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annie wharton

Post #409 • November 15, 2004, 6:47 AM • 10 Comments

This week I'm going to catch up on writing about the shows I've seen. I've got a lot of images, and I want to go through them a little at a time.

Below are two pieces in Annie Wharton's show, "Pixie," at Ambrosino Gallery. Wharton seems to be making more judicious choices about where to put paint down on her vinyl surfaces, and relying less on her kitchen implements to apply the paint, letting it pour instead. The changes have improved the results - they appear freer, and less clotted and harsh. I've always liked her color sense, which successfully walks a line between attractiveness and poor taste.

She made an installation with some of these blobs of paint, applying them directly to the wall. Jack was referring to yours truly yesterday as the artist who said that Wharton should have painted the wall flat gray instead of metallic silver, which I felt robbed the blobs of much of their inherent attractiveness. At the very least, the wall needed another coat of paint on it - I found the roller streaks distracting.

Somehow - I don't know how - Wharton ought to figure out how to make these three-dimensional. Even as is I find them Calderesque, insofar as they celebrate floating, friendly shapes - imagine if she made the patterns and blobs voluminous and freed them from the wall completely.

Comment

1.

that guy in the back row

November 15, 2004, 6:12 PM

I'm imagining it, and it seems a needless complication for someone like Wharton who struggles so with just 2 dimensions.

2.

mon ami miami

November 15, 2004, 6:23 PM

I have watched the career of ms. Wharton for quite some time, and i think she has passed her moment of opportunity. The new project was an improvement and i root her for trying. (the silver walls do need another 2 coats to be effective.)

3.

another miami artist

November 15, 2004, 8:12 PM

i'm glad you posted this today franklin. it gives wharton an opportunity she didn't have in yesterday's discussion; with some of the more negative comments.

4.

Gravity

November 15, 2004, 8:12 PM

This work looks inert, and uninteresting. I see no evidence of sensitivity or thoughtfulness- other than that it's fine.

5.

oldpro

November 15, 2004, 8:53 PM

This and the preceding discussions are symptomatic of our problem here in Miami.

I have nothing against Wharton's work; she has worked out a style & method; it is recognizable as hers; it has a certainl character; it is "current". Same goes for the comic drawings and much of the other stuff we see in the Roundup every week.

But here we are in the middle of the art season, with Art Basel around the corner (with maybe not much quality but a shitload of quantity & hype and everyone in the world of art here in Miami) and we are spending an inordinate amount of time discussing the exquisite niceties (the silver, the roller marks, the design, the material) of work that is assertively minor at best. The reason? There's nothing better to talk about.

I saw a couple of articulate new voices on the blog over the weekend and I hope they keep posting, whether I agree with them or not. One of them said there is better art out there - maybe not great, but a hell of a lot better. That is true. But the dealers are amateurish and confused and looking over their shoulders and trying to be "with it", and the critics are too polite and have nothing much to look at in the first place and also trying to be "with it". The better work is just not getting shown, especially when it does not fit current ideas of art fashion, and conformity to fashion is the only real pressure out there. When you gripe about it someone is sure to come along and accuse you of being envious of artists who are "making it" or such like - the old dodge of giving motives to people who say something they don't want to hear. It is a matter of much milling about and jabbering and timid sensitivity.

We have to do better, and part of being better is saying that what we have is not good enough. Let's keep at it.

6.

Joe Teskie

November 15, 2004, 10:33 PM

Critique is good - we all have opinions and they must be shared.

I think Annie's new stuff is growth apparent and that is the whole point for me. Keep growing, keep learning, keep adapting.

I'm wondering if anyone asked if there is a purpose to the lack of an extra coat of silver. Could there be a purpose? Might making something prettier not always be the intention?

7.

Joe Teskie

November 15, 2004, 10:33 PM

Critique is good - we all have opinions and they must be shared.

I think Annie's new stuff is growth apparent and that is the whole point for me. Keep growing, keep learning, keep adapting.

I'm wondering if anyone asked if there is a purpose to the lack of an extra coat of silver. Could there be a purpose? Might making something prettier not always be the intention?

8.

Franklin

November 15, 2004, 11:05 PM

Testing... dammit, that double post shouldn't have been possible...

9.

oldpro

November 15, 2004, 11:24 PM

Joe:

"growth apparent" is all very well, but this is a professional gallery exhibition, not grad school.

And if you ask an artist why something isn't working on a painting the easy answer is "Oh, I did that on purpose because (fill in reason here)".

All this is beside the point. The art either works or it doesn't.

10.

Phil Isteen

November 16, 2004, 6:27 AM

Franklin, thanks for posting the pics for those not able to see the show.
I must admit I was ready to trash anything else from Ms. Wharton, but I have to admit with A. Triff that there is a progession here.

Yes the "realization of her idea was too concerned with itself" in earlier works - self-conscious, contrived, forced symbols of domesticity...too bad she still hasn't given up the masher. But there is a glimmer of hope...

Maybe all the frustrated artists here need a publicist, too to get some attention.

Again Franklin, IS that you on Ambrsino's web sites front page? Should we be questioning your good intentions, Franklin? Just kidding!!! I am an agent of MAM, and the govenment, and all that is evil, remember? ;)

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