Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chadwick's "Passports From the Realm" at Julie Nester Gallery

Gregg Chadwick
The Road to Mandalay
40"x30" oil on linen 2007

Gregg Chadwick's new exhibit "Passports From the Realm" opens January 4, 2008 at the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah.

"In old Arabic poetry love, song, blood and travel appear as four basic desires of the human heart and the only effective means against our fear of death. Thus travel is elevated to the dignity of the elementary needs of humankind." - Czeslaw Milosz on the poetry of travel

Movement, travel and pilgrimage are themes of the 21st Century that often appear in my paintings. Travel can involve a physical relocation or it can exist in the realm of the senses. Recently I attended "A Gathering of Hearts Illuminating Compassion," an interfaith meeting in San Francisco. The Dalai Lama was the keynote speaker at the event. He entered the packed hall, briskly moved up the center aisle, but stopped briefly to greet an elderly Tibetan woman a few feet from where I was seated. Then the Dalai Lama suddenly spun around and, with a beatific smile, gazed deeply and directly into my eyes.

I was transfixed. The moment was short but to me it felt as if all time collapsed within that point. For that moment, it seemed as if the Dalai Lama yearned to see with my eyes as I, in turn, learned to see through his.

These new paintings travel like the visual notes of a modern Marco Polo. They move from Venice, to India, to Tibet, to China, to Burma, to Thailand, to Japan, to New York to New Orleans, sometimes through my eyes and sometimes through the eyes of others.

Gregg Chadwick
Passports From the Realm 36"x48" oil on linen 2007

"Passports from the Realm," an exhibition of new paintings by Gregg Chadwick, opens Friday with an artist's reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Julie Nester Gallery, 1755 B Bonanza Drive, Park City.
For more information or to see more images of Chadwick's work, call 435-649-7855 or visit julienestergallery

More at:
chadwick at nester gallery

Gregg Chadwick's Homepage:
gregg chadwick

The Salt Lake Tribune:
passports from the realm

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Getty Museum: 10 Years on the Hill (Dec. 16, 1997 - Dec. 16, 2007)

Today marks the ten year anniversary of architect Richard Meier's Getty campus perched on the hills of Brentwood.
Christopher Hawthorne in the Los Angeles Times explains:

"The design seemed reflective of Los Angeles architecture in another, almost paradoxical way. If the whole idea of L.A. art and architecture was to ignore the idea of fitting in, to reject slavish conformism, then wasn't the Getty a supreme example of precisely that attitude? Turning its back on the notion that it needed to match the spirit of Los Angeles in some prescribed way -- didn't that make it somehow truer to the city than a row of palm trees or a red-tile roof?"

"Perhaps more to the point, the Getty joined a long line of L.A. landmarks that sit at a dramatic remove from the city around them -- most notably Griffith Observatory and Dodger Stadium and houses by John Lautner, Pierre Koenig, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and many others."

The Getty has not been immune to poor leadership and questionable acquisition policies, but the combination of Richard Meier's buildings and Robert Irwin's garden has created a cultural venue that at times, when the light is just right, reminds me of the Taj Mahal.

LA Times on the Getty

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Marquis C.'s South Central Days

Online Videos by Marquis C.'s SOUTH CENTRAL DAYS.

The Los Angeles Times has a powerful article on the power of art to speak of troubled streets and difficult choices. Budding filmmaker Marquis Calhoun found his passion for film at Camp David, the youth detention center not the presidential compound,during a filmmaking class taught by the award winning filmmaker Alex Muñoz.

John L. Mitchell, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer writes,"Every year for the last five years, the class of teenagers has produced a number of dramatic scripts and, eventually, short films about the precarious twists and turns of a harsh life on the streets."

"But this year, one student's story was different: Marquise Calhoun's screenplay focused on death -- his own."

Watch the film. Read the article. And visit the website for Films by Youth Inside. Powerful stuff.

Films by Youth Inside
Scripting what he knows

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The 19th Century European Galleries Reopen at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

Henry Lerolle
“The Organ Rehearsal” 1885

New space has been found at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The 19th century galleries have reopened with a slight expansion and newly exhibited works. Henry Lerolle's "The Organ Rehearsal" was found buried in the museum's stacks, dusted off and now hangs next to more familiar French masterworks.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RB Kitaj Exits

RB Kitaj has died at his home in Los Angeles.

School of L.A. (RB Kitaj - Westwood 3/08/07)
Gregg Chadwick
"School of L.A. (RB Kitaj - Westwood 3/08/07)"
40"x30" oil on linen 2007
Courtesy: Lisa Coscino Gallery

RB Kitaj has been a major influence on my artwork and my artistic life since my early years at UCLA. It is with great sadness that I must now write of his exit. I was fortunate to meet RB Kitaj a few months ago as he spoke at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. He seemed full of life as he began to lecture to an audience that he assumed would be mostly young art students. Instead the audience was a cross-section of L.A.' s art world - a smattering of current art students, as well as some former students come to pay homage to a revered master, a group of mid-career painters, art dealers, curators, museum directors, family members, and an adoring public. But the crowd could never be enough. RB Kitaj's sadness at the loss of his wife Sandra Fisher hung in his voice as he spoke of their love beneath projected images of his paintings that reflected the beauty of RB's and Sandra's time together. His loneliness was evident as he gazed up at my wife and me as we spoke with him after the lecture.

But the evening was not a swan song. RB Kitaj spoke with resonance and power. His white bearded face could have been that of a biblical prophet. He spoke his own truth and dared the artists in the crowd to follow. He chastised his critics. And he boldly praised his own artistic powers.

Most of all, RB Kitaj cared about his vision of an artistic future that continues to deal with the human condition. He made time for all of us who might share some of this vision. As I spoke with Kitaj, he glanced at a gallery invite card in my hand, picturing my painting - "A Walk With Ganesh" - and Kitaj asked, "May I have that card? Is this for me? I would like to take this home."

As I painted in my studio during the next few months, I often imagined my image tacked up on Kitaj's studio wall. I picture that card hanging now in a quiet studio.

Kitaj's Studio, Westwood 2005
photo by Phil Savenick

Following RB Kitaj's wishes, there will not be a funeral.

RB Kitaj at the Hammer Museum 3/08/07

More from the Telegraph:

"RB Kitaj, who died on Sunday aged 74, was an American painter domiciled for 40 years in England and became a leading member of the group of artists known (in his own phrase) as The School of London; alongside such contemporaries as Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud he raised the stature of English painting to one of international significance."

RB Kitaj
"Marynka Smoking"
pastel and charcoal on paper
collection: estate of the artist
Kitaj argued that painting should be a vehicle for intellectual and sensual communication.

"Kitaj, who saw himself as a "wandering Jew", emotionally and culturally displaced from his homeland, suffused himself in European literary and artistic traditions. His writing complemented — and, many argued, enriched — his painting, enabling the viewer to unravel the often complex web of pictorial symbols and associations."

"If he was criticised for being a "difficult" painter, this was largely because his subject matter was no less than the human condition, in all its inhumanity and imperfection, and upon this canvas he directed the full force of his painterly and intellectual ambition."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Springsteen and Arcade Fire: State Trooper

Ottawa - 10/ 14/ 07 Win and Regine from Arcade Fire joined Springsteen on stage to play Bruce's “State Trooper” and Arcade Fire's “Keep The Car Running”
More from brock and ryan at trendwhore

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Thich Nhat Hanh at UCLA

Thich Nhat Hanh at UCLA
Los Angeles - October 6, 2007- the renowned peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh led a silent procession through the UCLA campus in honor of the monks in Myanmar and their current struggle with the military junta. Thich Nhat Hahn was on the UCLA campus today to present the keynote speech No Death, No Fear at UCLA's Mindfulness and Psychotherapy: Cultivating Well-being in the Present Moment Conference. With each step conference attendees were encouraged to think "I am here".

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Word Project at Washington DC's Arts Club

The One Word Project, curated by JT Kirkland, opens at the Arts Club of Washington in the District of Columbia on August 28th. The genesis of the project was a call by Kirkland in 2004 from his blog, Thinking About Art.

The Arts Club of Washington summarizes the project:
" The One Word Project is a deliberate enactment of the 'conversation' between artist and viewer. Interested in seeking new ways to capture pure creative response, curator J.T. Kirkland distilled the traditional artist interview to its most basic element: a single word. After digesting the work of a self-selecting group of artists, Kirkland prompted each with a word of his choosing, to which each artist was asked to respond in approximately100–500 words. The resulting statements—which vary in length, approach, and relevance to the original word—offer a written correlative that informs and enhances the viewer's appreciation of the artist's work."

JT Kirkland's site Thinking About Art and his curatorial work in the Washington DC area have opened up the visual arts in exciting ways.
JT smartly paired artists with words of his choosing for the project. My word was responsibility. I wrote the following, which was posted on Thinking About Art on November 17, 2004:

Gregg Chadwick: Responsibility

When J.T. Kirkland asked me to write on “responsibility” the first words that came to mind were duty, engagement and trust. As a contemporary painter my first obligation is to the work. My art demands an engagement with the physicality of canvas and paint as well as the duty to really see the world. My current paintings are filtered through my experience of September 11th, 2001. I was visiting my father in Thailand and had spent the morning following the saffron robed monks on their small morning pilgrimages. I hopped a flight for Bangkok and while waiting for a connecting flight to San Francisco I watched in horror as the planes hit the World Trade Center. On my return to the U.S. later that week I began to paint Buddhist monks, privately at first - as a form of meditation. Only later did I grasp the dharmic sense of responsibility inherit in this new body of work. I needed to paint these paintings. And I found that the audience I had developed over the years felt the need to see them also. They have given me their trust that I will create paintings that speak of our times but also provide clues to a future path away from the darkness.

Gregg Chadwick
48"x36" oil on linen 2004
Collection: National Museum of the Marine Corps

My painting, Arlington, will be in the exhibition at the Arts Club of Washington.

Notes on Arlington

The painting, Arlington, was inspired by the funeral of Chanawongse Kemaphoom 22, of Waterford, Connecticut. Chanawongse Kemaphoom was a United States Marine who was killed in action during operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah, Iraq on March 23, 2003. Chanawongse was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Chanawongse Kemaphoom was a Thai-American Buddhist, so his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery included saffron robed Buddhist monks as well as US Marines in their dress blues.
The painting began as an image of a US Marine in Iraq silhouetted against a gunpowdered sky at dusk. That painting was subsequently worked into and eventually over-painted with the present image when the reports and images in the New York Times of Chanawongse Kemaphoom’s funeral brought back childhood memories of watching “taps” played at dusk during the Evening Parade at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington DC.
- Gregg Chadwick

The One Word Project runs from August 28th through September 29th, 2007.
There will be an opening reception for the artists and public at the Arts Club of Washington on Friday, September 7th from 6:30 until 9:00 PM. I will be flying out from California and will be attending the opening. Hope to see you there.

The Arts Club is located at 2017 I Street NW, Washington DC
Their contact number is 202 331 7282

The exhibition features work by James W. Bailey (VA), Rachael Baldanza (NY), Joseph Barbaccia (VA), Gregg Chadwick (CA), J. Coleman (DC), Anna Conti (CA), Warren Craghead III (VA), Rosetta DeBerardinis (MD), Greg Ferrand (DC), D. Keith Furon (CA), Matt Hollis (DC), Candace Keegan (MD), Angela Kleis (DC), Tara Krause (CA), Andrew Krieger (DC), Prescott Moore Lassman (DC), James Leonard (NY), Nathan Manuel (DC), Jennifer McMackon (Ontario, Canada), Jennifer Miller (DC), A.B. Miner (DC), Charles Neenan (VA), Peter Reginato (NY), Jose Ruiz (NY), Wayne Schoenfeld (CA), Kathleen Shafer (DC), Alexandra Silverthorne (DC), Marsha Stein (MD), Trish Tillman (NY), Kelly Towles (DC), Bryan Whitson (DC), and Jamie Wimberly (DC).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

AT&T Censors Pearl Jam During Lollapalooza Webcast

The complete version of Pearl Jam performing "Daughter" at Lollapalooza

Eddie Vedder and the band have posted the following on their website:

"After concluding our Sunday night show at Lollapalooza, fans informed us that portions of that performance were missing and may have been censored by AT&T during the "Blue Room" Live Lollapalooza Webcast.

When asked about the missing performance, AT&T informed Lollapalooza that portions of the show were in fact missing from the webcast, and that their content monitor had made a mistake in cutting them.

During the performance of "Daughter" the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" but were cut from the webcast:

- "George Bush, leave this world alone." (the second time it was sung); and

- "George Bush find yourself another home."

This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.

AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

Aspects of censorship, consolidation, and preferential treatment of the internet are now being debated under the umbrella of "NetNeutrality." Check out The Future of Music or Save the Internet for more information on this issue.

Most telecommunications companies oppose "net neutrality" and argue that the public can trust them not to censor..

Even the ex-head of AT&T, CEO Edward Whitacre, whose company sponsored our troubled webcast, stated just last March that fears his company and other big network providers would block traffic on their networks are overblown..

"Any provider that blocks access to content is inviting customers to find another provider." (Marguerite Reardon, Staff Writer, CNET Published: March 21, 2006, 2:23 PM PST).

But what if there is only one provider from which to choose?

If a company that is controlling a webcast is cutting out bits of our performance -not based on laws, but on their own preferences and interpretations - fans have little choice but to watch the censored version.

What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it's about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band."

More at:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Getty Museum to Return Antiquities to Italy

Currently at the Getty Museum, Malibu

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has crafted a deal with the Italian government to return 40 disputed antiquities to Italy.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting "that most of the artifacts will be returned within the next few months."

"The agreement includes one of the most prized works in dispute, a 5th century B.C. statue of the goddess Aphrodite, which will remain on display at the Getty until 2010, the ministry said. Italian authorities believe the 7-foot statue, bought by the Getty for $18 million in 1988, was looted from an ancient Greek settlement in Sicily."

No agreement has been reached on the ancient Greek bronze - "Statue of a Victorious Athlete" - found off the coast of Italy in what the Getty Museum describes as international waters. The Italian government disputes these claims.

The deep waters holding lost treasures of antiquity have been described as "the Blue Museum" by the writer Phil Cousineau in his most recent collection of poems. The odyssey of these ancient works of art continues. It is almost as if the statues themselves reach out of the briny depths or their earthen graves in an effort to find their way home. It is a positive step in an age of American arrogance for the Getty Museum to help these works of art make their way back to their homelands.

"Statue of a Victorious Athlete"
Getty Museum

More at: Getty Museum in the Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Amadou Diallo's Memory in the New York Times

Woke up this morning to a haunting image of Mamadou Diallo and his young son walking by a mural of his deceased cousin Amadou Diallo. Amadou Diallo was mercilessly shot by the NYPD as he reached for his wallet in an attempt to placate the undercover cop's demands. More than once, because of this event, I have told my son, "If an officer stops you - Promise me, you always be polite. And that you'll never. never run away. Promise that you'll always keep your hands in sight." I stood up against the stage as Springsteen and the E-Street band sang these words in Bruce's homage to Diallo - "American Skin" - during the "Rising" tour. Clarence Clemons' face was streaked with tears as he intoned the refrain "41 shots".

Enricsalas' YouTube video is a poignant mash-up of Springsteen and the E-Street Band's brave rendition from a series of concerts in Madison Square Garden, that some members of the NYPD naively picketed, overlayed with footage of the events around the shooting. In my estimation, then NYC mayor, Rudy Giuliani destroyed any chance of a real shot at the White House with his feeble attempts to explain away the horrific event.

Today's story in the New York Times is a must read: Diallo Cousin Still Fights for a Foothold

photo by Oscar Hidalgo/The New York Times
"Mamadou Diallo, taking his son Abdul, 3, to day care, passes a mural near their Bronx home that is dedicated to the memory of their cousin Amadou Diallo."

I painted a small work in memory of the loved one's Diallo left behind: "American Beauty":

Gregg Chadwick
"American Beauty"
11"x11" oil on linen 2004

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Opera Sky

opera sky

The Central City Opera is featuring paintings by Gregg Chadwick as images for each of the operas in their current summer season: La Traviata, Poet Li Bai, The Saint of Bleecker Street and Cendrillon.

Details at: Central City Opera

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

ZOOM at Arena1 - Santa Monica Airport

Images by (left to right): Christian Nold, Lordy Rodriguez, Nina Katchadourian, and Joyce Kozloff.

ARENA 1 is pleased to announce the opening of a group exhibition of work exploring space and meaning through the various devices of "mapping." Working in the USA, Britain and Australia, all 19 artists in the show employ maps as resource material, not as an exploration of actual geography or the time/space continuum but rather as a matter of charting, subverting or deconstructing the very idea of mapping as a representation of the world. The artists themselves are as varied in their approach to this process as the number of directions by which we can transverse any physical position in space. Each has plotted a uniquely personal route that is fanciful, interpretive or politically driven to re-form the map of the imagination. Like the telephoto function, ZOOM +/- references a familiar orientation, then moves quickly to a point of abstraction in the artists' paintings, photographs, collages, sculptures and computer generated mappings.

For Australian artist Louisa Bufardeci “all statistical systems, linguistic systems, information systems, all systems compel and repulse me…Their artificial relationship between form and content compels me to pull them apart, twist them around, recode them and re-present them in ways that question their original form of representation and their assumptions.” Works from her “Governing Values” series utilize statistics from the CIA, the World Bank and other official fact gathering agencies with countries taking their position and size according to x and y variables such as inflation rate and life expectancy for example, to map the world’s agriculture production.

British artist Christian Nold recently completed a project at Southern Exposure as part of his on-going “Emotion Map” series which has taken him around the globe. In it he asks volunteers to use a Bio Mapping device and go for a walk in their town. The device measures the wearer's Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), which is an indicator of emotional arousal as well as their geographical location. The information is downloaded into his computer and re-produced as a map. “Emotion Maps” from San Francisco, Greenwich and Newham are shown here.

Nina Katchadourian works in video, sound, photography, paper and sculpture. She was born in Finland and lives most of the year in NYC. “Finland’s Longest Road”, is the entire length of highway E75 cut from an atlas coiled up and placed in a Petri dish where its diminutive size makes it look like an experiment. “Genealogy of the Supermarket” is a c-print of an installation she created of framed product labels mounted on striking red wallpaper. The chart “interrelates people who appear on common products in the grocery store and organizes them so that they appear to be members of one large family.”

Joyce Kozloff’s collages combine hand-drawn copies of historical battle maps with downsized, cut-out color photocopies of various warriors, all armed to the teeth. A feminist and activist, Kozloff “suggests Freud had it exactly wrong: what he should have asked is, what do boys want?” Her answer seems to be “the universality, across time and geography, of willed carnage. Kozloff's sources range from Goya and Manet to Tintin and Warhammer, but she relied most of all on drawings made by her son when he was a child.” (Nancy Princenthal, Art in America)

Ken Buhler, Sarah Trigg and Mary Hambleton are painters. Buhler’s focus on the minutiae of veins and highways in coral reefs results in richly painted images with allusions to maps radiant physical space and ability to hold and reveal multiple levels of information (including the non-visible). Trigg’s paintings project the spiritual and physical tensions between technologized culture and the natural landscape and Hambleton’s abstractions look like mappings of the heavens or molecules, with scale shifts from micro to macro. Also cosmic in outlook is the work of John Noestheden, whose crystal laden works on paper reference the patterns found in star formations as modeled in the charts and star maps that are constructed in an attempt to understand and make sense of the universe.

London-born Matthew Picton concentrates on the spaces between the cracks in his adopted state of Oregon. A blue spidery web of reinforced Dura-Lar hangs airily on a wall, belying its humble origins as the map of the cracks in a Medford alleyway. Robert Walden, from NYC, says his “Ontological Road Maps” are “a picture of time. Each drawing reveals the time it takes to make a road map and then each finished drawing actually represents that time. All along, there is a literal play on mapping. Each drawing represents a process (of mapmaking, of creating roads) and a place (a representation of existence that can be either real or imagined).” Lordy Rodriguez reconfigures the United States according to his personal experience and private fantasies using the formal conventions of maps to organize his bright, translucent colored work.

Several artists employ actual maps in their work. Doug Beube, Jeff Woodbury, Matthew Cusick and TOFU all have work based on cut up, cut out, sanded, and otherwise manipulated atlases, charts and other “mapping” tools.

Linda Ekstrom’s altered maps render the landscape and its locations as unidentifiable. Each ephemeral form has been created by cutting away the land masses on the map, leaving only the pathways of travel. “The Camps Against the Book” is an altered book with glass beads mapping out the Nazi internment and death camps from WW II.

Janice Caswell’s drawings and installations represent mental maps, an investigation of the mind's peculiar ways of organizing memories. She attempts “to trace the edges of recalled experience, plotting the movement of bodies and consciousness through time and space.”

David Brody and Douglas Henderson's computer animation and sound work, "Disobey This Command!" will be shown for the first time at ARENA 1 Gallery. Brody is a visual artist who makes paintings, wall drawings, and computer animations. Douglas Henderson is a composer whose current work is focused on multi-channel electroacoustic compositions, sound-producing sculptural installations, and scores for modern dance. Brody and Henderson, who met in New York, have long recognized certain affinities in their work, including an interest in "visual music." For Disobey, Henderson composed a sound score which responds to Brody's recursive, fractal-like visual structure.

ARENA 1 is an exhibition space founded by Santa Monica Art Studios directors Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin. Based in an historic hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, ARENA 1 invites internationally known as well as newly established curators to develop innovative and compelling exhibitions.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jesse Malin's "Broken Radio"

The role of the artist according to Jesse Malin is to put you "right there in a time and place so you can smell it."

Ryan Adams once said of his close buddy. "He's a kick-ass storyteller," the wonder boy remarked when he had just finished producing Jesse's first album. "Jesse's songs are so good they hurt my feelings. He doesn't just sound like he's singing the songs. He sounds like he IS that person."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

''To say it is an insult is absurd.''

"The idea that it is some kind of calculated insult is an absurdity. The real insult - to the intelligence and decency of 'the world's 1.5 billion Muslims', for whom people such as Mohammed Ejaz ul-Haq presume to speak - comes from the ignorance and paranoia of leaders who feel so threatened by a novelist that they'll call for him to be killed."
-Hari Kunzru (author of Transmission & The Impressionist)

The noted author of The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories,Midnight's Children and The Ground Beneath Her Feet has been knighted by the Queen of England and the newly minted Sir Salman has again become a lightning rod for criticism from extreme and irrational voices. Heinrich Heine's line from, "Almansor", is once again a call for constant vigilance:

"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
("Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.")
—Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821)

As an artist, a dreamer.and a creator: I stand in solidarity with Salman Rushdie and against those who would attempt to silence any true creative voice. Salman Rushdie is a man of incredible bravery. To stand alone with a pen (or word processor)against those with guns and bombs is not foolishness but instead necessity.

Salman Rushdie and his wife Padma Lakshmi

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monet's "Waterloo Bridge, Temps Couvert" Sells at Christie's for $35.6 million

Claude Monet (1840-1926)
"Waterloo Bridge, Temps Couvert"
25½" x 39 1/8" oil on canvas 1904

"I adore London, it is a mass, an ensemble, and it is so simple. What I like most of all in London is the fog. How could English painters of the nineteenth century have painted its houses brick by brick? Those fellows painted bricks that they didn't see, that they couldn't see... I so love London! But I only like it in the winter... It is the fog that gives it its marvellous breadth. Its regular, massive blocks become grandiose in this mysterious cloak."(Monet, quoted in J. House, ""Monet's London: Artists' Reflections on the Thames" 1859-1914).

The painting is one in a series of views from the Savoy Hotel that Monet painted in London in the years before World War I.
The High Museum presented a fascinating exhibit on Monet in London almost twenty years ago. The catalogue written by Grace Seiberling is well worth finding.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" Graces the Getty

Édouard Manet
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (detail) 1882
Oil on canvas
37 13/16 x 51 3/16 in.
The Samuel Courtauld Trust, Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London

Manet's magnificent and mysterious "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" graces the Getty Museum in Brentwood until September 9th, 2007. Normally housed at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in the imposing Somerset House, we are fortunate to be able to view the painting in Los Angeles.

Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" is painted in rich buttery strokes of oil paint. The physicality of the pigment gives tangible visual weight to a scene which combines the still presence of the barmaid with the flickering mystery of the mirror behind the bar.

The Getty has placed the work in a room with a mirror on the opposite wall to help spur a dialogue between viewer and painting. We are asked a series of provacative questions on the Getty's webpage on Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" at the Getty:

• How are we to characterize the barmaid's expression?
• What is the nature of the viewer's relationship to the barmaid?
• What is happening between the barmaid and the man reflected in the mirror?
• If we see the man's reflection in the mirror, why isn't his figure also visible in front of the bar?
• Why is there no indication in the mirror of the balcony walkway on which we imagine the man, or ourselves, to be standing?
• Why are the reflections of the figures and still life objects displaced so far to the right?

The Getty has placed the work in a room with a mirror on the opposite wall to help spur a dialogue between viewer and painting.

Few paintings have influenced my artistic process more than Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère". While studying in London I spent hours in front of the work, hoping if I gazed at the painting long enough that it would divulge its secrets.

The Getty seems to sum up my own thoughts on the work:
"The more one reflects on Manet's painting, the more difficult it becomes to project a straightforward narrative onto it, and the more conscious and uncertain we become of our position as spectators. At once invoking and undermining the traditional notion of painting-as-mirror, Manet's work becomes a profound interrogation of the act of looking itself."

If you can't find me in my studio this summer, look for me at the Getty still gazing at Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" in a rich process of discovery and inspiration.

More at:
Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" at the Getty
The Courtauld Collection Audiofile on Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Listening to RB Morris' New Album- Empire

Listen to a clip from RB Morris'"Empire"

Download RB Morris' New Album "Empire" at Digstation

RB Morris has a new album out which is available as a download from Digstation. As I mentioned last year after his gig at the Getty, RB's new song "Empire" is a musical poem of political and personal hubris for our times. In early 2008 - RB Morris, Phil Cousineau and I will be leading a workshop on creativity at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Details to follow.

Last year I wrote that Lucinda Williams has called him the "greatest unknown songwriter in the country." Recently at the Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco, I heard RB Morris play the greatest unreleased song in the country - his post September 11th lament - "Empire ". "Empire" is a heartbreaking look at America today. It would fit right in on Neil Young's "Living With War", Pearl Jam's new album, The Dixie Chicks' new collection, Springsteen's current tour and Michael McDermott's glorious new album "Noise From Words" which is also available as a download: Download Michael McDermott's New Album "Noise From Words" at OLI

RB Morris has been described as a "hillbilly beatnik hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, and a celebrated poet, playwright, and singer-songwriter. His songs reflect a range of musical styles from blues and country to improvisation and spoken word, but what holds them together and gives them their signature is a provocative wit and a sense of melancholy. Morris's rhythmic wordplay turns these contrary tendencies into the best of friends."

RB Morris - photo by Gregg Chadwick

Saturday, June 02, 2007

For the White Book on Matisse’s Table by the Dahlias, Peaches, Water Glass

For the White Book on Matisse’s Table by the Dahlias, Peaches, Water Glass

There are two kinds of love
and we’ve known both.
Two kinds of love:
the one that thrills
and one that satisfies.
Thrilling love compresses time
it speeds your heart.
The satisfying kind turns
days to summers
looks to lives.
They are two kinds, two courses
one cycle short
one long
neither engendering
the other
flowing separate
or discordant.

Not partial to a party
my thrilling lover
may satisfy tomorrow
my satisfying love
may suddenly thrill.
We want to weave them
but always fail
for they are of
such unequal lengths
to not be
They are played
and what we can
is tune ourselves
to each rhythm
to love each way
to thrill
to satisfy.

- Kent Chadwick

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Child of Air Travel

Left to Right:
Diebenkorn and Sean Scully at Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

Periodically, I visit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Recently, I was struck by the juxtaposition of Richard Diebenkorn and Sean Scully in their permanent collection. The wall label next to Sean Scully's "Angel" (illustrated above) indicates that insight may be generated by the presence of free and unburdened space. Scully calls "Angel" a child of air travel.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Golden State 111- Dallas 86

Good Night Texas!

Wayne Thiebaud
oil on canvas 1979

The zeitgeist returns to California. Pelosi in D.C. The Dallas Mavericks on their way home to Texas. Santa Monica, UCLA, and the Warriors' amazing Baron Davis moves on in the NBA playoffs, while we continue to enjoy the visions of Wayne Thiebaud and Ed Ruscha.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Yakushi Nyorai (The Healing Buddha)

Yakushi Nyorai (The Healing Buddha)
Gregg Chadwick
Yakushi Nyorai (The Healing Buddha)
12"x12" oil on linen 2007

From the upcoming Venice Art Walk-on May 20, 2007- which benefits the Venice Family Clinic

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Great Weather, Great Art, and Great Basketball

The Bay Area has enjoyed a weekend of great weather, great art (Picasso and Brice Marden at SFMOMA) and great basketball- Baron Davis and company now are one win away from a historic playoff upset.
Davis scored 33 points as the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 103-99 Sunday night and hold a 3-1 lead over the Mavs in their first-round playoff series.

Dallas Maverick's fans watch in disbelief as their team is bewitched by Baron Davis and the Golden State Warriors

Golden State's Monta Ellis

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cellist Rostropovich Dies

Mstislav Rostropovich gave an impromptu concert at Checkpoint Charlie after the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989.
photo- Reuters

Listen to an excerpt from Rostropovich's performance of Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major: I. Prelude

Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich has died. He will be remembered for his music and his brave efforts to keep the arts free from censorship and tyranny. This story from the Los Angeles Times is particularly poignant:
"In July 1991, Rostropovich performed a concert in Prague to fulfill his 1968 promise to play there when the last Soviet soldier left Czechoslovakia. A month later, when he heard that hard-liners had put vacationing Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev under house arrest, seized power in Moscow and surrounded Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin in the republic Parliament building, Rostropovich, at considerable personal danger, raced from Paris to Moscow, sweet-talking his way past KGB guards at the airport, to stand by Yeltsin's side.

"There was no storming of the Parliament building for one reason," a Russian youth told Rostropovich, according to the London Sunday Times, shortly after the crowd toppled a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the KGB. "Because you were with us."

Monday, April 23, 2007

NASA Releases 3-D Images of the Sun

An image of the full sun in 3-D. This photo was captured by SECCHI/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on March 20, 2007, and combines 4 different wavelengths into one image. Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA describes the program:
"STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP). This two-year mission, launched October 2006, will provide a unique and revolutionary view of the Sun-Earth System. The two nearly identical observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind - will trace the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth. They will reveal the 3D structure of coronal mass ejections; violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt satellites and power grids, and help us understand why they happen. STEREO will become a key addition to the fleet of space weather detection satellites by providing more accurate alerts for the arrival time of Earth-directed solar ejections with its unique side-viewing perspective."

3-D images, known as anaglyphs, combine left and right eye images
The 3-D image can be seen with red and cyan 3-D paper glasses.

A close-up of loops in a magnetic active region is shown in this false color image taken on December 4, 2006.
Photo courtesy of NASA

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