John Smith is a British filmmaker living and working in London, where he also teaches part-time as Professor of Fine Art at the University of London. Smith has received notoriety and praise for films that are strongly influenced by the Structural Materialist ideas that dominated British filmmaking during his formative years. Also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, Smith has developed a body of work that deftly subverts the boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing on the raw material of everyday life, these meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. Described by Mark O’Pray of Art Monthly as, “One of the most talented filmmakers of the postwar generation,” Smith presents Real Fiction, a selection of his short films and presentation on the ideas that have shaped his art over the past four decades.
Peruvian-born artist Gabriel Acevedo Velarde recently embarked on a gradual move from Lima, Peru, to Mexico City to São Paolo, Brazil, and then to New York and Berlin. He uses experiences from his travels to inform his multimedia installations as featured in the Modern’s second FOCUS exhibition of 2010. Acevedo Velarde organizes his diverse artistic practice into projects that differ dramatically in terms of materials, technique, and presentation, but share an astute portrayal of the human condition, looking at the psychology of self-preservation within the precarious fragility of community and civilization. The artist touches on the driving force in his work with a description of one particular project, “The subject is a system that tries to keep standing despite its inner chaos, decadence, and most of all, its wild will for change.” For Tuesday Evenings, Acevedo Velarde discusses his methodology and the resulting performances, installations, films, and drawings that have been acknowledged for their elaborate preparation of seemingly simple forms that offer both humor and horror.
Joseph D. Ketner II is currently the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art, Distinguished Curator-in-Residence, at Emerson College, a position that follows his post as the chief curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum where he organized Andy Warhol the Last Decade. As a preview to the exhibition's opening on February 14, Ketner shares insight and expertise on the subject in his presentation Who is Andy Warhol. He explains that, “Warhol is as misunderstood as he is famous. Over the course of his nearly 40-year career the mercurial, paradoxical artist transformed art and celebrity. Yet, it is interesting that his reputation is founded on only his six-year Pop art phase. Remarkably, the final decade of his career may have been his most productive.” For Tuesday Evenings, Ketner examines some of the little known aspects of Warhol’s personality that are revealed in his seldom seen last paintings.
Tony Scherman is a Canadian artist renowned for his encaustic paintings found in collections throughout North America and Europe. Erudite and passionate, Scherman brings a wealth of research and a tremendous facility for painting to his melancholic portraits that press hard into the space of the viewer. As Lilly Wei explains in the exhibition catalogue About 1865, “Scherman has an impulse to destabilize precedents, to seek transformations and to view ideologies with skepticism, to be conceptually vigilant. It is also evident that his point of view is compassionate and, perhaps most significantly, that he makes memorable paintings.” For Tuesday Evenings, Scherman concentrates on the past five years of his career.
William Lamson is a Brooklyn-based artist recognized for an inventive body of work that, as described on National Public Radio, uses “inexpensive materials and simple structures” to create “visuals that are mesmerizing and, in a word, playful.” Addressing issues of masculinity, amateurism, science, play, and the quixotic quest for personal heroism, Lamson speaks to the spirit of ingenuity in sculptures, photographs, and performances that broaden horizons and entertain the imagination. For Tuesday Evenings, Lamson presents what he describes as his “arduous endeavors that offer the perpetual hope of transcendence, however flawed the undertaking may be.”
Susan Rothenberg is in conversation with Michael Auping. Prior to the opening of the exhibition Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place, the artist and curator of the exhibition discuss the development of Rothenberg’s imagery, from the ground-breaking early horse paintings of the mid-1970s to her fragmented and spinning self-portraits. The artist will also discuss the influence of her move from New York to New Mexico in 1990 and the effect of that landscape/environment on her palette as well as the suggestion of narrative in her subsequent work.
Gardar Eide Einarsson is the artist featured in the Modern’s first FOCUS exhibition of the 2009–2010 season, which opens December 13. This Tuesday Evening presentation offers insight into work described in the 2008 Whitney Biennial exhibition catalogue as, “Investigations into various forms of social transgression and arguments for political subversion.” Einarsson’s text-based works, coupled with graphics from various subcultures and other installation elements, evoke cerebral and visceral readings based on complex associations and what the artist calls a “new take on Minimalism,” in which he investigates the viewer’s physical relationship with the art.
Stephen Lapthisophon is an artist and educator living and working in Dallas. A student of art history, comparative literature and theory, poetry, film and the sensory world, Lapthisophon’s work varies in form from found objects to images, installations, performances, and sound. His work has been described as “layers of meanings, allusions, and associations.” (Kathryn Hixson, Frieze) For Tuesday Evenings, Lapthisophon presents his work as it confronts and demonstrates means of communication through art.
Wayne White is a Los Angeles-based artist. Having begun his career as a production designer for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, White is now recognized for his clever and beautifully rendered text paintings. As a wordsmith and draftsman extraordinaire, White juxtaposes irreverent and humorous phrases with the pastoral scenes of existing thrift-store paintings to create something all together new and always compelling. Tuesday Evenings focuses on the work featured in the recently published monograph, Maybe Now I’ll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve, which is a comprehensive view of White’s 30-plus-year career.
Rosson Crow is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. Crow’s large-scale, raucous paintings have been described as “inspired by diverse references—Baroque and Rococo interior design, cowboy culture, Las Vegas architecture, theatre, and music—their dominant scale pulling the viewer into the psychological space of the spectacle. These paintings oscillate between celebration and desolation.” This Tuesday Evenings presentation serves to set up the Modern’s FOCUS: Rosson Crow, which opens the following weekend.