Archive for May, 2014

Flash Trade

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Das Tauschregal is Cynthia Daignault’s latest exhibition among many recent shows, part of a series of offsite projects developed by Lisa Cooley and her artists.  As “an experiment in participatory economics,” Das Tauschregal continues one aspect of Cynthia’s practice, whereby she exhibits and distributes accessibly priced original paintings, such as her CCTV paintings.


For Das Tauschregal – “The Barter Shelf” – Daignault invited any interested people to trade “objects of value” for paintings.  Each participant could describe on an index card his or her object of value, then submit this card to Lisa Cooley Gallery. From those anonymous descriptions, Cynthia chose 31 participants. Each participant would trade his or her object for Cynthia’s painting of that object.

Cynthia Daignault, "Das Tauschregal," 2014

Through the month of May, all thirty-one objects have been displayed on shelves at 6 Decades Books, one object for each day, configured like the May 2014 calendar. As each day passes, Cynthia replaces one object with her painting of that object. On May 31st, the conversion will be complete; the shelves will hold only paintings.  This “daily practice of painting” strategy is another current in Cynthia’s surge; for her recent I love you more than one more day, she ambitiously painted the overhead clouds each day.  Cynthia is a high-frequency painter (making her a “Flash Girl“).

(l) David Korty, "Film Strip (blue shelf 4)," 2013; (r) Dylan Stone, "Barbara and David Stone's Bookshelf (detail)," 2005,

And with Das Tauschregal, Cynthia is a high-frequency trader, of sorts.  Das Tauschregal is an experiment in “exchanging concrete commodity for abstract representation, as in currency”. It’s not the first barter-based show (or this), but it’s also no coincidence that this show overlapped with the Frieze Art Fair, where everything you see is a luxury good and monetary value is mostly arbitrary, determined by fiat. Also, this project looks asymmetrical.  The objects in Das Tauschregal have sentimental, autobiographical, or otherwise subjective value. Valuable to their previous owners, it’s not immediately clear how or why Cynthia will value these objects. -As tokens and memorabilia of this project? -As symbols of new friendships and acquaintances? Why would Cynthia select any of them? Meanwhile, other participants will undoubtedly value their new paintings! I know I will.


Remembering Tony Palladino

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

The SVACE community mourns the loss of Tony Palladino, a design legend who taught graphic design courses at SVA for more than forty years.

Tony Palladino at his Masters Series retrospective

A first-generation Italian-American, Tony Palladino was born in 1930 in East Harlem.  He enrolled in the High School of Music & Art, where he met George Lois and Bob Gill, who became lifelong friends, colleagues, and business partners.  In 1949, he studied with Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell.  In 1950, he joined the Army, serving until 1953.

His fascination with the stark visual realities of New York City eventually motivated him to feature them in his early work. In 1956, Palladino used jagged, fragmented type for an original collage that became the cover art for Robert Bloch’s novel, Psycho (Simon & Schuster).  J. Walter Thompson, Universal’s advertising agency, bought the design to use for the classic film of the same name, while inspiring the Saul Bass animated title sequence.

"Psycho" design by Tony Palladino

Palladino created well-known logos, including Conrail and the celebrated Trattoria restaurant in the Met Life building.  He designed posters for the Cotton Bowl, Mobil Masterpiece Theater, Lenny Bruce on Broadway, La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, and many other clients. Some of his best posters are those for the School of Visual Arts, where he has taught Illustration, Design and Conceptual Creativity. Tony also designed a cane-shaped lamp in polished aluminum, conceived from a drinking straw while he sat at dinner.  The lamp eventually became part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

SVA posters by Tony Palladino

Tony was inducted into the Art Directors Club in 1987.  He was the 1999 recipient of SVA’s Masters Series Award, for which he exhibited designs, paintings, and sculpture in a retrospective exhibition.

George Lois, former Art Directors Club President and fellow Hall of Fame laureate, has written, “[Tony Palladino] created Pop art before Pop was born, but his images were imbued with thought. Deep thought… Tony is obviously an original. There’s nobody even remotely like him.”

“Love of images and words, inspired by his talent and humanity, were the essence of his incredibly innovative oeuvre. Through his work, Tony Palladino will live forever.”


Tony Palladino’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Directors Club, Lichtfield Library, and the NYU Gallery. It is part of the permanent collections of the San Marino Museum of Modern Art in Italy and the Thessaloniki Design Museum in Greece, as well as many corporate and private collections.

(Sections of this obituary are taken from SVA’s Masters Series website and the Art Directors Club.)

NADA Chance

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Come find the third edition of NADA New York this weekend on Pier 36 at Basketball City!  The fair is free, the art is great, and freshly brewed Intelligentsia coffee sweetens the air.  Also, the views across the East River are gorgeous and you might get a glimpse of Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx in its Domino Refinery den.

NADA 2014 at Basketball City
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Basketball City: Gudmundur Thoroddsen at Asya Geisberg, NYC

In addition to selecting only about 90 keen exhibitors, NADA is nice because the venue is spacious, because it is free, and because it doesn’t feel hyper-marketed like the Frieze invasion up the river. Artists are densely concentrated among the fair’s visitors and for New York fairs that feature promising young artists, NADA New York is hard to beat.  This year’s fair seems designed to discourage methodical booth-scrolling in favor of loose perambulation through the booths, letting chance and spontaneity guide intrepid visitors.

Jean Baptiste Bernadet at Rod Barton, London
Mid-century collages by Cuban cigar roller Felipe Jesus Consalvos at Adams and Ollman, Portland

This year’s Special Projects and Programs include Phaidon on San Juan and Detroit, Shoot the Lobster in a Galaxie 500, Independent Curators International on Caribbean influence, a tour with Gallerist NY, and more.  (But every project is special when you’re with someone you love.)

Sara Cwynar at Cooper Cole, Toronto
Workin Hard or Hardly Workin? at The Green Gallery, Milwaukee (with Peter Barrickman paintings)
Katherine Bernhardt and Jesse Greenberg at Loyal, Sweden

The program that interested me most was Contemporary Poetry, a marathon reading by 30 New York-based poets, curated by artist+ Sam Gordon, a Feature artist who has dedicated this program to Hudson, the sagely gallerist who passed away in February.  Many of the participating poets have exhibited visual art, too. To accompany the readings, a zine will be available at Printed Matter’s NADA booth or available for free download here – for one week only!

Ezra Johnson at Freight & Volume, NYC

These photos are a few of the highlights I noticed, but be sure to look for Corinne Jones paintings at Jackie Klempay, David Gilbert photos at Klaus von Nichtssagend, Bob Mizer photos at Invisible-Exports and at Adams and Ollman, and the BAM+NADA Portfolio.

Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo
Marko Mäetamm at Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Estonia
Elise Ferguson at Romer Young, San Francisco
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Booth and paintings at Roberto Paradise, San Juan
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Jamie Davidovich at Churner and Churner, NYC
Sculptures by Elisabeth Kley and Sarah Peters, performance by Kristen Jensen at Regina Rex, Brooklyn
Jose Martos' Galaxie 500 (now THAT is what I call art!)

Tears Fall

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Jackie Saccoccio’s fourth solo show with Eleven Rivington features large-scale paintings on view at both gallery locations. Driven by gravity and drips, Saccoccio’s paintings relate to her recent shows in New York City and abroad, through which she has pursued the possibility of painting portraiture without image.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Concave)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Concave)", 2014

At 195 Chrystie Street, six towering paintings reach from floor to ceiling. If they are portraits, then they seem like full-body portraits. We learn that they can be grouped into pairs.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Convex)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Convex)", 2014

“Profile-type pictures,” these pairs include Profile (Roy II, Concave) and Profile 3 (Roy II, Convex), Profile (GT Concave) and Profile (GT Convex), and Profile (Echo) and Profile (Narcissus). Respectively, they refer to features of Chuck Close’s Roy II (1994), Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni (1488), and two characters from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


Above all, these feel like portraits of painting itself, rather than paintings of people or paintings of paintings of people. Though painting has many faces, it often does pose itself in these viscous, gestural, and labored manners.  And if it’s true that “You should be able to look at any good painting from several sides,” as Ed Ruscha is said to have said, then these paintings’ rotations above gravity (the drips drip to all compass points) seem to defy head-on-shoulders portraiture, unless tears drip up.

P.S. If you are interested in Italian portraits from the 1480s, be sure to catch Michael Joaquin Grey’s In Between Simonetta animation at Leila Heller Gallery!


Thursday, May 1st, 2014

SVACE faculty member Keith Mayerson is featured in ARTFORUM!  His painting installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial looks great in this spread, but it does make me think that Artforum should be printed even bigger! Check out our recent Q&A with Keith here:


Keith Mayerson in Artforum!