Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gorchov, Pfaff, Torreano at Hilberry

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What a difference in Pfaff's work from the show at Lemberg! I didn't really care for her works at Lemberg but I do really enjoy her 3-dimensional works at Hilberry! I now see the relationship to her layered paper works to her sculptural pieces. This piece grew from the wall with delicate line drawings that then emerged into wire and steel structures protruding into space. This piece reminds me of Julie Mehretu's contemporary works. 
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Here are a couple details of the piece but you really have to see it for yourself!
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Another Pfaff - steel, mesh and wire. 
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The final Pfaff - wire, aluminum duct, plastic and blown glass. You can own this piece for a small fee of 85K!
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This is the work of Ron Gorchov - oil on canvas that is on shield-like stretcher forms.
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At first this was my favorite piece upon entering the show but I found that after a while it lost my attention. I think I was only drawn to the bold colors. I do like his work but another enlightened viewer told me that his work has not changed at all over his art career. But should that matter? - A lot of artists do the exact same thing for years and years without any real experimentation.
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These gem covered works are by artist John Torreano. The above piece was my least favorite and felt like a middle-schooler's science project or at times I thought a wizard was going to pop out of the box!
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This was my favorite piece! I like the play on surface with 2-D emerging into 3-D form like in Pfaff's works. The gems and balls seem to bubble to the surface and go back into the work with only a hint of scratched color.
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Space Edge Painting, 2004 - this was the most recent of Torreano's works.
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This Torreano painting was in the back room - I hope it wasn't missed because I really liked this piece in the context of his other works. It was a much quieter piece that was like looking at all his works from a great distance.
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All and all I enjoyed the show at Hilberry...I usually do because she is the only gallery showing current works by artists outside Detroit. I think it is important to stay in tune with the outside art word because in this city we tend to focus on the problems of the city and are not fully exposed to outside art unless one travels. All I can say is that I hope MOCAD opens and lets the artists in the community stay involved. Outside art is important but keeping detroiters in the mix is just as important!


Anonymous leoqueen said...

Its good to see Ron's paintings here. He taught classes at Wayne State for one semester while I was a graduate student.
One of his classes was Figure Painting.
He installed the model on one side of a wall, and us painters on the other side. He directed the model to throw a ball against the wall, and we were to paint pictures based on the rhythmic sounds of the ball bouncing against the wall.
Far out, and radical, for a figure painting class....he challenged a lot of sensibilities. A number of the students who wanted to actually paint the figure and who didnt want to chance whatever else Ron had up his sleeve dropped the class. The rest of us stayed, for a truly different artistic experience.

That began a really glorious year and a half for us; we had three NY painters each take a semester. Ron Gorchov, Judy Rifka, and Guy Goodwin. They were taking Bob Wilbert's place, as he was on sabbatical leave.

Ron was really funny! He said that the main thing he could teach us was how to be a famous NY artist, so we starting holding classes in restaurants around campus, he was holding court, telling many stories.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilberry is not "the only gallery showing current works by artists outside Detroit". Nearly every gallery in the Metro area shows work from outside artists: Lemberg, Robert Kidd, Posner, Hill Gallery, David Klein Gallery, G.R. N'Nambdi, Center Galleries, Marygrove, Paul Kotula, Artspace II, etc., etc.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous barbara said...

A large number of the artists that Sherry Washington shows are from outside of this area---David Driskell, Benny Andrews, Richard Mayhew, David Fludd, Emma Amos, to name a few. Washington has a lot of African American artists who are mid-career and beyond, like the ones listed above.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the $85K price tag? You've lambasted other galleries for high prices.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sherry Washington doesn't deserve to be mentioned on this site. She is a blemish on detroits art history. No one who is showing with Sherry right now should stick with her. She is a racist, and treats art like garbage.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous barbara said...

anonymous, those are very strong comments about Sherry Washington. Can you offer some specifics? Did you show with her? If you know something that will protect other artists can you share it?

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about donna batista? I heard she owes money to a lot of artists

7:42 AM  
Anonymous nolan simon said...

I don't know about Sherry Washington being a racist, anon, but I have seen her storage space and she definitely treats the art she shows poorly (paintings stacked face to face with nothing between them, drawings falling out the sides of folders, etc.). I've seen a number of pieces damaged because of her poor handling and storage. I think it's just a matter of respect for the work to treat it with care. As for Donna Batista, I've also heard that she's basically dropped off the map in order to avoid paying people she owes.

It really seems to me that some gallerists in this city need to get their act together and learn how to properly run a gallery.


10:16 AM  
Anonymous barbara said...

I still dont see any followup from Anonymous about their statement that S Washington is a racist. I dont think you should make such statements if you are not going to back it up. This is very inflammatory, and destructive.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous gilda said...

I have shown with Sherry Washington Gallery for a number of years. As with any gallery/artist business relationship there have been ups and downs, but I have never in my experience seen any behavior or actions that can be viewed as racist. I too would like to know what was the experience that Anon had. If you would prefer not to post, please email me at gsnow19543 at

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, how can you say Susanne is the only one showing current work when the work in this show is far from current--not one single piece--some of it was from twenty years ago. Like, almost before you were born. Great stuff, true, but not even remotely current. She doesn't even represent some of these artists anymore. Don't get me wrong, I think Susanne is an important player in the arts community and puts on some great shows, but let's get our facts straight.

Second, I repeat another poster's comment--all the other big galleries ARE showing CURRENT works by MAJOR artists outside the area along with works by great local talent. You can't blast the other galleries for going back and forth between regional and international artists and in the same breath say there aren't enough places for regional artists to show. Pick a side! I almost can't stand to even look at the blog anymore there's so much bad information and even what's right is so incredibly slanted. What's your beef with some of the other galleries? Did they turn you down? Sounds like a lot of sour grapes to me, and I'm not alone.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Racist" is pretty harsh. No dealer is perfect just as no artist is perfect but I'd make sure I had a whole lot to back it up before I'd start throwing around terms like that. I've heard some complimentary things about her over the years.

I've also heard Donna Batista is now a private dealer, and doing pretty well without the overhead and grief of operating a gallery space.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous birdie said...

Take a look at all of the art work in Cobo Hall. Sherry Washington was instrumental in getting that commission for at least 10 separate artists.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous jef said...

i think we've got too many anonymous's running around. who's who?

so give yourselves any handle, to make the conversation more clear.

3:18 PM  
Blogger ann said...

let me clarify to a couple anon's that have cut into my post. let me be more clear. the galleries listed in anon's post are all good galleries that show both regional and local art but not consistently. I don't call to mind many of them for showing what susanne regularly shows. again, I think you are being too hard on me to say that you don't see that susanne has that "something" that other galleries lack. I enjoy that her shows are always unexpected some degree - like if I go to kidd, I know what to expect, ya know?
I don't appreciate cheap shots to my own art practice. you don't know that I have relationships with a lot of the galleries listed. you don't know my history. I comment on the current art scene as I see it, you don't have to agree. I feel that I am making a contribution - and apparently you just like to criticize.

I may seem to take two sides about local and regional talent but I have seen that just pushing local talent doesn't seem to be enough lately. maybe more people will notice our art if it is in context with other ny or regional artists. Isn't that what susanne is doing for clint...his work has more credibility when it is in a group show with others like ellen phelan and billy sullivan (in current biennial). face it, we need more people who will push for detroit artists but also understand that it may take other efforts to sell detroiters' works.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Artists outside the area." That sounds so silly...we are talking about renowned important artists, showing signifant and major works. "Artist outside the area"....tsk provincial. Sounds like a bunch of old biddies.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Donna Batista, people are basically lying about her owing money to a lot of artists. Donna's debts were settled a long time ago. AND, there weren't a lot of artists to speak of. There were only 2 that she had agreements with and they have been settled. It's about time that someone speaks up for her.
She did a great service to the community and she always operated out of integrity. Why don't you ask the other artists who WERE PAID!!!!!

10:44 AM  

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