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Tuesday Night Painting #29

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Rachel Comminos at Grayduck Gallery

Hello painters,

This weekend I made another on-site visit to an Austin gallery. Last time around it was a trip to Ivester Contemporary, a brand new gallery exhibiting their very first show. This time around I took a trip to Grayduck, a gallery in the eastern part of town that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

CAPIROTADA: Of a Personal Nature, the title of this exhibition, takes its inspiration from the name of a tasty Mexican bread pudding consisting of fruit and nuts soaked in syrup. The work on offer here ranges from photography to drawing to painting to textiles, a diverse but vibrant collection. In their diversity of mediums and techniques, the artists are the fruits and nuts -- varyingly soft or sweet or crunchy or earthy. The curators of the show (three Austin creatives working under the banner of Los Outsiders), are the syrupy bread bringing everything together, the unifying element.

Installation view of Rachel Comminos' fiber wall hangings
Rachel Comminos and Julie DeVries were the two artists in the show who were working abstractly, and whose work initially caught my eye. Comminos has created a series of large and small knit yarn pieces that sit on the wall like a normal canvas would. Growing Together is the piece featured at the top of this newsletter and also is the small but loud centerpiece of the gallery's rear room.

The bright colors of this piece, pinks and blues, pop right off the wall. But lean in a little closer and you can see that some of the teardrop shapes are done up in a lovely, subtle rainbow pattern. It's a good trick, working with the hot pink to grab your eye and then rewarding you with a quieter but still enticing detail. Furthermore, once you're in close your other senses get activated by the texture of the work. These pieces are created out of a plush, fuzzy yarn that throws into stark relief the cruelty of the gallery's no touching policy.
Paintings by Julie DeVries
Julie DeVries, a Houston based artist, has on display these captivating paintings that vary between purely abstract and naturalistic. Above, the largest piece at 40 x 30 inches, is a swarm of brushstrokes. The strokes get smaller and denser as they approach the center, giving the impression that everything is warping around some strong force gathered in the middle of the canvas. The yellow stands out strongly and contrasts beautifully with the purples and blues behind it.

DeVries other canvases are lush nature scenes, closeups of trees and leaves that compliment her skillful brushwork and control of color. These paintings are special achievements in that they've captured an array of different sensations. Whether it's spring or fall, whether the sun is filtering through the branches or setting over an autumn landscape, these canvases convey that sensation powerfully.
You can see more installation shots and closeup views of the artwork on Grayduck's website, which can be accessed at this link here.
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Other Painting News

I enjoyed learning about the work of Celia Johnson, based in Chapel Hill NC, from this review of a new exhibition of her work. Johnson's painting and encaustic work is bold and bright, and makes use of the natural textures of her support -- you can see the wood grain poking out from behind the hard-edged swathes of paint. 

Johnson's work can be viewed on her website here.
And here is your weekly reminder that this newsletter is free but not cheapI've been spending more and more hours each week researching and writing about new artists for me and you to lovingly gaze at.
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A long piece in the NY Times about Amy Sillman's latest collection of work at Gladstone Gallery. Sillman indirectly gave me the motivation to begin my abstract painting classes, and by extension, this newsletter. She has been a lodestar for understanding contemporary abstract painting, having curated and been the subject of several major museum exhibitions over the past decade. 
Pictured below (just kidding), the Canadian artist Anders Oinonen is the next to have a solo show at The Hole, one of my favorite NYC galleries. Oinonen layers colors on top of colors, creating abstract, cartoonish faces. You can see more of his work here.
That'll do it for this week, painters.

This week I want to recommend the latest album "As Long As You Are" by the band Future Islands, and a couple of tracks by Canadian jazz collective BADBADNOTGOOD. Check a few of the tracks out here:

Future Islands - Born in a War
Future Islands - For Sure
Future Islands - Thrill

BADBADNOTGOOD - Chompy's Paradise

See you next time, and happy painting.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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