball.

THis may seem like bile to you - but its not some weak appeal to "experience" or "emotion"
as the source of innovation. Science and technology will allways win over magical thinking cargo cults.

This work belongs in a museum with all the other art about art.

zipthwung said...

Empty metaphors vs. full metaphors. Full mirrors.
Bad puns. Bad metaphors. Metaphors that change with the light. Maltese Falcons. Maltese hummingbirds. McGuffins. Ersatz metaphors. Borrowed metaphors.

Young artists steal. Mature artists appropriate.

closeuup said...

Nancy Rubins is a great example because she's so good. She reflects, she expresses, she's masterful. Why does it have to be more difficult than that? What else can we do while we sit here and wait? Just show how good you are.

Cooky Blaha said...

oh yeah and closeuup since you seem to be real into that show...do you have any thoughts on the relation between Dan Christensen's paintings and Ugo Rondinone's ?
Ugo uses abstractions as kind of one-offs in installations I think
http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwsgrapr.nsf/vwGraphicLU/FARI-4VPFL3/$FILE/400x477_Rondinone_Ugo.jpg
I cant tell if he's directly referencing Dan or just settled on the format as a type of generic allusion to archaic idealism

Does Nancy Rubin have paintings?

zipthwung said...

I think this references keneth Noland.

zipthwung said...

trade you

kalm james said...

Some of this conversation sounds like fashion pundits discussing this seasons “it” color or whether the mini skirt is ready for a revival.

Abstraction is as strong and vibrant as its been for the last seventy or eighty years. Just because it isn’t on the covers of the fashionable magazines doesn’t mean folk aren’t doing it and making some great painting.

As with kelli’s point regarding re-working the academic tradition with a knowing irony, now the same is true of abstraction.

And Zip, all art comes from art, and is ultimately about art, human beings not withstanding.

Cooky Blaha said...

I dont take the fashion swipe as an insult, I do that just for fun, when you namedrop,people tend to do the same and then I learn about new artists. I did some work in that busines and still love it so it translates, ....
but if abstraction is as vibrant as 70 80yrs ago name the new generation artists carrying the torch. Not to be confrontational but to say that about abstraction seems completely farfetched. I would never go so far as to say that its not a valid means of expression, or still open to expansion and exploration, but 80 yrs ago?????Those artist were basically splitting the atom, who now is doing that?

zipthwung said...

Yeah whos splitting atoms these days?

Particles are in this season. .I .like .that .a .lot

brent hallard said...

My drift:
Like all experimentation, much is doomed to fail--success, then, is picking up on some of these failures.
In fact abstraction was simply a language shift that shared much of the syntax of the language it shifted away from. I think the area will come back pretty strong when a particular event and knowledge becomes common, which would first appear external to the arts, will gather intense interest again in this thing that we are yet to find a name--once called abstract.

Pure exists but Pure does not exist because the latter is static, a construct, a brand name. However, and hang on to your cookies, if things exist then they must 'be', and as such, gaff tape and all, be it is, all is on the move in and out of brand states. We strip the branding with the simple statement that 'All things are pure and are on the move'--in transition.
Some of the best abstract steadied the viewer to experience this move directly through the body--not just through an eye squeeze.

Reduction: Things don't reduce. They change form, or they move out of form, or presence, for a time, pretty much like abstraction has, pun intended.
If an work appears 'decreased', in content, yet still appears to have something, then I would say it is successful. It may be working under the surface, or through the surface. It may have a structure that is deeper that what is physically visible. It may be a thing that plays with the structure and codes of reality. It may be at play with a cultural norm, or the everyday.
There remain many, many open pages.

The world of ours is two-thirds ocean/water: Difficult to swim in a life-time!

Martin said...

some of these abstract painters maybe not so young -

Tomma Abts, Pat Berran, Kadar Brock, Rosanna Bruno, Phong Bui, Matt Connors, Alison Fox, Joe Fyfe, Ethan Greenbaum, Bill Gusky, Wade Guyton, James Hyde, Sergej Jensen, Ron Johnson, Timothy Michael Martin, Michael Mewborn, Melissa Meyer, Tom Nozkowski, Odili Donald Odita, Albert Oehlen, Bernard Piffaretti, David Ryan, Eric Sall, James Siena, Lisa Sigal, Jered Sprecher, Michael St. John, Stephen Westfall, Wendy White, me.

i am excited to come up and see the wendy white and dona nelson shows. isn't there a show of abstract painters up at zieher smith right now?

kalm james said...

Zip n’ cooky, (wow sounds like the latest product from Sarah Lee) take my word for it, at the time Kandinsky, Mondrian, Pollock or Barney Newman were making and showing the works that we in retrospect are looking at as “splitting the atom” few, and I mean very few could “see” what they were doing. It’s only after the history has been shaped by subtle marketing and academic narratives that we “accept” their breakthroughs.

Candidates for contemporary artists who are making equivalent achievements, I think James Turrell has done stuff that expands the realms of perception (though he ain’t no painter in the strict sense.) Bram Bogart (age 75) has done things with pigment that boggle the mind in their materiality. I’ve see works with mirrors and optics done in Germany in the mid seventies that actually projected images in to 3d space.

On a more humble level I like some of the work of Matthew Ritchie, more for their ideas that the execution. Julie Mehretu gets some interesting effects, though she doesn’t have that long a track record. John J. O’Connor has potential if he’d use paint instead of color pencils. James Siena certainly has gotten a lot of attention for small scale abstraction. Chris Martin, Bruce Pearson, James Biederman, Lidia Dona and Ron Gorchov were all in attendance at PS1 Yesterday.

Will any of these painters be the next Pollock, ehhh probably not. But the point is there are lots of abstract painters out there who take it very seriously, and we don’t know when the next phenom will pop. There ain’t no calendar or cyclic time frame. Mainly it’s a question of when enough people who count (critics, curators, collectors) can “see” and it hits a tipping point. In any case, we’ll probably be the last ones to know.

One point that was made is the difference between "fashion" and "style." Fashion last a season, style is forever.

beadelog said...

I have to think that abstract art has definate limitations that can only be seen as new and exciting once and that was a long damn time ago. I know that it is now a product of academia and the many that choose to rally behind that flag are not free at all. Burn your gods and embrace your demons.

mr peeps said...

i think the dona nelson show was a real disappointment. i am a gestural abstract painter and i really admire her work but i thought this show had a depressing feeling and was not really interesting.

brent hallard said...

it really goes much, much further back than this: Research Sumerian and Egyptian architectonic and hieroglyphic resonance, and beyond:
Then race up to a short 100 years ago--

"Describing ‘Composition VIII, 1923’ by Kandinsky, one synaesthete said: “The jumbled mass of lines gave various tones, which changed as my eyes travelled round the picture. When looking at the large multicoloured powerful circle at upper left, I get a pure tone which can be too much, so to relieve my mind of this I travel back to the cacophony of jumbled lines and shapes. This painting therefore is a good balance of contrasting noise – pure tones and cacophony – which was a delight to see. The more I looked at it, the more I came to appreciate the image and to like the ‘music’.” "

http://www.physorg.com/news76564567.html

We've been on the edge of not some new discovery but a reentry into the thomb of what experience once was.

Edna said...

What a load of horse shit!

kalm james said...

I don’t think that it's a question of whether there is anything “new” to be done in abstraction, or whether it’s become a totally academic “school”. The question is whether anyone has the guts and intelligence to make the leap over this bar, which is set incredibly high right now. People who don’t see that might just lack imagination. If there wasn't such strident opposition to abstraction, I'd know there probably isn't anything to it. (I'm not an abstract painter, just an advocate of contrarianism).

Oh yeah, I'm against the contrarians too.

zipthwung said...

Liar.

kalm james said...

zips, maybe you're right, shucks.

kelli said...

You can't have your cake and refuse to eat it too.

mr peeps said...

anyone who likes abstraction would enjoy an ad for a show by Rebecca morris that is in artforum this month. the issue with zidane on the cover. you will find it fairly close to the front of the magazine, a full page ad for a show in berlin at barbara weiss gallery. there is a manifesto that she wrote there, for abstract and non-objective painting lovers! it is really a fantastic list of things. i tore it out and put it on my refreidgerator.
i think that dona nelson's show was sub par for her. it was not up to her usual level and anyone who goes should look through the catalog and see her earlier work. the green painting was just drab and ugly and unnecessary though i liked the one with the rag strips. it seemed really didactic. she is usally a lot more out there. earlier shows were way better. maybe she was depressed. it looks like it. or maybe it was just that gallery.

brent hallard said...

Ha, Horseshit, Edna that's so cool! I haven't seen a horse in so long... longing, almost:)
But longing is not enough, you have to see the shit, smell it, know where it comes from, how to use, and in the end if you want more, that horse is the most precious thing (of all)--there's no slinging anything if there's no horse!

ilikeitalot said...

Kelli, I don't think all figure paintings being done today are ironic. I think it's important that artists not fall into the trap of trying categorize there work in a way that may not do it justice just in order for it to appear "new" or hip or whatever makes them feel more comfortable about doing it. That usually makes for half-assed stuff. Art is not about one-liners for everybody, or about making sure everyone gets the joke. Sometimes it's about searching for a punchline.
Mr. Peeps, I know the work of that artist at the german gallery. Not very interesting painting. Very shlocky and souless. But it may be what she is going for.

ilikeitalot said...

I don't see why we need to reduce art to games, is all.

kelli said...

Ilikeitalot what did you think of the Saltz review of Charlene Von Heyl? He sort of mentioned the problems of working abstractly now but left it hanging. Maybe it's not about solutions.

Regia said...

Hi, I enjoy your colors.
regiaart.com

Ursula's Dad said...
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morrison55 said...

crap is a strong word here in the uk - but I think it applies to this painting. zipthwung I liked the link with the poop - I'm gonna have to steal that for future work. No one will find out...