Excited about Kyle Gallup’s New Line of Greeting Cards, IT’S A GIFT!

Happy to share word of IT’S A GIFT!, a line of new handmade greeting cards made by my wife, artist Kyle Gallup, including a batch of pretty valentines for the holiday next month. Here’s a link to the new Etsy page for her line—the name was inspired by the title of one our favorite movies, W.C. Fields’ 1934 comedy classic, “It’s a Gift.” its-a-gift-title-still

On the Etsy page, Kyle wrote this about herself and her work:

I’m a painter and I love making cards. For many years I have collected paper ephemera from Victorian scrap, bookend papers, maps, paper lace, and gold and silver embellishments, to name a few pieces in my collection. I’ve also collected cards from other artists and vintage ones, too. I find inspiration in what other artists make, present & past. Making cards is a way for me to share my enthusiasm with other people who enjoy giving and receiving cards as a way to show one’s affection in a personal and intimate way. My cards are made with love and are a gift from the sender to the receiver. Most of my handmade cards are 5″ x 6 1/2″ and all are collaged, painted, drawn and assembled by me. Each blank card is individual and one-of-a-kind. Tiny imperfections are the cards’ distinguishing mark, indicating they are handcrafted, and show the recipient that they are receiving a very special gift, something to be treasured. I’ve been a freelance decorative painter in the visual art department for the NYC home design company ABC Carpet & Home since 1988, and studied decorative finishes with Leonard Pardon in NYC.

Kyle also works in collage, so these are one-of-a-kind ‘artist’s cards,’ made using papers from her vintage collection of ephemera, plus paint, colored pencil, and ink. Each card is signed on the back and stamped with a logo she designed. Here are three of Kyle’s cards; each is $10 plus shipping, for sale at the Etsy page.
Heart card with tags

Storify Post on “Money, Wheels, and Random Legs” at Firecat Projects, w/Highlights from a Week in Chicago

“Money, Wheels, and Random Legs” Exhibit at Chicago’s Firecat Projects

I’m excited to be traveling to Chicago next week where paintings by my wife, artist Kyle Gallup, will be part of a three-person show at Firecat Projects, with fellow NYC artists Oriane Stender and Melissa Stern. Watch this space for more coverage, as I’ll be blogging from the opening on Sept 25 and during our week in the Windy City. Here you can view “Pink Planet,” one of the paintings in the exhibit, with the rest shown at Kyle’s updated website.

More details on the show:

Hopping to Brooklyn Galleries on a Friday Night

Gallivanting to galleries with Kyle on a Friday night in Brooklyn. First went to Janet Kurnatowski’s gallery in Greenpoint for group show called Paperazzi w/a Wonder Wheel drawing variation of Kyle’s. Lots of great works on paper. Enjoyed chatting with David Ambrose whose mosaic-like painting mesmerizes. Then to spacious Life on Mars in Bushwick for show of lush paintings by Fran O’Neill w/work by Ben Pritchard in project room. Enjoyed the genial vibe in the busy borough.

Fun Friday Night Seeing Art on the Bowery

LuloffHad fun seeing art last night with Kyle, and the city was surprisingly quiet, especially for a Friday. The subways, sidewalks, and galleries were not so crowded, which made getting around in the cold and ice almost a piece o’ cake.

The exhibit I tweeted about by Laurel Luloff was a highlight of the art we saw. Her paintings are a breath of summer, with several of them hung as floating, transparent, colored sails. We also enjoyed the mouse drawings of Jashin Friederich. The show is up through March 1, at The Hole, 312 Bowery. Here are the pictures I took, including one of Kyle and Luloff, plus info on Skit, curated by Tisch Abelow, the other exhibit currently at the gallery.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Abandons Renovation of Metro Theater in NYC

Despite earlier reports from Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse NYC that they would be renovating the Metro Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Broadway at 100th Street, word came today that actually the movie chain has abandoned those plans. This is a big disappointment for all denizens of my neighborhood who lament the lingering blight of recession upon our neighborhood, and had hoped that this new establishment would bring renewed life to this part of town. More’s the pity, since my wife, artist Kyle Gallup, had some years ago created a visual homage to the theater’s facade, which we hoped to see back up in lights sometime in 2014. Alas, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Below you can see images of the banner on the Metro marquee that will presumably come down soon, a photo of the facade, and Kyle’s painting. Alamo MetroMetro Theater facadeMetro Theater marquee Kyle Gallup

Atmosphere and Color–Painter Greg Kwiatek’s Exhibit at Lynch Tham Gallery

2 GregOn Wednesday night Kyle and I went to the opening of a new exhibit of work by her longtime friend, painter Greg Kwiatek. It’s a gorgeous show, at Lynch Tham Gallery, 175 Rivington Street on the LES of Manhattan, where it will be up until December 22. As Kyle put it, Greg’s work “alludes to landscape painting, but they are also quite abstract.” Skyscape might be even more accurate, as there is little land in these pictures, instead they are atmospheric renderings of sky, cloud, and light, both from sun and moon.

On the Web page devoted to his exhibit Greg writes,

My recent work is a continuation of issues that have been of interest to me for many years – atmospheric light, tonal color, saturated color, and the moon as an icon. It is against my nature to simply be a painter of the moon, even though I’ve great respect for those who have done so. That said, I’ve attempted to employ the moon, and the sun in full form and circular abstraction as well. This gives me more latitude through the working process and prevents me from painting myself into a corner. It is my nature to drift with the sky, the ocean and sand. These forces are powerful springboards and they humble me. They are timeless and it is my mission to respond to them as best I can.

These are challenging paintings to photograph, especially in a crowded opening with an IPhone, but here are some pics I took. I recommend you see the show for yourself. It’s beautiful work.

“There’s plenty of time…to take the difficult and slower route.”—Remembering Anthony Caro, Guest Post by Kyle Gallup

Tony&Kyle photo-Philip TurnerThe news of Sir Anthony Caro’s death last week at 89 was startling for me. I knew him for more than thirty years and wasn’t prepared to say goodbye. The photo at the left was taken the last time we met, on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011. From what I’ve read, he was busy working in the studio until he died. To so many artists, Tony showed abundant goodwill and an inclusive view of art and art-making. He conveyed a sense that we were all in this together. These qualities are what drew me toward him when we first met.

My initial encounter with Tony’s sculpture came in 1980, at Boston’s Christian Science Plaza where twenty-three works from his ‘York Sculpture’ series were presented by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for the city’s ‘Jubilee 350’ celebration. Later, I heard his commencement talk to the graduates from the Boston Museum School where I had enrolled as a transfer student and then tagged along as he gave critiques to more advanced students who were waiting in their studios to engage with him about their work.

What Tony offered to all those who came in contact with him was a way to think about art, and the process of creating, as something personal yet large and deeply connected to the world. Art for him was something indelible, permanent, and real. I believe this gracious view grew from his generous spirit and desire to make a contribution.

Tony had a clear and concise way of thinking about process and one’s connection to art of the past in all its variety and its visual, expressive possibilities. He mined all kinds of art and culture, calling forth universal themes, reworking them and making them new. He conveyed this, not only through his work, but also in studio visits with other artists. He encouraged others to look at the world with an open mind, to engage and connect with it. His interest in sharing ideas made talking with him a pleasure, always lively and interesting.

I was fortunate to twice attend Triangle Workshop, the two-week summer residency that he founded in upstate New York. While working there, if an artist asked, he’d come around and make suggestions, never saying too much but hinting at possible ways of approaching a piece differently. Triangle spoke to his sense of art-making as a collaborative enterprise. Even though Triangle met for just two weeks every year, it was a way for him to foster community. The workshop allowed him to share his passion for exchanging ideas. He was keenly aware of the isolation artists feel because we spend so much time on our own in our studios, and he related to this personally. He may have felt this in his own life as a young artist working in England. He relished the opportunity to travel and make changes to his working methods after meeting American artists.

Tony encouraged me to write to him and his wife–Sheila Girling, a painter–in London to let them know what I was doing in my studio and what was being shown in New York galleries. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote about in my letters, what questions I may have asked him, or the views of art I may have offered, but he always answered my letters with long thoughtful replies. I’ve saved his and gone back and reread them over the years, always surprised by his honesty about himself, and his kindness and encouragement to me. Below is a scan of a letter Tony sent me in 1983, lines from which I’ve borrowed for the title of this remembrance.

On trips to New York, Tony and Sheila visited me when I lived in Union City, New Jersey. It was way out of the way, but they somehow made it through the Lincoln Tunnel to my place there on Summit Avenue. They spent time looking at my work, bought pieces for their collection, and even enjoyed cubano sandwiches from the bodega across the street from my apartment. When I think of all the time and thoughtful support they showed me over the years, my sadness at his passing lightens. Anthony Caro spent his life creating art. He never tired of experimenting and sharing the richness of his experience with other people. I hope some day I will meet a young artist and offer the kind of open-hearted encouragement I received from him over the many years we were friends.

So long, Tony.
Tony letter page 1Tony letter pg 2
Kyle Gallup is an artist living and working in New York City