email #5: 2-dimensional images


<![CDATA[<p>hiiiiii! time for more art. this edition of the grapefruits sometimes art mail is kind of just a bunch of stuff i like… i guess the rough through line is representational images in 2 dimensions… aka paintings/drawings/prints of people, places, and things! also i just felt like collecting a lot of beautiful pictures to look at, which is why i got into making art in the first place – maybe you can relate?</p>

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this is a bit different for me, but yolo... i am starting with an instagram post by the artist avocado ibubrofen (real name jaako pallasvuo, i think). i really liked this cute yet angsty defense of decoration as a critical practice. i have experienced the knee-jerk reaction of just wanting to make pretty things and not think so hard goshdarnit, only to walk that sentiment back entirely as i argue in my head for the conceptual depth and rigor of prettyness haha.

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related: this review of the traveling exhibition, with pleasure, by sowon kwon at 4 columns. i wish i had gotten to see this show!!! there is a beautiful catalogue you can buy or check out from your local art school library. this is a show of works from the pattern & decoration movement, which has been a huge influence for me and lots of other artists i know. there is a lot to think about in these works, especially when it comes to conversations about modernism, cultural appropriation, and feminism.

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faith ringgold was making quilts around the same time that the P&D movement was happening, but i think she's usually associated with the feminist art movement instead? all these movements and labels are applied retroactively anyway, so take them with a massive grain of salt. anyway, her incredible quilts and paintings are on view at the new museum in new york right now, and ye olde new york times has a write up for you here. if you don't know this work, get to know it!!!

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another feminist named faith! faith wilding has new drawings at anat egbi gallery in los angeles, and rachel elizabeth jones wrote about them for contemporary art review l.a. i was lucky enough to be in a zoom class that faith visited in 2020, and she was so much fun! these meditative images of "fossils" made me think of a review i read recently of a new book, sheila heti's pure colour. i just ordered it, anyone out there read it yet? i read that the main characters turn into leaves at one point...

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how about another instagram post?? i really resisted instagram for a long time, and i still don't love it and sometimes suspend my account to get away, but all the artists and writers on there bring me back... variable west covers west-coast art and is one of the nicest things in my social media "feed." they have a newsletter you should sign up for; each show listing is paired with a reflection prompt to get your creative viewing energy flowing. this post features a recent response from a reader. follow them for more in this series. thank you amelia and the VW crew!

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i saw caitlin cherry's painting her burnout tesseract in a review of the 2021 show black femme at canada gallery. i immediately spaced on her name and the name of the show but i couldn't get the painting out of my head. i finally figured out where i saw it, and after a bit more reading i found this interview with the artist about issues surrounding technology, visual culture, and the complex representations of black femme bodies in her work. i'm also a big fan of dark study, the alternative-mfa program that cherry runs.

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this show is a couple of years old now (!), but i still think about these paintings very often. read about salman toor's 2020 show at the whitney, how will i know, in metal magazine, which is a publication i wasn't familiar with but it seems cool! but really though, these are such beautiful pictures, i hope i get to see them in person some day.

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i'll wrap it up with this interview by the lovely sarah rose sharp with the amazing tyanna buie for maake magazine. i got to meet tyanna the other week when she visited the university of michigan (where i'm currently at), and am now officially a fan. tyanna's prints have so much depth in their layers and personal symbolism, and as a printmaking nerd i love the variety of processes she uses. if you ever get the chance to hear her talk about her work, do it! most fun i have ever had at an artist talk : )

ok that seems like a good amount of stuff. more soon! let me know if you see anything cool out there you'd like to share with me.

thanks!!! ---martha

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