Tadaaki Kuwayama

In the first of three innovative
exhibitions featuring pairs of artists whose work is sometimes overtly,
sometimes inadvertently linked through the intimacies of living together, Shoshana Wayne Gallery highlights the paper constructions of Rakuko Naito and the paintings of Tadaaki Kuwayama
.

#tadaakikuwayama

All in your head

We’ve all heard this phrase. Its meaning, generally/culturally, is that some challenge one is experiencing has taken on significance that requires an exaggeration of that challenge’s existential implications. People might also use the phrase “beating yourself up.” I don’t think Artists are immune to this. In fact, I’ll posit in this particular update on my practice that I find a lot of the Art in my Art (my practice) is in my head, or at least takes place in my thoughts. Meaning, there’s an element of making Art (with a capital “A”) that requires one to be in their head, “beating up” an idea or three.

A few things happened since my last update that motivated me to produce this short blog, using words rather than images (“yes,” as you’ve probably guessed, I’m a bit stuck “in my head” and the physical aspects of my practice have slowed down for the moment). So that’s thing number one of course- 1) “beating yourself up” as a creative when work isn’t just pouring out of your finger tips. You’ve probably guessed the “answer” to this- that the intellectual, academic, word-based part of making art is actually what distinguishes a practice from a hobby so don’t… yeah, you get it.

“Sterling, what happened?” In addition to making a small body of work recently that I acknowledged was a departure and then following it up with a smaller piece that further explored line/edge (point- I was “in my head” already about a possible new direction for my painting), in the last week I had a piece that was underway (end of the linked blog) fall to pieces on me. The epiphany moment for this piece, which was literally invaluable but at the time felt like failure, was when I realized that what the painting was teaching me was recognizing that this thing went somewhere I didn’t want it to go and stepping away (not following it, in this case). So, I pulled it off the wall, turned it over and re-stapled it to the wall where it will serve a better purpose, which is exploring some things that have happened in some smaller studies, but at scale. In fact, immediately after it came off the wall, 3 other potential substrates went up on various surfaces in my studio, with the intent to spend less time constrained by a goal and more time released to explore new things without a goal (and that’s thing #2- committing to resolving the tension between head and hand by spending time in what psychologists would call a state of “play”).

The shape I’m in

So first things first- go see the 68th annual Durham Art Guild juried show. I’m really happy with this piece (wish I had taken a pic that shows some other object for scale reference- this one is roughly 5′ from top to bottom).

I’ve also been continuing to explore the shape of the container for these containers- in a couple of cases, the shape of the canvas. Previous iterations are below, all of which I’ve written more about (here, here and here).

Below are some images of the work in progress. Relying a lot on the projector for this one. I am enjoying the way my process for generating paintings has distinct elements of fabrication, like taping off lines, that allow me to just be in the studio and execute.

Kazuya Sakai

At the Dallas Museum of Art, visitors with red-green deficiencies can now check out a pair of color blindness alleviation lenses at no cost.

Kazuya is one of the artists included (posthumously). Born in Buenos Aires to Japanese parents, he spent the majority of his youth in Japan, studying literature and philosophy. Upon his return to Argentina in 1951, Sakai, a self-taught painter, dedicated himself to the visual arts. He saw in his artwork—as in himself—a unification of Eastern and Western elements. His first works were geometric in style, reflecting the pivotal influence of Argentina’s Concrete Art Movement.

#kazuyasakai

Claude Viallat

Jonathan Stephenson at Two Coats notes that Claude’s latest work, in a quietly radiant show at Ceysson & Bénétière on the Upper East Side, which is full of colorful patterns resembling camouflage on fragments of military tarpaulins, suggests that while society might try to hide war in plain sight, it cycles through civic life and demands attention on a generational basis.

#claudeviallat

Momentum?

I recently wrote a blog centering around the word devotion, and I think perhaps the exercise might be useful to repeat, so this time I’m choosing momentum. Mostly because I feel good about the cube installations staying on people’s radar. In addition to having work in a show recently at Lump in Raleigh (Strictly Voluntary), I’ll also be installing a piece for the next Durham Art Guild annual (68th edition) juried show (up at Truist Gallery in Durham from 10/15 to 12/3), and a friend also forwarded below to me which I wasn’t even aware existed!

I also like the idea of momentum- above I’m referring to “the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events,” but, with a practice that is formalist in design, momentum is given a sort of twist where the driving force is a commitment (devotion!) to development. I.E., the process is the purpose.

So where is my process taking me and to what purpose? Well I’ve finished up a small series of small paintings that I think will show quite well together at some point (first image below). I also took this body of work as impetus to veer slightly. Keeping scale small, I shifted the focus from color and line to shape and edge. I am pleased with the way the shapes are in tension with the eye’s tendency to create a cube out of them, creating a good presence at a distance, and the small scale of the (small) things that happen at their edges require the viewer to view the work from very close as well.