Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Be Back in the New Year

I have been taking pictures in galleries and on our hikes with the intention of posting some of them here but unfortunately I forgot the cord that allows me to download from my camera to my computer. So I'll be sharing Santa Fe with you after we get back to Denver. See you in the New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gustave Baumann

We're in Santa Fe, New Mexico right now and this week we're going to be sure to see Gustave Baumann; A Santa Fe Legend at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Our room here is graced with his beautiful wood-block prints and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Gustave Baumann (via The Blue Lantern)
Gustave Baumann, Indiana Red Gum., Color woodcut, 1915-16. (image from here)
Gustave Baumann, Three Pines (image from flickr member j l t)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rocky Mountain News Review / Press

Mary Chandler of the Rocky Mountain News wrote a review of the show I have with Mark Sink yesterday, saying:

"Finally, in the far back space, Rule has moved into the realm of quasi-photography, with a shift into anti-photography, in a way. "Still," a selection of acrylic-on-panel paintings by Colorado-based artist Nathan Abels, includes some of the highly representational works he does of the contemporary landscape and its built features.

But there also are grayed- or browned-out scenes - View From a Train is the major example - that add a component of abstraction to a body of work by a young artist who has an eye for where and how we live and how we perceive our surroundings.

It adds to the mystery of what, in essence, is a trip through time and the evolution of technology, and vision."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Found Friday

This is my favorite found photo for the holidays. I got this a few years ago and I've used it on Christmas cards, mix cd covers, etc. Classic in my book.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo of the Day

Lorna took this beautiful photo last weekend which means new desktop wallpaper for you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Work from Jason Stopa

Here are four very fresh paintings by my friend Jason Stopa who is currently a grad student at Pratt. His work has increased in scale and skill dramatically this year and I'm really looking forward to what comes next for him.

Following. Oil on Canvas. 2008

Static Feeling. Oil on Canvas. 2008

Lifering - 4' x 5' Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

Ambulance - 4' x 5' Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Action Figures Cancelled Tonight

I was previously scheduled as the guest artist at this month's "Action Figures" hosted by Katie Taft. Unfortunately it has been canceled. It will likely be postponed until a later date - I'll keep you posted.

Three new works by Ryan Helsel

My good friend and conceptual artist extraordinaire Ryan Helsel recently posted these text-based works that I was happy to be able to share here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Denver Connects Review

Somehow I missed this review from November 18th on Denver Connects:

"In the back of the gallery, Nathan Abel’s Stills showcase all-to-real scenes of lonely office buildlings, a hushed house, and blank, white trucks lined up on a street. Beautifully rendered, the scenes evoke both a sense of familiarity and loneliness. Evoking the solitary sense of suburban and even urban landscapes, the paintings are haunting, comforting, and at the same time disquieting. Staring at them in the series, I was reminded of the great David Byrne film True Stories, as they both capture the ennui, dread, and strange beauty of the human landscape so perfectly."

The show was also reviewed this week in the Westword.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chimney Sweep?

A little holiday chuckle courtesy of one of my favorite shows - Trigger Happy Tv.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Coming up

I will be the guest artist at this month's "Action Figures" hosted by Katie Taft. It's a monthly Q&A with area artists that will be at the Shoppe this month. Come on by, eat a cupcake and drill me with difficult questions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Westword Press

Michael Paglia, the Westword arts writer said this of my current show at Rule; "The festivities are finished off by Stills, which comprises edgy and awkward representational paintings done by emerging Denver artist Nathan Abels. Though technically not photo-realist in style, these paintings make wonderful companions for the photos from the other two shows."

I'm not sure what he means by "awkward", but the show is still up for almost another month so you should go by Rule and decide for yourself.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two Postcards

Untitled Study (Chicago Mountain Lion), Ink, Graphite, Colored Pencil on Paper, 4x6"
Untitled, Ink, Graphite, Colored Pencil on Paper, 4x6"

I made a couple of small drawings for the Postcard Show at Artlink in Fort Wayne. They will be on display there and for sale with all proceeds benefiting Artlink's exhibitions. The postcards will be up during the Fort Wayne Photographers exhibit, December 12, 2008 – January 14, 2009. Artlink is the first gallery I showed at and has been exhibiting the occasional piece of mine since I was a teenager - I'm happy to support them and all that they have done for the small art scene there in Fort Wayne.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gift Guide 2008

Eveyone's putting out gift guides right now and I'm going to get in on that action by recommending a few things:

A ambient dvd to play when you have company over and would like to add a little ambiance to the room using the tv. Colorcalm has a couple of options that can be customized to match the mood or colors in the room.

Make a custom plate with your own photos. I made one last year from the above photo and it came out really well - but order one soon if you're trying to get it in time for Christmas.

A hand-packaged Mint Julip cd - with bonus Helios cd.

Order a print of a historical photograph from the Denver Library's extensive collection. Get one of your neighborhood, or one of one of your favorite landmarks in Colorado. They have maps, drawings, paintings, and aerial photos too - all of which could be printed to suit on one of several choices of paper/finish.
Dan McCarthy, new sweater - 3 color screenprint 25"x19" $40

I recommended a lot of music the other day too. Other options for holiday shopping are to shop locally (check out Fancy Tiger, Plastic Chapel, The Shoppe, Talulah Jones, Twist and Shout, Tattered Cover and others) or you could make something - take a look at Readymade and Instructables for great ideas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Opening tonight

My former co-op friends at Sliding Door Gallery have an opening tonight along with loads more for First Friday. Most the snow has melted, so why not come out and check it out?

Also - here's the news from Plus Gallery for First Friday:

"Plus Gallery will be open into the evening this Friday December 5th for First Friday till 8pm. We have changed up the artwork in our temporary space, pulling out some favorite works such as Dave Yust's amazing "Circular Composition #70" which is one of the last remaining dimensional canvases available from the artist, a terrific large-scale canvas from Bruce Price circa 2001, Jeff Strahl's large-scale photograph "Prague" from his Europium series, a trio of Lenka Konopasek's "Dusty Air" series paintings, brand new works from Jonathan Saiz and Travis Egedy and a number of other gems to freshen the month of December. We still have a few of our t-shirts left, as well as select works from last months "small works" exhibition. Our neighbors at the MCA will be hosting their regular first friday features "Top 10 & WITY cocktails" at 6:30pm with a focus on top 10 gifts to help the planet and "Open Shelf Films" at 7:30pm with the film "Run Lola Run.""

Thursday, December 4, 2008

See me in Miami!

I have several pieces with Rule gallery in Miami for the fair (December 2-7) - they can be seen here:

42 NE 25th Street Miami 33137
There is a free shuttle that runs from Art Basel to Wynwood.

Noise and Brice Marden

Somehow I missed this album last year, but after listening to their last album Touched a lot this year I found Radiance of Shadows. I could try to describe their sound, but Pitchfork may have done it better, writing, "When Toronto electro-metal duo Nadja are at the height of their powers, the entire world feels as if it could collapse beneath the pressure of a manipulated guitar, a drum machine, a bass, and two bent voices. Radiance of Shadows, the fourth full-length album the band has released this year, pushes to and pulls from such apocalyptic promise for 80 minutes, saturating their cathedral volume with sounds both thick and rich."

This album art can be a little misleading if you were to guess the sound of the band by just the album art. This is not a light/airy album. I think Nadja albums are amazing in that they are so full that they almost become empty - so in that way the snow image is quite appropriate. There is so much noise and feedback and distortion on the album that to me it reminds me of when I listened to a Brice Marden lecture (download it from MOMA here) recently and he said that essentially he was not painting empty/minimal canvases - he was over-painting and flooding the image so much with paint and wax that it became one solid, full layer. Nadja is what that might sound like...

Brice Marden, Passing, 1970 - photo from janvaneyck on flickr

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Music of the Year: The lists

Favorite albums from 2008:

1. The Walkmen, You & Me
2. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
3. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
4. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
5. Violens, V ep
6. Sebastien Tellier, Sexuality
7. Shearwater, Rook
8. The Dodos, Visiter
9. Portishead, Third
10. Ladyhawk, Shots/Constantines, Kensington Heights
11. Atlas Sound, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can Not See But Feel
12. Department of Eagles, In Ear Park

Honorable Mention: Nadja, Beck, Modern Guilt, Ratatat LP3

Favorite 80s influenced synth-heavy albums of the year:
1. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
2. Sebastien Tellier, Sexuality
3. Empire of the Sun, Walking on a Dream
4. Van She, V
5. Chairlift, Does You Inspire You
6. Foxglove Hunt, Stop Heartbeat
7. The Radio Dept, Freddie and the Trojan Horse ep
8. M83, Saturdays=Youth
9. Alaska in Winter, Holiday
10. Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles

Favorite albums that are or could be soundtracks from 2008:
1. There Will Be Blood, by Jonny Greenwood
2. The Assassination of Jesse James..., by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
3. Earth, The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
4. The Fun Years, Baby It's Cold Inside
5. July Skies, The Weather Clock
6. Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Dolores

Favorite albums that are not from 2008 but I discovered or listened to a lot in 2008:
1. Music for the Motion Picture "Into the Wild", by Eddie Vedder
2. Dustin O'Halloran, Piano Solos 2
3. Otis Redding, The Very Best of Otis Redding Vol. 1
4. Distance, My Demons
5. Nadja, Touched

What's the big deal? (2008 Edition)
1. No Age, Nouns

Guilty pleasures of the year:
1. Tim and Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job!, Awesome Record, Great Songs! Volume One
2. Lil Wayne, The Carter III

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Music of the Year Megapost

I do post about music from time to time, but this is a mostly art-based blog so I decided to pair my favorite albums of the year with the art, video or photos that listening to the album brings to mind.

Best music for gravel roads:
Constantines, Kensington Heights
Richard Serra at Denver Art Museum, photo by fernandor93

Best music for missing someone or some place:

Best music for golden hour sunlight:
Tony Sherman, Near Asolo, Encaustic on Canvas, 48x54"

Best music to listen to while under a fur blanket in an ice hotel:
Portishead, ThirdTacita Dean, Chere

Best music to accompany finding old newspapers in your grandparents attic:

Not Vital, 50 Snowballs, Murano Glass, 2001

Best music to eat cupcakes to:
Chairlift, Does You Inspire YouChristian Holstad, Grasping For Straws, 2005

Best music for scenic vistas - grand, operatic and powerful:
Shearwater, Rook

Caspar David Friedrich

Best music for driving through the desert:
This photo is from the Four Corners area and perfectly suits the desolate expanses of the Earth album.

Best music for making a huge mess with complete abandon:
Man Man, Rabbit Habits
Daniel Richter, untitled, 1999, oil paint on canvas, 219.9 x 150.1 cm / 86 4/7 x 59 1/8 "

Best music to have an indulgent and somewhat nostalgic party to:
Jeff Koons at Versailles - photo steph90j

The closest sonic equivalent of several weeks of Midwestern overcast skies:

Paul Graham, Man Walking in White Shirt, Atlanta, 2002

Stay tuned for my top ten of the year...


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