CLIFF GARTEN STUDIO | A BRIGHT LIGHT ON THE HORIZON OF PUBLIC ART

17 05 2014

 

I have discovered Cliff Garten’s work in 2013, during my routine research about Harvard graduates of the Graduate School of Design. I was very inspired by what I saw – the scope of his work , the depth, the scale and the playful creativity, all while encompassing large projects with infrasctucture connotation. I was attracted and inspired by the Bullet & Suspect” composition imagery. Despite the harshness of the theme –since the project is a Forensic lab in Denver – and the hard durable materials – the poetry of the composition is undeniable. This is very similar to the well balanced wave design of the Los Angeles Overpass – the Baldwin Cliff Garten Bullet&Suspect Pic2Hills gateway, strongly reminiscent of e lace ribbon. There is a continuity in Cliff Garten’s work – that is rooted in his inner equilibrium. I was inspired by this giant visionary, who breaks boundaries and makes a statement – with harmony and without antagonizing the environment and the public.

Cliff Garten’s clear interest and in the connection between the Public and Private realm as it relates to Art , has always been close to my heart. Mr.Garten artistically embodies my inner belief system in that field. It is not incidental that my own artistic expression covers a wide range of medium, that can only be categorized as “multimedia “. That multidisciplinary quality was another one of Cliff Garden, that I deeply relate to. Somehow through the years – I always believed that Art and Architecture are closely related and the tangent is called Landscape Architecture.

CLIFF GARTEN STUDIO | Philosophy | Purpose
There is a latent potential in every public place and situation to become more than the specific functions it appears to perform. Public and private experiences are never distinct, but exchange places throughout the +Cliff Garten - Studio BLWH E-May2014day. My search for a place where desire intersects with our everyday activity is the search for sculptural forms which engage us in the poetry of our own actions and define our personal and social histories. The necessary facts of our public infrastructure are cause for the possibility of a public expression through the conscious design and integration of art. Sculpture defines our interaction and movement by creating energy between things, generating interest in public activity, reframing our private lives and creating a sense of place within public and private realms” ._C.G

 
Apparently the Harvard School of Design shares that view, since the graduate Public Art program and the graduate Landscape Architecture program belong to the same school.

On May 12th, 2013, the Los Angeles Arts Commission launched a new program of Open Studio talks with Artists – I was excited to attend to the Cliff Garten’s Open Studio. I was one of approximately twenty attendants. It was a great pleasure to meet Mr.Garten in person – for his level of sophistication, he is an approachable, kind mannered tall man. The presentation was a revelation of his noteworthy projects, his approach and his methodology.
Cliff Garten receptor Pic1There is hardly enough space to point out the details of the presentation- what was clear was that the success of the Studio is lined with depth , dedication and careful planning. Cliff Garten Studio . is a multidisciplinary Art studio for Public Art with the structure, discipline and organization of an Architectural studio, incorporating digital technology along with hands on craft. As Mr.Garten said – “You simply cannot buy a software and become a great designer because of it. The software is a tool – just like the brush and the sculpture rake.” You cannot design something that you are unable to craft with your own hands…” Excellent point. Artists vision for the concept comes first, dictated by the site and or the location – everything else follows, including the digital craft. To say that I agree is an understatement – I share this opinion 100%.
I am very enthusiastic about the rest of the Artists open studio events . Despite the facts that I have attended the most interesting and most inspiring Art talk. Why ? Perhaps because this new form of Art, the so called Public Art is a relatively new phenomenon and is born in the Unites States. And perhaps because it is the only form of Art, that has the capacity to transform the infrastructure of the public realm in this beautiful vast country of ours. Because America might be beautiful – when it comes to nature – but with the demographic +CliffGartenPhoto +Prsentingexpansion comes building an construction expansion that takes over and it is very easy to turn a green field into a concrete desert.

Cliff Garten’s vision has made vast breakthroughs in that regard – by showing that Public Infrastructure can be harmonious and functional at the same time. It is what people call beautiful. I call it simply brilliant.
If there is any slippery slope between Art and Function – it was not present in Cliff’s Garten’s work. When it comes to Public Art – Form and Function is allowed as long as it does carry artistic vision of a genius like Cliff Garten to unite the two in a interplay that brings subtle , yet unforgettable experiences.

Yours Truly,

IMG_0016Public Art Lover,
Tsvetana Yvanova

for the ArtChronicle

 

 





BOGDAN ALEXANDROV – A Modern Bulgarian Master

28 06 2013

Dear Friends, it has been a while… forgive my inconsistency! While the desire to write about artistic events and work that interest me is as usual boundless – time seems to be the only limitation. However – for those of you who enjoy these writings, that come from the heart of my love for Art , I am restarting my writing with this post– about a Bulgarian artist, whose work has crossed boundaries. I have always wanted to devote special posts to my Facebook ‘discoveries’. Some of these Artists  are unbelievable.1  Susanne Kessler ( a sophisticated installation Artist from Germany ), Philip Geist, Ross Ashton ( brilliant Multimedia artists from Germany and Great Britain ) ,  Cliff Garten ( a California Public Artist with incredible visions) to name a few.  These artists have something in common – they are absolutely brilliant! And inspirational!

     SUSPENDED (E)MOTION

As I promised in the beginning – I only show you artists who have in some way astounded me and inspired me. That is a promise I will keep! So before I resort to presenting each an every one of them in time, allow me to present you a very talented and masterful BOGDAN ALEXANDROV, whose latest work, that was exhibited in Yuzina Gallery(2013) –  I also encountered on Facebook.  The genuineness of his vision is undisputed. His latest exhibition in Sofia  has created quite a sensation. It id here – on the West coast by means of digital  media. The large canvases  by Bogdan Alexandrov convey a certain mood, that seems to captivate the viewer and leave a lasting impression. AndBOGDAn ART (3) makes us think. Makes us relate to the people in the images. ” What are they thinking? What are they talking about…? “After these questions fade away , we discover that it does not really matter. What matters is – that these paintings have captured a moment in time – that will never happen again. The eternal ‘now” as the Zen philosophy points it. The only moment that actually exists.

Regarding his method, in Mr.Alexandrov’s own words: ” Nowadays , people document life with greater ease than ever.” Says the Artist. ” Equipped with new technology, reporters, filmmakers and artists are “capturing” images constantly. The digital medium transmits images in a format, where the image is reduced to a time code and is modified by the imperfections of he optical systems being used.” These imperfections have been superimposed and intelligently used as the foundation of his method, that is difficult to define – by creating the illusion of the movement, without the still  frames…

BOGDAn ART (4)The Artist: “In my works I depict the characters by synthesizing multimedia images in a series of transitional transparencies. Their hands, faces, gestures and movements are in a state in which the conventional two-dimensions representational painting is replaced by the dynamic of the movement.”

The Artist Bogdan Alexandrov lives and works in Bulgaria, his website and his blog  are: http://bogdanaleksandrov.blogspot.com/

Enjoy !

Your Truly.

IMG_0016

Tsvetana  for

TheArtChronicle

For Your Viewing Experience – Below is Bogdan Alexandrovs List of Exhibits

__________________________________________

Bogdan Aleksandrov, Born in 1960, Vidin, Bulgaria.

 1

1989 – “St. Cyril and Methodius” University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria,

M.A. in Fine Art Painting.Lives and works in Vidin, Bulgaria.

Solo Exhibitions:

2012 “Purgatorium”, Rayko Aleksiev gallery, Sofia, BG. Curator Desislava Moneva.

2012 “Creation from nothing”, St. st. Cyril and Methodius University Veliko Turnovo, BG. Curator Georghi Minchev.
2012 “Local cooling”, Gallery L’Union, Plovdiv, (BG), painting.

2010 “Panta rei”, painting, Novi Sad, Serbia.

2010 “Noise”, Sofia City Gallery, Sofia,(BG), painting, sound installation.

2008 “Entrebaillement” Cite International Des Arts, Paris, France,  Video projection and performance

2008  “mixed”, Art Alley Gallery, Sofia, (BG), digital print, painting, video,drawings.

2007 “Initial E”, Gallery L’Union, Plovdiv, (BG), Video installation, work on handmade Japanese paper.

2007 “Replacement” , Nikola Petrov Gallery, Vidin (BG), painting and video projection,  curator Gordon Carter

2006 “Residual image”, Narodni muzej, Zajchar, Serbia

2005 “Residual image”, Stara Capetanjia Art Gallery, Zemun, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

2003 “Anthropomorphous version”, National Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

2002 “My Glagolitsa”, painting, Sofia Art Gallery, London (UK)

2001 “Shores”, painting, King’s Head Gallery, Presteign, Wales (UK)

1999 “Metamorphoses of the Instant”, painting and plastic arts, “Art 36″ Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

1997 “DURE” Art Gallery, Timishoara, Romania

1997 “Stalbata” Art Gallery, Sofia (BG)

1994 Painting, “Spectra” Art Gallery, Veliko Tarnovo; “Ilia Beshkov” Art Gallery, Pleven (BG)

1993 “Agora” Art Gallery, Reshitza, Romania

1993 Painting & Drawing, Art Museum, Kalafat, Romania

1992 Painting, “Nikola Petrov” Art Gallery, Vidin (BG)

1990 Painting & Drawing, Higher Institute of Architecture, Sofia (BG)

1990 “Version of Progress”, Kinetic installation, Higher Institute of Architecture, Sofia (BG)

 

 

 





THE LA ART SHOW 2013

31 01 2013

THE LOS ANGELES ART SHOW AS SEEN BY THE ART CHRONICLE

The LA Art Show was much expected by Artists and Collectors and Art lovers just the same. It was here and it is gone Iphone 420now. I was able to attend for a brief Saturday afternoon – and it was packed! I thought I was in some kind of futuristic Art version of Neiman Marcus … Not that Neiman was ever that packed with visitors. That was the curious part – apparently, the organizers did a wonderful job promoting it.

Most impressive part was the variety of Art and the presence of Chinese Artists and GalleriesLA ART (27). Among the American Galleries, who are always present at every show like ABBY TAYLOR GALLERY (Boston) and LUREI GALLERY (Los Angeles) just to name a couple – the presence of Chinese art galleries was strong both as number of galleries and quality of Art. The Chinese traditional mastery was possibly the most impressive – A wonderdful large-scale portrait of an elderly lady stayed with me long after I left the show. Daniele Sculpture Woman with w cigaretteImpeccable brushstroke - and emotion for detail. For the short time I was able to view the show  - one other thing made an impression on me – very little sculpture. Almost nonexistent. Could it be that this means a Sculpture Art Show is in the making for 2014?  Hmmm – Maybe next ART SHOW  will have a special section exclusively for sculpture – Contemporary and Traditional Figurative…. In any case – LURIE GALLERY had two California Artists, both dramatically different in their sculpture technique – Jon Krawzhyk - contemporary abstract medium, usually  large scale and Daniele Matalon - traditional figurative third to half-life size bronzes. Daniele Matalon’s “Petra” is exquisite, sensual in a contained kind of way, and masterful in its execution. Daniele Matalon is a Sculptor, who started her career in early 2000. ‘Petra’ reminds me of a sculptural version of an Var5gas and Olivia’s glamourous pin-ups. To view the show , for you is a brief video on the Art Chronicle YOUTUBE  channel ( click on the red text to activate the link).  See you soon!

 Yours Truly,

BIG SMILE

 

 

 

Tsvetana Yvanova,

for The Art Chronicle





ALLURE OF ABSTRACTION

9 06 2012

WHAT ‘S IN AN ABSTRACT?

A few months ago I came across a handwritten note by a very good artist, in his eighties – who just happens to like  classical representational art. He not only did not like abstract painting – he disliked it. OK – many people do not like abstractions – but they have the wisdom to say -’ I don’t understand it’. What is the Artist trying to say?  That is a valid point. You must understand something before you appreciate it or pass an opinion. I personally struggled for a long time because I did not understand Christo. However –  after a few  videos, his  biographical book, and a few other books on his art – I came upon the ‘aha’ moment. I got it! And ever since  that moment a few years back –  I am trying to the best of my abilities to explain  his art to others – to the best of my understanding.  Back to  the old school Artist, who dislikes Abstract art.  So much so, that he had the audacity to cut out an Article form a newspaper, about a celebrated abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler, with a note  addressed to his fellow-artist buddy:  ‘ Hi  John! Here is another example of hoe talentless fraud is accepted as art  and equally kook-y critics!’”. I just happen to know ‘John’,  who knows I love abstract art and just lets me have the  cut outs… The point here is – it is so easy to  dismiss something one does not understand. And  for some – belittling and degrading something they simply cannot   grasp – comes even easier.

But WHY?

Why dismiss something that clearly has values to many – aesthetic value, poetic value,  even monetary value ….. That brings me to  enclosing some reprints from a a well known publication about my favorite  abstract artist – Gerhard Richter – named lately ” The Top Selling Living artist“:  by Wall Street Journal in an  article by Kelly Crow.

About Gerhard Richter’s unrivalled success Mr. Crow adds: “The artist’s ascent is being driven by market demands as much as curatorial merit: Auction houses and museums, eager for new masters to canonize, are showcasing Mr. Richter’s works around the world at an ever-increasing clip. An influx of international collectors and dealers are also seizing the moment to buy or sell his pieces at a profit—including art-world tastemakers such as Russian industrialist Roman Abramovich, French luxury-goods executive Bernard Arnault, dealer Larry Gagosian, Taiwanese ele
ctronics mogul Pierre Chen and New York hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen

Mr. Richter’s work is uniquely suited to the tastes of the current art market. Like Picasso, he paints in a number of different styles—from rainbow-hued abstracts to poignant family portraits—giving collectors plenty of choice. Like Warhol, he is prolific, which ensures a steady volume of his works in the marketplace—yet enough of his works are in museum collections that he has avoided a glut. And ever since the deaths last year of painters Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud, collectors searching for another senior statesman have started giving his work a closer look.

Collectors are paying a particular premium for Mr. Richter’s larger abstracts from the
late 1980s, which have all the visual impact of a work by Francis Bacon or Mr. Rothko, artists whose prices spiked before the recession. These abstracts are also immediately identifiable as being Mr. Richter’s creations, making them easy status symbols. San Francisco dealer Anthony Meier says, “Collectors want an iconic work in a format that everyone recognizes. Monkey see, monkey do”

As Terry Teachout points out in his article “ The Seductive Allure of Abst

raction” :

“Part of what makes this series so fascinating is that Mr. Diebenkorn, who died in 1993, waged a lifelong “battle” with abstraction. He started out as a gifted Abstract Expressionist painter. In 1955 he suddenly embraced representation, turning out dozens of figurative paintings that translate the language of Matisse into a wholly personal, semiabstract style. Then, in the Ocean Park series, he made a decisive return to total abstraction, in the process creating the most original works of his career.

“To chart Mr. Diebenkorn’s stylistic development is to be reminded of the near-overwhelming power of the idea of abstraction in the 20th century. It was even felt by artists who, like Pierre Bonnard and Fairfield Porter, never produced an abstract painting in their lives, but were nonetheless influenced by the way in which practitioners of abstraction created what Mr. Diebenkorn called “invented landscapes,” nonobjective images that evoked the world of tangible reality while steering clear of literal representation.”

“Just as Kandinsky turned his back on figuration, so did the atonal composers of the early 20th century, led by Arnold Schoenberg, abandon tonal harmony, the fundamental ordering principle on which all Western classical music had previously been based. In a tonal composition, harmonic movement is the “plot” that propels the listener through time. Schoenberg, by contrast, sought to express his inmost feelings in a raw, unmediated way instead of using large-scale tonal architecture to shape them into conventionally coherent structures. “One must express oneself! he told Kandinsky in 1911.Express oneself directly! Not one’s taste, or one’s upbringing, or one’s intelligence, knowledge or skill. Not all these acquired characteristics, but that which is inborn, instinctive.”

Whatever causes the Abstract Art to  be in the center of such controversies as despised by some and revered by others  – is certainly not going away. Abstract Art  is here to stay. For those of us – who love Abstract Art – and even paint abstract – this is the good news. For the ones, who have not grown to at least like it – I would say – “Get over it!  Spend more time trying to understand it and less time complaining and maybe you will figure out why abstract art is so timeless…’ For now, my Abstract lovers – let us enjoy Richter’s unlimited imagination, while he keeps being amazed at his  own success….

Yours truly,

 

 Tsvetana Yvanova

 for The Art Chronicle








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