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$25,000 each, unrestricted, is going to ten West Coast artists from the Flintridge Foundation. The fifth biennial awards honor artists who have a sustained career in the arts but are not currently nationally renowned. The California recipients are Adela Akers, Guerneville; Dewey Crumpler, Berkeley; Ben Sakoguchi, Pasadena, and Robbert Flick and Ferne Jacobs of Los Angeles. Oregon/Washington recipients are Judy Cooke, Portland, and Lauren Grossman, Heather Dew Oaksen, Michael C. Spafford, and Jamie Walker, all of Seattle.
The downtown Oakland galleries have recently started a first Friday opening each month, called the Oakland Art Murmur. The upcoming Murmur on March 3, 6-10 pm, will include Natural Fallout, work by John Herschend, Amanda Hughen, and Lisa Stoneman at 33 Grand. Other participating galleries include: 21 Grand, Auto Gallery, Boontling Gallery, Ego Park, The Front Gallery, Mama Buzz, and Rock Paper Scissors. Maps will be available at each gallery.
Following up an event in the NY subway today, Neighborhood Public Radio will make a presentation at Hunter College tomorrow, Sunday evening, February 26, at 6:00 pm. Details: @You are my Salvation, Studio 406, 450 W. 41st St., b/t 9th + 10th Avenues, Manhattan.
During today’s event, artist group Red76 played cuts from a series of NPR/Ghostown broadcasts on a boombox and gave away CDS in the subway. The broadcasts ranged from interviews with local restaurateurs, homeless activists, curators, and public defenders, to musical performances, poetry readings, and field recordings from Ghosttown events.
Yuh-Shioh Wong made her Chelsea debut at Foxy Production on a recent balmy winter evening. Wong (who I previously discussed in New Artists, New York) chose to steer away from her sculptural past and showed only paintings. Like many of her peers Wong uses imagery of plants and animals. However, in contrast with them she seems to have come to these things naturally and free of affectation. The subject in Like a kitten in a tree has a little white face that upon closer examination is unpainted canvas, as if it was already there and just needed to be painted around to be seen. Other works, like Cropped Forest with Yellow Leaves and maybe a cat and Untitled (portrait of a purple thing) are even looser, letting the figure take form from broad strokes of color (similar to the image in a magic-eye drawing). Wong’s paintings are a pleasure to look at, without getting bogged down in being too cute or decorative. This is the second show at Foxy Production’s new space (after Jacob Ciocci) and so far they have been the most interesting of the new 27th street gallery conglomerate.
Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, has accepted the position of director of the Hayward Gallery at the South Bank Centre in London, England. The Hayward Gallery is a popular London venue for the exhibition of contemporary art. Rugoff, who has been director of the CCA Wattis Institute since 2000, will leave California College of the Arts after the spring 2006 semester. Rugoff recently won the inaugural Ordway Prize in the category of arts writer and/or curator from the Penny McCall Foundation, an unrestricted monetary award of $100,000.
After the “Yale girl rush” of the early half of this decade and Gregory Crewdson’s unyielding presence, cinematically staged photography has become dangerous territory. The vacant stares and “in-between moments” that have become the calling card of this work have lost their ability to draw us in. Enter Caitlin Atkinson. This young San Francisco photographer makes her NY debut at Foley Gallery this month with a show called “Chapters”. Atkinson’s work is all self-portraiture with its primary subjects being anxiety, failure and embarrassment. Her acting becomes important in the work and she is for the most part pretty convincing. In Chapter 5, April 2004 we see her standing in an empty parking lot
of a big box store with a few bags in her hands and not a soul in sight. Whether she has been abandoned is not clear. In this photo she has a Chaplin-esque quality which reveals that Caitlin the character in the photograph is upset, but Caitlin the photographer sees the comic side to this tragedy. Her awareness of blowing out of proportion these relatively everyday moments runs throughout the work and transcends the feeling of solipsism one might initially get upon seeing a gallery full of self-portraits.