Since I am here in California and poor and in Graduate school I will not have the chance to go to New York to see the Whitney Biennial 2010 before it closes soon. Do it if you can! The artists look pretty fantastic, maybe fewer than in the past, but solid nonetheless.
The artist I most want to see is Storm Tharp. The parallels between his work and mine are obvious, and it's satisfying to know there is still room for painters like him in the Whitney. Hurray for portraits, water media, and drawing! All drawings featured below are combinations of goache, ink, colored pencil, and graphite on large format paper.
With a BFA from Cornell in 1992, I'm not sure what he has been up to other than making work, presumably in Portland, OR, and showing at PDX Contemporary. His statement is short and sweet; no concrete prescriptions for his work and vague enough to cover all of his multidisciplinary work, from portraits to video to color fields. "My work can be distilled in two distinctive points of interest. One would be the tradition of the hand made object and its inherent ability to reflect nature. This is often a technical aspect that imbues its own meaning and beauty into the subject. The subject is almost always ripped from pop culture, and reflects various attributes of contemporary and historical life". I am refreshed to see that without a hard lined definition of what his work is specifically about, the viewer sees the work for what it is. I am further encouraged that the Whitney Biennial chose work that needs no thesis to unwrap, letting the beauty, unease, and unfiltered associations come through in the images.
Pigeon (After Shunsen)
(All images from PDX Contemporary's website. The top four are featured in the Whitney Biennial.)