October 27, 2006
Maki Kawakita, Photographer and Olympus Visionary, 10-27-06
Maki Kawakita covers as diverse a range of photography as the cultures—Japanese, American, and European—that have most influenced her. Fashion, editorial, advertising, portraiture, fine art and dance all provide areas for her expression and for her professional work, which has also included invitations as guest lecturer at art colleges in Philadelphia, New York City, and Tokyo. Assignments have ranged from fashion magazine covers to record label advertising to “mooks” (a mook is a combination of magazine and book that, for a recent edition of Gekkan, meant shooting entirely a 120-page pictorial feature of Haruna Yabuki, an actress well-known in Japan).
Ms. Kawakita was trained as a youngster in Kabuki-like Japanese dance and ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement). In the 1990s, she attended Shinjuku Art School in Tokyo, with an emphasis on drawing, painting and sculpture, then took a B.F.A. in Graphic Design at Tama Art University, also in Tokyo. She subsequently attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and finished her Master’s Degree in Photography in 2002 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, by which time she was already being given professional assignments.
Ms. Kawakita was recently selected in 2006 by Commercial Photography as one of the best 100 Photographers of Japan. Additionally, she was awarded the 2003 APA (Advertising Photography Award) award and was a selected photographer for American Photo in its April/May 2002 issue of Spot Light Photographer.
Established by Olympus America Inc. in partnership with some of today’s most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus’ digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers from the United States, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Japan.
Anne Strauss, Associate Curator in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, 10-27-06
Anne L. Strauss is Associate Curator in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art. Ms. Strauss organized the Metropolitan’s presentation of Sean Scully: Wall of Light. Also at the Metropolitan, she curated the recent exhibitions Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates, Central Park, New York (2004) and Andy Goldsworthy on the Roof (2004), and co-curated Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument (2006) and Tony Oursler at the Met: “Studio” and “Climaxed” (2005), among other exhibitions.
Professor Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program, The University of Iowa, 10-27-06
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water and Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; several edited volumes, among them, The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon; and four books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain. His work has been translated into 20 languages.
He has held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, and now directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa.
The principal design of the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa (IWP) is threefold: to introduce talented individuals to American life; to enable these individuals to take part in American university life; and to provide writers with time, in a setting congenial to their efforts, for the production of literary work. Since 1967, over a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have attended the IWP at the University of Iowa. The project is designed for established and emerging creative writers — poets, fiction writers, dramatists, and non-fiction writers.
The University of Iowa is the nation’s premier center for creative writing. Giving and attending talks and readings, and meeting with well-known and emerging visiting American writers give the international writers broad exposure to currents in American literature. IWP also strives to give each writer the opportunity to present his or her work in a public forum. Televised and radio interviews with individuals and groups of writers are broadcast in the Iowa City and university communities.
October 20, 2006
Sean Scully, Artist (Sean Scully: Wall of Light is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 9-26-06 to 1-15-07), 10-20-06
Sean Scully, born in Dublin in 1945, grew up in a working-class neighborhood of south London. He learned typesetting and graphic design as an apprentice in a commercial printing shop in his late teens, and then studied painting at Croydon College of Art, London, and Newcastle University. He discovered the work of Mark Rothko and Bridget Riley, and switched from figurative work to abstraction. After a trip to Morocco in 1969, Scully incorporated the bright light of North Africa and the stripes of local textiles into his work. A year’s fellowship at Harvard University brought him to the United States for the first time in 1972; a second fellowship in 1975 allowed him to settle in New York, and he became an American citizen in 1983.
After coming to the U.S., Mr. Scully retained but simplified the stripes that characterized his earlier work: Moroccan color and pattern gave way to almost monochromatic paintings. In the early 1980s, Scully reintroduced color, space, and texture, through the application of multiple layers of paint, and thereby added an expressive element. He began experimenting with compositional and structural concepts that led him to break out of the two-dimensional picture plane, creating asymmetrical assemblages that take on a sculptural quality.
By the mid-1980s, Mr. Scully’s work had garnered international recognition, and many major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, began to acquire his paintings. His work was included in The Museum of Modern Art’s 1984 exhibition An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture. The following year, the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh organized the first major exhibition of his work in the U.S., which traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Four years later, his work was the subject of a major solo exhibition in Europe that originated at London’s Whitechapel Gallery and traveled to Madrid and Munich.
During this time, the aesthetic lessons of his Mexico visits, and the early watercolors they inspired, germinated quietly; in 1998 they burst forth in a new series of works, showcased in this exhibition. The Wall of Light works rely on two main formal elements: the vertical and the horizontal bar. Yet, the surface texture and the space between the forms create fascinating, highly complex structures. Some of the works evoke such architectural elements as bricks, post-and-lintel construction, even the hulking structure of Stonehenge. The spaces between the blocks frequently reveal the underlying colors and read as light shining between the bricks of a wall. The rectangles are often built up with several rich layers of color, and the broad, gestural brushstrokes emphasize the presence of the artist’s hand.
Sean Scully: Wall of Light is the first U.S. museum presentation of Mr. Scully’s Wall of Light series and began its national tour at The Phillips Collection, followed by showings at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Metropolitan has had a commitment of more than 20 years to the work of Sean Scully. In 1985, it became the first U.S. museum to acquire his work, with his painting Molloy (1984).
David Erdman, Partner, servo; Design Faculty, University of California Los Angeles Department of Architecture and Urban Design, 10-20-06
David Erdman is one of four founding members of the research design collaborative servo, comprised of partners practicing and teaching in four different cities — Marcelyn Gow, Zurich; Ulrika Karlsson, Stockholm; Chris Perry, New York City. Launching the practice through a group exhibition collecting its four founding members, servo has used the space of the gallery as a primary site for design research and architectural investigation. The practice was initiated with a series of group and solo exhibitions where servo designed full scale architectural prototypes that act on the space and viewers of the gallery.
Their work explores how architectural elements like ceilings, benches, walls or structure can infuse the basic elements of each project or installation, using the architecture as a device for distribution and action where the design works on the gallery-goer and responds in real time to the event space of the gallery. Participating in exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, San Francisco MOMA, MOMA and both the Venice, Korean and Beijing Biennale, servo has exhibited widely and has been collected by the French Architecture Collection, SFMOMA and most recently the MAK Center in Vienna.
servo currently has two studios — one in Los Angeles directed by Mr. Erdman and one in Stockholm by directed by Ulrika Karlsson. In the past two years servo has begun to design exhibitions where the logic and material experimentation in earlier works has escalated in scale and scope. The Genealogy of Speed, an exhibition for Nike containing 30 of its most technologically innovative sneakers and Dark Places, a group exhibition containing 76 artists including Matthew Barney, Cathie Opie, Raymond Pettibon and Wim Wenders, were completed in 2004 and 2006, in Venice and Santa Monica respectively. servo’s design for each of these develops strategies where the storage, organization and mixture of a dense amount of information is pushed through an architectural infrastructure that responds to the container of the exhibition and the people experiencing it.
servo has lectured and published widely receiving the Young Architects Award from the Urban League, Architecture Vanguard from Architectural Record and an American Institute of Graphic Arts award as part of the team for Nike Genealogy of Speed. Currently there are several permanent built projects on the cutting floor of servo including a recently completed house in upstate New York.
Mr. Erdman and each founding member of servo blends the work of the practice with academic research. Each partner is a design instructor at a leading university in their respective cities. Mr. Erdman has been a full-time faculty member at UCLA’s Department of Architecture since 1999, teaching design studios in both the Core and Advanced Topics Curriculum as well as conducting Technology Seminars which focus on the development of new modeling, representational and production techniques in Architectural Design. Mr. Erdman has coordinated the participation of his student’s work in exhibitions internationally including the Florence Festival for Architecture in Video, the Gray, Green and Brown competition at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the 2x8 exhibition at the A plus D museum in Los Angeles.
Recently, Mr. Erdman was awarded the Charles Moore Travelling Fellowship where (with 14 students) he studied minimal surface geometries in several mosques in Istanbul, Turkey as part of a one-quarter design studio which was recently exhibited at UCLA. Mr. Erdman has taught at the KTH Stockholm, RPI and the Southern California Institute of Architecture and is the Joseph Esherick Visiting Chair at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design this Fall, in addition to his continuing appointment at UCLA in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design.
Mr. Erdman received his B.S. in Architecture from Ohio State University and his M.Arch. from Columbia University.
Joe Nalven, Founder, Digital Art Guild, 10-20-06
Joe Nalven founded Digital Art Guild in 2003. He also conceived the Iron Artist Competition, bringing together leading practitioners in the fields of computer graphics and digital art to compete and — more importantly — to discuss what it was they had created. This same approach was embedded in the engine of the book he co-authored with JD Jarvis, Going Digital: The Practice and Vision of Digital Artists.
Joe also edits the Digital Art Guild's webzine, which is steadily building an interesting collection of articles about various artists as well as articles dealing with art and technology.
Recently, Joe helped the San Diego Art Institute launch its first ever International Digital Fine Art Exhibition and current Multiple Universes exhibition in Poway, CA. Multiple Universes has brought together the collaboration of two very energetic art groups in San Diego — the Digital Art Guild and the PhotoArts Group.
October 13, 2006
Jerrilynn Dodds, Distinguished Professor of Art History and Theory at the School of Architecture of the City College of the City University of New York, 10-13-06
Jerrilynn Dodds is Distinguished Professor of Art History and Theory at the School of Architecture of the City College of the City University of New York, and lecturer and consultant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work has centered on issues of artistic interchange, and how groups form their identities through art and architecture. She is known in addition as an author, curator and documentary filmmaker.
Professor Dodds is the author of Architecture and Ideology of Early Medieval Spain (London and University Park, 1991); Al Andalus: The Arts of Islamic Spain (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992); The Arts of Medieval Spain (with Little and Williams, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993); New York Masjid. The Mosques of New York (2002) and numerous other publications, including a book concerning the reconstruction of the historical center of Mostar in Bosnia.
Professor Dodds has also curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions on the subject of cultural interchange as seen through art and architecture (Al Andalus, The Metropolitan Museum, 1992; Convivencia , The Jewish Museum, 1992; The Mosques of New York, Storefront for Art and Architecture, 1996; and Crowning Glory, Images of the Virgin in the Arts of Portugal, The Newark Museum, 1997).
As a prize-winning filmmaker, Professor Dodds writes and directs films in conjunction with museum exhibitions (Journey to St. James; An Imaginary East; NY Masjid) and for public television audiences (Hearts and Stones: The Bridge at Mostar). Among the other institutions at which Professor Dodds has taught are Harvard University, MIT and Columbia University. She is currently completing a book co-authored with Maria Menocal entitled Out of Arabic: The Formation of Castilian Culture, and working on another: Romanesque and the Myth of the West.
Larry and Debby Kline, Artists/Curators, 10-13-06
Debby and Larry Kline are artists who create untraditional artwork that addresses social concerns. Their unique approach to art has been awarded three grants from The Gunk Foundation, New York, and a grant from the Potrero Nuevo Fund, San Francisco. Their work has been featured in internationally distributed publications such as Orion, Utne, Public Art Review, Camerawork, and ArtPaper. The popularity of their work has led to a wide range of venues from mainstream galleries such as SF Camerawork to The United States Chess Championships. In July, they participated in an Artist Residency at Center for Land Use and Interpretation at Wendover, UT. Their artwork can be found in numerous corporate and private collections.
Larry and Debby Kline have extensive museum backgrounds working at illustrious institutions such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Chicago Art Institute, and The Indianapolis Museum of Art. In addition, they have curated exhibitions for venues such as The Oceanside Museum of Art, COVA Gallery, and Gotthelf Gallery in La Jolla, CA.
The Klines are also lecturers, published writers, and arts advocates and have spoken on the nexus of art and science at California State University San Marcos and The Salk Institute.
October 07, 2006
Rebecca Bryant, Dancer/Choreographer, 10-6-06
Rebecca Bryant collaborates with dancers, musicians, actors and visual artists on dance pieces that combine movement, sound, text and visuals. She is an improvisor as well as a choreographer, and has become known for creating work that is overtly political and often humorous. Rebecca creates work as a solo artist, as a Lower Left Performance Collective core artist and as co-founder of the past)(modern performance duo (with percussionist Don Nichols).
Rebecca brings dance to the community by performing in traditional theaters as well as site-specific locations, including art galleries, fountains, abandoned electrical factories, public parks, rusted spiral staircases, mall escalators, swimming pools and cliff sides. Currently based in San Diego, Rebecca has taught and performed around the U.S. and abroad.
Rebecca is a recipient of the Glorya Kaufman, Jean Irwin and Forti Family Awards (1999-2000), a Regents Conference Travel Grant (2001), an Artsbridge Scholarship (2000), and a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program (2005). Her choreographic work was selected for the Gala Concert at the Southwest Region American College Dance Festival in 2000.
Rebecca holds a BA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego, where she specialized in photography, painting, film and installation. She received an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she focused on performance theory, body modalities and dance education in addition to her choreographic and improvisational work.
Amanda Shore, President, Cambridge Art Gallery, 10-6-06
Cambridge Art Gallery President Amanda E. Shore was born and raised in the idyllic English countryside of Kent. Coming from a family of antique collectors, Shore’s passion for 19th century paintings began early in her life and she has continued to collect privately for the past 11 years. Ms. Shore lives and breathes England. From the time she first walked to school through the countryside and played on the castle grounds of Kent, she immersed herself in the landscapes of what she affectionately calls “her England.” One artist in particular, Benjamin Williams Leader R.A. (1831-1923), one of the most prolific and widely acclaimed of the Victorian Landscape Painters, according to Shore, was an artist that captured the true essence of England. Ms. Shore says, “When I look into his paintings, he takes me home…his works are like windows into England. I enjoy beautiful and meaningful things that have history within its makeup which is why I embrace my life in the art world and the journey it takes me on every day as I enter the gallery doors.”
For the first time in the United States, Cambridge Art Gallery will debut an impressive collection of B. W. Leader’s works. Ms. Shore says, “This exhibition is the largest known collection of Leader’s work in the world, a collection of paintings that define the artist and the subjects he chose.” Most significant about this important landscape artist is that although he was influenced by his lifelong admiration the revered John Constable, Leader’s work established a distinct and independent style. Among Leader’s trademarks was his remarkable ability to capture the amber luminosity of the afternoon sun and the wet lush heaviness of a rain-drenched countryside. Leader’s painting titled “February Fill Dyke” at the Birmingham Museum is said to be one of the “wettest paintings in all of England.”
Located in the quaint village of Brentwood, CA, Cambridge Art Gallery has the finest collection of museum quality 19th century/early 20th paintings and sculptures by noted and historically important artists. The gallery is unique in presenting works by both emerging artists and their stylistic predecessors. The Gallery recently opened CAG, Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, representing artists of the present day from around the world in order to bring awareness to fine artists who have a dream of becoming a part of art history, like those of past centuries. The gallery also holds an exceptional program of lectures and related events throughout the year inviting the most distinguished historians and curators from around the world.
Daniel Marshall, Artistic Director of LaDiego Dance Theater, 10-6-06
Daniel Marshall began his dance career in California at the San Diego Creative School of Performing Arts. By 1997 Mr. Marshall became Artistic Director of the San Diego Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Under his direction the company grew from eight to 12 members. Mr. Marshall set several pieces on the company, including Lover’s Lament and Blessed Assurance.
In 1997 Mr. Marshall received the Tommy Award (Best Male Performer/Choreographer). In 1999 he become a member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. In 2001, Mr. Marshall was named “One of the 25 Dancers to Watch” in Dance Magazine.
Mr. Marshall received the National Choreography Award in 2002. He is now Artistic Director/Founder of LaDiego Dance Theater in San Diego, and was appointed Artistic Director of San Diego Civic Youth Ballet from 2005-2006. In 2006 Mr. Marshall directed and choreographed the musical Cats for the San Diego Junior Theater. He is currently dancing with California Ballet.
LaDiego Dance Theater was established in 2004 by Artistic Director Daniel Marshall. Mr. Marshall brings together both seasoned professional dancers and highly talented local youth to perform in his company. LaDiego is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Contemporary Ballet Company.
Company mission: To inspire the community to participate in the power, passion and beauty of dance. Through performance and education, we aim to encourage innovation and experimentation, fusing classical and contemporary styles, to rediscover the common vocabulary of dance. We invite you to help bridge the gap between the symphony hall and the streets, to articulate the relevance of dance beyond the realm of music television, bringing dance back to dance.
LaDiego has performed widely, and also produced annual productions including Power, Passion & Beauty 2004; Young & Gifted 2005 & 2006; and Dance N Designs 2005 & 2006. The company is currently setting pieces for the premier of Harlem Nutcracker "Land of the Sweets", Saturday, 18 November 2006, at the Educational Cultural Complex, San Diego, CA.