Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"None of us can sit this election out..." The stakes are too high


Please be sure to vote and get everyone you know out to vote. I shutter to think about the consequences of the Tea Party dominating our country.

From Michelle Obama...
"None of us can sit this election out.

Not when we're just beginning to see the results of the change we've all been working for, and when there's still so much left to do.

Commit to vote this fall.

And with so much at stake, we need to make sure your friends and family get out to vote as well. The best person in the world for that job is you.

That's why OFA is launching its Commit to Vote Challenge. It's a powerful way for you to commit to vote in this election -- and then have fun while inspiring your friends to do the same.

Get started here

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stephen Althouse

Reflecting back on my trip to Berlin I realize that what I responded the most to was work that was streamlined and clearly seen. A friend, Tina Schelhorn from Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne suggested I check out Gallery Ruhnke while visiting the palace in Potsdam. There was an exhibition there titled Concrete Conceptions which was primarily sculptural. Every piece in the show was elegant, each piece streamlined to the clearest and cleanest lines. It was so refreshing and exciting to see the work. It was thru the gallery that I became aware of the photographic work of Stephen Althouse, an American born artist.

Rake I, 2003, pigment print, 42 x 31 inches

Inlay, 2003, pigment print, 42 x 31 inches

Closed Tongs, 2004, pigment print,59.5 x 88 inches

Clamps and Shroud, 2003,pigment print
59.5 x 88 inches

Saw I, 2003, pigment print 42 x 31 inches

The following was written for a show by WENDY M. BLAZIER
Senior Curator, Boca Raton Museum of Art

Tools and Shrouds
Stephen Althouse
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida

FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, the pictorial documentation of the world around us has held infinite fascination as the subject for photographers. And from the beginning, the photographic image was as influential as the printed word. Even today, when we look at a photograph, we tend to “read” the image for its informational content. Stephen Althouse’s images can be read as metaphors for the interconnectedness of secular and spiritual life. His images combine the practical and symbolic, weaving a relationship between tools and
textiles as venerated symbols of work and faith. Like medieval devotional relics and honorific textiles, Althouse’s tools and shrouds become symbols of power and reverence, engaging the viewer in a dialogue about history, humanity, tradition and spirituality.

Born in Washington DC in 1948, Althouse grew up in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he trained as a sculptor. The product of a Quaker education, Althouse received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and studied sculpture at Tyler School of Art,
Philadelphia. The sculptural tradition of making and manipulating subject matter is carried over in his photography, and is further explored in these enigmatic and powerful images. For 30 years, Althouse lived in Miami where he was a Professor of Fine Arts at Barry University, before
returning to central Pennsylvania, where he lives and works creatively today.

This exhibition presents Stephen Althouse’s most recent work as well as a series of powerful images which the artist created in 2003 and 2004 while serving as artist-inresidence at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liège, Belgium, through a Fulbright Research Fellowship.

The Museum is pleased to share this exhibition and publication with a larger audience in both Canada and Germany. We feel it is important to show Stephen Althouse’s recent work and to create a scholarly catalogue that amplifies our understanding of his compelling
images. For their very generous support of this publication, we thank Lawrence D. and Lucienne Lefebvre Glaubinger of The Glaubinger Foundation. We thank Dr. Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr. and Dr. Mark McPhail for their perceptive essay which constitutes a significant contribution to this publication. For their presentation of concurrent exhibitions of Stephen
Althouse’s photography, we thank Jacqueline Hébert Stoneberger of Beaux-arts des Amériques in Montréal, and Werner Ruhnke of Galerie Ruhnke, Potsdam, outside Berlin, Germany. Lastly, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the Museum’s trustees and donors, who have demonstrated their commitment to the Museum in their support of the Museum’s ambitious and internationally-recognized exhibition program.
Senior Curator, Boca Raton Museum of Art

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Art Loop Open in Chicago

“Meet the Artists” event this Thursday, October 21st from 5:30-8pm (I will be at Block 37 from 7-8pm) This will be the final push before the selection is narrowed down to the top ten!

"Life Guards" from Crude Awakening at Block 37 ( 108 State Street).

Obama! A Modern U.S. President (musical spoof)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blogging from Berlin ~ Museum Madness

Having bought a 3 day museum pass, I thought it best to try to see as much as possible. 12 museums in 3 days. It feels like a record. By the end of the 3 days, I felt a bit like a Picasso painting!

The museums visited were the Pergamon, Neues Nationalgalerie, Alte Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Kathe Kallwitz, Museum fur Fotografie, Berggrum, Scharf Gerstenberg, Bauhaus, Gemaldegalerie, Neue National Gallery, Museum fur Film & Fernsehen! I feel like I have travelled thru time and taken an amazing art history course. It has been dazzling. Each day when I think I have exhausted the city, I am thrown off guard by a totally unexpected delight.

Museum fur Film & Fernsehen

self portrait from Museum fur Film & Fernsehen

The film museum was a find. The creativity that went into the exhibition space was stunning. One walks thru the history of German Film...and then finds oneself in a morgue like room with steel drawers from floor to ceiling. This is when Hitler came into power and the film industry was derailed and used solely for propaganda. Those who were not sent to the concentration camps fled to the US. It made me think more deeply about how repressive societies stifle the human spirit (Cambodia with Pol Pot and China's cultural revolution under Mao).

The Neue National Gallery is housed in a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe building as was my graduate school at the University of Chicago. It was an amazing, visceral experience to be in a building that felt so familiar, from the flooring to the railings and the chairs in the entryway! Besides the familiarity to my past, it was a very pleasing and coherent museum experience.

For the next two weeks Berlin is hosting a Festival of Lights at night. It was so much fun to see the city lit up. It was also great to see so many people strolling after dark.

There is so much to see in this city. The art collections are magnificent... and perplexing in that they survived. Germany lived thru an incredibly dark period in human history and has risen thru the ashes, phoenix-like, rebuilding with grandeur without forgetting its past. It is truly stunning.

Art Loop Open Friday @ Block 37 ~ Please Vote

Life Guards from the Crude Awakening portfolio will be exhibited at Block 37 Friday night at the very first Art Loop Open, Chicago’s new curated art competition which will transform ten venues throughout Chicago’s Loop into interactive public art exhibits. Please visit each venue and begin voting for your favorite artwork, while enjoying specialty "Artini" cocktails. I promise it will be a blast.

Life Guards 40" x 40".

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blogging From Berlin ~ Part 3

Berlin is such an amazing city. It is grand, elegant, quaint, vibrant, boxy, dazzling and endlessly fascinating.

I am so impressed by the power good art has on the psyche, mind and body. Yesterday was the first day using a 3 day continuous museum pass and there is just no way to get thru all the museums, even in a week. After 3 museums and 6 hours on my feet, I was feeling quite tired and fatigued. I was reinvigorated, again, by visiting the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum where I view an Anselm Kiefer work IN Germany! He is one of my all time favorite artists. I was first introduced to his work the Art Institute of Chicago.

And what fun to see an Andy Warhol!

On Heidestrasse Street I thought I had exhausted all the galleries and then I stumbled upon the Haunch of Venison Gallery. The show was titled Das Gift, works by Yoko Ono...and what a gift it was! Focused mostly on performance and conceptual art, she asks for the viewers participation to heal the world of violence, a universal concern.

A Large canvas with rips and cuts in the canvas, inviting the viewer to help in mending oneself and the world.

Seven coats hang at the very end of the room, all belonging to people who were wearing the coats when they were shot point blank from close range.

Art, done well, has the power to transform.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Berlin ~ Part 2

Berlin is an incredible city seeped in dramatic history. It is impossible not to be deeply moved by its past and the numerous markers of rememberence. I keep flashing back to the movie, The Lives of Others. If you haven't seen it, you should. It is one of the most haunting movies I have ever seen. Please go rent it.

remenant of the Berlin Wall

One of the first sites I visited was Neue Wache, a memorial for all victims of the war, the modern Pieta by one of my very favorite artists, Kathe Kollwitz (more on her work later). It is a sober and beautiful work.

On a walking tour I passed markers for those whose lives were lost trying to cross the river to freedom.

and the Holocaust Memorial consisting of 2711 sarcophagi-like columns rising up in somber silence from undulating ground.

Holocaust Tower from the Jewish Museum

To the left of the Brandenburg Gate there is a Room of Silence, a much welcomed space. It's purpose is to "provide an opportunity for everyone, independent of backround, color ideology, religion and physical condition to enter and remain in silence for a while ...and an invitation to tolerence, a brotherhood of man embracing all nationalites and ideologies, a continuous reminder against violence and xenophobia, a small step toward peace and spirituality.

The weaving on the wall was created by Hungarian aritst Ritta Hager and was the perfect object to contemplateon while searching for the light in the darkness.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blogging from Berlin ~ 10/10/10

Have spent my first full day in Berlin. The light has been extraordinary...

Spent several hours at Art Forum Berlin, an art fair that focuses only on contemporary art. Seeing so many objects that I had difficulty relating to has left me contemplating.....

What Is Art?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chicago Artist Month

October is Chicago Artist Month and there are many venue offerings. My Crude Awakening photographs will be exhibited in 3 locations. The first is for the Art Loop Open, October 15-29, Chicago’s new art competition— which will transform ten venues throughout Chicago’s Loop into interactive public art exhibits. My piece, Life Guards, will be exhibited at Block 37. On Friday, October 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. The public is encouraged to visit each venue and begin voting for their favorite artwork, while enjoying specialty "Artini" cocktails and other offerings.

Life Guards 40" x 40".

The next venue is at the Chicago Center for Green Technology. They partnered up with the Global Alliance of Artists and put a show together called "What We Worry About." I will have Life Guards, Marissa, and Keith,Laura and Olivia in this show. The opening reception is this Thursday from 5:30 - 7:30 at 445 N. Sacramento.


Keith, Laura and Olivia

And finally, I will be showing "Life Guards" in the 2nd Annual Artists for a Greener Evanston Showcase October 15 and 16th at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

Have a great month!