June 2008, New Art Forum, Part I

New Art Forum, Day 1: May 31, 2008

New Art Forum is for art enthusiasts and aspiring collectors.

New Art Forum is a group for people who want to deepen their experience of contemporary art, to understand its driving issues and ideas, to uncover and champion its emerging artists and to create their own collections.

Some of the main interests of New Art Forum are:

•Discussions with artists, curators, collectors, and galleries

•Studio visits with emerging Bay Area artists

•Tours and walkthroughs of private collections

•Seasonal email highlights of events, and shows not to be missed

•Social networking with new and seasoned collectors, and others interested in contemporary art

•Tours of public exhibitions and collections, and travel to art destinations

New Art Forum began on May 31 with visits to the artist's studios of Ali, Naschke Messing, Eric Reyes-Lamothe, and Leo Estevez in San Francisco and Oakland. Our group was intimate, myself, Maria del Carmen Carrion (Curator of New Langton Arts), Langton Arts; with Langton Board Kate Connally,Vice President, Addicting Games; and Verda Alexander,Partner,Studio O+a and some new faces! Art collectors keep surprising me – they're younger than I thought, more approachable, thoughtful and inquisitive. What's more? They have the art world at their fingertips – but where to start? There are almost too many choices from the gallery, artnet.com, private dealers, friend's opinions, auctions etc. Alas, there is a gray era – New Art Forum – intending to foster the next generation of collectors, trustees and donors. If you're reading this and asking yourself "So who joins these groups? you are not alone. Those looking for a boost in their social life, married folks, cultured singles? Honestly? Whatever the age, gender or marital status the only related agenda I could deduce was their desire to learn more about art and socialize with the like-minded.

The first event consisted of 3 studio visits and offered what everyone wants, access. We first asked each artist to explain his or her work, process, recent shows and upcoming exhibitions. The collectors asked questions and each visit yielded various levels of enthusiasm and surprise. For our first trip we focused on young artists. Our aim was to create a support system and also to show collectors that great art can be affordable and right down the block instead of around the world.

 Maria del Carmen Carrion introduces Once Within a Room, Featuring a new installation by Alejandro
 Cesarco and Phantom Rosebuds by New York based artists Dexter Sinister. New Langton presented an
 alternative version of language, the word and texts in contemporary art processes, an alternative plan
 to publishing and production; a substitution for the word as absolute certainty. Taking the word and
 language as our starting point we chose 3 artists who had similar interests and could expand on Once
 Within a Room

 First stop was Ali Naschke-Messing’s studio at the Hunters Point art studios. Naschke-Messing using
 threadwork, space and language, which range from subtle to nearly indecipherable. She creates spatial
 landscapes of language: her poems, others words and a combination of the two. Most of the people in
 the New Art Forum tour had seen her work for the first time at Small Things End, Great Things Endure
 where Nasckle-Messing took quotes, transcribed them and then sewed the text onto fabric, following her
 own handwriting. The words dangle, stretch, thus making legibility difficult.

 Collection of photos and string from Naschke-Messing’s studio.

 Naschke-Messing describing her process

 Reading the quotes aloud to her guests

 This new work moves in a different direction for Naschke-Messing who has begun to move away from
 language and towards the line as being a metaphor for the space between two people’s
 communications. Using a Chalk Line Reel Nashcke-Messing is leaving subtle lines on the walls, which
 are interspersed with pieces of paper that remind the viewer of the fading nature of the chalk. Another
 aspect of this work is the pile of blue chalk sitting on the floor, piled imperfectly, being scattered
 around the room by a slight breeze.


 Two text works.

 Next stop - Eric Reyes Lamothe, recent graduate from SFAI. Again, some New Art Forum people might
 have seen his work in New Langton Arts small window before walking inside. Reye made To Own
, a paper-cut piece mounted perpendicular to the wall that projects a shadow of this phrase
 when lit from below.

 Reyes showed us work from his recent show at SFAI

 Reconstruction. Moroccan ceramic and paper, 2007
 He told us a story about this bowl – a piece he brought back from travels that broke in his suitcase. He
 loved it so much that he put it back together but wanted to draw attention to the fact it had been
 broken and place small white pieces of paper in between its cracks. These pieces of paper in fact have
 made the bowl even more fragile and therefore the work continuously breaks and Reyes mends it.

 Sleeping Multitude, Watercolor on ceramic bisque, 2006, 19 pieces.

 In Reyes own words, “Cars represent the multitudes in movement. The car is on the street, it moves,
 and it leaves residues, all of these are qualities of the crowd. The car is made in series, so it relates to
 the print-making process. Once the car dies and goes to the junk-yard, the rust transforms it into a
 singular object. The mass-made car turns into an original object. The same direction is applied to the
 work of art, when my cars are used as the surface for a painting.”

 Minimal Multitudes
, the last body of work Reyes showed us is a series that he started in 2003. The
 departure point was a crowd of people protesting in the "Zócalo", Mexico City's main public square. The
 crowds have resulted in many mediums but for me, one of the most successful is a Reyes’ watercolor.
 They are almost all made with one color, a light blue – like the color of sky. The work is not exact and
 up close the figures begin to fall.

Link to New Art Forum Part II here.

Jessica Silverman

Jessica Silverman is a recent graduate of the MA Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of Arts as well as owner and director of Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. She has taken part in a Curatorial Residency at the Frankfurter Kunstverein the summer of  2006.  As an independent curator she has recently produced International Waters co-curated by artist Soo Kim for StevenWolfGallery, San Francisco and is working on exhibitions with curators Mizuki Endo and whitehot NYC contributor Jan Van Woensel.  In 2008, Silverman and Passenger Books will publish Leaving the Library a catalogue of conversations.     


view all articles from this author