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on the hunt for good art

Anne Seims at Walker Contemporary

February 17th, 2016 · No Comments

Anne Siems is currently in a two-person show with Valerie Hammond at Walker Contemporary called HERstory. Anne’s new work has fewer period details and flourishes and also includes a few nature pieces.

Soul+of+the+Octopus+Drawing+50x32+2016

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Ruffles+Flower+Drawing

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HairDress

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neongirlsm

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Monutain (1)

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Mushroomdetail

Arts & Sciences

December 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Steve Hollinger is a well-known (i.e. sadly not affordable) Boston-based artist represented by Walker Contemporary. Hollinger’s atypical sculptures look like bric-a-brac at first glance but are actually highly-thoughtful demonstrations of scientific discoveries from the beginning of empiricism in the 16th century. Hollinger’s work brilliantly captures the awe that these scientific ideas struck in people and give us the opportunity to experience that same feeling of wonder nearly 500 years later.

"Atomic #4" glass plates, polarizing film, solar
mechanism, wooden box


"Winter Trees" polaroid emulsions, test tubes,
cheesecloth, wooden frame, UV protective glass

Hollinger’s light-activated mechanical sculptures are “rare in stuff, form or motion.” Using for the most part found objects, these assemblages shock and amaze us because of their mystery, not their mechanics. His bat skeleton, which emulates flight, or his beating heart is a thing of wonder, even though each mechanism is fairly straightforward.  – DeCordova Museum

"Bat" skeleton, glass, oil, wooden box,
solar mechanism

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"What's Left Of Her House" found metal objects

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"Twenty-five Atoms" plate glass, sandblasted glass,
polarizing film, solar mechanism, barnwood

Benicia Gantner @ Walker Contemporary

November 5th, 2010 · No Comments

I love Benicia Gantner and find it fascinating how her work has changed over time. Just a few years ago her work was uber-graphic, kaleidoscopic and abstracted like the painting below from 2006. She’s clearly developed a maturity in her work and a more subtle way to convey her ideas of nature and the material world. I love the return to more natural, organic forms.

Gantner’s show at Art Hound favorite Walker Contemporary opens tonight. Here’s what the artist had to say about her new body of work.

The reductive landscapes that define my work are rooted in my experience of the natural world, yet manifest as images that are wholly unnatural- flattened, simplified spaces, saturated with color, and populated with both abstract and recognizable organic forms… These imagined spaces are like flashes of a dream, or déjà vu—both familiar and alien…

By using industrial “man-made” materials like acrylic and vinyl, I reinforce the idea that our experience of the natural world is infused with artifice and largely synthesized. I splice and graft organic forms together, creating new hybrid forms…

The work is bittersweet. I present imagined spaces burgeoning with life, often within a seemingly vacant, desolate quietude. I affirm the possibility of regeneration of the natural world, as I invent forms that explore the genius of survival and adaptation…

Jennifer Davis On Symbols, Creatures And The Inner Child

January 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment

One of my favorite artists, Jennifer Davis, has a fantastic and *affordable* show at Walker Contemporary in Boston. (Most pieces are under $700.)

For those not familiar with Davis, her paintings are fascinating in a way that makes you want to revisit them again and again.  She has cultivated her own language of symbols and creatures and other visual oddities which she talks about in the interview. Davis’ paintings are mind-bending yet beautiful and surprisingly serene.

Interview with Jennifer Davis:

AH: Tell us a bit about the work in this show.
JD: This show features a series of mostly small-ish acrylic/graphite painting/drawings that I made during the past year or so.  These paintings are reflections about my life, the people around me and trying to live as an artist in these crazy times.

AH: There are certain themes that are prevalent in your work (faces/masks, musical instruments, balloons, ferns/branches). What kind of significance do these themes have for you?

JD: Each object has a kind of invented meaning for me and I just keep returning to images that resonate. My made-up vocabulary of symbols is always growing and changing. For example, I am currently obsessed with drawing a tuba on everything.  ha ha.  I am surrounded by a lot of music/musicians so I am just using a tuba as a beautiful representation of various musical themes that pop into my head.  Nothing very deep or tricky going on there.

AH: Some of your paintings include what seem like partially-human creatures, which often blur the line between cute and strange/creepy. Who are these creatures? Do you identify with them?

JD: Absolutely.  The animals and creatures in my paintings are symbols too.  I use them as stand-ins for people.  Cats, horses, dogs, monsters all have their own “personality” traits that I project onto the people in my life, strangers, myself and humanity in general. Sweet and soft balanced with more feral qualities, as humans tend to be.

AH: Much of your work has a distinct femininity to it (delicate lines and patterns, pale colors, little girls), but the feminine sweetness seems to be intertwined with loneliness. Do you feel there is a connection between innocence/sweetness and sadness?

JD: I try to strike a cord by finding a balance between things I find beautiful and darker themes running  just below the surface.  If I painted my pictures with dark bold colors (as has been “suggested” to me many times) they might seem overly gloomy and depressing.  Instead, I think they celebrate beautiful things as if through the eyes of a child that has reluctantly grown up a little bit.  I take such great joy in the act of painting so it is funny/odd that they sometimes look very somber.  Maybe today I will paint some smiles!

AH: What are you painting now? What’s next?

JD: I am currently painting like crazy for a big solo show opening Feb 5th in Ontario, Canada.  After that I have a solo show of drawing/paintings on paper at First Amendment Gallery in Minneapolis (http://burlesquedesign.com/category/first-amendment-arts/).  I will also be showing at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Oct.

Thanks, Jennifer!

Artist of the day: Jennifer Davis

September 16th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Jennifer Davis is based in Minneapolis but her work definitely gets around!  Recent highlights include exhibits at Nahcotta’s ETA in New Hampshire, Walker Contemporary in Boston, Cerasoli Gallery in LA, and SOOVAC in Minneapolis.  Although Jennifer has received a good amount of recognition for her work, her paintings are (for the time being) very affordable!

Below is my shortlist of Jennifer’s available work.  Performer and Yippee!, both a steal at $150, are available through Nahcotta’s ETA, while the rest, at $450, are available through Davis’s site.