The collaged sculptures of George Negroponte—who admires “the stoic and the splendidly solemn”—are on view at Anita Rogers Gallery.
George is obviously a venerable artist. My early impressions of his latest (re)+work are very positive. Keeping all of this in mind, I’m certain my reflections are influenced by the number of pieces shown, the symmetry of how the pieces are hung, and the architectural qualities and layout of the gallery, and of course the pieces themselves having a constructed efficacious quality; all giving a sense of a utilitarian longing. That is to say, many of the pieces seem to replicate die-cast mechanical objects and at the same time undeniably evanescent cardboard.
This is accomplished by the shapes of the parts and of the objects as a whole, as well as color choices. So rather than the antecedent of things, I see an assembling of finished objects when viewing the entirety of the body of work.
Read the full review on The Architecture of Tomorrow
Many notable artists — among them Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, and Brice Marden — worked at museums early in their careers, usually as security guards, but few kept one foot in the studio and one in a museum for three decades. George Negroponte managed to do just that.
Since his first show at the Drawing Center in SoHo in 1977, his work has appeared in dozens of museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the world. Impressed by the breadth and clarity of the Drawing Center’s mission, he joined the staff in 1977 and eventually organized exhibitions, served on its board from 1991 to 2002, and as its president from 2002 until 2007. He remains a trustee emeritus.
“I had fantastic dealers in New York, but somewhere in the back of my mind I probably felt some dissatisfaction with the marketplace and with my own work,” he said during a recent talk at his Springs studio. “So I did those two things, my art and the Drawing Center. It was fascinating to experience both the institution and my own studio.”
Mark Segal, The East Hampton Star
October 19 – November 30, 2016
On view at Anita Rogers Gallery
A man can look at this little pile on his bureau for thirty years and never once see it. It is as invisible as his own hand. Once I saw it, however, the search became possible.
– Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
When I was a child I imprinted on Cezanne’s Bather at MOMA, just like those incubator-hatched goslings fixated on the wading boots of the Austrian ornithologist Konrad Lorenz in 1935. It was love at first sight as Lorenz brilliantly directed his babies into the lake for their very first swimming lesson. For me too, the image of that Cezanne was instantly and permanently engraved on my brain: a slender body with hands firmly grasped on his hips and two clumsy feet poised to move forward. Additionally, I detected an echo of my own face and head: skewed downward and resolutely self-righteous and I loved the young man’s expression of cagey dissent. That painting created a void in me the size of the universe. How to fill it?
Not much happens very fast for me and I’ve come to understand Ad Reinhardt’s guidance: study ten thousand paintings and walk ten thousand miles and make no allowances for haste or, for that matter, anything else because along the way the search does get harder and the road becomes strewn with potholes, dents, regrets and ruts. I’ll take the long view because let’s face it subsidized freedom is for bankers.
Simply put, I admire the stoic and splendidly solemn. I use premixed hardware store paint and a cut-and-build method: stacking and superimposing discarded cardboard just like laying bricks right on top of each other. These blunt marks, poured, cut, slow and shaped, look to me like emblems or bodies longing for life of their own. They need from me no more than to be fixed, pinned down and secured in space, even if occasionally by chance or luck. Vertical, standing, and poised they want to suggest a presence or body or the impression of a handshake or gesture, like the greeting of an old friend. Some of these recently completed works (some started in 2007) have been repainted, reassembled and hammered out over long periods of time. My hope is their insistent physicality makes a reasonable claim for taking up space and that their relentless self-editing gives them bodily restitution, compensating for their acute (absurd) stubbornness. Their meaning is fixed by their own autonomy: they are artifacts, set apart, self-sufficient, and speaking on their own terms. In my better moments I consider them to be visible traces of my hand, rooted in the real, the not-manipulated, and the not-over-parented. So my parting words to them as I deliver them into the world: be like geese, stay calm on the surface and paddle like hell below.
George Negroponte summer, 2016
Artist George Negroponte is about process. After almost four decades of making art, his work can be viewed in three distinct phases with the commitment to abstraction the essential connection across all. Born and raised in NYC, George Negroponte studied art at Yale with Bernie Chaet and William Bailey. His work is held in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he has exhibited extensively in New York City and internationally since 1977.
Pat Rogers: Here we are about 11 months later and a solo exhibit of your work opens at Anita Rogers Gallery in the middle of October. Can you tell me a little about the most recent work? Has your work evolved in the way you might have expected?
George Negroponte: Gosh, I’ve come to expect very little but I’m grateful my work has continued to move forward. A lot of the issues we discussed last October still feel very current and relevant. I’m on a much better track these days and I sense more of a steadiness and stability in the studio. Most of these new works happened virtually on their own terms. I stepped aside.
PR: What do you think accounts for the change in perspective?
GN: Well, imagine taking 10 years to get home and I hope that sounds familiar. My roots are from the island of Ithaca so I imagine Odysseus may have played a role in my story, too. But in hindsight I should say that making art is really hard. Franz Kline once said it’s like waking up in the morning and finding your arms stuck in the mattress. Making art requires insights that are altogether of a different kind, like needing to see better, hear better, and probably live better. And more than anything needing to know how to receive. This probably requires a sense of balance I can’t account for.
PR: It sounds tough. What do you feel is the most significant change in the new work?
GN: I made singular works that stand on their own. I took the paired panels and superimposed them on each other. Now they stand on their own and it feels like a declaration of independence.
PR: That is a change. Have your inspirations changed since we spoke last year? In essays written for your exhibitions, you reference Merleau Ponty, Phenomenology, Cezanne, zoology, Frank O’Hara, Vittore Carpaccio, geese, rubber boots and a host of all kinds of things.
GN: I’m motivated by the idea that the Enlightenment still matters and that art and culture once elevated us from the Dark Ages and inspired us to consider our own inner lives as important and vital. Nonetheless, today our resources are probably more likely contingent, small and fragile. I’m pretty sure I’ve come to understand that when I’m working well I’m able to get beyond what I call my own. I go somewhere else. In the meantime I depend upon everything I’ve come across and I’ll use anything and everything I can possibly muster up because knowledge and experience do matter.
PR: Does this mean smoother sailing ahead for your art making?
GN: Who knows? My son came back from Sweden with a tee shirt that has a Franz Kafka quote: “If you see light at the end of the tunnel be sure it’s not a train.”
HAH: Funny. It’s a bit dark, though.
GN: Well, maybe not, because it’s cautionary, too. I’ve worked my entire life to learn a few things and that list isn’t that long. Making art is like getting clued in at a certain moment. It could be that simple, because for a moment in time you give up on yourself. You take a serious look at what really matters. Then, and only then, something starts to happen and you watch it like an observer. It’s magical because you don’t own it and you don’t control it. You can’t even help having it happen. And for a single, brief moment, you realize you’re free. That helps a lot.
Thanks to Marina Cashdan at Artsy for this piece.
“There’s an old-fashioned myth that having a baby is going to make it impossible to work,” says painter Nikki Maloof. “I had just started gaining a lot of momentum in my career when I found out I was pregnant, so it was scary.” Maloof’s fear could apply to any number of career-oriented women across numerous industries. A little over a year ago, I became a mother. It was an unknown that, while mostly exciting, was also terrifying. As a career-focused individual with a job that I love, I feared losing a sense of self and motherhood setting me back from all the hard work I had done—especially considering that men still make up more than 85 percent of top leadership roles in the United States.
Read the full piece on British American Household Staffing’s blog:
“The experience of falling forward and pulling you in is what it’s about.”
Artist Gordon Moore in conversation on TheFinch.Net:
May 12- June 18
Anita Rogers Gallery is pleased to present Virva Hinnemo: Half Planet, an exhibition of new works. The show, the artist’s debut at Anita Rogers Gallery, will feature three large-scale paintings on cardboard highlighting the artist’s bold abstract motifs complemented by a selection of smaller works exemplifying her intuitive and direct approach.
Hinnemo’s large paintings on cardboard are a consolidation of her work of the past decade; she fashioned the larger scale of these works by grasping and internalizing a language and then more recently by using her entire body to expand her marks and gestures. Her paintings touch upon some of the most fundamental properties of abstract painting: improvised, grand, uncluttered, and firmly planted in reality. She paints with immediacy and directness but her thick black marks are pinned down by an attentive and purposeful energy. Her smaller works offer a different exploration: they can be quirky, quick, awkward, amusing and almost entirely elusive. They read like sublimated remains that defy their nearly discarded “look”. We are left experiencing a condensation of means and an assertion of essentials.
Born in 1976 in Helsinki, Finland, Hinnemo spent time growing up between Sweden, Finland and Russia. She received her BFA in painting from Parsons School of Design in 2000. Hinnemo has exhibited in New York, Miami, Boston, Provincetown and Stockholm. Her paintings have been reviewed by major publications, including The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New Yorker, and The New York Sun. She currently lives and works in Springs, NY.
View more on the gallery’s website.
Ms. Hinnemo adopted cardboard as her primary material last summer. “I was ready to scale up, and I have a lot of cardboard boxes from when we moved here. It’s a surface I love to work on. Because of the imperfections, whether it’s print or folds or weird edges and creases, it almost has a kind of grit. And it provides organizing principles, such the grid it makes when it’s unfolded or the holes meant for carrying it.”
The cardboard she uses often contains images or words. For example, the first large-scale cardboard work, “Twin Thought,” from 2015, was painted on the flattened box in which her son John’s guitar was packaged, with “Gibson” and “fragile” and other words visible along with an image of a headstock and tuning keys.
Cardboard functions as both surface and object, asserting itself in ways canvas does not. “Canvas also has a formal aspect that bugs me a little. I like shows of artists’ doodles, there’s an intimacy when their guard is down, they just let loose. I think cardboard does that for me.”
She works with a big brush and has recently started using rollers. “House- painting tools enable me to cover more surface. I can use the roller more like a brush, sliding it over the surface. But I never make a decision in advance about what I’m going to use on a particular day.”
Her broad swaths of paint, while not thickly applied, have a blunt, material presence. Mr. Negroponte has astutely written about her work: “Her off-centered forms don’t dance; they trudge or traipse by you as in some social encounter. . . . Their quirks and bumps are never smoothed over; their scumbled surfaces allow the world to keep seeping in.”
View the full article on EastHamptonStar.com