JERRY GOROSKI is the consultant appraisar to whom I refer inquiries about Scriver bronzes. He is formally trained and certified to do assessments and knew Bob Scriver as well as working for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. His gallery is called "Open Range Art."


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Southwest Art" magazine: September, 2005 Issue

To get the benefit of this piece you will need the September, 2005 issue of “Southwest Art.” The trick I’m going to try to perform here is to give you a conversation as I page through the magazine. Gotcher ‘zine? Okay.

This is the annual “Emerging Artists” issue. The cover is a baby on the knee of a mom : “Mother’s Love” by Tony Pro, the dad. Baby cried loudly while his dad was winning “Best of Show” at the Oil Painters of America show, which nearly brought dad to tears. There’s a whole article about Pro.

“Southwest Art” doesn’t stick to cowboy art. I love a painting in an ad on page one: Yingzhao Liu (Chinese, I presume) creates a young female musician in traditional Chinese dress, looking poised next to a traditional Chinese chair, while all around around fly sheets of music and on the chair rests her instrument. A saxophone!

On page 4 is one of those “yellow slicker” paintings that show up in CAA circles all the time. The author, Tom Ryan, is one of the best of the circle. Name of painting: “Red Dirt Country.” Two older guys, looking competent, lead the herd through Texas bluebonnets. (Compare with p. 65, James Bama -- also CAA -- “Bittin’ Up, Rimrock Ranch” -- focused young guy in a slicker that’s not yellow. Probably not new either. Check the britches.)

Birds show up all the time. I like the crows (“No Parking” by Krystii Melaine on p. 6) and the magpies on p. 98 by Sid Frissell. Corvu are supposed to be the most intelligent of birds, though parrots might argue. on page 140, three ?? finches, maybe? The title, “Onward and Upward,” is painted right into the picture. The artist, Andrew Denman, is pictured with small parrots on him.

It’s clear that some guys think of cars as fondly as horses. Check p. 66, Charles Pyle’s old yellow pickup. (Variation on yellow slickers.) Another on p. 70 by Timothy Horn.

Two interesting examples of underplayed bronzes: origami cranes “unfolding” in the manner of the waterfowl portraits supported by touching wingtips (by Kevin Box) and a “Papoose” (politically dubious title) which is actual size on the page (45), a strict frame with a baby swaddled rather than in an Indian carrier by the look of it. Very rough but tender. By LeRoy Transfield.

There’s a beautiful human figure on p. 102, a nude woman, evidently bald and with an abstract face, folded into curves and angles with a warm rough surface. By Aiko. I could look at it a long time and long to put gentle hands on it.

On p. 123 is an exception to the rule: a painter of industrial scenes -- factories, billboards, refineries and other things we normally find ugly -- revealed as beautiful by Rick Dula.

I keep a close watch for restaurant/cafe paintings. We’re a food society. A gorgeous one on p. 132: “Table Setting at the Grand Hotel, Paris.” by Lindsay Goodwin. No people. On p. 162, “Brunch” by Pam Powell is another beauty with people, therefore story. They’re in ads, therefore too small to see much.

Normally I’ll try to avoid being nasty about stuff I don’t like, but here’s a peeve that maybe ought not to have. But I’m entitled to an opinion, right? It’s a cheesecake male nude, from the back, very “tasteful,” called “The Naked Apache”. If someone puts up a Marilyn Monroe naked calendar and you want to fight back, here you go. Anyway, long hair and a feather do not an Apache make.

Nor do I like the “belly worship” on p. 176, though I’m told that Americans have finally given up their fixation on breasts in order to value the belly because we’re in a time when many women can’t get pregnant. They put it off too long, they’ve had too many partners, their hormones are wrecked by stress or drugs, the environment is poisoned -- who knows? Thus the craze for low-rider pants with chopped off tops.

You see that photo of Carly Kipp on page 178? She’s from here. We’re proud of her.

It’s been a puzzle how to use the many fine bust photos of old-time chiefs. In the Sixties we just tried to paint them as accurately as we could. Tom Gilleon has been more ingenious in his 9-square canvas called “War and Peace.” The painting is actually 60” by 60.” There are five chiefs and I should be able to name them but not this late at night. The other squares are a lodge, a shield, a dog and a man on horseback in parade gear. The horse is painted. The painting itself is excellent -- rich color, symbolic birds crossing the grid lines, the dog merely an intelligent head with a suggested body. Compare with “Poppies” by Andrew Paquette on p. 51. Much the same colors, the grid provided by a wire fence. Print available for $600.

Another interesting take-off on the Indian theme is on p. 37. A near-abstract Indian man in a horned headdress holds a stylized eagle staff and shield in front of a lodge with a pronghorn on it in the Blackfeet style, but the circle and line on the animal -- which would normally point out the heart and kidneys -- go from eye to tail. This is by Kenneth Riley, is called “Plains Motif,” and recently sold from an Altermann Galleries auction for $112,500.

Now go to bed and dream!

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