"Slidin' Through A" and "Slidin' Through B" (2016) during opening night of “2016-2017 CSN Art & Art History Faculty Exhibition” at College of Southern Nevada Fine Arts Gallery.
Photo: LeiAnn Huddleston.
Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, UNLV
(4505 S Maryland Parkway)
Through November 30, 2016
By D.K. Sole
I hesitate to call Mike Calway-Fagen’s one-person show "poetic" because the word is so often colloquially understood to mean sweetened mush, but the first time I saw it I had been reading William Kulik’s introduction to the "Selected Poems of Max Jacob" (Oberlin College Press, 1999), and I was thinking of the implicit joins or silences that poetry allows for. "Banana Strings" struck me as a way to continue that line of thought. One of my colleagues suggested that it was a show with many entrances, which it is, in that almost any piece can serve as the first piece, an introduction to the story of the rest. Is it a coincidence that the shadow inside "rigormortis tortoise", a black ceramic vase with a pie-slice cut out of the side, falls in the shape of a keyhole?
The artist on opening night (October 27) drew attention to the fact that the trefoil arrangement of singing pony costumes in "the nature of the venture" means you can stand between them, inside the work, but then where is the work, you might think -- where is the front of it, where does it start or stop -- especially when the audio coming out of the speakers bolted into the ponies' dark-fringed cartoon eyeholes travels all over the room, even into the narrow top balcony space where an ominous submarine rotates in a video loop against the wall?
My own mental entrance to "Banana Strings", the moment when I looked back at the gallery and saw the shadow-patterned gap in the vase forming an alignment with the music-filled space between the ponies, was a block of printed text in a collage titled "in full sight". It describes the behaviour of the male saiga antelope, who often dies during rutting season, "leaving most of the food supply to the females, who propagate the species." This notion of absence and fulfillment bubbling away in the same spot with a weird combination of biology and mechanical predictability (as if the saiga is not fully one thing or the other, or as if we are all both at once) looked like the key to some angle of perceptive intelligence that the show presents to its visitors without ever trying to disguise it as an answerable question.
D.K. Sole has worked at UNLV's Marjorie Barrick Museum since it changed its focus to fine art in 2012. An artist and former resident of Melbourne, Australia, she held her first one-woman Las Vegas show, 'Some Time Ago," in 2015 at Clark County's Winchester Gallery. She was co-manager for the highly praised downtown Las Vegas gallery, Satellite Contemporary.
Photo: LeiAnn Huddleston.
Murals are now in progress at Emergency Arts for the Life is Beautiful Festival, Fafi images of French sass are beginning to appear on Fremont. Shepard Fairey takes over the wall one shared by a collaboration by Sush Machida and Tim Bavington along 6th Street. Knowing his preferred color scheme Fairey's piece will be framed well by Jerry Misko's black mural on the lower wall. It all makes for an artistic way to note September 22, the first day of fall.
Here are some links from the week.
"If I get this [silent] film saved I've earned my wings," said Jeffery Crouse at a Nevada State College summer screening of his documentary on “Little Mickey Grogan." The Review Journal has more on the project.
"How did you choose the title 'This Time Around'?" LV Weekly asks artist Mikayla Whitmore. "It’s kind of referencing nostalgia, in the sense that everything is always changing. Las Vegas is always building and tearing down these facades," Whitmore says. "This Time Around" will be on display 20 through October 7 at UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum I Las Vegas Weekly
'Your first look at the public art for Life is Beautiful 2016' so says the headline at the R-J.
"Can a city known more for spectacle than cultural substance ever have a major museum of its own?"
City of Las Vegas will set aside up to 1.5 acres for The Art Museum at Symphony Park I RJ
"For every woman who’s ever been asked to smile by a complete stranger, the focal point of Jennifer Henry’s Fêted exhibit might feel strikingly familiar" I Las Vegas Weekly
"And in this wonderful city we call home, there are so many galleries displaying art by our fabulous talented artists. Downtown in The Arts District there are quite a few and in several other areas also. Google your interests, and I think you will find plenty," writes Carolyn Muse Grant, founder of the Architectural & Decorative Arts Society I RJ
Art writers Jörg Colberg (Massachusetts) and Carolina Miranda (California) poked at #askacurator I Hyperallergic
The National Medal of Arts recipients are Mel Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Morgan Freeman, Philip Glass, Berry Gordy, Santiago Jiménez, Jr. , Moises Kaufman, Ralph Lemon, Audra McDonald, Luis Valdez and Jack Whitten I ArtsGov
British architect Thomas Heatherwick unveiled “Vessel" Hyperallergic I NYTimes story on "Vessel" uses the headline: "A $150 Million Stairway to Nowhere on the Far West Side" I Artsy was also terse" 'New York’s $150 Million Staircase Misses the Point of Public Art'
One of Haring's lesser-known murals in New York is threatened I NPR
"A second video installation by Bill Viola has gone on display at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, featuring a modern retelling of the life of the Virgin Mary" I ArtInfo
"The heads are a perfect illustration of the dual mission Mr. Marshall has been pursuing with a kind of holy fervor for almost 40 years now: building a sturdy bridge for figurative painting from the 15th century to ours, over treacherous spans of recent history that declared both figuration and painting to be finished — and at the same time trying to rewrite history itself." That's Randy Kennedy on Kerry James Marshall, whose retrospective opened in Chicago, will soon be in New York, then land in Los Angeles I NYTImes
FOUND OBJECTS: Holland Cotter on “Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art." "Ms. Ukeles is probably most familiar for her nearly four-decade stint as official, though unsalaried, artist-in-residence with New York’s Department of Sanitation. " NYTimes I More on "Maintenance Art" at Art in America I Even more from Randy Kennedy at NYTimes.
'Public Art by Björk, JR, and Yoko Ono Comes to Moscow' I Creators Project
ABOUT TIME: "101-year-old artist Carmen Herrera is finally getting the show the art world should have given her 40 or 50 years ago: a solo exhibition at a major museum in New York." NYTimes
'MoMA Will Make Thousands of Exhibition Images Available Online' I NYTimes
Street artists, from Turkey, use anonymity to accentuate the message I Index on Censorship
'Paris Is Getting Its First Museum Dedicated to Street Art' I Conde Nast Traveler
Anyone covering murals has to note Judy Baca, who just celebrated her 70th birthday. Theater scholar Luis Alfaro shares his eloquence. In part he writes: "Judy has a hilarious sense of humor. Her enthusiasm for community empowerment is unmatched. Her support of artists and community is inspiring. I will always be grateful for the many projects she has supported me with personally, from hosting fundraisers to lending space to sharing her wisdom. "
ABOVE: Detail of new mural by D*Face at the Plaza Hotel.