Category Archives: Contemporary Art

Seeing Double at Tayloe Piggott Gallery: Travagli & Katz

Patrizio Travagli, Mirror Image

Patrizio Travagli, Mirror Image, a work from “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery.

Recalculating! What is reality? Who am I?

You’ll have to wait for the new show at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery to find out. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,” a group of works by Italian artist Patrizio Travagli, is so new that, with the exception of the work shown above, it hasn’t yet been photographed. The exhibit runs  August 16 – September 30th. Join the gallery for an opening reception on Tuesday, August 16th, 6-8:00 pm.

“My intention is to guide spectators on a journey in which their knowledge of space is put to the test, revealing the imperceptible and disclosing new dimensions that stretch towards the infinite.” ~  Patrizio Travagli

This may be the ultimate selfie moment. Travagli is fascinated by light’s power to shift perception. You will become part of this exhibit~~your reflection in any of six large mirrors, each with their own reflective and color properties, change and shift and with you, the viewer.

From "In-Lusionem (Patrizio Travagli and Marco De Vincenzo) | Teatro Niccolini - Florence | 2016"

From In-Lusionem (Patrizio Travagli and Marco De Vincenzo) | Teatro Niccolini – Florence | 2016″. Taken from a previous exhibition in Italy; research on the artist and the descriptions of his upcoming show at Tayloe Piggott prompted me to share this photo example of an earlier Travagli project.

Travagli aims to lead viewers in rethinking their perception of space, regardless of a wide variety of techniques, such as painting, sculpting, video, photography and installation.

“I frequently collaborate with scientists and professionals of other fields, such as architects and designers, in order to achieve a complete result….my intention is to guide spectators on a journey in which their knowledge of space is put to the test, revealing the imperceptible and disclosing new dimensions that stretch towards the infinite,” says the artist.

“Stretch?” I hope those mirrors don’t make me look fat!

Alex Katz. Ariel (Red), ed. 26/56, 2016, 26-color silkscreen.

Alex Katz. Ariel (Red), ed. 26/56, 2016, 26-color silkscreen.

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Wildlife, Outside In

KOLLABS, Jake, 2016 Mixed Media, 12 x 12 in.

KOLLABS, Jake, 2016
Mixed Media, 12 x 12 in.

What if wildlife entered our homes, our environment and, well, got comfortable?

How would we react?

That’s the question artists Luis Garcia-Nerey and Anke Schofield, working together as “KOLLABS,” ask.

KOLLABS’ art, represented by Diehl Gallery  in a new show of KOLLABS (col’-lab-or-a-tive?) mixed media works depict wildlife in unnatural settings. These images bring fairytales and literary anthropomorphism to mind: Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Harvey. 

I’m “translating” here, but my reading is that KOLLABS believes society intentionally assigns objects to certain spaces because society is programmed to believe that’s where any given object belongs. KOLLABS hopes their art succeeds in helping us “flip the traditional way we view wildlife [by] placing them [in human] environments.”

KOLLABS: NEW WORKS’ opening reception takes place August 9th, 5-8:00 pm, at the Tram Club, base of the Teton Club, next to Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village In this Diehl satellite show, exhibition sales in part support the Grand Teton Music Festival.  From August 10 – September 6, viewings are by appointment only. 

Senses, surrounded.

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Borbay Merges Abstraction with Aristotle

Borbay. "Go Out and Get It For Yourself," ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage

Borbay. “Go Out and Get It For Yourself,” ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage.

It boils down to what makes an artist tick. Recently I shared an image of Borbay’s portrait of the actor Jon Hamm as Don Draper with a friend. Fascinated by the artist’s collage technique, she wondered why Borbay chose that creative path.

Aristotle said it best,” Borbay answered. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

For Borbay, known outside the art world as Jason Borbet, collage elements embedded within a portrait are a reflection of the subject, their era, issues and, “of course, autobiographical elements of yours truly.” Each piece is a multi-tiered time capsule.

Borbay’s Jackson Hole opening show reception takes place at the Art Association on Thursday, July 7th, 6-8:00pm. Entitled “Painting Light,” the show remains up through July 30th, 2016. The show includes examples of Borbay’s collage works, acrylic and “neon” canvases. To preview the full show, click here

"Painting Light's" signature work: Borbay's "Neon Cowboy.

“Painting Light’s” signature work: Borbay’s “Neon Cowboy. Acrylic, 24×24”

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The Red Road: Valkyries and Medicine Men at Altamira Fine Art

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24 inches

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24″. At Altamira Fine Art.

Valkyries. Often portrayed as beneficent creatures, their role as the God Odin’s daughters (or female assistants) in Norse mythology is deciding which warriors die and which survive great battles. Those who perish are flown to Odin’s Valhalla by the valkyries, so that he may watch over them.

“Whether in their loving or bloodthirsty modalities, the valkyries are best understood as part of the extensive and dynamic complex of shamanism that permeates pre-Christian Germanic religion,” notes the web page Norse Mythology for Smart People.

R. Tom Gilleon’s “Valkyrie” elicits a tumbling mass of confliciting emotion. Is this a wise and beneficent angel of Odin or a bloodthirsty footman? Is she grounded or hovering? Is she watching over a particualar soldier or pensive? And how does this mythological Norse shaman legend translate to Native American symbols and culture?

How many battles were waged as white men overtook Indian lands, livelihood and very soul? Too many to count. Gilleon uses an ancient character to make a statement about today’s world crises, too many to count. But I choose to believe Gilleon’s valkyrie is a compassionate, helping spirit, ready to protect. Ready to carry our souls to safety.

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Shadows: Castle & Hicks at Tayloe Piggott; Daly News

James Castle, CAS11-0171 Untitled (black form), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 in.

James Castle, Untitled (black form), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 in.

In the new double show at Jackson’s Tayloe Piggott Gallery, there’s a complementary and slightly chilling collection of works by James Castle and Nicola Hicks. Castle was a profoundly deaf, self-taught artist. His mother was a midwife and his father ran the Garden Valley, Idaho post office.

James Castle, CAS09-0324 Untitled (flamingo) n.d., Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string. James Castle, CAS09-0324 Untitled (flamingo), n.d. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 28 3/4 x 10 in.

James Castle, Untitled (flamingo)
n.d., Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string. Found paper, soot, color of unknown origin, string, 28 3/4 x 10 in.

Always poor, often on subsistence, Castle came to know a little sign language and developed a love for lettering. He “…is known for the skill of his draftsmanship,…subject matter and for his use of found and homemade materials. His recurrent and diverse themes tell an intimate story of a life lived in rural Idaho during the 20th century.”

Looking at Castle’s work I experience guilt as if I’ve broken into a child’s secret diary. It’s slightly agonizing, albeit fascinating, to study a Castle work; they’re heartrending. Eternally enigmatic, but with glimpses of a compromised soul’s joy in creating art. Displaying a man-child’s heart, Castle’s works seem stuffed in tiny boxes. Imagine, too, the drawings of an unborn child tucked in a dark, warm space, sensing fuzzy edges of the outside world.

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Nicola Hicks’ electric, recumbent bear prompted an email to friends much more familiar with bears’ private behavior. “Would a bear lie in this position on its own accord,” I asked. “Or would it only roll over on its back, belly exposed, if it was coerced by humans?”

Nicola Hicks, Untitled (Bear laying down), 2010 Charcoal and chalk on brown paper, 66 x 82 in.

Nicola Hicks, Untitled (Bear laying down), 2010 Charcoal and chalk on brown paper, 66 x 82 in.

Bears do lie around tummy up. “They’re like dogs,” one of my experts explained. “They can be spotted rolling around in dense forest glens or by a body of water, cooling off.”

Nicola Hicks, Owl, ed. 1/1, 2014. Monoprint, 29 3/4 x 22 1/8 in. (75.6 x 56.2 cm)

Nicola Hicks, Owl, ed. 1/1, 2014. Monoprint, 29 3/4 x 22 1/8 in. (75.6 x 56.2 cm)

All this goes along with what seems to be Hicks’ core artist statement: Creatures of the earth are “…animalistic in form and body, yet uncannily human.” She’s on the anthropomorphism train.

Hicks’ show includes plaster casts (ultimately brass sculptures) of animals—seemingly locked in suffocating, snare-like dried mud pierced by sharp objects—and works on paper. It’s tempting to grab a sledgehammer and free these entombed creatures. Something new, an exercise in “different.” Hicks’ chalk, charcoal and monoprints depict wild and domestic animals, extended and sinewy. A portrait of a big sleeping dog has real heft. You feel the weight of the animal’s massive head.

The bear wins!

The exhibition remains on display through August 16th, 2015. www.tayloepiggottgallery.com

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Katy Ann Fox, "On the Way to Breakfast." 12x12" Oil on Panel

Katy Ann Fox, “On the Way to Breakfast.” 12×12″ Oil on Panel

Together or Separate: New Works by Eleanor Anderson and Katy Ann Fox, opens at the Daly Gallery-Daly Project on Thursday, July 9, with a reception from 5-7:00pm. Anderson’s bright, whimsical ceramics and Fox’s airy, well-composed canvases are on view through July 24th.

We strive to be open Tuesday through Saturday, 1o AM to 6 PM. Or by appointment, 307-699-7933,” notes the gallery. http://www.dalyartistrep.com

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And don’t forget: Catch up with more Jackson Hole art scene goings-on by logging on to https://funthingstodoinjacksonhole.wordpress.com. This week: “Plein Air for the Park!”  

Erin C. O'Connor. On Evening's Edge. Oil on Linen.

Erin C. O’Connor. On Evening’s Edge. Oil on Linen.