Friday, March 31, 2006

Please Don't Nominate Anyone For The EVAs, Thanks.

I'd just like to thank everyone for not nominating themselves or someone they know for an EVA. I've heard that there have been so few nominations that my chances of winning some easy cash (and getting to maybe hang out with bigshot Robert Enright), are phenomenal. So thanks everybody for helping my career along, and thanks in advance for continuing to not nominate anybody for the Monday deadline. Cheers.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Four Points of View at the Leyton Gallery

I always have a hard time reviewing shows at commercial galleries. Or even thinking about shows at commercial galleries. The expectation is that while I might see some pretty paintings or a few nice sculptures, chances are I'm not going to find a work that profoundly changes the way I view the world or art. The primary focus, of course, in opposition to work you might see in an Artist Run Centre or other public gallery, is for the work to sell.

Four Points of View at the Leyton Gallery in St. John's features four "new and much celebrated" painters, two from NL and two from the mainland of Canada.

Taryn Sheppard's landscape paintings of the hills, cliffs, roads and shorelines of Outer Cove and surrounding area are absolutely stunning. Compositionally very strong, there is a confidence and delicacy in the application of paint that far out-strips that of the other artists in the show, whose work can sometimes look a little clumsy in comparison. Her palette is fresh, crisp, and bright. You can almost feel and smell the wind coming in off the ocean in her paintings. It was a wise move on behalf of the staff to give Sheppard the majority of space in the front room of the gallery as her paintings are a great hook to get people inside off the street.

I've heard that Sheppard has been accepted into a Master's program for September and won't be making art as much as she'd like, which is certainly a loss for lovers of painting in this province (and perhaps causes a sigh of relief to ripple through the ranks of the younger painters in Newfoundland who've had their run of the market since leaving Grenfell).

At the bottom of the show is Denis Chiasson, whose derivative Cubist manglings just don't work for me. I mean, I love Picasso and Braque and Matisse, but do we still need somebody out there making their way toward Cubism in the cafes and bars when some of the greatest minds of the last century already cleared that path for us? When I see work like this in galleries I know there's been some very cynical calculation put into the painting based on what the artist thinks might sell. Not my cup of tea at all.

The other two artists, Michael Pittman and MJ Steenberg, are in the middle. The work by Steenberg, in particular: murky, static and heavy feeling, gets bullied off the wall by Sheppard's painting, which, again, is some of the finest painting I've seen in St. John's for ages. And that includes the beloved Grant Boland.

Thanks to Bonnie Leyton for being such a hard core supporter of visual art in Newfoundland. Though we've never met, I just think she rocks.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Gutless Conservative Visits Art In NL

In the blog business, we refer to this sort of thing as a "drive-by": Comments that add nothing to the conversation and are just bullshit name calling. For whatever reason, this person posted this comment under my review of the Daryl Vocat/Catherine Ross show at Eastern Edge... perhaps thinking that a comment there wouldn't get noticed. How my being a pervert has anything to do with my art writing is beyond me. Although maybe this is supposed to be a joke or something.

Here's the comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if jpohl read this entire "review". You are such a pervert Craig, and to be frank I'm don't think you would know great art if it hit you in the side of the head. Pity the concept behind this blog had such potential.Pity the task was taken up by such an angry boy. Good luck with that grant application.Here's a insightful review of Craig Power's writing: It sucks and he can't!

When I receive comments like this I know I'm doing something right. Thanks Anonymous, this blog was intended for people just like you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

NLAC Grant Deadline

Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted but I've been extremely busy putting together my grant applications... one of which is due tomorrow.

Reviews of new shows at Eastern Edge and the Leyton Gallery as well as a report on Graeme Patterson, media artist in residence at the Rooms, will come shortly.