This just in from Lipscomb art prof Rocky Horton: On Oct. 7 at 6 p.m., Lipscomb University will host an art opening for Joshua Dildine. Why should you pay attention? Because Dildine makes work that will grab you — think late-’90s Mark Romanek video stills overpainted by Jose Parla or Harmony Korine — but also because Lipscomb secretly harbors one of the hippest art programs in Nashville, name-checking Daniel Johnston and Nick Cave among its recent visitors.
Read Dildine's artist statement and bio after the jump, and scroll through more images of his work while you're at it.
Those careful Country Life readers who've been tuning into Fort Roll-Up, the weekly podcast we produce with Fort Houston, may already know about the artist residency that Nina Mayer has been developing for the past several months. It's called Watershed, an appropriate title for the movement Mayer hopes it will unleash: a single-occupancy residency in rural Watertown, Tenn., about 45 minutes from Nashville, that affords emerging and mid-career artists the time and space to work on their craft and engage with the local creative community.
The first artist to benefit from Watershed's mission is Louis M. Schmidt, whose work has been shown in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the press release announcing his residency, Mayer says Schmidt is "actively involved in the self-publishing world, producing numerous limited-edition zines and other ephemera, and showing regularly at the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA P.S.1." It's handy, then, that he'll be in residence for the months of October and November — just in time for the Southern Festival of Books and Watkins' Handmade & Bound Festival.
If you'd like to apply for a Watershed residency, fill out an application here.
Mary Addison Hackett: Le Rayon Vert
Through Oct. 17 at Belmont's Leu Art Gallery
Julian Schnabel once told neo-expressionist frenemy Eric Fischl to choose between making a smart painting and making a good one. The best work in Nashville artist Mary Addison Hackett’s Le Rayon Vert, currently on view at Belmont’s Leu Gallery, takes that backhanded compliment and turns it on its head.
These paintings — full of unexciting objects like bowls of fruit, dog heads, typewriters and Tevas — are smart simply because they’re not trying to be smart, and they don’t sacrifice quality in the process. Take the selfie-style painting of Hackett standing in front of her bathroom mirror: The cellphone she’s holding obscures her face, but Hackett manages to pick up more insignificant details like the texture of the sink and the perfect plaid of the bathrobe hanging from the doorframe. The composition is thoroughly contemporary — the off-center framing and shallow depth of field are straight out of a cellphone snapshot — but Addison paints like someone who has no other means of capturing her surroundings.
Check out a few photos I took of the exhibit after the jump.
This fall's already shaping up to be the most exciting season ever for contemporary art in Nashville, and the lineup just keeps improving: Cheekwood is supplementing this fall's world-class exhibit More Love with a pop-up gallery in Wedgewood-Houston that will display work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres alongside video artists, installation artists, and interactive projects. Art from Hadassa Goldvicty & Anat Vovnoboy, Chris Barr, Mona Hatoum, Gregory Sale and Julianne Swartz will join the Gonzalez-Torres works in the space adjacent to Zeitgeist Gallery on Hagan Street for the month of October.
Read Cheekwood's full press release about the pop-up below.
NASHVILLE, TN. — Cheekwood will join Nashville’s burgeoning arts district in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood with a Pop-Up Gallery during Artober Nashville, a month-long celebration of arts and culture in the city.
The special off-site gallery will feature a selection of contemporary art from Cheekwood’s ground breaking fall exhibition entitled More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing since the 1990s, organized by independent curator Claire Schneider for the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Pop-Up Gallery will feature seven artists included in More Love exploring human connection and individuality in the age of Facebook friends and Skype calls.
My first stop was the Cleft Studios building at the corner of Humphreys and Brown, where longtime Nashville's Dead photo-documentarians Bekah Cope and Julia Bee exhibited black-and-white prints in the building's gallery. The long, narrow space, framed by two stories of glass paneling and fronted by a wide multilevel deck, was packed with well-wishing local musicians and artists; for a minute, we wondered if we'd stumbled into a house show. Cleft honcho Loney Hutchins, already prominent as a booster of local music via his record label (also called Cleft), eagerly showed off the development schematic, including the spacious finished art studio upstairs, the meticulously-planned and as-yet-unfinished basement recording studio, and the location where a suite of smaller artist studios are set to be built out.
In this week's Scene, Joe Nolan and I double-team the changing landscape in Nashville's art community. His Crawl Space column now includes a preview of not only the downtown crawl, but also the openings and events scheduled in the Wedgewood-Houston district. Read on for Joe's breakdown of what not to miss, including an exhibit of paintings by James Perrin at 40AU in the Arcade and work by Jen Uman at Fort Houston.
With the Wedgewood-Houston gallery scene now hitching its wagon to the Art Crawl, Nashville gallerygoers have more First Saturday options than ever. Is it too much? Will Nashville be best served by one big crawl or by two separate art fests every month? I can't tell the future, but I can tell you that this September event is packed with grand openings, spooky videos, gold skulls and one happy homecoming.
Read the full story here.
Those of you who, like me, sometimes find yourselves waiting until an exhibit is practically out the gallery door before managing a visit will appreciate my plea to check out Belmont’s current exhibit of abstract work by Hamlett Dobbins and Tad Lauritzen-Wright. And if we’re being honest here, any exhibition with a title that stirs up imaginings of Led Zeppelin album covers and 1977 D&D campaigns deserves my full attention, and I am ashamed to have waited so long to investigate.
Mellow Mountain Coalition decorates the Leu Art Gallery foyer with a mosaic of unframed painted portraits on paper. Among the faces, a hobo smokes a cigarette and a weird dog dresses up in Mickey Mouse ears and a bowtie. Enigmatic fragments of text appear: "This is for you," "Looking for an idea," and "Sour Leaf." One piece reads, "Hulk smash!" and features a gaggle of green blob-like heads in misshapen states of transformation — it's like Altered States through the lens of Ang Lee. Throughout, Dobbins' vibrant, sensual lines, circles, dots, spirals, swirls and squiggles pulsate with painterly pleasure.
In his review, Joe focused mainly on Dobbins’ large-scale abstract works. Those are the ones that really impressed Joe’s poetic sensibility, and made him draw connections between the giant canvases and, say, old cartoons that illustrate drunkenness with a pink elephant dancing across the room.
But me, I’m a sucker for the collaborative, on-the-fly style of Dobbins’ work with Lauritzen-Wright. I’ll take humor and an edge over conceptualism in painting any day.
Look through the photos I snapped of the exhibit after the jump, and let me know which you exhibit you prefer.
We've written quite a bit — both in print and here on Country Life — about Sensuous Steel, The Frist's killer exhibit of art deco cars and motorcycles. And now everyone's favorite bow-tied, sunshiny morning news magazine is catching on — watch this segment from yesterday's CBS Sunday Morning, and get to The Frist before the show closes in September.
This year, Watkins' third annual Handmade & Bound Festival — which takes place on Oct. 4 & 5 — is supplementing its excellent selection of printed matter with an exhibition of sketchbooks, and they want you to send them yours.
From the press release:
This year in the gallery for H&BN, The Sketchbook Collective will showcase the artist's most loyal friend: the accessible, affordable and adaptable sketchbook. Local artists, musicians, writers and other professionals are invited to submit their own sketchbooks (defined as a set of blank pages, bound or unbound, used for spontaneous, quick drawings, notes, verses, collages or more) to highlight the importance of these artistic forms in a creative life.
Participants will be recognized at the exhibition’s opening reception on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Currey Gallery on the Watkins campus.
I don't know about you, but I'm often just as interested in the process of writing a song, making a painting, or designing a building as I am with the finished product. Give me a good blueprint or beat-up composition book over a pristine, untouchable objet d'art any day (I'm using a sarcastic French accent here, in case you can't tell — no offense, Frenchies).
Send your sketchbook submissions to Watkins Community Education, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228. Be sure to include your name, profession, mailing address, telephone number and email. Check out Handmade & Bound's Sketchbook Collective website for more details, and read the Scene's coverage of 2011 and 2012's Handmade & Bound Fests for a comprehensive idea of what to expect.
You’d never know that James Perrin makes paintings based on visits to Walmart. His enormous canvases are more like detail-heavy religious experiences — imagine a refined Jose Parla or a geometric space-age Hieronymus Bosch. But he uses his own photographs of Walmart — all orderly angles, bright colors and buzzing fluorescent lighting — as his inspiration. From there, he makes small abstract pieces that explode the formal elements he sees in his photographs. They remind me of the paintings Allison Schulnik showed at ZieherSmith’s pop-up exhibit last August.
James studied at Kansas City Art Institute and Boston University, but he’s been showing work in Nashville since the early 2000s. In anticipation of Abstractometry, the upcoming Frist show he’ll be a part of, I visited James at his home studio in Germantown. Click through some photos of his studio and work after the jump.
Can I just tell you how happy these recaps make me every Thursday? And I…
Don't know about the David Simon part. I've finally watched a few episodes of TREME,…
Just so you know, you accidently put Scarlett's name instead of Juliette's under Glenn. I…
my girl and I hadn't been that much into all the TV shows when we…