I first became aware of Sue Coes’ artwork in the 80’s. Her expressionistic paintings, illustrations and drawings seemed to be omnipresent in the world of downtown Manhattan. I’d seen posters and placards affixed to buildings on the walls of lower east side buildings, her illustrations on the covers of RAW and X magazine. Her highly political themes pointed to the issues of animal cruelty, factory farming, meat-packing, apartheid, sweat-shops, prisons and AIDS with a dark, expressionistic style, reminiscent of Grosz, Dix , Goya and Soutine. Continue reading SUE COE : The Melding of Art and Political Activism
Artist Carolee Schneeman began work on her film Fuses in 1964, eventually finishing it 1967. Her performance piece, Meat Joy had been performed in Paris and NYC at the Judson Church the same year, along with her constructions Native Beauties (1962–64), Music Box Music (1964), Pharaoh’s Daughter (1966) and Her Letter to Lou Andreas Salome (1965). Continue reading Carolee Schneemann :: Fuses (1967) film/video, 22 min.
Lorser Feitelson, along with his wife Helen Lundeberg, were pioneers of what was to become known as Hard-Edge abstraction in the late 1940s into the 50’s. Lorser, along with his peers and fellow artists, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin were featured in the landmark exhibition, Four Abstract Classicists at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1959. Jules Langsner, critic, psychiatrist and organizer of the exhibition coined the term “hard-edge” in his essay for the exhibition’s catalogue:
“Abstract Classicist painting is hard-edged painting. Forms are finite, flat, rimmed by a hard clean edge. These forms are not intended to evoke in the spectator any recollections of specific shapes he may have encountered in some other connection. They are autonomous shapes, sufficient unto themselves as shapes.” Continue reading Lorser Feitelson, West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction, Pt4
Frederick Hammersley was perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the first generation west coast hard-edge painters. Having been one of the four participants in the landmark Four Abstract Classicists exhibition in 1959, his place within the history of the art movement was firmly established. The show’s organizer, Jules Langsner coined the term “hard edge” in his essay for the catalogue: Continue reading Frederick Hammersley: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt3
In Search of Wabi Sabi is a BBC Documentary in which novelist & broadcaster Marcel Theroux travels across Japan, attempting to understand the japanese aesthetic theory, Wabi Sabi.
Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?).Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. – wikipedia
Chicago native Karl Benjamin found his way to California to go to college on the G.I.Bill after serving in the Navy during World War II. With no formal education in art, Benjamin who was an elementary teacher, began working with crayons in the course of developing art lessons for his students’ curriculum. He became enthralled with the way in which colors appeared to change when in juxtaposition with other colors and enrolled in classes at Claremont Graduate School, ultimately earning an M.A. degree in 1960 and developing a serious art practice as a painter who worked rigorously with color.
‘His principal started it all by asking him to add 47 minutes a week of art instruction to the curriculum.“I bought some crayons and paper,” he said. “And the kids drew trucks, trees, mountains. That was boring, so I said, No trucks, no trees. And they said, What should we do? I said the right thing, even though I didn’t have any background in art. I said, Be quiet and concentrate.” – Jori Finkel, Karl Benjamin’s Colorful Resurgence, New York Times, October 7, 2007 Continue reading Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2
Yukata Takanishi (Feb 6, 1935, Shinjuku, Tokyo).
- •first camera:Canon IVSb 35 mm rangefinder.
- •first exhibition: work from his series “Somethin’ Else”, in Ginza Garō, May 1960
- •commercial photographer, Nippon Design Center, 1961-70
- •member of the collective that produced Provoke magazine, 1968-69
West Coast (Los Angeles) painter Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) turned to abstraction in the 1950’s after having spent the two previous decades working in social realist and post-surrealist styles of imagemaking. Her precise compositions with their restricted palettes hovered between abstraction and figuration, but always remained rooted in reality, referring to still lifes, landscapes, planetary forms and architecture.
“I was interested both in the pattern and the three-dimensional illusion created by these very flat geometric forms. At first I confined myself to angles and straight lines. Then I got a little tired of that and began getting some curves.” -Helen Lundeberg
Helen Lundeberg’s paintings have been exhibited widely in prominent museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University and the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. Her work was most recently included in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970, and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition titled In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States.–wikipedia
Welcome to Incubator, a new blog/zine devoted to the worlds of music, art, the performing arts, the written/spoken word, technology, new thought, old thought, trash culture, highbrow culture and the divergent vectors that pierce, intersect and somehow unite them all. This is a living experiment and I truly hope it serves the tastes of a viewership who are interested in not only the things of our culture but are also informed by the glints, the refractions and the shadows cast by the collisions and convergences of divergent ideas and works.
pic: names scratched into bathroom wall, Japan.