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Artist Updates – Summer 2019

Artist Updates | Summer 2019

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean everyone is taking a vacation. Check out what our artists have been up to…

1 Didi Dunphy, in partnership with the Georgia Museum of Art, has curated a traveling exhibition entitled Highlighting Contemporary Art in Georgia; Cut & Paste, Works of Paper.  This show, three years in design, features eleven artists who are working magic with the medium of paper.  There are three artists represented by whitespace in the exhibition.

image courtesy of Didi Dunphy

Didi will also launch the Spotlight 2019 exhibition at the Gallery at Indigo in Athens.  Opening June 13th, works by Athens artists Maddie David, Jeanne Ann Davidson and Columbus artist, Libby McFalls.  Other than a quick visit to see the Venice Biennale, Didi will be working on her 2020 show with whitespace!

2 Let Light Perpetual is a new project by Micah and Whitney Stansell. The installation will take the form of a large-scale projection on the facade of the newly constructed “725 Ponce” building. The facade faces the Atlanta Beltline’s highly trafficked Eastside trail with an estimated 2 million annual visitors. The project will utilize a pair of state-of-the-art laser projectors to create a stunning, 4k resolution, 60-foot high image. The film that makes up the heart of the installation is a loosely structured narrative, set in the decades before Atlanta’s growth and building boom, following a brother and sister through the course of their day as their lives intersect and shaped by those around them.  The opening is tentatively set for August 17.

image courtesy of Whitney Stansell

The Stansell’s are also working on transforming the Hapeville pedestrian bridge, the largest structure in downtown Hapeville, into a public art experience through the use of kinetic sculpture and LED lights.  The opening for the project is set for late summer, early fall.

image courtesy of Whitney Stansell

Image courtesy of Dashboard

Whitney will also be creating new work for the National Museum for Women in the Arts – Georgia Chapter,  Women to Watch,  2020 exhibition that will open at MOCA GA January 2020.

3 Elizabeth Lide is one of three whitespace artists included in the exhibition “Cut and Paste, Works of Paper”  at The Lyndon House in Athens GA running from June 1 – July 27. It then travels to the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, August 17 – November 14; the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia, December 5, 2019 – February 14, 2020; the Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia, February – June 2020; and Telfair Museum of Art’s Jepson Center for the Arts, Savannah, Georgia, July 2020 – early 2021. Curated by Didi Dunphy.

At the end of September, Elizabeth plans a trip to Paris, Giverny, and on to Moulin à Nef in Auvillar for a residency in SW France.

Cookie Press by Elizabeth Lide, 28.5 x 36 inches (framed), gesso, graphite, paint, collage on handmade paper, Vietnam

4 Matt Haffner recently returned from a 10-day trip through Germany and France where he learned about global sustainability, doing research in some regional museums and art galleries, photographing for some new projects, and educating himself about Alsatian cuisine and German Beers. Matt is also teaching summer darkroom digital workshops to high school students and writing an “Art as a Profession” course for Kennesaw.

5 Vesna Pavlovic is wrapping up her Fulbright year and is excited to take sometime off this summer. Vesna is included in the exhibition, Xanadu, which celebrates 25 years of Zeitgeist gallery in Nashville. The show includes 19 Zeitgeist artists and runs through August 31st.

Vesna recently completed the “Fabrics of Socialism” installation at the 5th edition of the D-0 ARK Underground Contemporary Art Biennial, the site of former Yugoslav president Tito’s atomic war command (bunker), 200 ft in the ground. For more information, visit www.bijenale.ba/.

Finally, following the Southern Prize fellowship from 2018, she is presenting her work from the Art History Archive project at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery in Nashville in August.

Vesna Pavlovic, Sites of Memory, Archival photograph is derived from a digital scan of the hand embroidered archival photograph from the Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade. In this new series, I use the often forgotten and unrecognized female techniques such as embroidery, and pleating, to discuss the use of female labor in the production of the socialist spectacle.

6 This summer Constance Thalken will live out a childhood dream and travel to Africa for a stay in Zambia and safari in Botswana.  This links to her long-standing interest in the natural world and the interrelationship between human and animal.  The below images were made during Conne’s 2019 spring residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.

All the Rain We Cannot Feel by Constance Thalken, 2019

All the Light We Cannot See by Constance Thalken, 2019

Spawn by Constance Thalken, 2019

7 Zipporah Camille Thompson has just completed a residency at Mass MoCA. She also exhibited at Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville with Richard Feaster in a show titled, TEXTUREXTRA.

Zipporah was recently interviewed by Aileen Farshi for Number Magazine. You can read the interview here. Her summer includes teaching at Mudfire and making new work for Looming Chaos, a solo exhibition at the Zuckerman Museum opening January 2020.

Acid Rain by Zipporah Camille Thompson, 2019, wire, paper, plastic, mylar, tape, handwoven cloth, thread, photograph, paper, faux flowers, foil, bleached denim, stoneware, plaster, ink, paint. Image courtesy of Zeitgeist Gallery.

8 Along with preparing for her first solo exhibition at whitespace, opening September 2019, Sonya Yong James’ work will be included in a group show at Laney Contemporary in Savannah. ENTANGLEMENTS runs through August 15 – October 26.

Entanglement II by Sonya Yong James, 2019

9 As the recipient of the 2019 Chinati Artists in Residence Program, Pete Schulte is spending the majority of his summer in Marfa. He plans to stop in Houston (Jack Whitten show, Menil Drawing Institute, Cubs/Astros games, etc.) and Austin (Ellsworth Kelly Chapel) while he is in Texas.

image courtesy of Pete Schulte

10 Nancy Floyd’s solo show at the Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, Weathering Time, opened on July 3. The exhibition will remain on view until July 28. Additionally, her work is featured on Light Leaked: “Archiving Time: Again & Legacy.” Nancy is enjoying her new home out west and recently camped in Death Valley National Park with her camera, of course  (see image below).

image courtesy of Nancy Floyd

 11 Adrienne Outlaw will be making work with artists in Singapore, where she will live and work the entire summer. During her time there, she will also travel to Cambodia and Malaysia, where she is sure to be inspired by the history, landscape, cultural antiquities and art there.

12 Charlie Watts just announced her crowdfunding campaign for her very own photography book. She has been working on this project for many years and is excited to see it come to life. Charlie is also working on her solo exhibition at whitespace which opens on October 25, 2019.

image courtesy of Charlie Watts

13 Amy Pleasant had the pleasure of visiting Paris in June with her Mom and daughter Marcie who recently graduated from high school in Birmingham and is headed to Sewanee University  in the fall. Amy was featured in a three-person show at Tif Sigfrids, Athens, GA which ended Saturday,  July 13. She is working towards her solo show at Institute 193, opening in October. Amy plans to visit husband and fellow whitespace artist, Pete Schulte, in Marfa where he is in residence at the Chianti Foundation.

image courtesy of Amy Pleasant

14 Ann-Marie has moved to Palma de Mallorca, Spain on June 18th and is setting up a new studio there.  We’re updating our passports in case she gets lonely.

15 Bojana Ginn’s site-specific installation 4 Bio Mega Pixels is a part of The World Unseen, a SciArt exhibition curated by Louise Shaw and displayed at the Center for Disease Control Art Museum. Currently on view through the summer. 4 Bio Mega Pixels, an immersive abstract installation, meditates on the implications of humans meddling with natural systems and processes as practiced in bioengineering, DNA computing, and nanobiotechnlogy.

As a recipient of the 2018 Ellsworth Kelly Award in conjunction with The Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, Ginn is preparing a solo exhibition that will open on September 19th at the gallery. The exhibition is curated by Shannon Morris and will feature large, site-specific multimedia works.

Ginn Studio is happy to have sculptor Hannah Source on the team this summer! Hannah’s assistance was crucial in completing the WAP exhibition at MOCA GA last September.

Additionally, Ginn is excited to be mentoring a talented emerging artist Michelle Laxalt in collaboration with MINT Leap Year Mentorship Program. Many thanks to Jessica Helfrecht and MINT Gallery for making this possible.

Image courtesy of Bojana Ginn

16 Ashylnn Browning was recently  featured in a podcast about her current exhibition at Shockoe Art Space in Richmond, VA. You can listen here. The three-person exhibition also includes Natalie Schmitting and Sam Bantly Taylor and closes August 25. Ashlynn is also curating a painting exhibition that will open in the spring of 2020 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

17 Refinery 29 has asked Sarah Emerson to participate in 29 Rooms, an interactive experience of cause, culture, and creativity. The Atlanta event is August 29 through September 8. For more information, visit 29 Rooms.

During her recent exhibition at whitespace, Sarah Emerson received a thoughtful review from Burnaway by Andrew Alexander.

image courtesy of whitespace

18 This summer Teresa Cole had a beautiful solo exhibition titled Imperfect at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans. The exhibition featured Cole’s etchings, woodcuts, and two installations.

image courtesy of Callan Contemporary

19 If you haven’t seen Shana Robbins’ exhibition, Interspecies Lovers, you still have time. Shana is scheduled to give an artist’s talk on Thursday, July 25 at 7 pm. The exhibition closes on Saturday, July 27th.

Interspecies Lover by Shana Robbins. Image courtesy of Shana Robbins and Jody Fausett

Have a great summer and come visit us soon!

Artist Updates | Fall 2018

Artist Updates | Fall 2018

It’s October 2018 and the artists of whitespace continue to have a fantastic year. Check out these items of interest…

The Oblivion Seekers, Image courtesy of Stephanie DeMer's Instagram.

1 Our warm congratulations to Stephanie (Dowda) DeMer who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with her Masters in Fine Arts this past spring. She is currently adjusting to life in Arizona with her husband Scott and promoting her photo book The Oblivion Seekers that has been published by Ultra Terrestrial.

Bojana Ginn, MOCA GA, Opening Reception

2 More congratulations are in order to Bojana Ginn who was awarded the 2018 Ellsworth Kelly Award, with the Mary S. Byrd Gallery at Augusta University. The Ellsworth Kelly Award goes to galleries that are recognized for the transformative effect they can have on the lives and careers of their artists. Additionally, Bojana Ginn also received the 2017-2018 Working Artist Project grant and has currently has a solo exhibition at MOCA GA from September 22 to November 17. So double congratulations are owed to her!

Vesna Pavlovic, Sites of Memory, Laufer Art

3 Whitespace artists are traveling the world with their creations. Fulbright scholar Vesna Pavlovic recently returned from her fantastic show Sites of Memory in Belgrade, Serbia at Laufer Art. Vesna also continues the promotion of her book, Vesna Pavlovic’s Lost Art that was released earlier this year. You can find it on Amazon as well as here at the gallery for purchase.

Pete Schulte and Johan de Wit, participated in a two-person show, at Art on Paper Amsterdam, Rutger Brandt Gallery, Amsterdam (NE).

5 Back in the USA, Nancy Floyd’s She’s Got A Gun was at the Joshua Tree Art Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA. The Print Center, Philadelphia, selected Nancy as one of 10 finalists at their 93 Annual Competition. The jurors, José Diaz and Lisa Sutcliffe. Diaz is the Chief Curator at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Lisa Sutcliffe is the Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum.

Matt Haffner, Harmonic Dysfunction, Atlanta Airport

6 Matt Haffner’s show Harmonic Dysfunction left whitespace gallery at the end of July but stayed close to home going to the Atlanta Hartsfield- Airport. Countless travelers moving across the country and the world this summer saw his fantastic photo installation.

Wendy Given, You Darkness, Vernissage Fine Art

You, Darkness by Wendy Given is on exhibition at Vernissage Fine Art in Portland Organ from August 7 to October 30. Her prints and other works include images of birds and dark blue night sky images and her amazing sculptural pieces.

Standing Torso by Amy Pleasant, 2017, ink and gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Amy Pleasant has a show in Hudson, New York at Tom Swope Gallery in collaboration with Jeff Bailey Gallery, September 15 – October 28. Amy’s paintings and sculptures are paired with early Chinese Buddhist sculptures displayed throughout the gallery. She is, also, in a group exhibition, The Unlikely Whole at the ArtYard, Frenchtown, NJ.

Eric Mack, Alpha Numeric, Chanel to Chanel

Eric Mack is in Nashville exhibiting Alpha Numeric at Channel to Channel through October 20. His works contain layers of materials to create geometric spaces from recognizable parts.

Sonya Jong James, A Hundred Blossoms

10 Sonya Yong James has an installation, A Hundred Blossoms and the Sweetest Scent, at the Zuckerman Museum of Art/Kennesaw State University. Her mixed media piece includes interwoven flowers, roots, and other mixed media materials. If you didn’t make it to the opening, never fear, it will be on view for an entire year.

11 whitespace artists Elizabeth Lide and Zipporah Camille Thompson have both received prestigious residencies. Elizabeth Lide is in residence at Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA. Zipporah Camille Thompson is winding up a 3 week residency the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists Residency. This much sought after residency interrupted her show at whitespace, September 7 through October 20th. The show was recently reviewed by ArtsATL and Art Papers so please check it out to see what these writers have to say about Zipporah’s work.

12 Saturday, October 6 from 6-9PM, there will be a dance performance by Zoetic Dance in the main gallery and courtyard. This is a collaboration between Zipporah, choreographer Christina Noel Reaves and the Zoetic Dance Ensemble.

Mary Stuart Hall, Drawn From Memory, shedspace

13 Mary Stuart Hall’s beautiful and sensitive installation continues in shedspace exhibiting Drawn From Memory through October 20th.

14 And, last but not least, Zipporah will have an artist’s talk on Wednesday, October 10 at 7 PM. We hope to see all of you here soon!

Q&A with Sabre Elser

Sabre Esler is an Atlanta based multimedia artist with an MFA from SCAD. Esler’s work has a focus on human psychology and visual metaphors of thought. Her exhibition White Lies filled whitespec with a tangle of carefully tied white strings overlapping and bending away from each other in a matrix. Upon entering the exhibition, the artist displayed a statement for the audience about psychology and politics and its relation to the work. To better understand the metaphors and logic behind White Lies whitespace asked Sabre Esler a few questions about White Lies.

Installation image of White Lies by Sabre Elser

whitespace: How does the title, White Lies, relate to the current political climate that you reference in the exhibition wall text?

Sabre Esler: I am always interested in the patterns that decision making creates. In this case, the current cultural and political climate is one with little trust, because our culture has turned a blind eye to the importance of truth. I was fascinated to learn that lying actually causes different pathways in the brain to form. I had no idea when I first decided the theme would be white lies, that there was a body of research devoted to understanding how lies affect the way people think. In reading about white lies, the general belief is that if there is a portion of truth, but not the whole truth, that it’s not a bad thing to do.

Further investigation exposes that white lies are really the beginning to a much deeper, more troubling, breach in the pathways and circuitry that are constituted in the brain and its wiring. White lies allow people to begin to deceive, but its easier to tell outright lies, because practice makes perfect. So yes, our current climate and culture have an acceptance of this phenomenon of lying. I want to expose that cultural norm for what it is a state of mind we have put ourselves in.

whitespace: The work involves a viewer being immersed in the space that you’ve created, can you talk about the relationship between the viewer and the installation? As the artist, you are controlling where the viewer can be within the space, can you elaborate on your decision making process as well?

Sabre Esler: I like the concept of installation work because the viewer can be immersed in the artists’ ideas. Because I am working in a conceptual way about something that is inside our mind, I like the ability to immerse my viewers in the overwhelming and abundant patterns inside the space.

Ultimately, space determines how my patterns will play out. Because this space is long and narrow, I wanted the viewer to be able to see great depth in how the patterns keep happening, just like experiences, and how they overlap to create a very complex web of connections. However, I also wanted viewers to be able to approach the work, that meant leaving the narrow walls in the middle with layers that are intricate, but don’t have the sense of depth that the ends are able to afford. If it was a square room, perhaps I would have created the depth equally on all four sides. I’ll leave that for my next installation.

whitespace: Who has influenced your work?

Sabre Esler: Tomas Sarenceno was the first artist that I saw using cording to create a web-like structure. I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin and see his amazing piece in The Bunker. I researched what he was doing and fell in love with his concept. I am not as interested in spiders as he is, but I do appreciate his expertise and novel approach. I went back to my studio to see if I could incorporate the size of what he was doing with my small sculptures that I had made the previous year. I discovered there is a huge learning curve in creating installations. Shortly after that, I received the opportunity to create my first mind space installation and had to get up to speed quickly in how to create my work on a grander scale.

It just so happened that Chiharu Shiota was showing at the SCAD Savannah Museum. I went down to see her work in person. Her work is similar in weaving to mine, although different because our ideas aren’t exactly the same. When I see her work, which is amazing if you haven’t, you should look her up; I am taken with the emotion of longing, sadness, or wistfulness. Many of her pieces imbed tokens or signifiers of memory, things of the past. My interest, on the other hand, is more of a universal appeal to everyone of the experiences and pathways towards decisions we face given a certain set of circumstances. I hope to explore other decision making concepts in the future, but I don’t think I will use tokens as she has done.

whitespace: As an installation artist, how do you know when your work is completed?

Sabre Esler: I am happiest with the work when I can see an evolution of the patterns that I am making. I start with the grid in the background, which is like a pristine construct of the world we live in. If everyone did the right thing, or was a computer, only understanding and doing binary things, we would have a grid-like experience and world. However, we are not computers, we are imperfect machines that make a mess of things, many times, but it is a beautiful mess. The patterns I am going for are complex, but have a crystalline structure, they alter, but still abide by many of the same rules, even when altered over time. I like it when I can get at least three or four layers of patterns so that the size and scale of the pattern can be seen. I am not sure if I know exactly about the completeness, other then that the space can only hold so many layers, and then I just have to be finished. Also, my materials can only support so much weight or the structures start to wilt. I feel like I am using a lot of architectural thinking in my structures. I am taking a material that has no structure to it, and making it appear to have geometric properties. I feel like it is successful if the shape holds up, can support itself, even though it is really using cantilever type construction. I haven’t worked larger then the current installation; I suppose I would be testing myself and the concept of “complete” if the room was bigger then the patterns I could construct.

Elser’s exhibition, White Lies, ended on September 1, 2018.

March Madness

March Madness

It is already March…how is that possible?  We are trying to live up to our new year resolutions but we only have 8 up and running. So, here we go, not quite 10 awesome things to know about whitespace artists.

 1 & 2 Congratulations to Amy Pleasant (AL) and Vesna Pavlovic (TN), two whitespace artists, who are finalists for the South Arts Southern Prize. They will receive $5,000 each and together with nine other southern visual artists, are in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The winner of the Southern Prize and the $10,000 finalist prize winner will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 16 in New Orleans.

Eric Mack, SRFC-49, 67 x 117 inches, mixed media on canvas

3 More congratulations are in order. Eric Mack, has a show opening in Los Angeles at the California African American Museum (CAAM) on March 14. Eric and Pamela Smith Hudson’s show, Charting the Terrain will be on view through September 8, 2018. So if you’re in LA this spring or summer, be sure to check it out.

installation image courtesy of the artist

4 Kudus to Sarah Emerson Are We the Monsters, curated by Teresa Bramlette Reeves, is a solo show of Sarah’s large scale drawings and murals at the Zuckerman Museum at Kennesaw State University. Berserk Planet will blow your mind and really worth the drive to Kennesaw. This museum is curating some real cutting edge work.

 

5 More congrats to Zipporah Camille Thompson who is opening at the Atlanta ContemporaryNight Powers opened on Tuesday, February 20 and is open until April 1.  Beautiful and powerful, just like Zipporah.

6 Yawn…just another vinyl album cover for Seana Reilly. Her previous albums include (1) Piano Music of David Burge, 2010, (2) Daughter & Warpaint special 12” single, 2014 Label: 4AD, (3) Attan – debut EP.metal band from of Norway, 2015, (4) Telepathy, an instrumental metal band out of the UK.  Album (5) is in production and (6) is in discussion. Rihanna, Madonna and…Seana! That Seana is such a rock star!

7 Tommy Taylor is sitting on top of the world, well really on top of a volcano in Costa Rica. He is working on Starbucks largest global project alongside Mata Ruda and Jade Rivera, Latin American muralists. This Starbucks center is headquarters for agronomy that includes a wet mill, nursery and roaster so that visitors can see the process start to finish. This is the only place in the world to drink this particular coffee.

8 Craig Dongoski’s stunning show, Kissing of the Gods, is not to be missed.  His artist talk is this Saturday, March 3rd at 2 pm. A performance (Spring Equinox) of course, Wednesday, March 21, 6 – 8 pm.

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

Whitespace Top 10

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

 

The December Top 10 is a wrap up of the best things I saw in 2017! I hope you enjoy it!

Love, Susan

1. Atlanta BalletCarmina Burana, Cobb Energy Center, Marietta, GA

The choreography and music was the best, and the Georgia State University singers and master singers knocked it out of the park. This performance instilled a sense of pride in me for the city we live in and the great art and cultural institutions that make a difference in Atlanta. The performance was, quite simply, beautiful and seductive.

Rachel Van Buskirk and Jonah Hooper in “Carmina Burana.” | Courtesy of Charlie McCullers

2. The Dougs…

Doug Aitken – Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA

I’ve never seen anything like it…the mirrored (inside and out) single story ranch house was a perfect realistic, and unrealistic, object set in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. It made me question everything. I’m still not quite sure what is real and what isn’t?

Doug Shipman – New CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center

He’s pounding the pavement, meeting and talking to everyone and taking the efforts Michael Rooks started a few years ago to a whole new level. The best thing about Doug is that he probably knows it all because he is really smart and has accomplished a lot on this planet and for this city, but he doesn’t act like he knows it all and he still listens.

Doug Jones – First Democratic Senator in Alabama in 25 years.

This election shows us that our votes do matter and change can happen anywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZglqkCRNt8

Artist Doug Aitken, Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA | Courtesy of Susan B.

3. Nick Cave – Mass Moca, North Adams, MA, Closing performance of Until

This was the most moving contemporary arts performance I have ever seen. As Nick danced, he physically touched almost everyone in the audience. As he was doing so, he began to cry. The tears were for Michael Brown and the violence in Ferguson and all over this country. Nick’s tears were our tears.

Artist Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

Underneath the center of Nick Cave’s sculpture | Courtesy of Susan B.

Bob Faust and Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

4. Robert Irwin – Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX

Irwin has been working on this site-specific installation at Chinati for over 20 years, and it’s one of the best examples of the California-based light movement that started in the early ‘60’s. Irwin’s ability to traverse ultimate darkness into complete illumination using a simple scrim is indescribable. The installation is subtle, perfectly composed and completely immersive. I can’t label it – if I try, it dilutes the experience.​

Robert Irwin, Exterior view of inståallation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Exterior view at sunset (natural light filtered through scrims) | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Interior view of installation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

5. The Eclipse – The Cumberland Plateau, August 21, 2017

Paul Thorn at the Song Bird, Days Inn, Trader Joe’s, Chani Nicholas, Seana Reilly, and homemade eclipse helmets. It took us from the ridiculous to the sublime and was beautiful and transformative. Who needs land art when you have solar art?

Paul Thorn’s airstream at the Song Bird, Chattanooga, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

My precious daughter, Caroline, wearing a homemade eclipse helmet to view the Eclipse, Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

The Eclipse Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

6. Cover BooksEphemera in shedspace, Atlanta, GA

What began as a temporary outpost for art books at whitespace is now a welcome addition to our ever-expanding whitespace environment at 814 Edgewood. We are so happy to have Katie because we are Cover Lovers.

Ephemera by Cover Books | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Inside shedspace | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Cover Books founder/owner, Katie Barringer

7. Kahlil Joseph – Wildcat at Prospect 4, New Orleans, LA

I almost overlooked at Prospect 4 this year but a definite fav was the poetic, narrative video, Wildcat. A black and white piece about the black rodeo subculture in the United States. It had all of the elements that intrigue me – it was dark and dangerous but beautiful both visually and musically. The sound by Flying Lotus is as important as the film.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Still from Wildcat | Courtesy of IndieWire

8. Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life, David Zwirner NYC

Two concurrent, well actually three, shows at Zwirner proved that Kusama is an artist to be reckoned with and much more than an Instagrammer’s delight. The gallery adjoining the infinity rooms contained 66 double hung canvases that felt very much like works by southern folk artist, the late James Harold Jennings. These paintings were very colorful and filled with energy and playfulness. Mirrored balls, Christmas lights, and big red dots (you know how I love a red dot on anything) made standing outside on the sidewalk for two and a half hours on a snowy New York morning totally worth it. It was pure fun.​

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of Susan B.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net paintings and With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

9. Jacqueline Humphries – Greene Naftali gallery, NYC

This show was quite a surprise and a good one at that. At a distance, her huge paintings could pass for an Agnes Martin/Cy Twombly mashup, but after close observation, Humphries’ are very much au currant. Her surfaces are layered with tight grids of cut out emoticons. What is she trying to tell us? Whatever it is, there is a lot of content, and much to think about in this work.

Jaqueline Humphries, (L) (#J^^), 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on Linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017 | Courtesy of Susan B.

10. Mexico City, Mexico

I love everything about Mexico City.  The museums, the architecture, the parks, the gardens, the food and, of course, the lovely Mezcal cocktails.

Courtesy of Susan B.

Zeitgeist at Whitespace: A Tale of Two Cities

From left to right: “Atlantic Ocean, September 10th, 2016,” archival pigment print, ; “Panther Motel,” archival pigment print, Caroline Allison (2017)

In July, Whitespace hosted artists from Zeitgeist gallery in Nashville as part of an ongoing collaboration meant to stimulate conversation about the cultural and artistic trademarks unique to two of the South’s most vibrant and evolving cities. With the exhibition closing in early August, featured Zeitgeist artists were given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences of showing artwork in Atlanta.

“Well I suppose the obvious answer is that it’s always exciting to be sharing work with a wider audience,” wrote artist Caroline Allison about the benefits of showcasing outside of Nashville. “in our present life, we are constantly and instantly “half-communicating” with each other, so to send a “complete thought” (a finished work of art) . . . feels like sending a long letter to someone.

“As a child who saw firsthand the boom growth and changing Atlanta landscape of the 80’s and 90’s, I see the echo of that rapid growth period now in Nashville . . . Atlanta’s diverse and substantial contemporary art community is an inspiring path for Nashville to follow.”

Lars Strandh, an artist with roots in the Scandinavian art community, found that “all the interesting people I meet and the interesting conversations we have” remains a continual reward for showcasing his work around the world (Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden, and other prominent cities in the U.S., to name a few). “So much knowledge being shared, so many interesting discussions and conversation, so many laughs. I believe that’s the important and benefiting side of being an artist.”

From left to right: “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 9 9/10″ x 9 9/10″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 26 3/4″ x 26 3/4″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 59 x 59″, Lars Strandh (2017)

Showcasing in the South, he wrote that “if someone can fire up a BBQ, I can get some beer and we can sit down to have a long, interesting discussion about art and life . . . is just a win-win situation. A lot of people in the art community have a lot of experiences to be shared. The exchange between Zeitgeist and Whitespace is a good example and a good start.”

Pictured from left to right: Caroline Driebe, Susan Bridges, Robert Reed Altman, and Cora Altman at the Whitespace screening of Nashville.

To pay homage to the dialogue between the two galleries, Whitespace showed the 1975 satirical movie “Nashville.” The director of the film’s son, Robert Reed Altman, himself a notable contributor to the modern film and television industry, and Altman’s daughter, Cora, attended the screening. Altman finished working on his most recent project, Father Figures, a movie filmed in Atlanta and set to hit theaters in December of this year. The heartfelt atmosphere of the gallery screening epitomized the connection between Nashville and Atlanta: their commonalities, the beauty of their differences, and the bond they share.

–– Jessika Bouvier, Whitespace Intern

“Paint and its Final Form”: An interview with Teresa Reeves

Teresa Reeves’ new summer show of painting and sculpture, Channeling Joan Fontaine, is at Whitespace from 19 May to 24 June. Months after seeing the paintings for the first time during a gallery visit, I was excited to see them finally framed, exhibited, and to be able to conduct an interview with Dr. Reeves, who also serves as a curator at the Zuckerman Museum of Art. 

Whitespace intern Nathan Blansett

Nathan Blansett: Your current show at Whitespace, Channeling Joan Fontaine, is a cerebral visualization of certain themes in Hitchcock’s film Rebecca, about a second wife, played by Joan Fontaine, subjected to her household’s lingering obsessiveness with the dead first wife. Your artist statement notes the film had — and has — a personal connection to you and your mother. What are some of the themes the film evokes for you, and what does it mean to translate them into visual art?

Teresa Reeves: When I was young, my mother introduced me to Rebecca, a movie made in 1940 when she was a little girl. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the black-and-white film, which is rich and moody. I was equally drawn to the romance of the grand old British estate on Cornwall’s rocky coast. But mostly, I identified with Joan Fontaine’s role in the story. I recognized her. The idea of comparing oneself to an idealized other is directly expressed through Fontaine’s character. This tendency is what I’ve tried to visualize through the paired forms in the show, while the habitual nature of this practice is suggested in the line of small sculptures that circle the gallery.

The forms themselves are abstracted from molded jello desserts, some of which are represented in the video [installation], Hers or Mine. The choice of jello as a jumping off point is a reference to my mother’s era of decorative aspics and congealed salads, but also the idea of molding or shaping a thing with a life of its own.

I realize that the film reference I’m making here is very outdated, but Rebecca’s early and very specific message, coupled with how inextricably it is linked in my mind to my mother, made me throw caution to the wind.  

NB: The dominant shape of the paintings are these ovoid or hexagonal figurations but with very different textures. In many ways, they remind me of paintings from the Bloomsbury Group or evoke Clive Bell’s idea of Significant Form. Is Channeling Joan Fontaine different from your past work? Do you see this new work — or the entirety of your artistic project — operating in a specific aesthetic or tradition? Where else do you draw your influence?

TR: Good questions. Since the 16th century, many artists and architects have believed that shapes like the golden rectangle are aesthetically pleasing. And Fibonacci sequences appear unexpectedly often in nature—the arrangement of leaves on a stem, branch growth on trees, etc. These intertwined mathematical formulas argue for a universal aesthetic, as does Clive Bell. And I get it, but I remain a bit of a skeptic on the universality aspect. In my mind, there are just too many variables, too many eyes and brains and points of view to privilege a singular human ideal.  

I can make beautiful objects, but that isn’t my overriding concern. Beauty is a tool. It can be useful, but it can also get in the way. Sometimes though, it just happens and I let it be.

I’ve been making things since I was a child.  Both of my parents were artists; my father was educated as a sculptor and later in life made furniture and paintings.  My mother was trained as a painter but gravitated to weaving and then back to painting before she died last summer. I grew up in their art world, which found resonance in my father through Henry Moore’s biomorphic sculpture and David Smith’s abstractions.  My mother was influenced by the abstract expressionists, and regional painters like Howard Thomas and Lamar Dodd.  They met at the High Museum School of Art in Atlanta in the early 1950s, and that institution was a familiar to me as a teenager as Lenox Square and the Tara Cinema.  Art was just a normal part of life. I mention this to try and explain how art (as a subject) came to be so much a part of my art.

Is this work different from my past work? Many would say yes, but I see the connections. Sometimes it is the idea that is stable and the visualization of the idea that changes. I once complained to a teacher in grad school that his emphasis on consistency was problematic for me. In answer, he pulled out a piece of paper and drew a small circular form at the center. He labeled it CORE IDEA/QUESTION/PURSUIT. He then proceeded to draw a line that started at this nucleus and circumnavigated around it, sometimes zooming way out to the edges of the paper and sometimes tightly circling in on the center. He said that most people are lucky to have one solid idea/question, and that they spend their entire career working it out—directly or indirectly. I admit to favoring this analogy for a lifetime practice.

What is my core idea/question? I’ve always been interested in looking at collective memory and how popular culture (movies, tv, etc) can shape our understanding of history. In this body of work, I’m pulling from a more personal memory of a particular film, but because the experience of Rebecca is not mine alone, it does open the door to a larger understanding (or at least I hope so).

NB: The paint seems very fluid and yet many of the paintings also evoke something corporeal, fleshy. Is that a tension you see in the work? What are some of the other tensions that draw the work into focus for you?

TR: The tension I’m looking for is between control and the phenomenology of a water-based medium on a slippery, nonabsorbent white surface (aka: an intentional lack of control). At this base level, the battle is about paint and its final form. On a conceptual level the painting itself (not just the imagery) is an object that serves to further the narrative.

NB: You made many of these paintings in Dublin, Ireland on a Fulbright grant. What was your experience in Ireland like? How did it affect the work?

TR: In Dublin I had the opportunity to focus. I had both time and space—the magic duo.  As a result, I was able to distill the past 3 or 4 years of work into something much simpler and cleaner.  I was in my studio often enough that I could stop overthinking everything and just work. I was able to achieve and maintain the painter’s version of a runner’s high—a state that allows you to work intuitively, and in retrospect, learn.

Being in a different and new environment also awakens your senses.  You are in “absorb mode.” I had time for reflection, time for reading, time for walking, alone time, shared time—all in a beautiful and stimulating place that is rich with history.

NB: In addition to your work as an artist, you hold a doctorate in art history and work as a curator. Are the questions you pose in your creative work estranged from the questions you pose in your critical or curatorial work, or do they come from the same place or urge?

TR: My first impulse was to say that my work as a curator and an artist stems from the same place, and that it is only the labor that is different. But the more I think about your question, the more I realize that the fact that my curatorial work is very public and my studio practice is very private necessarily impacts how I approach each activity. Curators are educators—and to varying extents, proselytizers. I’m committed to widening the audience for contemporary art and ideas and with that in mind, I work to be clear and to engage as diverse an audience as possible.

As an artist, I can step back into the poetry of an idea.  The emphasis doesn’t have to be on words and pictures, it can be just about pictures—you can let them carry the message.  It is a different vocabulary.

Teresa Reeves’ Channeling Joan Fontaine is at Whitespace through 24 June.