Thursday, January 28, 2010

Janine Antoni

In the mail the other day, I received the schedule for upcoming Art Lectures at Carnegie Mellon Univertsity. These are free and open to the public.

I was excited to see that Janine Antoni will be coming to give a lecture. The first time I learned of her was while I was a student at CMU, when I saw a photograph of her painting with her hair.

This photograph of Janine Antoni painting with her hair inspired a silly little fantasy of mine that when I’d grow old, I’d have a studio in the mountains somewhere. I’d wear big smock dresses with tubes of paint in the pockets. I’d wear my hair (which I’d imagine would be long and silver like Georgia O'Keeffe's) in a braid, and I’d use the tip of my braid as a paint brush and paint landscapes. I have no idea why this was something I’d aspire to do, but remembering this fantasy, there is still something alluring about that idea!

The next time I came across the art of Janine Antoni was at the Hirshhorn while I was teaching at the Smithsonian. There was an installation of two rows of busts facing each other, all self-portraits of Janine. In one row, the busts were creamy white, and in the other, waxy brown. The white ones were cast in soap, and the brown ones were pure chocolate. Antoni is an artist who finds art in her artistic processes (painting with her hair for example), and this piece was also about a process, the title being two verbs: Lick and Lather. The busts had been worn down to various extents, some where the face was just a ghostly remnant. She had worn them down by licking the chocolate busts of her own face, and bathing with the soap self-portrait busts. Her art is often both performance art and sculpture, and she uses daily activities (such as eating and bathing) as another means to create art.

Janine Antoni's lecture at CMU will be on Tuesday, April 27, at 5pm in the Kresge Theatre, and it is free to attend.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This "couch" on display in the Carnegie Museum of Art's new exhibit of decorative art reminded me of this painting I saw a few months ago at the Louvre:

In drawing this connection, I learned some things, the first of which is the identity of the woman in this portrait by Jacques-Louis David (whose history paintings are a dominant presence in the Louvre). Her name was Jeanne Francoise Julie Adelaide Recamier.

Madame Recamier was considered to be the most beautiful woman in her day, and she influenced French art and literature. She was admired for her beauty, intelligence, kindness and graciousness, and was always surrounded by prominent geniuses who adored her good company. Here is an interesting short biography I found about her on-line:

Now, the "Couch" as it is titled at the Carnegie Museum of Art: This is a chaise lounge, but is also described as a neoclassical "recamier" -- which is the woman's name in the David painting! (This particular neoclassical recamier was made in America in 1825.)

Link to detailed description of this couch from the Carnegie's web site:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gallery Crawl

Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District-- Tonight!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decorative Arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art

We finally went to see the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries at the Carnegie Musuem of Art, which had its grand reopening at the end of November after being rennovated to highlight 500 objects from the museum's decorative arts and design collection. It is a beautiful rennovation that greatly enhances the experience of visiting the museum. The exhibit explores the evolution of style and design in the Western World from the mid 18th-century to the present, highlighting decorative arts of Western Pennsylvania.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Adam Welch's show at 709

As a follow-up to my previous post about Adam Welch's solo show at 709 Gallery, art critic Kurt Shaw just gave it a smashing review in the Trib. Pretty awesome! I'm certainly enjoying my new role as curator of 709, and delighting in Adam's success!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Adam Welch's solo show @ 709 Penn Gallery opens this Friday!

Adam Welch, Finding Order(detail)
Mixed media on projection screen, fluorescent lights
86" x 90" x 10"

In A Few Objects - On a Theme of Contradiction, which opens this Friday evening at 709 Penn Gallery, artist Adam Welch presents a range of works involving sculpture, painting and drawing composed with the artist’s reoccurring themes of paradox, solipsism, and contradiction. These pieces make play of theoretical information and implicit contradictions in the constructs developed to better understand our existence.

Welch has exhibited in juried group and solo shows as well as in alternative and experimental spaces since 1998. He is the 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship in Instillation/Sculpture recipient from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and was awarded the 2008 Emerging Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. His work has been shown regionally and internationally. This is his first solo exhibit in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Artist's Reception on Friday, January 8th from 6-9 pm
January 8 - February 19, 2010
Tickets: Free

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed the party!

Gary Guydosh demonstrating glassblowing with his portable furnace in Heinz Garden (above)

Grafitti wall mural from Moxie Dada / Urban Tree Forge's exhibit Resolutions (above)