hiiiiii! time for more art. this edition of the grapefruits sometimes art mail is kind of just a bunch of stuff i like... i guess the rough through line is representational images in 2 dimensions... aka paintings/drawings/prints of people, places, and things! also i just felt like collecting a lot of beautiful pictures to look at, which is why i got into making art in the first place – maybe you can relate?
this is a bit different for me, but yolo... i am starting with an instagram post by the artist avocado ibubrofen (real name jaako pallasvuo, i think). i really liked this cute yet angsty defense of decoration as a critical practice. i have experienced the knee-jerk reaction of just wanting to make pretty things and not think so hard goshdarnit, only to walk that sentiment back entirely as i argue in my head for the conceptual depth and rigor of prettyness haha.
related: this review of the traveling exhibition, with pleasure, by sowon kwon at 4 columns. i wish i had gotten to see this show!!! there is a beautiful catalogue you can buy or check out from your local art school library. this is a show of works from the pattern & decoration movement, which has been a huge influence for me and lots of other artists i know. there is a lot to think about in these works, especially when it comes to conversations about modernism, cultural appropriation, and feminism.
faith ringgold was making quilts around the same time that the P&D movement was happening, but i think she's usually associated with the feminist art movement instead? all these movements and labels are applied retroactively anyway, so take them with a massive grain of salt. anyway, her incredible quilts and paintings are on view at the new museum in new york right now, and ye olde new york times has a write up for you here. if you don't know this work, get to know it!!!
another feminist named faith! faith wilding has new drawings at anat egbi gallery in los angeles, and rachel elizabeth jones wrote about them for contemporary art review l.a. i was lucky enough to be in a zoom class that faith visited in 2020, and she was so much fun! these meditative images of "fossils" made me think of a review i read recently of a new book, sheila heti's pure colour. i just ordered it, anyone out there read it yet? i read that the main characters turn into leaves at one point...
how about another instagram post?? i really resisted instagram for a long time, and i still don't love it and sometimes suspend my account to get away, but all the artists and writers on there bring me back... variable west covers west-coast art and is one of the nicest things in my social media "feed." they have a newsletter you should sign up for; each show listing is paired with a reflection prompt to get your creative viewing energy flowing. this post features a recent response from a reader. follow them for more in this series. thank you amelia and the VW crew!
i saw caitlin cherry's painting her burnout tesseract in a review of the 2021 show black femme at canada gallery. i immediately spaced on her name and the name of the show but i couldn't get the painting out of my head. i finally figured out where i saw it, and after a bit more reading i found this interview with the artist about issues surrounding technology, visual culture, and the complex representations of black femme bodies in her work. i'm also a big fan of dark study, the alternative-mfa program that cherry runs.
this show is a couple of years old now (!), but i still think about these paintings very often. read about salman toor's 2020 show at the whitney, how will i know, in metal magazine, which is a publication i wasn't familiar with but it seems cool! but really though, these are such beautiful pictures, i hope i get to see them in person some day.
i'll wrap it up with this interview by the lovely sarah rose sharp with the amazing tyanna buie for maake magazine. i got to meet tyanna the other week when she visited the university of michigan (where i'm currently at), and am now officially a fan. tyanna's prints have so much depth in their layers and personal symbolism, and as a printmaking nerd i love the variety of processes she uses. if you ever get the chance to hear her talk about her work, do it! most fun i have ever had at an artist talk : )
ok that seems like a good amount of stuff. more soon! let me know if you see anything cool out there you'd like to share with me.