The 20th annual National Juried Competition and Exhibition “Works on Paper,” currently at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, brings together 75 artworks from artists in 29 different states, most from New York and California, according to gallery coordinator Becca Phillips.
Kim Conaty, curator of drawings and prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art, had the difficult task of selecting the 71 artists whose work is on exhibit from the 1,400 individual submissions made by 500 artists. Conaty will award three cash prizes and three honorable mentions at the opening reception, on Sunday, June 17, at 7 p.m.
In addition, Conaty gives a talk that evening from 5 to 6 titled “Light+Space+Time, Introducing Artist Mary Corse.” The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.
Paper is so malleable that there seem to be endless possibilities in this exhibit. Find paper constructions that have been pressed into molds, shredded and carved, as well as traditional drawings, paintings, prints, and photographic and digital prints.
In the realistic vein, Ming Ying Hong has drawn hands across a belly in “Grip,” using the time-honored medium of charcoal. Gail Postal has drawn a contemporary, clothed “David,” life size in colored pencil. Jennifer Lanski also used colored pencil plus ink to draw a crowd looking skyward in “Notre Dame 5.” And Craig Subler employs colored pencil on vellum for “Museum # 82,” to show a man sitting dejected in the midst of modern art.
K.E. Sekararum used traditional etching to make “In the Foothills of Mount Bromo.” Artist Tatana Kellner’s expressive monoprint “Please Exit, Doors are Closing” could be an illustration for any number of editorials against bullying or aggression.
Paper lends itself to so many mediums: Sandra Camomile used pen and ink to create “11/9 Anxiety Drawing 04,” and M. Mack Buer painted with acrylic to make his black and white cartoon “Tip Your Hat if You Believe.”
Fidalis Buehler’s “Team Assembly, Scenes from the Gathering,” brings together characters out of his imagination for either a comic com convention or a spiritual basketball game played by shamans.
Jill Lear cleverly titles her two large drawings of urban trees and roots with GPS coordinates. Perhaps those into geocaching could find the spots she used for her inspiration. These are my favorite drawings in the show – great use of analogous color and white space matched with strong pencil drawing.
The humor award must go to Joshua Ege for his silkscreen of a sign reading “Someone Show me a Sign.”
Artist Collen Ho takes a flyer at minimalism with her “Ripped Paper” drawing. The tiny holes in a tan piece of paper could have been done with a sewing machine without any thread.
Katie Maish has carved into layers of paper for a contour map for “Pages 381 and 382.”
Andres Bardales has formed paper into nine separate 3D panels for “Studies 1-9.”
And Angela A’Court has created small cups out of paper, titled “Five Things You Should Know.”
A friend of mine said she didn’t understand contemporary art, and I assured her she was trying too hard. “It’s ‘Anything Goes,’” I said. “Just enjoy it.” Art is no longer thought of as strictly evolutionary, as moving from school to school. I threw out some terms: Post-Modernism Conceptual Art, Pop Art, Minimalism, Color Field, Happenings – oh, there’s a bunch of them. But she was happiest when she had some thread of explanation to be able to weave into the conversation about a piece. So that’s where color theory or an explanation about how a piece is made is helpful. I hope I’ve been helpful in these snippets of observations. Come view the “Works on Paper,” and make your own.
The exhibit continues through June 24.