Filed under: THE WEEK/THE WEEKEND | Tags: 2020 THE, Aki, Always, and, ANDERSSON, ashley, August PAMELIA, Barnes, BASS-LAPTOP Landscapes, bill, Break MONICA, Bridges, Burleson, can, CELLAR, COMPANY JENNIFER, ComposerClarinet, Cycles, double, down, DRUNGLE How, Festival Raha, FIRE Ned, for, Geddes Music, Geoffrey, GHYS, House, in, is, kevin, kiss, KURSTIN, Machinic, make, maria, Mashups, McCOY TWENTY, nature, of, on, Onda WILLEM, one, Paintings Walls, performance, pete, piano, POINTFLORENT, Powers, Raissnia, Rhapsodies TYPES, solo, Soprano Hindsight, Soul Dead, South DAVID, still, Sublette, Tegzes, the, to, TRULLI second, TWELVE Devin, TYPE@COOPER Beth, voice, we, Wiemann, with, WoodJeremy, you
Ashley Wood/Jeremy Geddes
Oct 20 — Nov 17, 2012
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Machine Sabbath, a series of new works by Australian artist Ashley Wood, in what will be his debut solo exhibition in the United States and exhale, a series of new paintings by Melbourne-based artist Jeremy Geddes, in what will be his debut solo exhibition in the United States. On Saturday, October 20th, there will be a print released at 1pm, and the opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 6—9pm.
Music for Voice: Cycles, Mashups, and Machinic Rhapsodies
Le Poisson Rouge
Sun., October 21, 2012 / 5:00 PM and Tue., October 23, 2012
Join Metropolis Ensemble’s celebration of song and contemporary lyricism in a concert featuring 3 extraordinarily talents from a new generation of star singers, Kate Lindsey, Kiera Duffy, and David Babin (along with members of his celebrated band from Paris, BabX). Music for Voice will be an unforgettable evening of kaleidoscopic textures, soaring melody, and elegiac poetry.
Leave The Bass Alone, 5 Basses
Installation: Sat/Sun, Oct 20/21, 4 -7pm
Reception and live performance: Friday, Oct 19, 7 – 9pm
Inspired by this quote from Morton Feldman to Stockhausen and studies of dramaturgic developments of different human and natural soundscapes, Leave the Bass Alone is a collection of sound installations, field recordings and performances exploring the depths of the double bass’ spectral world. In “5 basses”, five double basses are amplified and feedbacked with each other. The strings and the bodies of the basses resonate with their ambient surroundings, thus creating an interactive drone in which the basses are controlled both by their acoustic vibrations and their environment. Seemingly simple acoustic/physical principles take on the complex role of the composer, creating forms and structures surprisingly similar to those we find in our everyday life.
Beth Wiemann, Composer/Clarinet with Geoffrey Burleson, Piano and Maria Tegzes, Soprano
October 20, 2012 8:00 pm
Performing compostions with and without video accompaniment, including, Sharp Nostalgia, for bass clarinet and piano, The Primary Tool is Soup, for soprano, piano and DVD, The Star Theatre, for clarinet, piano and DVD and other short solo works. Link to earlier performance of one of “Star Theatre” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6bRTph9MxY&feature=plcp
Hindsight is Always 20/20
Closing Nov. 7
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Walkway near the Carousel
Originally commissioned for display during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Hindsight is Always 20/20 is a large public sculpture consisting of 43 light boxes. The work examines the history of American political discourse through the metaphor of vision. Drawing from the annual State of the Union (SOTU) addresses given by Presidents to Congress, Hindsight consists of a single Snellen-style eye chart for each president who gave SOTU addresses from George Washington through George W. Bush. Instead of the typical characters present in an eye chart, the piece employs words drawn from their speeches, presented in order of most frequent (top line) to least frequent (bottom line) word. The result is a startlingly clear snapshot of the lexicon of each presidency, containing a mix of historically topical keywords and rhetoric unique to each president and the time period in which they served in office.
THE CELLAR AND POINT/FLORENT GHYS – SOLO PERFORMANCE DOUBLE BASS-LAPTOP
Cornelia Street Cafe
Wed Oct 24th
The cellar and point is an adventurous “garage-chamber” sextet whose musical universe comprises the detail of modern concert music, the emotional directness of alt-rock, and the improvisational sensibilities of downtown jazz. Formed in 2010, the group features an impressive cross-section of young talent from NYCʼs classical, jazz, and new music scenes.Ghys is one of a new breed of composer/performers who thrives on performing the music he composes. He creates highly contrapuntal, post-minimalist chamber music showcasing intelligent multi-tracking and inventive use of electronics and sampled speech. On the surface, his music is lighthearted and easily engaging, with whimsical loops and repetitions dancing around each other, creating clever and pleasing rhythms. Acoustic bass lines interweave creatively and buoyantly with layered instrumental tracks, electronics or processed speech. These seemingly simple elements are carefully crafted, however, and pieced together very deliberately.
Landscapes of the Soul
October 19 – October 21, 2012
By using an array of musical traditions from around the world, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nacho Arimany offers a ritualistic expression that engages the audience in experiencing free interaction between different artistic disciplines. The incorporation of Jazz , Video-Art and Live Digital Drawing opens the space for tradition to be transformed and actualized by a new experience of collective creation.
TYPES WE CAN MAKE & TYPE@COOPER
OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 17, 2012
“Types We Can Make”- A selection of contemporary Swiss typeface design curated by ECAL/University of Art & Design Lausanne (Switzerland), in association with The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography. “Type@Cooper”- Graduates of Cooper Union’s Typeface design program, Type@Cooper, will exhibit a diverse range of their works.
Dead in August
October 19 – November 16, 2012
site95 is pleased to present “Dead in August,” a group exhibition organized by Meaghan Kent and Sara Maria Salamone. “Dead in August” is part of a multi venue project that uses additional spaces in New York to create in depth exhibitions highlighting emerging New York based artists. The exhibition will be held at NYCAMS, New York Center for Art and Media Studies, New York. Artists include: Nils Folke Anderson, Agnes Barley, Jude Broughan, Matthew Brownell, Peter Demos, Nathan Dilworth, Roberto Carlos Lange, Francesco Longenecker, Christian Maychack and Alexandra Posen. A panel discussion moderated by Andrea Hill will be held Thursday, October 25 at 6:30pm.
PAMELIA KURSTIN with PETE DRUNGLE
Invented in 1919 by Russian scientist Léon Theremin, the Theremin is one of the oldest electronic instrument – and the fact that it doesn’t need to be touched to produce a sound, makes it also the most magical. Pamelia is widely considered one of the world’s greatest theremin player. On an instrument primarily associated with horror and science fiction soundtracks, she can be lyrical. Her pitch, her technique and her taste are equally perfect. She can play microtonal puzzles and walking bass lines. She can sound like a violin, a human voice or an analog synthesizer. Out of what was once a symbol of modernism, she plays music of a very emotional order. Pamelia has been based in Vienna for a few years, and this is a rare chance to catch her here – and then with Barbez for the later set. She will be joined by pianist Pete Drungle.
How to Break
Here Arts Center
Oct 18-Nov 4
In their first co-producing endeavor, HERE and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival present the world premiere of How to Break, a collaboration between playwright Aaron Jafferis, reknowned breakersKwikstep and Rokafella, beatboxers Adam Matta and Yako 440, composer Rebecca Hart, and director Christopher Edwards. Recipient of the 2012 Thomas Barbour Playwright’s Award,How to Break sneaks into a hospital room with a fake ID, a potty mouth, and a bad case of heartsick.
MONICA BILL BARNES & COMPANY
OCTOBER 20 / 8:00 and OCTOBER 21 / 3:00
Monica Bill Barnes & Company return after their performance in This American Life Live! last May. Ira Glass will introduce these performances and join the company onstage for a post-performance discussion.
JENNIFER & KEVIN McCOY: TWENTY ONE TWELVE
October 20 – November 24, 2012
Postmasters is pleased to announce Twenty One Twelve, its sixth exhibition with Jennifer and Kevin McCoy and their 10th year with the gallery. Pioneering new media artists whose works explore both time-based and physical reality, the McCoys are perhaps best recognized for constructing subjective databases of film and television material and for creating miniature film sets with live video cameras. The integration of sculpture and video continues in their new exhibition. Pointing to a time 100 years from today Twenty One Twelve connects current trends with future failures and potential transformations. For this show the McCoys have created a series of ten sculptures which depict the landscapes of today and tomorrow. Corporate campuses, parking lots, man-made mountains, resort architecture, and factories all collide with a globalized media infrastructure. This framework exists to support utopian goals, even as it rests upon resource depletion, financial instabilities, and entropic decay. The problems of environmental and economic collapse persist in the face of the rhetoric of the assumed benefits of continued economic expansion and a technological future.
Filed under: THE WEEK/THE WEEKEND | Tags: 1 Three, a, ACRE Bad, after, Age Video, Alan, along, an, and, architecture, art, artist, at, avant, back, Blogologues Actual, Bohème D’Ambrose, Boulevard, Boyd, Broadway’s, Bronx The, by, center, class, club, Communities, complex, Concourse, Connections, Damocles Music, david, Demand Faust True, dickinson, Discussion, dog, dreams, eamon, energy, Europe NO, evening, Event tinyDANGEROUSfun, events, exploring, Fiction Supernatural, film, First, for, foster, freaks, Future La, Garde Sword, giron, grand, GROUP A, Hal, have, Heady, Heartbreak, Hemispheres, Hope, House, House Songbook, i, in, iron, is, Jam, Jeiven, jonathan, Kite Blood, lawson, lecture, live, LPA, Luck, Matthiessen, michael, model, Moth, mouse, music, nature, new, Nonfiction Clean, nyc, of, on, one, ore, our, Panel, Parallel, party, pearl, poetry, pop, popular, present, presented, Radding, Retrospect An, Reuben, role, salon, Santos, science, series, singers, Slave, Solar, SOMBRERO Peter, somerville Tomoya, Sonfist Anthropomorphic, SOUNDBATS, Space NY, SplatterPool, story, StorySLAM, Susan, sustainable, Sword, talk, taxidermy, Than, the, Thicker, three, times, Travis, Tsukamoto Naked, Universe, Vaudeville, vincent, Voodoos, we, white, Wife The, with, with n, Witnessed, wood, World Edwin
Filed under: ART | Tags: 22, art, artist, artists, arts, baton, brooklyn, Cindy, elements, foundation, frederick, gallery, louisana, magazine, mark, MOORE, nature, new, ny, nyc, of, painter, painting, r., rouge, the, Weisman, wright, york
Filed under: INTERVIEWS, MUSIC | Tags: 1, 22, abbesses, band, bjork, bonnie, brooklyn, carousel, deezer, doll, foles, france, franco, francocolies, francofolies, gaga, girl, heart, jaune, K., li, loops, madame, mademoiselle, magazine, matt, metro, mowatt, music, nature, new, noise, ny, nyc, of, one, paries, paris, short, sound, stories, telephone, the, voodoo, voume, woman, york
Filed under: INTERVIEWS | Tags: activist, album, and, animal, animals, ann's, art, beastie, boys, Bronx, carson, cover, coytoe, culture, D., darwin, darwinian, davis, deborah, drawbacks, dual, enviroments, envrioments, francisco, gallery, habitats, hip hop, human, india, institute, intellectual, interaction, intergalatic, lab, LZ, mad, man, marionettes, matt, mccullers, mike, muralist, natural, nature, necessity, new, November, ny, october, of, painter, painting, perspective, poet, poetry, project, puppet, puppets, pursues, reeck, reevaluation, residency, road, saint, san, sculptor, sculpture, show, simon, space, st, st. ann's, studio, tamara, taxidermy, the, toys, Utica, versus, with animals, york, zoo
This past Friday, I paid a visit to Deborah Simon who has an upcoming show at NY Studio Gallery‘s LZ Project Space opening this Friday, May 20th. Deborah has been a painter and sculptor for several years now and will be part of the Sculpture Space residency in Utica, this coming October and November. She has worked at the Bronx Zoo building habitats and “intellectual toys” for the animals, and her work reflects the understanding of the dual nature of man-made versus natural environments and the drawbacks and necessity of both. Her sculpture’s present a strange encounter and cause the viewer to approach the animal in an unusual and raw manner, suggesting a reevaluation of the nature of human and animal interaction.
We truly appreciate her taking the time to talk about her work and upcoming show.
The 22 Magazine: You worked at the Bronx Zoo correct? Can you tell us a little about what you did there?
Deborah Simon: Sure, I did some design work. It was everything from giving exhibits face lifts to mural work, to sometimes just flat out designing and building exhibits. [I also built] intellectual toys for the animals. With that you have to make everything look natural. So [you have to make a] tiger toy that looks [for example] like a rotten piece of wood. It was one of those oddball weird request situations, keepers would come and say we need hummingbird feeders made out of XY and Z and we’d have to figure how to make them look natural.
The 22: How did you get into that kind of work? Did you study design in school or elsewhere?
DS: No, I’ve got a fine arts background. [I studied at] San Francisco Art Institute, which prepares you for nothing but making conceptual art. I just happened to have a realistic bent to what I do, which was thoroughly discouraged but…
I started working as a muralist and then the zoo had an ad in the paper. I replied to it and got hired. It’s one of those jobs where the guy who runs the department is fantastic, and he just expects that you need a lot of on the job training. You need to be able to weld, you need to be able to fiberglass, you need to be able to do some basic carpentry. There are just so many skills that no one person is going to have them all. They do invest in teaching you quite a bit [so], I learned a lot, and it all goes back into what I do.
The 22: In regards to your artists statement, which talks a little about the animal confronting the viewer in an unrestricted environment, did working at the zoo conflict with ideas of how animals should be treated in any way?
DS: I think it’s a conflict a lot of the people who work at the zoo have, because everyone who works there more or less loves animals. We all have multiple animals, we are deeply concerned about animal welfare. Some of the holding areas are very old and not that great. Some of the animals are permanently on medications because [there is] not the best ventilation but, on the other hand, you can’t just let them go. [I believe] Finland ran into this problem. They decided it was cruel and inhumane to keep this baboon exhibit. They decided it was inhumane to keep more tropical animals in Finland, but they couldn’t get rid of them because they breed really well and every zoo has a ton of them. So, they were going to euthanize them but the public had a fit and they had to keep them. So, now they have these unhappy baboons; animals that are obviously not doing well, but there are no other options for them. [I think] a lot of the people [that work at the zoo] go through this. [They think] these animals didn’t ask for this, they didn’t want to become ambassadors of their species, but on the other hand sometimes when your standing and watching the public watch these animals and they suddenly make this connection to the human traits of the animals you really hope it does something. They are suddenly more aware of them and, you think, I hope this means that it will translate into something, maybe [that wouldn't be there] if they hadn’t seen it. Then again, zoo animals they don’t behave like wild animals, they have three meals a day, they sleep all day. [In the end] it’s a lot of mixed emotions.
The 22: A lot of your animals actually are puppets or look a lot like traditional marionettes. Stylistically how did you decide this was how you were going to build?
DS: It’s weird because I have this totally anal goal to be as accurate as humanly possibly, but I’m always reminding myself it’s art, not taxidermy. I was living in India for a while and India is a very sculpture oriented place. I had been painting for years and years at that point, and maybe it was just being around so much sculpture. I was home in the states and one day I just thought, what would happen if I make sculpted animals with fake fur? The hyena was the first one. I found [the hyena's fur] in the bargain bin and I thought, this looks just like spotted hyena fur, no wonder it’s on sale. I brought back Sculpy and fur and whatever else I thought I wouldn’t be able to get in India, and just started working. I was originally thinking of porcelain dolls-[with] the hard heads and the soft body. I was thinking more along the lines of what would it be like to make these things so they look like creeped out porcelain dolls, but they actually ended up a little but more like [weird] taxidermy.
The 22: They seem to have this really human quality, a very aggressive straight on gaze…
DS:I feel even though animals are a really popular subject right now, it’s always animal as metaphor or animal as parable. They play the role of an odalisque and they don’t confront the viewer. They are a stand in for history, they’re a stand in for human behavior, but they are never just themselves, and when they are themselves it’s more kitschy animal art. I want it to be as if you were walking into their space. It’s kind of that feeling when you out in the woods or hiking, or even in Central Park [where] it tends to be a bird of prey, a hawk or something, and you have that instant where they look at you, and you look at them, and you have no idea what’s going to go on. Especially if it’s big enough to hurt you. Then it’s this totally different interaction than the zoo or anything else. Your walking into their space, and they are psychologically dominating it. The sculptures themselves are going to be hung so your going to have to walk around them. They force you to move around them instead of being on the walls or giving a pathway.
The 22: Can you tell me a little about Coyote Pursue’s puppet project?
DS: It was a pretty amazing experience. Collaborating was new to me but Matt Reeck is a good friend and amazing to work with. We shored up each others strengths and weaknesses really well. I would never have been able to direct something like that. I think in the future I may do more puppetry but do it so it’s video.
The 22: Is there a difference between building the puppets versus building the sculptures? Is that something you had to learn?
DS: Yes. St. Ann’s puppet lab is a nine month program so they are a huge resource, but it took me forever just to figure how to walk them. It took me two months just to build one, to actually physically construct it so that it moved properly. Once I got the basic structure it took me weeks to figure out how to string it, and that’s one of the times the lab was great. I brought them in and said I don’t know what to do, and one of the guys [showed me], and it was done. It was wonderful.
The 22: The piece itself was about a world where humans are gone, and coyotes are the only ones left right?
DS: [Matt Reeck] is a wonderful poet and he gave me a book of his poetry and asked me to illustrate it. At the time I was just feeling like, I don’t want to paint anything, and I don’t want to sketch.
[But] I was thinking [the poetry] would be perfect to do a puppet show with, and so we said what the hell, we’ll write a puppet lab. We threw it together in two weeks, and we were really surprised we got in. Originally we had taken three of his poems, more short prose really, and the one we both had a very clear vision-that was the same vision-was [the coyote] one. We started building and time started ticking by, and we realized the other two we’re never going to make it, and that we wouldn’t have time [to perform more than one]. You only got twenty minutes tops to perform. So, we decided just to focus on the coyotes, and it was really based on his writing, and [the idea of] not using the animals as parables but to be really Darwinian about it. What would a coyote really be doing if they were wandering around in this world with nothing really left. We were thinking of it as The Road but with coyotes.
The 22: Did you do a cover for The Beastie Boys [Intergalatic]?
DS: I had actually done the paintings and they ended up on the cover. The paintings were actually in the small works show at NYU and Mike D’s wife bought them. So, she came over to my studio and she’s chatting and we’re having this very nice conversation, and she keeps talking about her husband’s band and so I’m thinking….ok, band whatever and being polite, I ask oh what band is your husband in? And she’s says, The Beastie Boys, and at that point I’m immediately intimidated. So about six months later, they called to see if it was ok with me if they used it as an album cover and I just thought….ooook, twist my arm. It was just this little freak thing, they were just these little freak paintings, that I wasn’t planning to do as a body of work or anything.
The 22: What about the memento mori series paintings? Can you talk a little about what this series means to you and why you decided to do it?
DS: I think in that series I’d been reading a lot about evolution. I was thinking about how death influences life. I was thinking about a Darwinian perspective, you have these animals with these constant pressures, and it’s survival of the fittest but also thinking about viewing what human’s do in the world [destruction and pollution] as unnatural, but it is natural because we are part of the world and this is part of what we do. Animals routinely destroy their environments, but they don’t do it in the same numbers that we do. Elephants constantly trash environments and have to move on, but there are so few of them, they aren’t ruining Africa or Asia-we sort of beat them to it. I guess I was thinking about that simple pressure and interaction, and how some of your stiffest competition is from your species. You know species always have more children than your going to need. You really only need a one to one replacement and chances are that’s all your going to get if your lucky.
Filed under: ART | Tags: 22, 3D, altered, art, artist, artists, ash, ashe, blog, bones, book, books, brian, building, carving, dettmer, eggs, elements, featured, magazine, natural, nature, paper arts, post, rachael, rachel, sculpture, shells, the
Filed under: EVENTS | Tags: 1, 22, 361, andy, art, artist, ave, boys, brooklyn, center, contains, CPR, death, doctor, dudeck, for, for performance, gay, genders, genitalia, human, hybrid, installation, LBGT, lesbian, magazine, manhattan, michael, mythology, naked, nature, new, nudity, ny, nyc, of, orgins, performance, prehistory, project, queer, radically, re-imagines, religion, research, reserach, ritual, rituals, rudolph, sacrifffice, sex, sound, the, theater, tomb, unity, watermill, watermill center, Winnipeg-based, witch, womb, wombtomb, york
Michael Dudeck Witch Doctor
|The Watermill Center is pleased to announce two events as part of The Watermill Center / CPR – Center Performance Research Partnership . Both artists were part of the Fall 2010 / Spring 2011 Residency Program at The Watermill Center. These events are continuations of the work they did at Watermill allowing them to present in New York City.
On Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. Michael Dudeck Witch Doctor (Watermill Resident Artist October 2010) will present WOMBTOMB, the third performance / installation of his Religion Project at CPR – Center for Performance Research.
WOMBTOMB is the third performance/installation in Michael Dudeck Witch Doctor’s Religion Project, which involves the invention of a queer religion and prehistory which radically re-imagines the nature of human origins. This performance is a meditation upon the death and sex rituals of one of the factions of Dudeck’s mythology, which involves the invention of a multiplicity of genitalia and hybrid genders (and invented sexual acts to accommodate modified genders) as well as elaborate ritual sacrifice and mummification procedures. Separated into three movements, the work features a cast of five performers, including Dudeck, as well as live sound by composer/sound artist Andy Rudolph. The work is roughly 60 minutes long and contains nudity.
Michael Dudeck Witch Doctor is a performance artist and cultural engineer whose work spans multiple media. He has performed and exhibited internationally at venues including the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Platform Center for Photographic and Digital Art and aceartinc (Winnipeg), Pari Nadimi Gallery (Toronto), John Connelly Presents (New York), and the Watermill Center (New York).
Andy Rudolph is a Winnipeg-based sound artist and composer who works in multiple media, including musical composition for voice and instruments, digital composition, and spatial sound-works and installations. He has worked with the artists Rebecca Belmore and Noam Gonick, as well as having produced his own sound/music project The Calculus Affair and performing with the band Mahogany Frog.
Filed under: ART, THE WEEK/THE WEEKEND | Tags: 22, alaska, and, art, artist, artistic, atmoshper, atmosphere, chill, cold, college, color, Columbia, DESIGN, ephermeral, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow, field, fullbright, gallery, grant., kind, klompching, lisa, M., MacDowell Colony, magazine, mystery, natural, nature, oceania, of, photography, physical, Pouch Cove Foundation, practice, quality, rhythms, robinson, savannah, the, time, university, visceral, water
Filed under: ART, THE WEEK/THE WEEKEND | Tags: 22, a, abstracts, and, and violent, blue, brooklyn, chrystie, co, delta, drawings, Dust, fall, for, frum, gallery, grace, jackets, jenkins, kara, lehmann, magazine, maupin, miss, mississippi, narrative, nature, new, ny, nyc, of, pipi's, puppet, shadow, sikkem, street, supporting dissertations, surreal, tale, the, the niggeratir, walker, york
Lehmann Maupin Gallery in collaboration with Sikkema Jenkins & Co.,is pleased to present, Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, a joint exhibition of new works by Kara Walker, on view 21 April – 4 June, 2011 at 201 Chrystie Street. At Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Walker will present three new video works, which draw on her own experience in the Mississippi Delta, “a region mythologized in song and popular culture but tragically depressing.” She explains, “I drove down to the Delta thinking about the terrors of Jim Crow and slavery, yet the silent indifference of the landscape and the economic stasis, lack of mobility, and the persistence of a racist memory in the area was what stuck.”
The exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Dust Jackets for the Niggerati- and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings submitted ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, will feature new graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper. This body of work grew out of the artist’s search for understanding of the way that power asserts itself in interpersonal and geopolitical spheres. As she embarked on this quest the figural elements began to disappear from her work. Now, they emerge again in what Walker describes as a “giddy embrace” of the figural and the narrative.
Filed under: ART, THE WEEK/THE WEEKEND | Tags: 31, abstract, acid, april 30, artists, botany, bruenchenhein, eugene, fleisher, gallery, inspired, march, nature, ollman, plants, pottery, pyschadelic, sculpture, trip, vessels, von
As part of the group show:
Guy de Cointet
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
Curated by Jonathan Berger
March 31 through April 30, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, March 31, 6–8pm
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983, lived and worked in Milwaukee)
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Untitled (VB-c-15, blue Closed Top Vessel), n.d., painted clay, 9 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches
Eugene von Bruenchenhein was born in 1910 in Marinette, Wisconsin. As an child, he relocated with his family to Milwaukee, where he lived and worked producing photographs, paintings, sculpture, and writing up until his death in 1983. In his late twenties, Von Bruenchenhein became obsessed with botany and horticulture, interests that would develop throughout his life. These interests, alongside an affinity for the mystical, were a driving influence on the ceramic vessels he created beginning around 1960.
To produce the vessels, Von Bruenchenhein mixed his own clay dug from his property and nearby construction sites. He first sculpted hundreds of tiny individual leaves, all of which were later attached to one another to form the finished piece. The structures were baked or “fired” in a coal burning stove in the parlor used to heat his home, and finally painted with whatever unwanted or discarded paints he could gather from local stores.
The identity of the vessels and their intended function remains elusive. There are credible theories that the aesthetics were informed by an awareness of Victorian ceramics and the royal ornamentation of ancient Greece. Von Bruenchenhein himself writes about the works at times as “sensor pots,” saying that they “may be used for dry flowers, or for incense burners.” However, he also states that ultimately, “There was no model for any of them…all were made for love of creation.” As objects, these vessels command a great deal of presence, a presence only amplified when considering the care, investment, and belief that Von Bruenchenhein embedded in them. Any initial associations with mundane use or decoration are challenged by their mysterious nature and the presumably profound significance they had in Von Bruenchenhein’s lexicon.