Snyder, Joan: The writing on the wall

By Addison Parks

Joan Snyder paints bulletins. Raw, brave, savage, savagely elegant paintings as bulletins. They pulse with color and paint and messages and signs and clues and musings  and poetry and humanity and promises.


By Addison Parks

When John Baker talks about art he gets a light in his eyes; when he talks about the art of Porfirio DiDonna that light gets brighter. In THE SHAPE OF KNOWING, his triumphant new book about Porfirio DiDonna, the effect of his quietly considered articulation is positively holographic.

JAMES BALLA:Second Sight and the Balance of Opposites

By Addison Parks

James Balla makes mysteries. Right away we sense this about the  work. It is about flowers but it's not. It is about clouds but it's not. We don't necessarily want it to be complicated, especially unpredictable, but it is. We are tempted to be happy with the elegance of its exterior, the tip of its iceberg, but that would be a mistake.             



Notes on Ronald Bladen Sculpture

By Larry Deyab

I have wanted to write down my thoughts about my personal experiences with my late friend Ronald Bladen for a long time - to reveal the Ronald Bladen I knew, not the art gallery press release or faux art history book version of him. To reveal the person and the life of a friend unfiltered.

Bruce Helander at Peter Marcelle

By Addison Parks

Helander takes bits of paper that have a past and gives them a future. He takes something broken and remakes it whole. He takes what most people would think is trash and makes art.

WHAT SHE SAW: Amy Goodwin

By Addison Parks

In many ways What She Saw is more about what Jesus Christ saw hanging from the cross in Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ: that rapid fire of La Dolce Vita, remembered and imagined, the blood, sweat and tears, flashing before your eyes in a staccato circle of fifths climbing up your DNA code into Dorothy's twister funnel above, coalescing into a painting, stilled into a painting, recorded into a painting, only to be a spring-board for more of the same ad infinitum.


By Martin Mugar

Our relationship was fraught with conflict, a conflict he enjoyed, I am sure, as his notion of teaching was more based on pugilism than on dialogue.


By Addison Parks

Describing it won't get the job done. Yes, it is bright. Colorful. Figurative in a doll-like way. Flat. Linear. Decorative. Charming. Part carnival, part circus. Personal. Narrative. Tableau. Illustrative. Autobiographical. What serious art people call sentimental. None of that really puts a finger on it.


By Addison Parks

These many years, these many paintings, tell this story. The call of starlight; the promise of starlight. The shit/mud/magma/primordial ooze that we stand in as we look to the stars. The shit/mud/magma/primordial ooze of a species that cares only about outward things, about power and pretense and position and posturing and primacy and prestige. That pees on everything. He is holding up a mirror. He is holding up a lamp. A lighthouse on the distant shore. Yes, it is shit. Embrace the shit if it brings you closer to the earth. Lie down in it. Lie down in darkness. But look to the heavens. Look to our better selves. Look for salvation and light.


Charles Seliger has a gift, and there is that wonderful way with the "gifted" that we are blessed to share in it.

Plus a memorial piece after his death in 2009

1992 Article for the Christian Science Monitor

LARRY DEYAB: The Natural

Some 30 years ago postmodernism rose from modernism's ashes and Larry Deyab was its perfect child.

American Master Turns Ninety
Plus: Diagonals in Space
(Dies at Ninety-one;12/96)

"Having grown up in Oklahoma and having been older than the state, there wasn't much art there. So it was still younger than I at college age, and I had never seen an original painting. I don't think I knew anyone very well who even had art in their vocabulary. And it's quite by accident that I discovered art."

The Paintings of Porfirio DiDonna: Into The Garden

The final works exploded onto paper and canvas in 1985, just before something exploded in his brain. They possess that intensity of almost unbearable proportion.


Forrest Bess painted inspired images which, like the call of a bird, could be sensed in their entirety; gritty little paintings getting at something inexpressible, whose power and meaning were unmistakable but whose content was incomprehensible, even for him.

Chuck Close: CLOSE

By Martin Mugar

What took Close beyond the figurative movement was his interest in pixilation. Probably generated by the realization that as you look closer beyond the detail of the texture of each hair follicle you enter into the world of visual cognition beyond detail where the image of the face is in fact a myriad of impulses created out of the rods and cones of the eye. It is a strange reversal that as we try to pin the real down with more and more detail the less real the image becomes.

Traces of Living

LESLEY DILL leaves me guessing. The nature of her work is secretive. She may give us a look at something big, a shape like a figure, but it is really an apparition. Once we get close, get inside, the work slips through our fingers and we are in the dark. What we are left with is a residue hanging in the air like perfume or smoke.


Judy Glantzman

And with what color and passion of paint they do what they do. Splats and scrapes and blobs to temper her deft brush. Dimensions of space, time, and experience like the Shades, she takes our hand and guides us underneath.


And it wasn't what he said, and it wasn't that his paintings didn't make an impression, because he said good things, and makes wonderful paintings. No, what impressed me about Harold Shapinsky, and really made me appreciate his paintings and understand them so much more, was what he didn't say.

Rosemarie Trockel; TROJAN HORSE

Seeing that bit of emotion and candor made me look at the rest of the work differently. It made me re-examine not only the vulnerability of the work, but also the fear, the anger, the touch, and, in the end, the humor.

The Promise: Bill Jensen

The story is fascinating. What happened? What happened to make Bill Jensen drop his sure thing, the golden sword and shield, the cherished crest? You could see it coming a dozen years ago. Blow the lid off and what have you got? What's left, at the bottom, on the other side? Nothing, we fear. Nothing to live for, and paint for. To care for and get out of bed for. Lose the will and what power is there?

The Lead: William Wegman

WILLIAM WEGMAN graciously acknowledges that he follows his dog's lead; that the model, in this case a dog, through some mood or gesture, shows him what he will do. This really is a question of grace, for the results are pure inspiration! In his dogs, Man Ray and Fay, he has recognized the uncanny expression of an immense humanity that wasn't human at all and has realized it with both vision and humor.

The Flower: Sol LeWitt

"In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair."

Heide Hatry: SKIN

By Addison Parks

Instead of trying to consolidate, integrate, or reconcile each of these different avenues into the work of one artist, herself, she curiously invented several different artists, with their own name, personality, and look, who could each enjoy the drive down said avenues alone. At once Hatry has cleverly side-stepped the charge of dilettante, and two-stepped her way to Duchamp's side.


By Addison Parks

It not only meant a lot that he chose to live here too, it meant even more that in the end he chose not to. This man had done it all, and done it his way, and it apparently wasn’t enough. What did that say for the rest of us? If it wasn’t good enough for him, how could the rest of us hope to survive and flourish? The ghost of Gregory Gillespie haunts us still.


By Martin Mugar

I thought of titling the show "Low Tide Languor;" that meditative space on the beach at slack tide where you dwell on your place in the natural cycle of birth and death(MM).


By Addison Parks

During this period she painted a series of small canvases which seemed to represent a significant departure from the earlier work. In point of fact, they were very different. This work marks what might be a stage not unlike the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. Fishman's MacDowell paintings are as limber and as radiant as the butterfly.


Foster Gallery; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;

Once again Pop god Roy Lichtenstein has turned his genius loose on something old, or borrowed, or blue, and made it fun and new.

Gund Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
By Martin Mugar

To the painting enthusiast, professional or amateur ,who admires the techniques of realism, the matching of flesh tone, the verisimilitude of satin, the glisten of a moist eye, J.SS provides a sumptuous visual feast.

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