Thursday, January 21, 2010

Style Blue Print writes about Twist Art Gallery

January 10 2010
It’s freezing. It’s icy. Styleblueprint offers a virtual local art gallery tour.
As Liza and I plan our StyleBlueprint calendar, we've become a bit more organized in progressing our conversation on literature and art. We've even added a fun new monthly post on local music-- get excited as it will post next week. My hand always goes up when it comes to writing about local art: what's happening at the local shows and galleries, who is new on the art scene and just the general buzz in the art community. Nashville's abundance of emerging artists, as well as established artists, is one of the aspects which makes this city flourish. For a city the size of Nashville, the number and caliber of art galleries is pretty amazing. And, when other print magazines are suffering, Nashville Arts Magazine has taken off.
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On with the post.....
I've often wondered if the proliferation of great art, books and music is a Southern thing since this region is so rich and deeply rooted in beauty and passion. Let's face it: if you look at the breath of literature, art and music from Southern artists, it's impressive to say the least. Growing up in Midtown Memphis, I was surrounded (literally) by a cadre of incredible artists like Carroll Cloar, Mary Sims, Dolph Smith and many more. The artists I just named have all received national recognition and acclaim for their work.
So this is going to be a fun online tour of what's going on in three art galleries in Nashville. I am embarrassed to say that one of the galleries, Twist Gallery, I have never set foot in. But the buzz about this gallery is so strong, so it is my loss to be sure. It is a resolution to get there. I have selected my one favorite artist from each gallery, but I could have added several others with ease. Nashville, consider yourself fortunate to have great choices when it comes to art.
If you've never been to on a Gallery tour, or to an art opening, it is a wonderful evening. You would be absolutely surprised what is going on in the world of art in neighborhoods all over the city. From 5th Avenue Downtown, 5 Points in East Nashville to Green Hills, our city alive with cultural events of all varieties.
Twist Gallery:

Twist Gallery owners: Caroline Carlisle and Beth Gilmore
Twist is in the Arcade, one of Nashville's most historically significant buildings. Twist has captured the interest of Nashville after it was opened in 2006 by Caroline Carlisle, an art consultant and Beth Gilmore, an artist and Curator. The Twist Gallery touts innovative events encompassing music, dance and art. Twist has established itself as an art experience not simply an art gallery. The owners hope to create a new model for galleries, instead of the 'one night' art show. This new model includes having artists on display for longer periods of time, allowing for more sales. Twist offers an eclectic mix of local, regional and national artists. If you are a first time art buyer, this is a great gallery to check out as they offer boutique-style affordable art in the back room.

Pinwheel: Work on recycled paper by Lauren Kussro
My artist pick from Twist? It comes from my friend Leigh Hendry, of the Tennessee State Museum. She gave me this tip as the museum has just purchased a piece from Lauren Kussro, whose work is on display with Twist's permanent collection. Lauren Kussro is from Jackson, MS and received her MFA from University of Tennessee. She makes her own paper from recycled goods and creates fabulous designs mimicking the cellular and organic structures you see in nature. Her ability to capture the repetitiveness and patterns is ingenious. She has introduced light into her work giving another dimension all together.
Gallery One:
Gallery One is located at the split between Highway 100 and 70 in the Belle Meade Galleria Shopping Center. You'll never meet a more gracious (now that's a Southern adjective) and delightful gallery owner than Shelley McBurney. She has a marvelous eye and truly wants visitors to enjoy her gallery. Her artists in residence are like her children; she knows their works intimately. Her mailings on artist openings make me drool. One of my favorite artists at Gallery One is Susan Hall. Although I do not own one of her painting, my friend Brooks does, so I can go visit it anytime I want. When I was in Gallery One the last time, I spied the work of Brian Tull. His heightened strong sense of graphics, realism and nostalgic feel sent chills down my back. Ooops, I picked two artists.

Work by BrianTull from Gallery One

Afterglow by Susan Hall from Gallery One
Cumberland Gallery:
My list is not complete without Carol Stein's Cumberland Gallery. She has been introducing caliber artists to Nashville since 1980. She is a no-nonsense business woman located smack dab in the heart of Green Hills. I trust Carol's eye for new, emerging artists more than anyone else in the city. Currently, Carol is featuring 3 artists in a show duly named the Young Turks. The Young Turks are Dane Carder, Jeff Green and Max Shuster. It's a toss up as to who gets the "my favorite Turk" award because they are all incredible in the mediums in which they work. However, since I promised you my one favorite artist, I am particularity drawn to Dane Carder's paintings. His work is beguiling with its eerie flashbacks of the Civil War and a South we never knew. Do yourself a favor and visit the other Turks as they are an impressive trio.

Cotton by Dane Carder from Cumberland Gallery
Dang it, I just can't just pick ONE...again! I HAVE to mention another artist at Cumberland Gallery: Marilyn Murphy, the goddess of capturing the mundane and adding surprising twists. Once I asked my neighbor, a well-respected art collector, "If you were to purchase from a local artist- as investment- whose work would you buy?" Without much thought, he said, "Marilyn Murphy." She is a professor at Vanderbilt with over 270 exhibitions under her belt. She is well respected in EVERY art circle and is truly a nationally acclaimed artist. Here are some examples of her work. I'll leave the interpretation up to you....and Marilyn.

Reaching for Cover by Marilyn Murphy from Cumberland Gallery

Pearls in Wine by Marilyn Murphy from Cumberland Gallery
In closing, visit one of our fine galleries and superior cadre of artists soon. It's may be cold outside, but the beauty and imagination of art within will warm you right up.
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A review from Rocky Horton's new art blog nashville critical

January exhibtions at Twist 58 and Rymer

Filed under: Uncategorized — nashvillecritical @ 2:41 am
The (relatively) new Twist 58, the Twist art gallery’s project space, is the most interesting art gallery in downtown Nashville. Outside the university/college system, it is one of the only venues showcasing difficult, challenging, or “unsalable” works of art. It is not fearful of installation art, a virtual pariah at the more established galleries (with deference to what I think may have been an attempt at installation by the Rymer gallery, which amounted to an enigmatic, unlabeled pile of red dirt in the corner of the upstairs gallery). And, thus far, Twist 58 has shown itself to be an open space for experimentation and imagination.
Currently, Twist 58 is hosting three shows of varying degrees of success: Duncan McDaniel in the rear room, Matthew Christy, and squeezed into a small closet area in the back, Patrick Vagrant.
Knowing very little of Patrick Vagrant’s work, one may have difficulty noticing it. Apart from the video work displayed to passersby on an exterior window, the work is unassuming. This lack of immediate notability is partly due to the cramped closet space it occupies through a door in the front gallery and it’s meager use of slyly modified materials. In an art community that is defined by overstocked galleries and ostentatious artworks, Vagrant’s work offers an intriguing alternative.
The entirety of the exhibition consists of the aforementioned video work, a few clamp lamps (one aiming unnecessarily at a junction box… not a part of the work, but confusing nonetheless), two tape recorders, and a Gideon’s hotel Bible.
All of these works have the common quality of a slow reveal. Somewhat unique in Nashville, these works do their work unhurriedly and without pretention. The piece entitled, “I am a strange loop”, consists of two vintage tape recorders (are there any other kinds?) lying close together emitting a high-pitched whine. Only after some investigation does one realize that the recorders have been simply wired together, receiving each other’s output and in effect, playing each other.

"I am a strange loop" by Patrick Vagrant
This kind of subtle play on expectations is Vagrant’s greatest strength. Akin to artists like Robert Gober, Vagrant’s work refuses to reveal or explain itself fully. “I am a strange loop” requires the viewer to linger and to contemplate. This is no small task in a seemingly urgent, lightning-fast, information-saturated age. And, in this respect, Vagrants work does what all good artwork should do–give the viewer pause.

"there is nothing outside the text" by Patrick Vagrant
In, “There is nothing Outside the Text”, Vagrant has subtly re-crafted a Gideon’s hotel Bible so it is bound on both sides. Again, placed seemingly inattentively on a shelf, this work dares to be dismissed as just another object in the room. The Bible is dirty and slightly damaged. By binding both sides, Vagrant offers a solid critique of the limits of the Biblical text by its inherent metaphorical boundedness, its refusal to be open for interpretation and its occupation as the property and proprietor of a limited worldview. However, it also carries with it a Wittgensteinian understanding of a mistrust of text. It is a simple poetic work on the limits of text, the limits of hermeneutics, and the limits of human understanding, religious or otherwise.
In stark contrast to Vagrant’s work at Twist 58, the Rymer gallery has offered a staggering amount of simultaneous works on display. Apparently, the gallery has a unique understanding of how to consider works of art. A kind of “more is more” approach that is disruptive to any type of contemplative viewing of the pieces. This type of display–more flea market than art gallery–infers a lack of understanding of the importance of each piece, reducing them to pure commodity. If it weren’t for the exemplary work of a few of its artists, the Rymer gallery’s arrangement could be interpreted as an attempt to disguise a lack of quality by distracting the viewer with sheer volume.

detail of Clary work at Rymer
Finding its way to the front of the crowd, the work of Charles Clary is perennially interesting. His work consists of cut paper layered to resemble geological striations or molecular forms. These works are well-crafted and coolly designed. They are not particularly original reflections on new trends in landscape painting. Nonetheless, Clary’s works are often exploratory, manifesting in frameless installations of the stacked cut-outs, reversing the perforation of the traditional surface to boundless relief maps of pure color and organic form. Clary’s works at the Rymer gallery are a welcome respite from the cacophony of works on display.
In the most recent offerings, Clary has made an attempt to inject some sense of play or fantasy into the otherwise reserved aesthetic. Regrettably, this is a misstep. Hidden in formerly serene punctures of the surface, Clary has begun including small pencil renderings of science fiction style towers, or buildings. It is unwelcomed and an absolute destruction of the former seriousness and sublimity of the works. Perhaps the inclusion of a more playful hand would be appropriate to push beyond works that are tiring to create and are lacking progression. However, simply placing drawings of confounding subject matter reduces the work to illustrations of sci-fi fantasy lands. Like the Rymer gallery’s all or nothing display style, this choice shows an unexpected lack of restraint and discernment. It is an unfortunate blunder.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Watkins : five +5 February 6-27th 2010

Twist Art Gallery presents: Watkins five +5

opening Feb. 6th from 6-9 pm show runs through feb 27th 2010

in space # 73

show includes Watkins College of Art and Design's Fine Arts Department Faculty :

Brady Haston
Terry Thacker
Ron Lambert
Derek Cote
Kristi Hargrove

plus five watkins students

Lauren Willis
Clayton Lancaster
Robert Dunn
Claudia O'Steen
Alexis Hicks
Tim Marchbanks

opening February 6th from 6-9 p.m. as part of the First Saturday Art
Crawl in Nashville's Historic Arcade and the Avenue of the Arts

Twist Art Gallery
73 Arcade
Nashville, TN 37219

Caroline Carlisle, Director:
Beth Gilmore, Curator:

Gallery Hours
Thursday and Friday 11 - 5
Saturday 11 - 3
Join us the first Saturday of every month
6 to 9 p.m. for the First Saturday Gallery Crawl