Artist of the Week (06/22/05): Special
Although I'm not going to shy away from promoting my own artists on this blog, I'm also going to highlight and critique the work of other artists. Just because someone is selected as the "artist of the week" doesn't necessarily mean I'll have generous things to say about the work (and I'll encourage any commenters to take the same tough love approach [OK, so the love hasn't been all that tough, what can I say? I'm a soft-hearted artists lover]). I will endeavor, however, to highlight the work of artists who are perhaps "underappreciated."
To get the ball rolling, I want to discuss briefly the work of a good friend of mine: Amanda Church. She's represented in New York by Michael Steinberg Fine Art and in Boston by Clifford-Smith Gallery. [which has since closed, Rob and Jim promise to return in some format soon though]. Here's one of the paintings [from her new exhibition]:
Amanda Church, Society's Children, 2004, oil on canvas, 72" X 80"
Amanda Church, Tangled Web, 2006, oil on canvas, 72" x 80"
Amanda's work has been called psychosexual, so if you think you're seeing naughty things when looking at it, you're not necessarily crazy. Amanda's forms are abstracted from body parts, pop icons, kitschy images, and more recently text. Her greatest achievement, IMO, is her palette. Amanda's one of the most amazing colorists working today. Her choices are constantly innovative and her taste is flawless.
I bought a piece by Amanda at a benefit long before I met her. I now am the happy owner of several of her pieces, and one that resides at the foot of my bed makes me as happy as anything else in my collection when I contemplate it. There's a mature joy of life in this work and just enough silliness to charm me even in my darkest hours.
Here's a snippet from the press release for her new exhibition:
This body of work -- the artist's most exuberant and largest scale to date --continues her exploration of the newxus of Pop and pleasure.
At times evoking senuous sea creatures, at others tropical foilage, these body-inspired shapes tease us into squareing private yearnings with public personas. They wrestle and vie for attention; they caress and nestle against each other. But mostly they encourage each viewer to put his or her own emotions on the line within the psychological arena the artist has created.
Art critic Sarah Schmerler comments:
"That Chruch can render her forms familiar, yet ever hard to pin down, is proof of her power an an abstractionist. There's a strange, inverse-ratio at work: the more she pares down her composition, the more they are about a senuous pure viewing pleasure."
Here's another sneak peek at Amanda's new work:
Amanda Church, Flash Point, 2006(?), oil on canvas, 72" X 80"
It's been a true pleasure to watch Amanda's work evolve. Each year it's become more complex and sophisticated, while maintaining that joyous edge that attracted me to it in the first place. But don't take my word for how great Amanda is...go see the exhibition!