Glue, Paper, Scissors @ the Colo Colo Gallery

leaving (convalescence series), canvas fragments, mixed media on panel, 2010, 10x10"  
I am excited to be part of a group show focused on collage at the Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford curated by Francoise McAree & Babs Owen. The show is called Glue, Paper, Scissors and opens Saturday February 9th, 6-10 p.m. The show features local favorites & new friends:

Buck Hastings
Francoise McAree
Mara Metcalf
Holden O'Brien
Barbara Owen
Lisa Perez
Lisa Russell

Colo Colo Gallery is located at
29 Centre Street New Bedford, MA 02740
508 642-6026
Dates: February 9 -27, 2012
Opening: Saturday, February 11, 6-9pm
Hours: Tuesday &Thursday 2-7pm, Friday 5-7 pm,
Saturday 2-7 pm and Sunday 1-5 pm.

Sordid Magicans: Interveiw with painter Dan Talbot

'Toaster" oil on linen by Dan Talbot

This an excerpt from an interview I did with Dan Talbot ahead of his exhibition at the AS220 Project Space. The full interview can be found here. Dan's exhibit at the Project Space opens Sunday, November 6 and runs through November 28.

We talked recently about how you have been studying Mandarin Chinese. You mentioned how you thought that the nature of the language might enhance visual comprehension in the sense of apprehending an object and rendering it. Could you talk a little about that and the way you translate you observations into your plein air paintings.

Oh, that was just me speculating about something I don't really know about. First off, with me and mandarin, I'm learning the audible aspect of the language, and not the written form. And what does this have to do with my painting? Well, I try as a part of my personal mental maintenance to have a daily activity that compels me to focus on some type of new information. Both landscape painting and Mandarin are ways that I can do this. And I suppose that straining my ear to here the tone of a certain syllable is similar to trying to identify a certain color.

But more than this, learning Mandarin reminds me of teaching myself to play guitar when I was 13. It's very math-rocky. I keep hearing the sentences as these little esoteric combinations of sounds made up of smaller modular units. It seems more viral than visual language, more like music in that a particular combination of sounds will get stuck in my head and then will endlessly replay itself. I'm walking around now repeating phrases of Mandarin to myself all the time. I don't even know what I'm saying half the time. This sort of thing doesn't seem to happen with painting. We might be able to recognize something visually, but most people can't hold the discrete parts of a painting in their minds as clearly as they can with the sound of someone's voice or with music. At least I can't. I was thinking that as a species we seem to own our verbal and musical capacities to a greater extent than our visual ones. Visual language seems less codified, more formless. Pictures are dependent on a medium to be experienced or communicated, which might be why image-makers seem a bit like magicians and also a bit sordid. They seem to be pulling this language out of nothing and then turning it into something physical. Of course now we have technology to do this. It's not really the same thing though.

"Mother's Day" oil on canvas by Dan Talbot

However - and this brings me back to your original question - perhaps this is to some extent a cultural thing. I spent a lot of time with someone who spoke and wrote Mandarin fluently from an early age. I was always amazed at her ability to succinctly break down and represent the stuff she was seeing when drawing. It seemed she had a more concrete sense of visual grammar than I did. I wondered if that sense could have been developed by learning to write with Chinese characters at an early age, which is apparently a very difficult thing to learn to do even for native speakers compared with learning to write with an alphabet. In any case this is all speculation based on my observations of one particular person. Maybe I was just trying to explain to myself why she could draw better than I could.
Incidentally, this artist I'm talking about, Elaine Wang, didn't have much interest in depicting particular colors like I do. And, I've noticed that in my landscape painting, the way I place colors down next to each other reminds me of the way I place words down next to each other to form a sentence. Maybe, what seemed in her field of vision like a word or character would seem like a phrase or paragraph to me. I don't know. These are all anecdotal observations. I like thinking about this stuff but I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

read the full interview here

"There is nothing precipitous, or gay, or proud in form"

detail of "leaving, (from the convalescence series)oil and mixed media on re-used canvas on prepared panel, 10" by 10". 2010.                                                                                                                                      

"There is nothing precipitous, or gay, or proud in form,
everything appears, taking shape with obvious poverty,
the light of the earth comes from is eyelids
not like the stroke of a bell but rather like tears:
the texture of the day, it feeble canvas,
serves as a bandage for the patients, serves to make signs
in a farewell, behind the absence:
it is the color that wants only to replace,
to cover, swallow, conquer, make distances."

Pablo Neruda, from The Dawn's Debility, in Residence on Earth

"untitled, (convalescence)", oil and mixed media on re-used canvas on prepared paper, 4.5" by 6.25", 2010.

                                           "untitled, oil and mixed media on re-used canvas on prepared paper, 4.5" by 6.25", 2010.

                 "untitled, (convalescence ii)", oil and mixed media on re-used canvas on prepared paper, 4.5" by 6.25", 2010.


detail,  fragment from the gilded age                            

I  am excited to be in the inaugural exhibition of  Buonaccorsi+Agniel's, YES!. The exhibition will feature over 50 artists, many from Providence, and many once represented Sara's Gallery Agniel. Gallery Agniel was a vital exhibition space for  contemporary art in Providence for nine years and Buonaccorsi+Agniel is a welcome addition to lean gallery scene. Best wishes & hopes for at least nine more years+ of great art in Providence!

The opening reception will be held on Friday, October 14th from 6 to 9 pm. The exhibit runs through November 12, 2011.

One Sims Avenue #102, Providence, RI 02909
Hours:  Wed - Sat, 12 - 6 PM and by appointment

Closing days of "Among the Breakage"

Among the Breakage: New Painting from Providence, an exhibition of ten painters I co-curated with Maya Allison, closes July 10th. Get on over to the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University and take a look.

Below are some photos I took from an artist talk  on June 30th to high school students enrolled in a summer intensive course at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Monica Shinn, (center in blue shirt(

Shawn Gilheeney & student 

Ernest Jolicouer

Dan Talbot

Five artists, Dan Talbot, Monica Shinn, Ernest Jolicouer, Shawn Gilheeny, and Sam Duket, (sorry no photo Sam!), spent over hour and half talking about their art practice and taking some very thoughtful questions from 14 students. Though they work in a range of diverse styles some common themes emerged about the importance of drawing to their practice and a disciplined studio practice even in those lulls in the creative flow. Every artist is a working artist, and doubt and uncertainty are a constant companion. 

Among the Breakage: New Painting from Providence

Sam Duket, Shawn Gilheeney, Ernest Jolicoeur, Maria Napolitano, Lisa Perez, Ara Peterson, Masha Ryskin, Monica Shinn, Dan Talbot, and Jason Travers
June 11 – July 10
Opening reception: Friday, June 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

"The Eighties and The Nineties" oil on paper by Dan Talbot

Among the Breakage features recent paintings by ten Providence artists.  As this sampling suggests, Providence’s creative communities are more akin to an archipelago than a single island of “regional style.”  Work in this exhibition ranges from hard-edged abstraction to hybrid figurative landscapes and techniques that stretch the very definition of painting.  

The show’s title is taken from The Dry Salvages, T.S. Eliot’s poem about a hazardous group of rocks off the New England coast, around which ship wreckage drifts.  “Among the breakage” evokes both Providence’s post-industrial landscape and the ways in which its artists are creating anew amidst the wreckage of Modernist painting orthodoxy.
Perhaps due to the freedom afforded by working in the art world periphery, several of these artists are in dialogue with what Roberta Smith calls the “maverick branch” of painting, "constantly stretching the medium, extending it into installation art or questioning its status as a precious, high-skill commodity." read more here.
Curated by Maya Allison & Neal Walsh

"Untitled" oil on wood by Lisa Perez

"Fati" oil on panel by Monica Shinn

 "Big Blue (sexy shad)" acrylic on wood by Sam Duket

"Fields and Streams" acrylic on canvas by Ernest Jolicouer

"Bosphoros" oil on canvas by Jason Travers

"Garden Close Up, #3" oil on canvas by Maria Napolitano

Detail from "Arcade" wood and acrylic by Ara Peterson

Detail of "Remnants" by Masha Ryskin

"Ice House" mixed media on panel by Shawn Gilheeney

Installing "We are going to make some big decisions in our little world"

Installed last night, here are a couple pictures, post-install. The space is fantastic, (thanks Clay!).  Nice collaborative effort arranging and hanging the work, all the paintings work really well together, and should be a fine opening tomorrow. Thanks Shawn Gilheeney for putting the whole thing together and making it happen.  I will post some more photos soon documenting the show a bit better with samples of everyone's work.
From left to right: Sam Duket, Willa, Buck Hastings, Shawn Gilheeney and Brad Fesmire
Sam & Buck in front of Sam's piece "For your Sofa", oil, epoxy and wood. 
Sam & Shawn finishing off some of the last Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA's in RI. On the back wall are Brad Fesmires's "Connecticut Fields No. 1 and 2", acrylic on fir plywood with routing. Sam's "For Your Sofa" is on the right and Shawn is blocking a clear view of his piece " Last", acrylic and fire on wood. And the pale painting to the far right is mine, "untitled,(silent passage)", oil on canvas.

Conversation with Simon Callery

Simon Callery is a British painter whose work I have always found intriguing. Intriguing, since I have never seen his work in person, just small reproductions in art magazines, on the Internet and in this video. The work is barely visible in the video and frustratingly blurry beyond comprehension. Then again, the paintings are not made for a mediated experience.  Callery's paintings are made to be seen in situ, their physical presence experienced. This may seem an archaic way of painting in the digital age or perhaps it is an antidote...
Conversation with Painters: Simon Callery

Current and Upcoming shows

untitled (festina lente study  mixed media & oil on salvaged panel  2004-2009 16x16”

NetWorks 2009-2010, Group exhibition at the Newport Art Museum curated by Nancy Whipple Grinnell , November 6, 2010 – January 17, 2011; Reception Friday, November 12, 5 – 7 pm.

fragments: found and intended, South Gallery at Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA. November 9- December 9, 2010. solo exhibition. Artist Talk on Monday November 13th.

NetWorks at Gallery Z: Celebrating Gallery Z’s 10th anniversary and 100th exhibition, January 12 – February 26, 2011; Reception - Thursday, January 20, 5 – 9 pm.

Install at the South Gallery

fragments: found and intended
new and recent works 
by neal t walsh

the new exhibit consists of about 27 works some old (2007-2008)/recent (2008-2009) and about half new. the work is mostly small mixed media pieces on paper and works on panels.
the 2010 work is lean, mostly monochromatic, with layers sanded,scratched & painted over. accept where it is not.

i noticed, that my studio is playing a subtle, influential visual role in some of the more recent work, but more on that in a later post when i have some more photos. speaking of which: this show would not have been possible without the love, support and help of my wife. thank you cristina for the photos, framing, install help, patience, time and encouragement. 

John Yau of the Brooklyn Rail in a review of Suzan Frecon and Al Taylor's solo shows this past October,  begins with a break down of  the mainstream's  ..." familiar positions taken by critics on the hunt for innovative art." 

"1. Abstract art (or “academic formalist painting”) can only be about itself because that’s what an earlier generation of formalist critics declared. One wonders what Forrest Bess, Alfred Jensen, and Myron Stout, not to mention Joan Mitchell, Richard Diebenkorn, Alma Thomas, and Nicholas Krushenick might have said about this. 

2. Abstraction is the worst form of elitism, and all art after Andy Warhol has to employ modern means of production as well as appeal to a broad public. The anti-elitist stance isn’t pro-democratic, but a deluded attempt to be in touch with “the people.” 

3. Whereas form was previously thought to have triumphed over content, the reverse is now true. Neither critical position wants to explore how form and content are inseparable and inform each other, which requires another kind of looking and thinking. 

4. The cream always rises to the top, which means the marketplace is the true measure of the validity of art. If it hasn’t done well in the marketplace, then it should be ignored or dismissed in the harshest terms. This is Darwin’s survival of the fittest applied to the art world’s financially successful. It is also a way of being in touch with “the people,” at least the ones controlling the marketplace.

5. An artist, particularly a successful one, makes his or her best work before 40 and that everything that follows is less. By this standard, John McLaughlin, who didn’t paint seriously until he was 50, was a complete failure. 

6. Art must make at least a passing nod to mass media, pop culture, and approved content or risk being dismissed. This is an insidious form of censorship, as well as an insistence on conformity. How many bad boy artists will we have to endure before we realize the art world doesn’t have to mimic the social dynamics of a high school cafeteria? 

7. You are tied to your generation, and once its time has passed, anything you do is irrelevant. Did I hear someone say Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet, Meret Oppenheim, Willem de Kooning, and Louise Bourgeois? "

The Brooklyn Rail consistently presents great reviews and interviews with artists, not to mention reports form nyc & the greater world. highlights from November include  Thomas Nozkowski and John Yau and the conversation with Jonas Mekas.


the studio is out back behind the house, a handful of steps away. i converted the half finished three bay garage into a studio in 2006 with the help of many friends. there is still work left to be done, mostly finished work and a few "amenities", but it is good space as it is. the studio is filled at the moment with works in progress, finished work, lumber, and a variety of detritus my work space tends to accumulate. sometimes it is necessary to thread the space gingerly to avoid a variety of obstacles. sometimes the distance from house to studio seems far, especially in the winter  when it would be easy just to sit and read, but once in the studio, the work begins, energy builds, till four or five hours have past, and exhausted for real, walk the few short steps back to the house, perhaps pause and scan the night sky before climbing the stairs to bed.