happy monday. how is everyone?
i'm going to shoot pics of my SFSU show on wed, so i'll talk a little bit about it then....
in the meantime.... did anyone catch the john adams mini-series last night on HBO? how cool is abigail adams? laura linney just shines. i'm not usually that into histo-dramas, but since my husband is from boston he really wanted to see this. i think when you grow up in boston with the access to the real sites you go on lots of field trips as a kid and "see" history first hand. i'm totally hooked, though. and abigail - she's a powerhouse. smart, witty, strong. i think i want to read the letters between her and john now....
on saturday i went to the opening of my friend and colleague grace munakata at braunstein/quay gallery [more info here . i'm not quite sure how she managed to get so much work done - her academic demands are fierce.
it was really inspiring to walk through this show. grace is a nisei [2nd generation japanese] and her mother was really interested in sewing. she's also a huge animal lover [just got a new tibetan terrier pup], and an avid gardener. all of this is evident in the work. you don't need to know her to decipher this information.... and i love that. it's hard to pinpoint exactly - but you just can feel that the work is honest and comes from a place of exploration and personal intent.
i think what ultimately made the work really compelling for me was that they were architectural in nature. i'm sure it's hard to decipher from the flat images, but most of the larger pieces were like giant collages. panels individually made that eventually found their home together. the idea of "building" your painting - literally - is one that's interesting. with all collage there is a push and pull - the meandering of the eye - a reaction of color, form, shape and style and things sit next to one another. if one small panel were to change the overall meaning of the work could shift drastically. like putting a puzzle together i was deeply humbled by grace's editing and compositional skills.
finally - there was a pure joy to the paint handling. i have seen grace when she works mostly abstractly - with hints of flora and fauna buried or peeking out. but in these the gesture of her hand is so evident. the textural quality of the materials hits you in the face - and i literally smiled at the cats, the dressmaking patterns, the feet.... grace shows you that she can be as "realistic" as she wants to be, but then allows the materials to do their magic. the rhythm, and the tactile nature of a painted contour are things that i will never tire of. and there are moments of rest - flat areas of color that allow me as a viewer to breathe and enter this very personal world.
made me want to paint - and if that's not a indication of success, i don't know what is.
hope you had a great weekend. see you wed!