06 October 2013

connect the dots

At the ARLIS/Western New York (aka the "upstate" chapter) meeting last week at the Watson Homestead, we had two artist talks. One was by Chris McEvoy who described the methodology he uses to make his paintings. It was intriguing. Here's "Some Kind of Nature" (2011) from his website:
I was doing some maintenance in the Scholes catalog and came across several forms of name for Mary McInnes, one of the art history professors here. One of the books attached to her name is Telling Histories: Installations by Ellen Rothenberg and Carrie Mae Weems, the catalog for an exhibition at the Boston University Art Gallery, 1999. It turns out that Chris McEvoy was a preparator for the exhibition, according the credits in the catalog.

I was sorely tempted going to see the Carrie Mae Weems show at the Cleveland Museum of Art which closed just a few days ago. I didn't make it and it is some consolation that it will be at the Guggenheim early next year. Weems has done a wide variety of work and is one of the new MacArthur fellows this year. If you don't know her work, I recommend a trip to her website and here's one of the "African Jewels" from 2009:
I saw some of Weems's photographs of Timbuktu at the Brooklyn Museum some years ago so it was especially troubling when the rebels were battling there. And that reminds me of Chris Huemer who went to Timbuktu one year for Christmas. Chris was then the librarian at the American Academy in Rome though I met her in 1969 or 1970 when we were both at Cornell libraries.

The other artist who spoke to us at ARLIS/WNY was Paul Bartow. Mostly he is involved with social practice and collaboration, with several projects having a nature and science bend. The last book I finished reading was What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation by Tom Finkelpearl (Duke, 2013). The social practitioners are strong around Alfred and I was surprised by a colleague's dismissal of Bartow as not an artist. Oh, well. I enjoyed Bartow's talk and Finkelpearl's book.

And if you read about my enjoyment of the Kyle Abraham concert at the beginning of the school year, it was good to read that he too was selected as a MacArthur Fellow this year.

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