Old friends and new

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Here I will pull together a laundry list of end-of-summer things.

Libby told you about the summer group shows at Fleisher Olman, Schmidt-Dean and elsewhere. See her posts here and here respectively.

Schmidt-Dean‘s show is up to Aug. 31. Go see it for the works Libby mentions but also to check out the new painting by Mary Murphy (top image). Murphy’s last show at S-D was digital prints based on photographs run through Photoshop.

The images were all grotesques — faces pulled apart and turned into rivers of flesh with eyeballs floating around like beach balls. Portraiture and self-portraiture, the works were great. Here the artist is painting from the grotesque source material — with equally wonderful results.

Robert Straight, included in the show with a nice orangy architectonic painting, (not shown) is someone whose geometric paintings I’ve admired for years. Straight has a show coming up this year with new, looser work, according to gallery owner Chris Schmidt. The work is smaller and in gouache. “It’s new for him. It has the same energy, but it’s done looser and looks hand-done,” said Schmidt. Can’t wait.

Speaking of artists changing their m-o’s, Howard Greenberg is represented with several pieces in the show. Abstract and lovely, but in strikingly different ways, Greenberg’s disparate works represent two different periods in the artist’s oervre: first, before he went to graduate school (image right) and second, post graduate school (image left).

The older works, smaller and full of a rough, experimental ad-hoc-ness that verges on anti-art, appealed for their references to rough walls, chipped paint and light falling through windows and onto interior spaces. Diebenkornian. Well that’s what I got out of them anyway.

The newer works, which are also architectural in nature appear to me to be looking out instead of looking in. And while their crispness may incorporate the artist’s new home base in Maine the hard-edges create a more intellectual, less visceral product that might come from too much thinking and not enough just plain doing. Sol Lewitty.

Artblog buddy Astrid Bowlby told me one time that you have to go to graduate school to understand you didn’t need to go to graduate school. She said it better than that but that’s the gist of it. Any thoughts about pre- and post-graduate school changes in your art, all you MFA’s out there?

Upcoming on Walnut St.

Fleisher Olman‘s upcoming show of work by Cuban-American outsider artist Jose Felipe Consalvos are collages so fine — delicate and colorful, obsessive and antique — they’re inspirational. Look for them in October. (image)

Doing the laundry in style

I’ve always had an interest in design. At first I thought it was different than art. Now I know it’s in the family. So I watch it and try to figure out what’s good and why.

A few years back, I wrote about Karim Rashid‘s Morimoto restaurant design for Azure magazine. That gave me an introduction to what’s being done on the high end of things.

Since I’m on Rashid’s mailing list, I’ll pass on to you this new item from the wavy designers workshop: He’s designed the bottles for a new line of eco-friendly laundry and cleaning products for something called method. Check their website for more. My info says you can buy Rashid’s bottles with their products inside at Target.

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