Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for August, 2011

"Panacea", A New Chris Conn Askew Print & MonsterBrains Honours Virgil Finlay

by Suzanne on August 29th, 2011

Panacea by Chris Conn Askew - click to enlarge

My incredibly talented and anachronistically noble friend Chris Conn Askew has a gorgeous new print available. His limited editions normally sell out really fast, cause you know, who doesn't want a lusciously curly lady with velvety puff sleeves and cat scratches on her cheek sitting in a lower jaw hanging on their walls? EXACTLY.

Panacea is a giclee print on 180gsm Hahnemühle paper, signed and numbered by the master and comes in two different sizes at 8”x10” (20x25cm) for $60 and at 14”x18” (36x46cm) for $100. Shipping is an additional $10 to anywhere in this solar system. How cool is that? VERY! Each size is strictly limited to a single edition of 250.

Needless to say that compared to what his prints tend to sell for once they've sold out, that's a fucking steal, children.

Read CC's post here on how to secure yourself a print.

I know it's one of the weirder compliments to give, but whenever I get absorbed by the ancient symbolism of Askew's art, I just cannot help thinking that had he been alive during the times of Dr. Robert Ley, he would have doubtlessly been asked to be Hauptlayouter of the Organizationsbuch der NSDAP. God, I'm truly shit at compliments, but I know he'll get it...

In other retina-tickling news, the obsessive-compulsive Aeron Alfrey of MonsterBrains fame has posted THE absolute Virgil Finlay überpost - one that even the Great Old Ones will enjoy.

© Virgil Finlay, via MonsterBrains - click to enlarge

Julie Heffernan in San Francisco & Alex CF's limited edition of "Many Dead Things"

by Suzanne on August 28th, 2011

Budding Boy by Julie Heffernan, oil on canvas, 78 x 56 inches, 2010 - click to enlarge

This coming Saturday, September 3, Julie Heffernan's highly anticipated solo show Boy O Boy II will be opening at Catharine Clark Gallery, 150 Minna Street, San Francisco.

Since it's totally impossible to notice the subtleties, the intricate microcosms (see for instance the tiny ladder in Budding Boy bottom left), the cultivated pastoral or the symbiotic opulence which are all so very essential to Julie's work in an online reproduction, I would highly recommend you to go see Boy O Boy II in person if you happen to be in S.F..

The official reception is actually not until September 10, 4 - 7 PM. The exhibition will remain on show until October 29, 2011.

© Alex CF

Good news just reached us from Alex CF HQ: Alex's acclaimed debut monograph Many Dead Things - The Specimens of Lord Merrylin will be released as a new edition. Click here for more details and here to pre-order your own copy.

The release is limited to 100 copies only - each of them signed - containing 140 pages of glorious cryptozoology, a foreword by the great Reece Shearsmith from League of Gentlemen and costs £30.

Finally, and for absolutely no reason other than CAUSE I FUCKING CAN, please enjoy these fabulous horror GIFs that were brought to my attention by the SameHat Tumblr. If you happen to have any information on their source and/or creator, please do get in touch.

Click images to enlarge

Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Art Institute of Chicago

by Suzanne on August 26th, 2011

Untitled by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, gelatin silver print, 6 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches, date unknown © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard- click to enlarge

Ralph Eugene Meatyard is one of those artists you're almost kind of grateful they're not alive anymore (how ever short his existence was) because you just know that VICE would totally exploit his natural talent for subtly staged impromptu photography which enabled him to make the derelict seem enchanted and boy scouts sweetly traumatised.

Meatyard certainly was an interesting chap, he even

"inserted one of his own prints into his personal copy of Beaumont Newhall’s classic History of Photography, which did not include him."

(AIC press release)

The Chicago Art Institute is currently showing a grand retrospective of Meatyard's work. It opened back in July and will remain on show until September 25. Definitely one to check out.

Admission is a bit pricy with $18 but free to Illinois residents on the first and second Wednesdays of every month.

The exhibition will be traveling to the De Young Museum in San Francisco (Oct 8, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012) and finally to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia (May 19 – Aug 5, 2012) afterwards.

Further details below.

Untitled by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, gelatin silver print, 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 inches, date unknown © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard- click to enlarge

On show: Jul 2 - Sep 25, 2011

Address: The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404, USA | Map

Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Fri - Sun: 10:30 AM - 5 PM, Thu: 10:30 AM - 8 PM

Admission: $18 - and special offers for locals

Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 144-page catalogue published by Radius Books.

Press release

WurzelForum discussion | Via Daily Serving

And à propos traumatised boys: Innocence sure can be hell...


Rosa Loy & Neo Rauch's "Hinter den Gärten" at Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Vienna

by Suzanne on August 25th, 2011

Grimoire by Rosa Loy, casein on linen, 24 x 30 cm, 2010, photo by Uwe Walter - click to enlarge

Rosa Loy and husband Neo Rauch - the artist couple with the best names - will be exhibiting 80 of their works in a self-curated double show entitled Hinter den Gärten (Behind the Gardens) at Essl Museum from September 1st onwards.

I think this - their very first show together - is a fantastic opportunity to see how this very prolific artist couple has influenced and inspired one another, getting ever closer, yet how they have retained their own styles and artistic techniques - with Neo working mainly in oil and Rosa focussing on casein.

I have featured Neo a couple of times in the past so I decided to post two works by Rosa here - one that's going to be exhibited at Hinter den Gärten (Dampf, bottom) and a small-format one that's very dear to me but has sadly been stolen in Leipzig on March 4 this year (Grimoire, top).

Dampf by Rosa Loy, casein on linen, 170 x 130 cm, 2006, photo by Mischa Nawrata © VBK Wien & VG Bildkunst Bonn - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Sep 1, 2011, 7.30 PM - the artists will be in attendance

On show: Sep 2 - Nov 20, 2011

Address: Essl Museum, An der Donau-Au 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg/Vienna, Austria, tel: +43-(0)2243-370 50 150, email: info@essl.museum | Map

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10 AM - 6 PM, Wed: 10 AM - 9 PM

Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a 260-page catalogue published by Prestel.

Press release | Press images

WurzelForum discussion


by Suzanne on August 22nd, 2011

© Wurzeltod, 2011

Lots of stuff happening (mainly of the bad and then worse kind). I have been watching lots of Gamecenter CX which I find incredibly therapeutic because it brings back so many childhood memories. I also find AD "Adventure Island 28 Hours Straight So Beautiful I Think I Cried" Urakawa immensely attractive and such a graceful gamer *cough* which might be another reason why I'm watching Arino play really obnoxious vintage games for hours on end. Oh well, we all have our weak spots.

In related old skool gaming news, can someone help Rob, Same Hat & I identify what PC88 / 98 or MSX2 game this screen shot is from. Ta!

Nothing much going on in the arts but it seems that decent exhibition programmes begin again in September, so let me just share some things that got stuck in my Twitter over the past few days.


Doubly sad times for censorship in Australia...

Robert Crumb cancels Australia show after being told he produces "crude and perverted images emanating from what is clearly a sick mind." His answer?

"I have a lot of anxiety about having to confront some angry sexual assault crisis group."

Jan Saudek photo withdrawn after child prostitution claim.
(thanks, Trevor!)

VERY sad times for the fantastic Odd Nerdrum who's been sentenced to two years in prison for tax evasion.
(via Samantha Levin)


• Will Wiles for Cabinet Magazine on The Behavioral Sink

"Elsewhere, cannibalism, pansexualism, and violence became endemic. Mouse society had collapsed."

• Mask of a 1970s-era Elvis Presley from Malawi at the Brooklyn Museum

"The painted wood mask, “Elvis” Mask for Nyau Society , was worn by a “secret society” made up of Chewu peoples during ceremonies and rituals."


Substrom made a really nice video for Clark. And by "really nice" I mean "NSFW":

"We knew our ideals were high. The lower we sink, the less we care why." (from Jeopardy by The Sound - cover art by the Stenberg Brothers):

Overtone singing with x-ray image made by the Dept. of Radiology at the CHUV Lausanne (via NotCot):

Brendan Danielsson's "Diarrhainbow" & Jeremy Enecio's "Embodiments" in California

by Suzanne on August 14th, 2011

Violet by Brendan Danielsson, 2011 - click to enlarge

I'll keep this post brief because, well, it's Sunday and I cannot be arsed to type much and I honestly couldn't add anything of great significance to Brendan Danielsson's ingenious scatological eloquence anyway:


An arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun's light by a spray of liquid feces violently discharged from the bowels and dispersed into the atmosphere.

Why don't all artist's statements read like this, ffs?!

Diarrhainbow opened yesterday at CoproNason on 2525 Michigan Ave in Santa Monica and remains on show until September 3. You can preview the entire show here.

In very related news, I stumbled upon a fantastic zine by Reasonable Person that deals with the serious issue of "super diarrhea". Nice introductory words on the first pages, forsho.

Also, and in completely other news, the fantastic Jeremy Enecio is currently showing a new body of work under the title Embodiments at Gallery Nucleus on 10 East Main St, Alhambra. You can preview the show here - it runs until August 29.

Fauna by Jeremy Enecio, acrylic and oil on paper, 2011 - click to enlarge

... and finally, for no reason other than keeping the nets as nonsensical and WTF as possible, I bring you The First Rap Song To Be Performed In The UK (Look Around You)...

... and Tales of the Riverbank...


London - A Week of Anger, Tears, Headaches and Facepalms

by Suzanne on August 12th, 2011

This is an art blog, but sometimes things happen where even art doesn't offer a cure, so if you come for the art please and by all means feel free to skip my incoherent sofa politics. I just feel like I owe this to all the people who enquired about my well-being. Normal posting will resume shortly.

Most of you know I live in London. Some of you know I live in Hackney. All of you know what's been going on here. We had a rough week. Some people here, however, have rough lives.

There are the ones, often from immigrant families, who are trying to make a living in desperate times who - already enduring racial abuse and disintegration - had their local shops destroyed, their brothers killed, their teeth knocked out - often while defending the streets when authorities were absent.

The others are those trapped in a very discouraging benefit spiral - often for generations, with parents absent, local youth centres boarded up due to lack of funding, school being closed for summer holidays. It's warm, nights are long, TV programme shit, the drugs don't work and it seemed to some that "smashing up shit, fuck yeah!" seemed to provide a sense of purpose.

In this city, both of the above groups, who were already suffering, lost even more in less than a week. The former their livelihoods and their flats, the latter their chance of being taken seriously in society.

What happened is extremely upsetting, very difficult to grasp and the causes way more complex than the symptoms.

Was this retribution for Mark Duggan? No, sadly, his case was forgotten relatively soon once the peaceful vigil was overrun.

Was it political? Not really, you don't smash up charity shops and pet shops if you want to make a political statement. You go after the banks and big corporations. Yes, some police stations were set on fire, but attacking the police is not proving a political point, it's just really dumb, particularly when they were needed on Monday evening.

Is it justifiable? Absolutly not. Innocent families were made homeless, people were killed.

Can I UNDERSTAND it? Absolutely. With every cell of my body, with every synapses in my brain and I will try to show why for this IS about poverty, it IS about injustice, it IS about inequality but not in a purely materialistic sense.

This isn't an exact repeat of Brixton 1981, if anything, it's actually a whole lot worse now because to racial disadvantage came a lot of social disadvantages over the decades and it's simply arrogant of a society to believe people won't really realise they're not actually well off in life as long as they're being fed with benefits. "Give 'em housing, give 'em some money, shut 'em up when they demand more", is, if anything, the best recipe for creating more problems.

The attitude that history simply repeats itself and that we should just celebrate the accidental heroes of the riots - who, don't get me wrong, have risked their lives to safeguard others like me living above and behind them when there was no-one around - distracts from the actual problem and gives "us" a feeling of being different than "those" who rioted and looted which is highly counter-productive and also not true.

The politicians who are shouting the loudest about how it's justified to lock up the "scum of England" and the "thugs" for half a year at a time for stealing water bottles from Lidl in order to "fix this society", are probably the ones with some of the worst track record during the expenses scandal and that's not really leading the society by example. Particularly not when confusing giving justice with setting judicial precedents.

I do understand that it's more difficult for someone living in leafy Notting Hill to understand what exactly goes on on a daily basis in an estate up here but we've all got to try as we actually all live really close together - something that hipsterification and gentrification and the ghettoification it brings with it won't be able to overshadow. I can see the Swiss Re tower from here. Even on a cloudy day.

If the police sits back and gathers film evidence material for "swift and hard justice" in the aftermath and create a psychologically extremely tense atmosphere by turning their sirens on but don't advance in some messed up form of psychological mob warfare while the rioters rioted and the looters looted (PLEASE, not all rioters actually looted and not all looters rioted - the looters are a very diverse bunch of people...) then there is something really, really wrong with the way a society reacts to unrests.

In the past few days, a lot of social theorists have come forward, trying to explain the whys and offering answers to the whatnows, and ironically enough, some of the best statements I heard that came close to addressing the complexity of the situation came from one of the last places I would ever listen to and I feel a perverse unease even mentioning it, yes, the church (I'll just assume they're good at writing empathically, though) and, of course, young teenagers who are now probably forced to spend the rest of their summer holidays thinking about "what they've done" and writing papers about the riots. Read any of those essays and you get a better summary of what happened and why than any newspaper of any couleur has come up with.

Without doubt, the ones who are going to cash in now are the ones who'll offer the simplest answers. The EDL has already abused the fact that hundreds cleared the destroyed streets in a momentum of communal self-defence as populist propaganda and makes it seem like the UK’s at war “defending itself against a foreign invasion” (to be honest, even the self-acclaimed "Marxists" came to their aid by insulting the "broom hipsters" who took time off to help others for actually making the problem worse by creating a dangerous "Blitz spirit").

Considering the fact that the e-petition to stop benefits for all rioters (I'm not going to link to it) has received so much backing from the public that it will be discussed in the Commons, the newspaper comments sections read worse than the most shocking YouTube slurs with people calling for the death penalty for looters etc., it is now more important than ever to demonstrate against the blind hatred of the far right, adding insult to injury particularly during their planned march through Tower Hamlets that's REALLY had enough grief in these past few days. If you're in London on September 3, I would like to invite you to join the counter-demo against the EDL march.

In the meantime, we can make at least an effort in helping our communities out and thanking those who protected us with their lives - in my case the Turkish and Kurdish small business owners. There is a multitude of events planned in all areas of town and obviously also in Birmingham, Manchester and all over the country, so please do attend these. Check your borough's website about what has been organised and where and how you can donate for those who have lost their homes and incomes.

For the London region, the best place to donate is Tottenham Green Leisure Centre up here in N15 (train to Seven Sisters). They can be reached via 020 8489 5322.

Currently clothes or food are not needed anymore, but phone chargers, pots & pans, sanitary products, toiletries and baby products.

All over the country, professional builders and architects are offering their services for free or at a discount. If you're a shop owner who needs help or want to take part, go here.

For the Dalston region, I would like to encourage you to support these events both taking place tomorrow, August 13:

Give Our Kids a Future! A North London Unity Demonstration

Thank Turk It's Saturday

DeLoot London

I'll be adding more links to this entry as they become relevant.

And moving forward, let's not forget to sometimes laugh at the unlaughable, a very distinct English trait, just for 10 seconds..

I would like to conclude this article with the comic genius that reached us from Libya early Wednesday:

‎”Libyan foreign ministry spokesman Khalid Ka’im has called on world governments to take action over the unrest in the UK. David Cameron has lost legitimacy and “must go”, Libya’s official news agency Jana reports. Libya “demands that the international community not stand with arms folded in the face of this gross aggression against the rights of the British people, who are demanding its right to rule its country”, the report said.”


Lumière Noire - Young French Art at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

by Suzanne on August 6th, 2011

Untitled by Guillaume Bresson, oil on canvas, 170 x 300 cm, 2008, courtesy Bourouina Gallery - click to enlarge

The German-only press release to the Lumière Noire group show at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe talks at length about globalisation and the disappearance of cultural traditions and whatnot but I honestly cannot see any of those socio-political concepts in the actual art itself, so let's just skip to the end.

On show are, you guessed it, dark pieces - grey, obscured, monochromatic, desaturated and pitch-black art - from sculptures to installations to paintings.

From the dozen somewhat randomly and unpassionately selected artists, two very young ones clearly stand out for me. One is Guillaume Bresson (top), born 1982 in Toulouse who now lives and works in Paris and Berlin. The other is the fascinating Nick Devereux (middle and bottom), born 1978 in Panama and now residing in Paris.

Offering I by Nick Devereux, charcoal on paper, 100 x 130 cm, 2010, courtesy Galerie Bugada & Cargnel - click to enlarge

While Bresson impresses with grotesque yet elegantly choreographed nighttime fighting scenes in the grisailled banlieues - reminiscent of La Haine or Dan Witz's Mosh Pit series - Devereux does something way more distorting and disorientating.

At first, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a historic scene of an autopsy (middle) or the manneristic momentum of a falling horse (bottom) but on closer inspection, the motives fall apart, and reveal themselves as found props - draped fabrics, paper, curtains and bits of fur sticking out of anthropomorphic steel structures.

I can't say I'm too impressed with the rest that's on show but the two gentlemen here will make a visit worthwhile, I should think. Details below.

New Mythologies (What I Should Have Done) by Nick Devereux, charcoal on paper, 135 x 192 cm, 2007, courtesy Galerie Bugada & Cargnel - click to enlarge

On show until: Sep 25, 2011

Address: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Hans-Thoma-Straße 2-6, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany, tel: (0721) 926 33 59, email: info@kunsthalle-karlsruhe.de | Map & Directions

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10 AM - 5 PM, Sat - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: €4

Press release (German)

WurzelForum discussion

Eric White Website Overhaul

by Suzanne on August 5th, 2011

No Neutral Thoughts by Eric White, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2008 - click to enlarge

Yesterday afternoon, Eric White informed me about his new and improved website - now sporting a semi-secret archive including some exciting never-before-seen works!

You can also vote for his next print release by choosing your favourites here.

I've been following Eric since... FOREVER... and instead of writing a lengthy, pretentious article about why he is such a genius, I'll just let you come to that conclusion yourself by the God-given gift of your eyes and the art of observation and by paying particular attention to his obsession with alienating yet voyeuristic Lynchesque interiors and nekkid women carrying around giant male heads...

A Gentleman's Mistake by Eric White, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 2008 - click to enlarge

The Settle-Down by Eric White, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 2008 - click to enlarge

.... or wearing them:

On The Air by Eric White, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches, 2008 - click to enlarge

Untitled (Jason's Painting) by Eric White, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2006 - click to enlarge

WHAT?! It's a creepy nightmarish niche that not many would want to inhabit, forsho, but someone's gotta do it.

And a bonus picture to send you off into the weekend because it's oh so wrong it's almost... no, it's just deliciously wrong:

"Nam!" 1949 an RKO Picture by Eric White, oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches, 1999 - click to enlarge

House of Beasts at Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, UK

by Suzanne on August 1st, 2011

1 - Evacuate by Kate MccGwire, bird feathers coming out of pot - click to enlarge

When news reached me a month ago that Meadow Arts were curating a year-long site-specific group show of taxidermy, sculpture and installation art entitled House of Beasts at the breathtaking Attingham Park in Shrewsbury (Charles Darwin's birthplace - how perfect!), I knew that there was still hope that the Elder Gods can indeed hear our prayers and pleas for great art exhibitions in the UK and do receive our sacrifices.

2 - Foreground: Untitled (Sphere) by Alastair Mackie, mouse skulls, wood, glass, courtesy the artist and All Visual Arts / Background: Herd by Susie MacMurray, cut antlers, silk velvet, Meadow Arts Commission 2011 - click to enlarge

House of Beasts is way more than land-art meets Wunderkammer though - Meadow Arts have managed to create a surreal fictional space where taxidermy becomes alive and sculpture becomes organic.

3 - Refuge by Nina Saunders, taxidermy fox, upholstered armchair, courtesy David Roberts Collection - click to enlarge - click here for detail

Where Nina Saunders' little fox (picture 3) just stretched its paws and yawned, where Tessa Farmer's insect warriors battle fearlessly with their porcupine spine spears, where Daphne Wright's swan (picture 7) is drying its feathers after an invigorating swim in the River Tern, where Polly Morgan's magpie (picture 5) just picked up the phone, where Kate MccGwire's leech-like feather blob (picture 1) is spooking and creeping around the house like it's trapped in some Edward Gorey book or Ray Caesar artwork.

4 - Chandelier (Katy’s Convoy) by Nina Saunders, chandelier with taxidermy birds, courtesy the artist - click to enlarge

I've had a long love and passion for artists combining bone and filigree with taxidermy, so I immediately knew this would work perfectly at an old manor house like Attingham Park but when I saw the line-up of artists, I did need to reach for the smelling salts, it is that amazing.

5 - One for Sorrow by Polly Morgan, bakelite telephone and taxidermy magpie, courtesy the artist - click to enlarge

Featured artists include:

*INHALES* Ruth Claxton, Mat Collishaw, Tessa Farmer, Rachel Goodyear, Kathleen Herbert, Alastair Mackie, Susie MacMurray, Kate MccGwire, Polly Morgan, Nina Saunders, Anj Smith, Daphne Wright *EXHALES*.

6 - The Beast in Me by Mat Collishaw, digital photograph, courtesy Anne Faggionato - click to enlarge

Yeah, I know, right? A plethora of reasons to drag yourself to Shropshire before mid-July 2012. Details below.

Many thanks to Anne de Charmant, director of Meadow Arts for the in-situ image material.

7 - Swan by Daphne Wright, cast marble dust, Meadow Arts Commission 2007 - click to enlarge

On show: Jul 2, 2011 - Jul 15, 2012

Address: House of Beasts at Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4TP, tel: 01743 708123 (INFOLINE), email: attingham@nationaltrust.org.uk | Exhibition map

Press release | Exhibition map

WurzelForum discussion