Texas based artist, Michael Kennaugh, talks art with KAC. In this exclusive interview Kennaugh describes his experience in the growing Houston art scene and the colorful inspiration behind his process. He also reveals a glimpse into his forthcoming body of work.
Michael Kennaugh, artist
Founder and Director of bitforms gallery, Steve Sacks, gives us the inside scoop on his quirky upbringing, his futuristic gallery, and his twenty-first century go-to technological tool in this exlusive interview with KAC.
Inside view of bitforms gallery
KAC got together with Rainey Knudson for an exclusive interview discussing the forthcoming April 30th OFF ROAD event with William Wegman. Here is what Founder and Publisher of the Texas arts online magazine, Glasstire, has to say.
KAC is on the road to the Dallas Art Fair. We hit the ground running Thursday morning to be among the first to preview the fair. We are excited that the fair is getting stronger with the addition of new dealers, such as Carl Freedman, London, and Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York. We have also connected with our old friends: Wendi Norris, San Francisco, Lisa Cooley, New York, Bitforms, New York, and Tally Dunn, Dallas.
Casey Williams, Untitled, c.2012, acrylic on archival inkjet print. Exhibited at Art Palace Gallery.
Casey Williams, Untitled (detail), c.2012, acrylic on archival inkjet print. Exhibited at Art Palace Gallery.
As a long time friend of Casey Williams we were delighted when Art Palace put on an exquisite show of never before seen works by Williams. In conjunction with Fotofest Biennial 2016, a discussion panel revolving around Williams' final works was organized by his wife, Jo Ann, studio assistant, Nick Merriweather, and the owner of Texas Gallery, Frederika Hunter. The dialogue between the three was a culmination of reminisicing over Williams' work style, the meaning behind his final series, and the lasting mark he has made on the Houston art scene.
Casey Wiliams, Studies of 4 x 4 foot photographs
For Williams, expirimentaiton across all mediums and ideas is what led to his final series being known as the "painted-ons", where Williams would brush paint across his photographic images. Williams did not personally speak much about his art. However through Williams' life, it is indisputable of his love for the Houston ship channel and the influence it made on his work. Williams was particularly interested in the way a ship would float toward the surface as goods were unloaded, decreasing the ship's weight. The lower portion of the ship would then be repainted by the crewmen. The action of repainting is symbolic of Williams' paint strokes atop his own images. Many of the strokes are colors of blues and silvers, further symbolizing the shimmer and reflection of water and possibly an ode to his earlier silkscreen works, as well as becoming a meditative process for Williams.
Book compiled of photography by Casey Wiliams
Casey Williams noticed details that many would naturally overlook. He forced the viewer to go somewhere they would normally bypass, giving a new perspective to the world. Williams was a master at opening up our eyes to beauty.
Casey Williams, Untitled, c. 2012, acrylic on archival inkjet print on satin. Exhibited at Art Palace Gallery.
Casey Williams, Untitled & Untitled, c. 2012, acrylic on archivsl inkject print. Exhibited at Art Palace Gallery.
We first discovered artist, Yamini Nayer, at a presigious art fair last year. Brooklyn based, Nayar, has been on our radar since, and we recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with her! Check it out now on our Let's Talk Art Interview below to see what her art process is all about.
While we were in Mexico City, we had the pleasure of doing a studio visit with Tomás Díaz Cedeño. We were initally introducted to Cedeño at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in 2015 at Yautepec Gallery, so we were eager to meet him and learn more about his intruguing process. Take a look at our Let's Talk Art Interview with Cedeño for more on his inspiration and reflections on being an artist in Mexico City.
Tomás Díaz Cedeño, Untitled (Black, White, Flesh), 2015, Vel-mix, pigment, plastic mesh, aluminum
Garbriel Orozco at the Jumex Collection
After our recent visit to Mexico City, it is clear that the city’s burgeoning art scene lives up to its hype. After being introduced to several impressive Mexico City galleries at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, we were excited to explore what else the city had to offer. During our stay, we managed to visit multiple museums and galleries, an artist’s studio, and two art fairs, Zona Maco and Material. Every experience left us continually impressed by the fresh perspective within this growing arts community. Below are a few of our favorite works from the weekend.
Julieta Aranda at the OMR Gallery Nancy Rubins at Gagosian Gallery
KAC's Adrienne Johnson at Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today at the Jumex Collection
Elizabeth Atterbury at Document Space
Carlos Irijalba at Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz
Kim Ye at JAUS Kim Ye (detail) at JAUS
Imi Knoebel at Von Bartha Gallery
by Julie Kinzelman
I recall interviewing Adrienne 10 years ago to fill the role of Jr. Associate, and thinking how uncanny it was that she seemed so familial. I was instantly impressed with her accessibility, curiosity and ambition. Fast forward to 2016, and Adrienne has now positioned herself in a prominent role as Vice President of Kinzelman Art.
Adrienne has an unfaltering work ethic and is genuinely passionate about advancing her knowledge and experience. With every year that passes, I grow in admiration of her dedication to polishing her skills as an advisor. She has the best sense of design, exquisite taste, and a sharp sense of humor.
I owe a tremendous amount to Adrienne as she has greatly contributed to the growth of the company. She supports the company’s ethos and displays unending faith in the possibility of our future.
I sat down with Adrienne to walk down memory lane and reflect upon her 10 years at Kinzelman Art - here's a bit of our discussion...
JK: When you think back to the beginning of your career, you've experienced so much- can you reflect upon a few highlights? Did it take a while to put together what your role as an advisor was going to be?
AJ: I entered this position with a lot of the necessary skills, but it took me some time to master the depth and diversity of the tasks. Every day was different and I was devouring as much knowledge as I could. Even the somewhat menial tasks were thrilling; it was a very exciting time for me.
JK: At this stage in your career, what aspects of your work excite you, and what do you aspire to accomplish that you haven't already?
AJ: What I love about my job is the creative license. Having the opportunity to utilize creativity and imagination is truly fulfilling. As for what I aspire for, truthfully, I just want to continue to challenge myself towards growth. I'm more focused on a broad concept rather than a task or a number, it's about philosophical achievements for me.
JK: What are aspects of working at KAC that you feel proud about and might differentiate us from anybody else in the city that's doing this too?
AJ: It's the level of care that we put towards our work that I am so proud of. At KAC our goals go beyond making the client happy. It’s about making sure that the art shines and functions seamlessly in the client’s environment and expands into a more broad spectrum view of the success of the collection as a whole.
JK: After 10 years in the art industry, what are some of the trends in the market or in collecting that you've experienced? What have you seen and what's notable to you?
AJ: In the past five years, I’ve noticed our clients purchasing more cutting edge and conceptual works of art. There is a clear trend towards seeking artworks that express sophistication and simultaneously push boundaries. I love that collectors are pushing beyond traditional styles and media and are more open and receptive to buying new media and exploring new materials.
JK: You grew up with an artist as a mother. Tell me about how your upbringing influences your work today.
AJ: This part of my personal history is integral to my identity as an arts professional. From a very young age, I was exposed to the broad and diverse art community in Houston. My parents’ social structure was built of artists and as an only child I had the opportunity to learn how to interact and communicate with creative people. Furthermore, I spent a lot of time in my mother’s art studio as a child and I became comfortable in the setting. Today, a studio visit with an artist is a special treat for me as it feels both familiar and fresh. For my mother, her practice was her profession and she was very dedicated to it. It instilled in me the understanding of the innate need to create work and as a result I have a deep respect for the discipline it takes to be an artist. These experiences have taught me invaluable lessons of how to navigate between the creative and business worlds.
JK: What is on your bucket list for the future?
AJ: Travel is always on my mind. I love the learning opportunities that arise through stepping out of my comfort zone and visiting a new place.
As part of our biannual art rotation on HOK Architect's striking black signature wall, we are pleased to present David Aylsworth's dynamic painting titled Miss Farrah Fawcett from TV (for Ethan). Aylsworth's work is also being shown currently in Inman Gallery's newest exhibition: David Aylsworth: Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea which opens January 8th and runs through February 20th. We are excited to support the expert work of Houston's own David Aylsworth.
For Aylsworth, the action of painting is an intuitive process of discovery where the objective of perfection and precision is left behind. His paintings are laboriously constructed of innumerable layers of textured paint, often in shades of white, and vibrant shapes that infer depth and vitality. While most of Aylsworth’s works are titled with and inspired by lyrics from musicals, Miss Farrah Fawcett from TV (for Ethan) is based on a drawing by his young nephew. Regardless of his muse, the paintings are always created from a place of exploration and authenticity.
As part of our quarterly art rotations at Gensler Architecture’s offices in downtown Houston, we asked The Art Guys to take over Gensler’s space. The duo gladly curated a selection of works for the reception and corridors that explore architecture, urban planning, and engineering. The Art Guys, Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth, have been injecting humor and wackiness into the art world for over 30 years.
This show, The Art Guys: Some Conceptions, digs into their rich archive of work to spark a conversation tailored to Gensler’s industry. The show includes an installation of found office objects that are grouped and shimmed (literally inserting wooden wedges under the objects), a large skyscraper sculpture made entirely of pencils, a series of the 101 of the World’s Greatest Sculpture Proposals, and an expansive salon of Art Guys drawings, sketches, and doodles of projects concepts. The exhibition as a whole is a testament to how The Art Guys expertly present complex concepts with lightness and humor.
While installing the main reception display of shimmed objects, Michael explained the importance of improvisation to their work: “I prefer to make the entire show on site. It's more fun and becomes more of a truly experimental thing.” True to this process, he gathered random office supplies, arranged, and shimmed them completely on the fly - stacking a pencil sharpener on chair or unrolling a roll of toilette paper then shimming one side or the other. The shim to The Art Guys is “the perfect sculpture. … The funny thing is that it destabilizes everything. Instead of making it sturdy, you make it teeter, which is our mythology.”
The other works in the show follow this philosophy of destabilization as well. The pencil skyscraper, Bonded Activity #55 Skyscraper, transforms the grand form of something large and looming into its origin, the humble pencil, the design and form of which is less famous but equally or arguably more significant. They revisit this idea of the “architecture of material” in other sculptures using bottles, pills, or food as their building blocks.
The series of Sculpture Proposals present seemingly mundane objects, architecture, design, or concepts that when viewed as plans for sculpture become absurd. These clever collages seem like more formal iterations of some of their sketches and concept drawings.
The salon hang of sketches depicting past concepts and unrealized projects casts the brightest light onto The Art Guys’ process. They arrived onsite with boxes of photographs, doodles, and drawings from their archive. Then, the two of them sorted and resorted these items to compose a wall filled with these artifacts. Each one acts as a window into a potential creation. They explain that “all we've got are ideas…. the drawings are a way of recording an idea.” Some are absurd and cerebral and some are blueprints for physical structures yet to be realized. This wall installation, which mirrors many of the design walls throughout Gensler, illustrates how The Art Guys build their bizarre yet captivating body of work.
In this unique setting, The Art Guys exhibition addresses key topics relating to architectural structure and design processes that are uniquely relevant to Gensler. They take these core principles and turn them on their head in the hopes of inspiring a reaction or contemplation.
After 4 days, 8 art fairs, and nearly 700 gallery booths, we are eager to report a selection of the many impressive artworks on view in Miami this week. Reflecting back, we picked up on a recurring theme that we see as a sign of the times: many artists are creating work that evidences the ubiquitous presence of technology in society, while others are returning to handmade traditional craft media such as ceramic and textile. Here is selection of our favorite finds from Art Basel, Untitled, Pulse, NADA, and Miami Project.
Detail: Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Siblings of the Sun, 2015, wool, cotton, thread on Belgian linen.
Detail: Alex Dodge, Belfast, 2015, oil on canvas.
Introducing the KAC Let's Talk Art Interview series! Inspired by Andy Warhol's iconic Interview interview, this series features some of our favorite artists, curators, and creative fixtures in the art world that are on our radar at the moment. Kicking-off this series is our very own Julia Stallcup who recently was promoted to Associate here at Kinzelman Art.
We previewed the fifth edition of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, and wanted to share some of our first impressions and stand-out works. We encourage everyone to attend the fair and post your faves with #LetsTalkArt. Stay tuned for more highlights throughout the weekend from Kinzelman Art via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you would like more information on these works feel free to contact us.
With 60 galleries including a special presentation of galleries from Mexico City hand-selected by curators Leslie Moody Castro and Bill Arning of CAM Houston, we expect this year to be the best Texas Contemporary Art Fair yet!
Here are the events we think are not to be missed this TCAF:
TX CONTEMPORARY HAPPY HOUR AND KICK-OFF AT THE MENIL
The Menil Contemporaries and the Texas Contemporary Art Fair will kick off the 2015 fair week with refreshing beverages from Deep Eddy Vodka and Leprechaun Cider and light bites from Canopy.
Claire Elliott, Assistant Curator, will lead tours of the new exhibition, Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now, and attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for an exclusive tour of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair on October 3rd and 4PM.
Attendance is limited but if you RSVP, you can get your free tickets here.
VIP PREVIEW OF THE TX CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR
Photo credit: Texas Contemporary Art Fair
WHEN: October 1st
6-8PM Early Access for Patron Pass Holders
8-10PM VIP Preview Party
WHERE: George R. Brown Convention Center
Get a first look at the art fair before it opens to the public while partying with fellow fair VIPs. On behalf of Kinzelman Art Consulting, you can request a complimentary pass to the VIP preview beginning at 8PM here.
If you choose to upgrade to the Patron Pass, your proceeds benefit the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and you get even earlier access to the fair from 6-8pm to enjoy complimentary light bites and bubbles.
INSIDER TIP: Skip the valet line and take an Uber using the code TX Contemporary. If you’re a first time rider, your ride is free up to $20!
CONVERSATION: THE HAAS BROTHERS
Accretion Vases and Zoidberg Lamp Series, 2014, Accretion Vases: Ceramic. Zoidberg Lamp Series: Cast Bronze, Blown Glass.
WHEN: Saturday, October 3rd, 1:30-3:00PM
WHERE: Texas Contemporary Art Fair Theater, George R. Brown Convention Center
ACCESS: Open to all fair pass holders
Join the Haas Brothers, twins Nikolai and Simon as they discuss their practice of blurring the lines between art and design.
The brothers had a creative upbringing in Austin, Texas received attention right away for their nimble craftsmanship and clever use of materials, and the few years since have seen them evolve from fabricators and collaborators to studio art innovators.
In their current works, The Haas Brothers explore aesthetic and formal themes related to nature, science fiction, sexuality, psychedelia and color theory. Their mastery and unique use of materials ranging from brass, bronze, porcelain and fur to highly technical resins and polyurethane, matched with their insatiable curiosity and remarkable visual intelligence, sets them apart as artists. Born in Austin, TX, the Haas Brothers currently live and work in L.A.
CHERRYHURST HOUSE FALL 2015 OPENING BRUNCH
Come meet Cherryhurst House Founder and Director, Dallas McNamera, and the Fall 2015 artists-in-residence as they celebrate the opening of Strangely Familiar: Works of Visual Fiction by Barbara Levine and Daniela Edburg.
This private home, typically available by appointment only, opens its doors and invites you to come by for mimosas, crepes, and tunes by DJ Clint Brussard!
To join the party and for directions, RSVP here.
CONVERSATION: “THE OTHER MEXICO”
Hector Falcon, Hipervinculo, 2011, Books in Arcylic.
WHEN: October 4th, 1:30- 4:00PM
WHERE: The Texas Contemporary Art Fair Theater, George R. Brown Convention Center
ACCESS: Open to all fair pass holders
The fifth edition of Texas Contemporary marks the launch of the fair’s dynamic partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs at The Mexican Consulate in Houston. Curated by Leslie Moody Castro, independent curator based in Mexico City, The Other Mexico intends to make a tangible connection between the cities of Houston and Mexico City.
This panel discussion with Moody Castro and Andrea Paasch, Exhibition and Special Projects Manager of the Museo Rufino Tamayo, will focus on the ever shifting arts ecosystem of Mexico City, and the role of the participating galleries.
The panel will explore the heterogenous nature of the city itself, and look at the contemporary arts as a micro-cosmic community within the city, while illustrating the importance of interconnectivity with other city centers.
With an impressive roster of 140 galleries from around the world, EXPO Chicago has delivered a vast selection of world class contemporary art. We are spending the weekend in the windy city to explore the many high-caliber art works and art programs on view. After our first day at the fair, a number of works have already caught our eye.
Impressive biographical works by McArthur Binion, Sketch VII and VIII (Looking for Grey): For: Three Movements of Sunlight, 2013, laser print collage, oil paint stick, and Staonal crayon on panel, at Kavi Gupta Gallery
Kinzelman Art Consulting recently organized a temporary exhibition with Houston based artist Natasha Bowdoin at HOK Architect’s crisp and beautiful new space. Bowdoin’s The Daisy Argument Revised is a striking and dynamic spray of feathered elements that recall the aquatic flora of her native Maine. She has installed many iterations of this layered cut paper piece over the years, the first being in 2010.
Professor of Painting and Drawing at Rice University, Bowdoin is known for her painstakingly detailed cut paper installations and collages. Process and content are equally important to Bowdoin in her work. She spends hours hand-cutting the paper elements in direct and visceral response to the even more labor-intensive drawings and transcriptions of significant literary texts. Here the artist has fluidly recorded the text of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and portions of Through the Looking-Glass throughout the abstract composition of the piece.
Natasha Bowdoin’s The Daisy Argument Revised will be on view at HOK through mid-December, 2015.
During the installation process, where Natasha intuitively attached individual elements to HOK’s feature reception wall, KAC’s Adrienne Johnson had a conversation with the artist about the piece and about her work in general.
Q: What was the first text you transcribed?
A: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Before, when I first started to use writing in my work it was much more fragmentary. I would transcribe clips of overheard conversation, portions of remembered song lyrics, and bits of my own stream of conscious writing: things that were floating around the studio as I worked. My work is now made up of other authors’ texts. I was drawn to the idea of using others’ writing as a kind of found, raw material, in that it introduced an element into the work and process that wasn’t personal to me and wasn’t something I could predict. This particular piece includes transcriptions of the entirety of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a portion of Through the Looking-Glass.
Q: How long does it take you to make a piece like this, in its original iteration?
A: This piece in my mind will never be finished. Firstly, I want to complete the transcription of Carroll’s second Alice book. As I mentioned before, I have only partially completed Through the Looking-Glass. Secondly, while at some point the drawings and component parts will be complete, I see this piece staying in flux and transition, resisting any one finite form. The piece is intuitively recombined in each new space it comes to inhabit, never going together the same way twice. Each installation is to a certain extent improvisational. Drawings for a particular installation are usually in the making for several years, as I tend to work on a lot of different pieces at once. If I sat down and focused solely on one installation alone it would come together faster but I like splitting my attention across different works and projects in the studio, in the hopes that different pieces might influence one another in a way I can’t predict.
Q: Is it your intention that viewers read your works?
A: I hope people are neither prevented from reading the work nor feel obligated to. I’m not particularly interested in using text as a means to directly articulate a message or illustrate a meaning. There is a tradition of text in art, established especially in certain kinds of artistic investigation that really took off in the 1960s, that focuses on text as a device for communication or a signifier of meaning. I’m more interested in and inspired by artists like León Ferrari, Robert Smithson, and Mira Schendel, who I think were really interested in the abstract potential of text. People can look for meaning in my drawings, but the structure defies any sense of logic. I don’t give anyone a specific place to begin. Text I think isn’t always straightforward, obvious, or transparent. I like channeling this room for flexibility, ambiguity, and a text’s potential.
Q: Will you tell me about the inspiration for the forms themselves?
A: A lot of the pattern I gravitate towards as source material is nature based. I’m fascinated with how humans over time have tried to depict and document the world around them. With this piece, I’ve had people tell me that they are reminded of life under the sea, seaweed and sea fans for instance. These weren’t forms I intentionally had in mind but I guess it’s impossible for me to get away from where I grew up. The natural surroundings of my home state of Maine and elements of my upbringing I think work their way into my work subconsciously.
Originally this piece was kept in a palette of black, white, and yellow in that I was thinking of the color of type in a book, and of Alice’s blond hair. Eventually I began to add more and more color in an attempt to reference the wackiness and the vibrancy of Carroll’s Wonderland.
Another reason the work remains in flux is that in a way it’s meant to mirror Alice’s own experience. As she travels through Wonderland she is constantly shrinking or expanding to make her way through the space. There’s a lack of fixed boundary to her own body as she continues on her adventure. This piece is meant to evoke that sense of boundarylessness I find so appealing.
See the installation time-lapse video here:
KAC had the privilege of commissioning Korean artist Soo Sunny Park to compose an impressive site-specific installation in a corporate reception in The Woodlands. Capturing Light is made up of 22 individual panels and 12,000 dichroic acrylic tiles that scatter ever-changing patterns of refracted light through the space. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Park throughout the entire process from developing the initial concept, to creating digital and physical models. After months of careful collaboration and planning, it is wonderful to see this beautiful installation come to life and transform the surrounding environment.
Special thanks to CYNTHIA-REEVES, New York and TYart Art Handling.
See our time-lapse video of the week-long installation:
We had the chance to preview Mie Olise’s exhibition with the artist at Barbara Davis Gallery. After meeting Mie and enjoying her new body of work, it is clear her career is poised to reach new heights. The show opens Friday, May 1st and will run through June 12th. Contact us with inquiries.
Mie Olise with Woodlands (back wall) and Entering Closer (right wall)
Mie Olise with Entering Closer
This year, the Dallas Art Fair played host to nearly 100 galleries. We enjoyed exploring and admiring the breadth of top-notch art exhibited. After seeing it all, here is a shortlist of our most coveted works. Reach out to us if you are interested in more information about these or other artists we found.