medium /// art show

gao rong

Gasp! It’s like spirograph come to life … with thread! This is the dizzying work of Chinese artist Gao Rong. A lot of her work involves “assimilating entire replicas of cars, tables, washing machines and other household objects in fabrics”, but this 2016 series took her in a more circular direction:

“A new direction in her oeuvre is an expansion of her fine embroidery practice, where she weaves abstract shapes across wooden hoop frames, looking at the intersections between domestic and public spaces. These works premiered in her second solo show in the U.S., “The Simple Line,” at Klein Sun Gallery.” 

Beautiful, right? Well, just wait until you see these beauties installed:

You’re welcome ♥

lorna simpson

Gasp! Just when I thought I couldn’t love the work of American artist Lorna Simpson anymore than I already do… “Unanswerable”. This is just a tiny peek at her latest work, all of which is currently hanging at Hauser & Wirth in London. I have loved Lorna’s collages for years, but these large scale, deep blue, smokey mixed media paintings are new, AND AMAZING. Here is a little bit of the show description from the Hauser & Wirth site that starts to explain the colors, ice, smoke etc…

“… In the last few years Simpson has taken up the medium painting for the first time in two decades, creating works using hazy washes of ink and acrylic over gesso. In works, such as ‘Ice 4’ (2018), Simpson layers the appropriated imagery and Associated Press photographs of ice, glaciers and smoke with nebulous washes of saturated ink which partially obscure the source material. The smoke plumes signal upheaval and discord in nature and society in reference, perhaps, to images of riots following police brutality past and present that Simpson has more explicitly illustrated in other related works. Barely discernable strips of newsprint typography allude to wider issues in society. Here, as elsewhere, the artist is sparing with colour; her disciplined palette consists of inky blacks, greys, and a startling acid blue that has only recently appeared in her oeuvre, contributing to its atmosphere of bristling movement. Deftly navigating the territory between figuration and abstraction, these paintings cut through the calculated glamour of magazine imagery with the brute force of the natural world. As the artist explains, ‘Conceptually, this is in tandem with what I’m experiencing emotionally but also what I feel is going on politically: the idea of being relentlessly consumed.’”

The show will be up until April 28th, 2018. GO.

chiaozza chapel

A chapel to celebrate shape and color? I’m in! “Chiaozza Chapel” is the latest work by Chiaozza – the collaborative artistic team of Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao. Oh, and ps. it opens TONIGHT at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn:

“Historically a chapel is a non-religious place of worship and contemplation; a small, non-conforming annex to common and prevalent modes of spiritual practice. The Chiaozza Chapel, installed within Cooler Gallery, is an intimate sanctuary celebrating color, light, and form. Five painted wooden wall works fill the 6- by 7-foot gallery. The formal compositions reference natural and metaphysical concepts such as horizons, atmosphere, time, landscape, and ritual. Repetitive motifs such as grids, diagonals, and arcs augment the visual vibration of the room.

In Chiaozza’s work, color is a vessel for experience. Matte opaque pigment blurs the presence of the sculpture’s surface and its surroundings, emphasizing the interaction of color and space. Light bounces off the painted wooden planks, creating reflected chambers of color that animate the air around and within each piece.”

Amen! Go tonight … Cooler Gallery, 22 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn 7 ~ 10pm

wayne white : new show

Ok, so, it’s no secret how much I love the work of LA based painter Wayne White, especially his text pieces. Look how brilliant that last painting is?! Those ladies from the original thrift shop painting popping up in front of his gorgeous letters. How? I don’t know. Wayne has a new show opening tomorrow night, titled  I TOOK THE MACHINE APART BUT COULD NOT PUT IT BACK TOGETHER”, at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York.

The show will be composed of five main components: his signature “word paintings” on vintage offset lithographs, as well as text-based works on paper over the Artist’s painted abstract backgrounds, mixed-media marionettes, and an installation of drawings. The fifth element encompasses the entire gallery, which is painted over with White’s personal doodles, words, and phrases, pulled directly from his notebook. 

Um, that sounds amazing. The opening reception is on Thursday February 8th (6-8pm), oh, and Wayne will be there… ie., GO! ps. The show runs until March 10th.

“paintings, pinholes and pina coladas”

Those are needle-hole perforations in paper… because I know you’re wondering! Today I’m talking to the very prolific artist, and teacher, Wendy Kawabata. I wrote about her needle-hole series, titled “Blind World” a few years ago, but they are just one of many gems in her extensive portfolio. So, this episode is coming to you from Hawaii… I’m in Maui, and Wendy lives on Oahu… mai tais for everyone! Listen right up there under that intricate beauty, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, some of her newest work. Wendy has recently gone back to oil painting after a very long break:

Ahhh, gorgeous! Each of these are titled “Cairns III”, “Cairns II”, and “Cairns VII Here Comes The Sun”.

Now, these pieces are both drawings and mixed media. Wait… is it fabric… or drawings .. or both? …

You can see why I wasn’t sure! The top two are gouache and colored pencil on paper, and the bottom two are gouache, colored pencil, and kantha cloth on paper. Love them all!

Next, the work inspired by her month-long residency in Iceland. This is “In The Land” when it was shown in 2016 at Sanderson Contemporary in New Zealand:

Dreamy, icy watercolors and that amazing crocheted flower piece… which has oh so much more behind it than grey, metallic paint covered flowers.

Oooh, I love this series too {see, prolific!}. This is a gouache and pencil on paper series, titled “Acts”:

Note the “mama”… such a beautiful reason for having that word woven into these drawings from a few years back.

And here we are, the first body of work of Wendy’s that I ever saw. “Blind Worlds”. So gorgeous:

Needle-hole perforations in paper, or as Wendy would say, drawing with holes. Love, love, love!

And finally, this is the piece she mentioned near the beginning… logs covered in crochet with Wendy’s made-up stitches {thank goodness for mothers}:

Beautiful… right stitches or wrong stitches! Thanks so much to Wendy for doing this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear, not next weekend but the weekend after that {Feb 17}

Other links:

  1. Material Slip Show, March 4 ~ April 6th
  2. Sanderson Contemporary, NZ
  3. University of Hawaii at Mānoa


holly elander

Gorgeous architecture… with a few “guests”. This is the work of LA based artist Holly Elander, from her series titled Their Home. She grew up in Los Angeles in a mid-century home, and apparently there were many visitors who wandered through from time to time. This is Holly’s ode to her furry and feathered neighbors. Some of these paintings, along with another body of her work, will be in a show that opens tomorrow night at Launch LA… February 3rd until March 3rd / Opening reception is this Saturday, Feb 3rd, 6 – 9pm RSVP to

lorien stern

“Chums” … get it!? Hilarious! This is the whimsical and wonderful work of California based artist Lorien Stern. These pieces are part of a show that opens at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco this Saturday, and yes, it’s titled “Chums”…

“Chums focuses on the seemingly dubious relationships between sharks and other maritime creatures. The exhibition features a colorful assortment of the artist’s iconic shark heads as well as an array of fish and birds. Stern is particular interested in the mutually beneficial friendship between pilot fish and sharks. Swimming alongside one another, the fish gain protection from predators, while the shark gains freedom from parasites. In response, the artist created every piece in the exhibition to have a counterpart — each work matches to another through pattern and color. Transcending species and trepidation, Chums celebrates the power of connection.”

The opening reception is this Saturday – February 3rd from 6pm-9pm – and Lorien will be there too! {show runs until February 24}.

marc dennis

Gasp! Absolutely stunning oil paintings, overflowing with flora and fauna. This is the work of  Brooklyn based painter Marc Dennis, who creates “alternate reality rich with hype, narrative and humor where art, history, nature and pop culture intersect.” I included the close-ups so you could see the gorgeous detail in each of these large-scale beauties, BUT, if you happen to be in New York all of these paintings will be hanging in a fabulous group show at a new gallery that opens on February 2:

“FACTION Art Projects presents their inaugural exhibition, “All That You Have Is Your Soul”, a group show of 17 artists, all of whom are tied together by their responses to building identity within a foreign land. The exhibition uses the link of heritage between the artists to present artworks that celebrate difference in identity.”

Go!  ps. FACTION is a new flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who in this, their foray into the US, are adapting a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together. It sounds fantastic! 

jared small

Gorgeous … but lonely. This is the work of American artist Jared Small. All of these dark ‘n stormy oil paintings are part of his latest show, titled ‘Dimension’. If you happen to be in or near Memphis. you can see this work and meet Jared… tomorrow, Saturday January 20th at 11am, Jared will be doing a talk at the  David Lusk Gallery in Memphis {97 Tillman St.}. Pop by if you can!

ps. The show runs until February 3rd.

janna watson

Oh my word. This is the dreamy abstract work of Toronto based painter Janna Watson, and if you happen to be in Vancouver, you can see it in person. Her new show, titled “Light is Heavy” opens this weekend at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. The opening reception is on Saturday January 13th from 2-4pm… go if you can! I’ve been lucky enough to stand in front of Janna’s large-scale beauties, and they are absolutely breathtaking.

ps. Show runs until January 27th