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Home BLOGS So Hot Right Now Modern Nature

Modern Nature
Written by Noah Hanson   
Monday, 01 May 2006 06:10
Last night I made it out the the Frye Art Museum in Seattle to check out the new show by Robyn O'Neil and Amy Helfand.

Last night I made it out the the Frye Art Museum to check out the new show by Robyn O'Neil and Amy Helfand, which goes on through July 30th, 2006. It's title: "Modern Nature."

I showed up for the members only night, and I must say, I am quickly finding out that the only people who become members at these types of things are usually in their late 90's and pushing. They mostly hang out by the free wine and munch on the french bread topped with fresh mozzarella, basil, and a slice of tomato, so at least it's not hard to get a close look at all the art. I've also found that they don't really pay attention to the "no food, no drink" rules in certain parts of the museum, but it's not like they're moving too fast for the guards.

Anyway, the museum does seem to crack down on the rules. Although they let me in as a non-member, not to mention supplying me with a press packet for the event, there was still to be absolutely no photography. Thank dog the packet came with all the images I'm about to show you.

First off, is Robyn O'neil. Apparently she started out making brightly colored paintings back in the day, but later decided to make these plain graphite drawings around 6 years ago. She says it gave her an escape from the "art people." Since then, she's shown her works in New York, Houston, the Whitney Biennial, and now here in Seattle. The series of drawings she had to show are of large landscapes, filled with bare trees, a few animals, and lots and lots of middle-aged men wearing matching tracksuits.

ONeil-9.jpg

This first one is called "As Ye the sinister / Creep and feign / Those once held / Become those now slain" and is made up of three panels, overall measuring 90 x 150 3/4 inches. Here's some details down below.

ONeil-5.jpg

See all the litte guys in tracksuits? I read somewhere in The Stranger that they're "modeled on her sweatsuit-clad father and his beer-swilling regular-guy friends."

ONeil-2.jpg

Regular guy friends?

ONeil-4.jpg

In the drawings, Robyn shows a picture of how the dull landscape and Mother Nature work together as a great equalizer, putting all of the men on equal footing. I know it's hard to see them in these images, but if you go and see the show, you'll see how primitive they look. Some of them even fight with sticks.

ONeil-1.jpg

In "And then they were upon him," one guy's even getting stoned. heh heh. Getting stoned. heh.

ONeil-8.jpg

"Sweet companions remain ignored, and now it is known – a nether sky" is 11 x 26 inches. It's hard for me to tell now, but I think there might be an atomic cloud on the left side of the nether sky. Do all the little guys on left look like they're wearing white, too? Must be a battle. I dunno for sure, but I'm at least assuming the dogs are the sweet companions.

ONeil-12.jpg

Up above, some detail.

ONeil-10.jpg

"And though your enemy may speak sweet, he and his approach with hate," is one of the smaller pieces at only 7 1/2 x 10 inches. It seems like the smaller the picture is, the more personal they become. For example, this is one of the only ones with a person in the foreground, and as the main subject.

ONeil-13.jpg

"We are not okay, we cannot live like this anymore" has a few interesting things going for it. There's a couple guys on their hands and knees puking, a few guys being hung in trees, some guys are hugging, and also, there are five owls sitting on a branch, who are supposed to represent the artist’s innermost family circle. I don't know how the family members fit into all of this, but in the press release I was given, it states, "...The tracksuited protagonists of O’Neil’s meticulous landscapes behave badly, but they also show compassion for their fellow man. We find men hanging from gallows and trees in varying degrees of undress, raising weapons at one another, and being subjected to humiliation. However, we also find them seeking solace in the landscape or helping one another..."

Such is life!

ONeil-11.jpg

"Conflict and worship, the latch won’t unbind"

ONeil-14.jpg

"But where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

ONeil-6.jpg

No track stars in this one. "Portrait of a Moose"

ONeil-3.jpg

"Paragon, Indiana on a Sunday"

ONeil-7.jpg

"And he shall leave his brethren for that which is flawed and harmless"

Moving on, the other part of the show was made up of some prints and carpets done by Amy Helfand. There wasn't very much, and it didn't seem too spectacular, but here you go. The exhibition, which is Helfand’s museum premier, is inspired by the Wild Garden at Wave Hill, the famed public garden in the Bronx. Again, the title of the show, Modern Nature, seems to fit pretty well.

Plants-for-Hedge-Banks.jpg

Plants for Hedge-banks and like Places, 7.5 x 10 inches, edition 3 of 8

Plants-of-Vigorous-Habit.jpg

Plants of vigorous habit for the Wild Garden, 11.5 x 18 inches

Plants-Suited-for-Dry.jpg

Plants suited for Dry and Gravelly Soil, 30 x 22.5 inches

Wild-Garden-Plan.jpg

Wild Garden Plan is a 5' x 7' rug made of Tibetan wool.

Before I sign off, I want to say thanks to T.J. Johnson, the Communication and Media Coordinator for the Frye Art Museum, for getting me all set up with this press stuff. Like I said before, this particular show runs through July 30th, but there are also 3 others going on. One's called "Swallow Harder: Selections from Ben and Aileen Krohn Collection" which ends May 14th. There are also two permanent collections to check out called "The Walser Greathouse Legacy" and "Spectatorship Desire."

I also want to mention that in August there will be a show featuring works by Henry Darger. Mark it on your calander. I think it's gonna be AMAZING.

The Frye Art Museum is free, always. Go check it out!

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


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The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.



contact FF

Alexis Anne Mackenzie - 2/28
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:21

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a_m


 

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lead

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17_ms

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charlie

 

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###########
 

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park_life

 

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//////////
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


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ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

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Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...


Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


NYCHOS @Fifty24SF

Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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