Tat Ito in his studio.

Tat Ito in his studio.

by Lily Koto Olive

New York based artist Tat Ito explores themes of human interconnectedness by juxtaposing elements and iconography that stem from his native Japanese culture set against a Western viewpoint. Sprawling environments echo Baroque and Rococo landscapes, while manga-like characters populate the lively surfaces. The influence of Japanese printmaking is evident in the way Ito handles space and compositional decisions, often utilizing gold leaf cloud and wave shapes. These metallic liquid shapes float on top of his environments, but never blending into the lush surfaces beneath.

Like Bosch and Bruegel, Ito invents his own worlds teeming with the characters he creates. His paintings reflect the familiar urban experience of being surrounded while also feeling completely alone. Read More

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Review of Ken Johnson’s Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art (Prestel, 2011)

by Lily Koto Olive 

Originally published by The Brooklyn Rail, March 2012, http://www.brooklynrail.org/2012/03/art_books/margaret-evangeline-shooting-through-the-looking-glass 

Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art (Prestel, 2011)

Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art (Prestel, 2011)

In Are You Experienced? critic Ken Johnson examines the drug culture of the 1960s and the psychedelic culture it has spawned. Johnson chronicles various artistic movements and media from the 1960s to present day, ranging from Earthworks to cyber-psychedelia, installations to illusionism. As Johnson locates psychedelic consciousness as the origin of art since the 1960s, the nature of psychedelia comes into focus. Johnson brings attention to details that one would notice more in an altered state, such as heightened color, patterns, and grid systems, and the lack of narratives in avant-garde films which focus more on innovative experimental performances. In the sections that address scale and sexual evolution in art, Johnson omits particularly relevant artists and works. Read More

Review of Margaret Evangeline: Shooting Through the Looking Glass (Charta, 2011)

Originally published by The Brooklyn Rail, March 2012, http://www.brooklynrail.org/2012/03/art_books/margaret-evangeline-shooting-through-the-looking-glass

Margaret Evangeline: Shooting Through the Looking Glass (Charta, 2011)

Margaret Evangeline: Shooting Through the Looking Glass (Charta, 2011)

There is something inherently philosophical in the work of Margaret Evangeline. Every project throughout her active career endeavors to examine and reframe her physical and emotional understanding of the world, easily seen in Margaret Evangeline: Shooting Through the Looking Glass. The included texts reveal the wealth of source material that influences her, from film to literature to simply her physical location, yet at a certain point these accompanying texts divulge too much of the mystery, and thus emphasize the over-complication in her oil paintings. The photos and minimal attributions describing the artist’s most streamlined work—the bullet paintings—strike a visual and philosophical sweet spot by showcasing her technical execution and conceptual impetus. Read More

Interview and Studio Visit / January, 2012
Conversation with Jonathan Beer, Trudy Benson and Lily Koto Olive

A painting in progress on Trudy Benson's studio wall.

A painting in progress on Trudy Benson's studio wall.

Jonathan Beer: Your work seems to hang in the balance between abstraction and illusion – it’s full of emblematic fragments, painterly mark, different textures, all coming forming a definite kind of space – How did your work get to this point? Read More

On view at Elizabeth Harris Gallery
February 9 – March 10, 2012

by Jonathan Beer

You are Nature is Brooklyn-based artist Greg Lindquist’s most recent body of work currently on view at Elizabeth Harris Gallery. It is comprised of over 15 paintings completed since 2011, as well as two site specific wall paintings.

Spiderweb (If it's raining, no one can see your tears.) Oil on Linen.16 x 24.5 inches. 2012. (Courtesy of the artist.)

In a departure from Lindquist’s earlier work, this show features pieces more decidedly about painterly exploration than his prior interest in smart picture making. While intellect is surely habitual concern for the artist, the hallmark of this show is his temporary suspension of that theoretical backdrop to find enjoyment and intrigue in the act of painting.
As I viewed Lindquist’s work at the opening I could not help but remember a 1964 interview between Larry Rivers and David Hockney. Rivers asked Hockney which was more important to picture making; making something beautiful or interesting. Hockney replied “‎Perhaps the most beautiful paintings are beautifully interesting.” In the case of Greg Lindquist’s work I believe this principle holds true. Read More

by Jonathan Beer

Ali Banisadr in the studio.

Since Expressionism artists have used painting to confront the interior world, wrestling to create with what German artist Willi Baumeister called “the self-engendered vision.”  Like a prospector, an artist searches through layers of self-made bedrock and sediment, mining for a vein to follow. Many artists are enchanted by this parallel interior place, a zone where the fabric of reality is twisted and altered by the subconscious, intersected by memories and augmented by the imagination. It is a constantly shifting place, populated by things which have no name. There is no guidebook. A thorough investigation of the psychological is found in both abstract and representational work, from the disconcerting worlds of Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage to the imposing paintings of Milton Resnick and Mark Rothko. Somewhere between abstraction and figuration the psychological has re-emerged in the painterly fictions of Ali Banisadr.

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