Sunday, July 31, 2005

susanne hilberry

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If I had a list going of best detroit gallery openings, then Summer Pack II made it into at least the top 3!  It was seriously one of the best shows, diverse mix of collectors and artists, mix of established and emerging artists, and place to people watch!  The opening was "packed" and the energy was great!  People were outside in large groups talking and inside looking at the art and talking with the artists.  Everyone was not only interested in being there but I noticed more "art looking" which sometimes doesn't happen at openings.  The giant, life-sized helicopter by Shannon Goff was a stunning eye catcher.  The piece was made strictly out of cardboard and adhesive.  The blade even twirled as Susanne came around and started to push it in circles.
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Mitch Cope had one wall of his graphite and marker drawings.  They were just tacked to the wall but had a mapping quality or reminded me of layout plans pinned up on the wall. The drawings were all of detroit/hamtramck locations.  Some distorted perspective while a shopping cart seemed to hold a tree and a house while others were tight, rendered drawings the ranged from parking lots to people standing/walking in a barren landscape.
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This is a detail shot of the giant frieze by Matthew Blake.  The frieze was quite amazing!  The large piece could be seen from the street and was comparable the greeks!
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Well, maybe not a relic found from ancient greece but this frieze contained all contemporary objects including Transformers, Barbie dolls, toy soldiers and just about any toy or figurine.  They then were all painted with oil paint to make the piece have a historic feel and blend together.
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Giant encaustic paintings by Mona Shahid!  These paintings softened the show and were nicely executed.  They had a fogginess to them that made the confronting figures disturbing but in a good way. 
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I loved this piece with the awkward stare and protruding teeth!  Her portraits reminded me of early Chuck Close a little bit with the expressions.
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More have to look for yourself!
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Oh ,yeah there was also a strange performance by a lady who sang and played accordian.  The music was nice and kept people talking even longer.  There is nothing worse than a quiet, tense opening. This one was like a giant party of art goers who all were supportive and enthusiastic!  It couldn't have been a better summer night!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ambient Gallery opening night...

The grand opening of Ambient Gallery in Grosse Pointe, former Maniscalco Gallery, was a big change from the old.  The gallery was changed from the old Maniscalco format and do I say this I real gallery space of fine art finally.  The art ranged from traditional "still life" to Jessica Erickson's edgy collaged pieces.  Erickson really brought an boldness to the east side gallery district.  Kim Dabbs has certainly made an early impression with her first opening.  Hopefully she will continue to carry with the momentum.

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Erickson's muted-boxed-abstracts
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Erickson cuts apart her "landscape" into grided sections of mixed media allowing drips and charcoal to smear but remain contained next to borders of white voided canvas.
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Also a nice balance of photography made the show flow together.  I enjoyed the prints with the more painterly-collaged pieces.
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The grid of boxed abstracted figures seemed a bit on the graphic side and didn't appeal to me as much, but who am I to say.  I think Primary Space lost some art?
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Ok, yes...fruit...but remember the gallery is still in Grosse Pointe. Change is slow sometimes.
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And why not have a portrait done by Maniscalco of Carmen Harlan?  Is she going to buy this?  Well, she does look gosh darn pretty, don't she?
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All and was a good start and I hope to see what the gallery has in store for us.

The suspense is building...

Just wanted to quickly post that both Susanne Hilberry and Ambient Gallery had packed openings!  I will be posting pictures of the opening tomorrow so stay tuned.  Summer Pack II at Susanne Hilberry was by far one of the best openings I have been to in a very, very long time.  Clint, Kristen and Susanne did a great job picking the artists and the crowds were huge...not to mention some phenomenal artwork!
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Susanne Hilberry: Summer Pack II
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Ambient Gallery (former maniscalco)

Friday, July 29, 2005

"all over" is in

Lehmann Maupin Gallery in new york has a nice summer show "Fresh Paint" on display...along with a fancy website to check out.

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I think I have some how fallen for the all over composition.  I used to despise it, thinking that no focal point was annoying and just looked "off". I hated Pollock's all over splatter paint that had no varied point of interest.  Now I am drawn to explosive all over compositions but they still suggest some sort of spatial organization.  They do this by altering color and size to create depth but still no real horizon or plane is developed.  I think I first started liking this effect because of a cy twombly.

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cy twombly

Thursday, July 28, 2005

An artist's right to sadomasochism on the internet?

The NY times reports....
"The case, filed in 2001 by Barbara Nitke, whose Web site includes pictures of sadomasochism and bondage, argues that the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which prohibits obscene material from being distributed on the Internet, is overly broad and violates the First Amendment. Ms. Nitke contends that the law has a chilling effect on artists, educators and alternative-sex advocates because the explicit material they present on the Web could be deemed obscene in parts of the country, even if it is acceptable under community standards in other parts." on.

Should the art be censored? I would take the stand..."of course not"! The internet opens up another can of worms because it is still a new form of displaying images and thoughts. People get easily offended and quickly try to stop any form of expression that they don't agree with before they try and understand it. Yes, there is a lot of stuff on the internet...let alone in your own neighborhood that you might not agree with but to take away our rights is another things. The beautiful thing about art is that there are no rules!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Best Art Blogs

Forbes "Best of the Web" has listed the top art blogs...check 'em out......

Cover story....

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Art & Opportunity
By Ann Gordon
Jul 27, 2005, 23:39

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Art & Opportunity:
A Detroit Discussion

How do you get Detroiters excited about art? Enter Mitch Cope and Clint Snider to the scene: Two young, active, hardworking artist/curators who are willing to help stand up for the Detroit art community and make fresh, stirring ideas happen. They spoke with Real Detroit about the current state of emerging art in Detroit.

Real Detroit: How do you view the Detroit art scene? Do you think there are opportunities out there?
Mitch Cope: Depends on how you define opportunities I guess. Having shows at the Whitney and just making the best work you can possibly make are two different things.
Clint Snider: I think if you're enjoying making work any success that comes with it is a privilege.

RD: I think people place blame on Detroit.
MC: It's really easy to see the negative in Detroit. You forget the fact that there's a lot of positive things and unique things. For instance the atmosphere in Detroit, the communities in Detroit, and the ability to do work that you can't do in other cities. More environmental work, more interactive work. There's more space to do things. You can open a gallery in Detroit with hardly any budget. There's a lot things you can do in Detroit that you literally can
t do in other cities. I realized it was so easy to network in this city. You just know a few key people and you're everywhere. You keep them informed and everyone will be informed. You put a little effort in the marketing and everyone knows.

RD: Would you blame the economy? Collectors buying outside of Detroit? Lack of art writing? Galleries not supporting emerging artists?
MC: Probably a little bit of all that " In order to get an art economy going you need a certain momentum other than a few hot galleries Galleries pop up and go away. You need to gain [collectors'] trust.

RD: Do you think galleries are playing it safe by only showing established artists?
CS: Yeah.

RD: Clint, you are co-curating the show at Susanne Hillberry.
CS: Susanne doesn't just show established people. A lot of the people that Susanne shows were emerging artists when she started out and she just maintained friendships and watched them grow. She has one of the more healthy attitudes. I think she respects the artist first and then with that, the art that they�re making. She's very willing to move in new directions with the artists.
MC: She's gone a step further and had young artists and curators like myself and Clint actually curate the shows.

RD: Do you think some artists are intimidated approaching galleries?
MC: You really have to put the effort forward to get over your fear of rejection. You�re going to get rejected no matter where you go. In New York it's much worse.
CS: I spent a weekend just doing that: Going to places, talking to people, sending things. I had a pack of 25 things I never heard from a single person. Not one.

RD: I attended the talks for the starting of a contemporary museum in Detroit. Is this something that is still in the works or you�re involved with?
MC: It's still in the works.

RD: Are they just waiting for funding and for people to back it?
MC: It's not so much that they�re waiting for funding even though they are; they're waiting for support. There's a lot of money sitting there waiting to come forth from certain people. They're waiting because they want a larger community, which I think is smart.

RD: Do you think there�s a thing with it being in competition with the DIA?
CS: That�s the weird thing about Detroit. You can�t imagine that in another city; like in Chicago, two major [art museums] battling it out. If anything it'''just going to bring in more outside people. If any of those people are for the art in the first place they�re going to want more of it.

RD: Both of you being artists and curators, do you feel frustration with this city?
CS: Yeah.

RD: So what do you do then?
CS: That's why in some respects I wanted to curate a show. The things that you look around and see and make sense to you might not make the same sense to other people. Without me acting it might not get done. So that's a little bit of what curating a show was: Bringing some people together that I've never seen together and maybe should be together.
MC: That was one of my original goals with the Tangent Gallery and the "M.O.R.E." show. You have to do it. You have to take the initiative and try to change things. That's what I like about Detroit. The important thing is that I think to survive in Detroit you have to get out of Detroit.

RD: Do you have to leave Detroit for a period to emerge as an artist?
MC: I think you have to see the outside world. If you're stuck in Detroit doing your thing I think you'll become bitter or naive. You have to get out to see how the world works and see that Detroit isn�t so bad. There's positives to Detroit.

RD: Why stay in Detroit?
MC: You can create your own community; you can create your own gallery.
CS: You have to find your own definition of what is art and how you define it in the first place. Staying here is kind of about finding that � if I believe in art its worth staying here to make.

RD: How do you get people to care about Detroit art?
MC: You start having shows, you start doing events and over time people will start noticing.  |

Mitch Cope:
-Graduated CCS, '95
-MFA from Washington State Univ., '99
-Co-Founder/Director Tangent Gallery
-Curator: Detroit section, "Shrinking Cities," (Berlin)

Clint Snider:
-Graduated CCS, �98
-Exhibited at: DIA, Artcite & Artscene (Windsor), "Shrinking Cities" (Berlin)
-Instructor: CCS, BBAC

Ann runs

Summer Pack II Opening Reception July 29 Susanne Hilberry Gallery

Commonwealth Gallery: it's no secret now!

Detroit can be a wonderful city.  Despite the summer art lull, this weekend proves to be a weekend to stay in town.  Don't forget the opening friday at Susanne Hilberry, but also if you haven't heard, the Commonwealth Gallery "opening" is saturday.  The house transforms into a gallery almost overnight.  I have not been there yet but I have heard that the art is worth looking into. My sources seem trustworthy and I look forward to the exhibit.  I sometimes tend to be weary of such shows at houses but I believe that some great, fresh ideas will be on display. Hope to see everyone out and about this weekend!

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Sara Blakeman   Hallie Hoffman
Michael Caran       David Rocamora
Lauren Casteel

one evening only
saturday, june 30, 2005
7:00pm  10:00

5052 Commonwealth
Detroit, MI 48208

Monday, July 25, 2005


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Don't forget to pick up a copy of this week's Real Detroit Weekly (wed 27th issue)

Tell your friends....

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I have decided to make it easier on everyone now. will now become but don't can still  get to the site by the old name.  The new name just re-directs you there.  The "website" name just makes it easier to remember and tell people about. Now I don't have to say, "dot-blogspot" which really cut into the time in my day and now will have more time to "blog".

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Kline, de Kooning, Ruth's Zowie!

I first compared de kooning to Gorky, then to his wife Elaine, but now I turn to Kline. It is important to see how artists influence each other because sometimes in the moment, the comparisons don't seem apparent. De Kooning's early mentor was Gorky but later after de Kooning making a name for himself and the unfortunate death of Gorky, de Kooning befriended Franz Kline. 
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Franz Kline: Henry H II, 1959-60
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de Kooning: Ruth's Zowie, 1957

Interesting story about the title "Ruth's Zowie".  De Kooning was "seeing" Ruth Kligman at the time of the painting.  Ruth had dated Jackson Pollock and was in the car the night Pollock crashed after drinking heavily as usual.  Pollock died along with killing Edith Metzger but Ruth survived the crash.  Later Ruth met de Kooning and the two began an affair.  One day coming into de Kooning's studio, Ruth exclaimed, "Zowie", which was a common street slang at the time used by a lot of NY artists.  De Kooning liked the criticism and named the painting "Ruth's Zowie".

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Vince Carducci reviews "Relics"

Check out what art writer Vince Carducci said about Scott Hocking and Clint Snider's show at Artcite in Windsor. I like how Vince also descibed Clint's dipped objects as "martha stewart colors". Again this isn't a bad just is a comment on how dirty, found Detroit objects can become "beautiful" or "marketable" by certain trendy colors.

Friday, July 22, 2005


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For just as a tease, I will be posting more info over the next couple weeks about Summer Pack II and my involvement covering it.  I  interviewed Mitch Cope and Clint Snider for a cover story about the future of Detroit Art.  I am very excited and will post more pictures I took of Mitch and Clint to remind you of the upcoming events.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I got my little "think box" back and I am up and running once again.  I know everyone was concerned..hahahhh!  Well, better late than never so here are some pictures of the District Arts opening last Friday.  I also have some pictures of the MONA opening to post later too. MONA has a good show running right now featuring a lot of cranbrook artists...yes...a little bit of a summer suprise!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

mitch cope's new series

I am anxious to get my "baby" (laptop) back from the fix-it shop but I wanted to post this link to Mitch Cope's new drawing series that will be exhibited at Susanne Hilberry's Summer Pack 2 show coming up. I love some of the drawing perspectives where it looks like a house is supported by a shopping cart or a boat is holding a tree.
Go to and type "cope" or go directly.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

uh, oh....

Just when you learn to love technology it bites you in the ass! My darling, 6 month old laptop has decided to stay dark screened and misbehave so I had to give it a "time-out" in the corner. Meaning my computer is in the shop and I hope to be back bloggin in no time. Keep your fingers crossed for my baby!

Friday, July 15, 2005

art goes miniature

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What became of the boy who loved model trains and art?  Mr. Pettibone has emerged into the art scene with a complete exhibit of all the masters' works but in miniature form!  Yes, they are pretty much direct copies of the maters' famous works, some conjoined and others cross reference another artist like the miniature Warhol Campbell's Soup Can that references Jasper John's Three Flags.  With easy pack up and go transport, this exhibit is pocket sized but the question asked is who owns the rights to the small works?  Is Mr. Pettibone creating his own work or is he just a model maker?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

303gallery in NY

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303 Gallery in NY is having itself a nice little painting show...check it out.
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