Review of My Show by Lynn Woods

acrylic paintings, art, contemporary art, female artist, studio visit

via Josepha Gutelius

Review by Lynn Woods, Hudson Valley Times, August 21, 2017

Josepha Gutelius, an award-winning poet and playwright who gave up writing to paint full-time in 2015, makes collage-like, disjunctive narratives in a figurative expressionist style that has echoes of German Expressionism and the punk sensibility of the 1980s. Neon pink, red, orange, yellow, blue and green are combined with graphic black to unseat expectations in large-scale scenes of family gatherings, groups of schoolchildren, and portraits. The glaring colors are often accompanied by intrusions of sci-fi-like elements. Areas of abstract patterns suggesting trippy hallucinations. A spiraling chaos of what looks like rubble, distant nebulae and rotating disks (tires? bangles? flying saucers?) below the image of a woman’s face suggest infra-red images and by extension top-secret maps and investigations by the military. It’s as though the artist is an interrogator unearthing the vertiginous fears, fantasies and queasy anxieties lurking just beneath the surface of society’s banal superficialities. Based on her own photos as well as images collected on-line and from newspapers, Gutelius’ investigations of notions of family and institutional life, class, war, religion, fashion, leisure, art, and other aspects of contemporary American culture undercut the sentimentalized or glamorized appearances characterizing such subjects in advertising and social media. While Pop appropriated from the techniques of commercialism, thus in a sense glorifying them, Gutelius portrays the seamy underbelly, the alienation, cruelties, vulnerabilities, and inhumanity underlying  exploitations. The self, within such a culture, is a shaky construct, and commercialism’s hawked pleasures are delusional. In the painting Psychic Beach, for example, the crowded beach, viewed from above, as if from a drone, flatten the scene, depicting corpse-like sunbathers as tense, awkward, and uncomfortably exposed, their proximity to each other claustrophobic. “The most I can hope for is to make paintings that have some kind of presence, that startle, that aren’t just wall coverings,” writes Gutelius in an email, noting that “art is a commodity and famous art and artists are brands.” She describes her subject as “the half-told story, the precarious balance between knowing and not-knowing, where the physical and metaphysical are constantly intertwining.” Many of her scenes pivot between interior and psychological states to the public, technological and even cosmic. The work is cinematic in its abrupt juxtapositions. Besides film, Gutelius’s work also references art history, often ironically. In Vibrational Museum, a work in acrylic and colored pencil, a figure rests against a background covered in rows of narrow pink, yellow and gray rectangles. The piece could be read as an interpretation of a Agnes Martin painting onto which Gutelius, lampooning Modernist orthodoxy, has superimposed a figure, complete with shadow.

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The Art of New Beginnings, 2017

contemporary art, female artist

Moving into my attic studio for the winter, crowded with old discarded paintings and storage items.

Still, it’s a place to work, yeah. And it’s time for me to post new beginnings! Some from my pool-hall series, one attempt at a landscape, a continuation of my Family series.  “Valentine” is one of two companion works that are companions of my poem “Valentine” (widely published these days).

Last, but not least,

as always, a nudge from the angsty political landscape.

Gutelius, Coming Soon 39 x 22

“Coming Soon,” acrylic, 39 in. x 22 in.

Blonde Bait 38 x 22

“Blonde Bait,” 38 in. x 22 in.

Gutelius, Easy to Pick Up 19 x 39

“Easy to Pick Up” acrylic on canvas, 39 in. x 19 in.

Gutelius, 40 x 25, Demo

“Demo” acrylic on canvas, 40 in. x 25 in.

Land and Sea 28 x 22

“Land and Sea” acrylic on canvas, 28 in. x 22 in.

Family 38 x 39

“Family” acrylic on canvas, 38 in. x 39 in.

45 x 31 Valentine 2

“Valentine 2” acrylic on canvas, 45 in. x 31 in.

Charcoal 9 x 11

Untitled, charcoal drawing on paper

Studio Visit, Q&A with me and Sarah Butler

acrylic paintings, art, contemporary art, figurative art, political art, studio visit

Athens Laundry


[[MORE]]STUDIO VISIT: JOSEPHA GUTELIUS
Studio location: A garage (without the car!) semi-attached to my house. The only natural light is west, which makes for interesting shadows, ideal for my purposes.
How long working here? I moved in early August...

STUDIO VISIT: JOSEPHA GUTELIUS

Studio location: A garage (without the car!) semi-attached to my house. The only natural light is west, which makes for interesting shadows, ideal for my purposes.

How long working here? I moved in early August this year, so the studio hasn’t been mucked up much. I’m still trying to keep it clean and neat. Give it a few months.

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THE SPACE

One advantage: I can paint large, larger, largest and cart the canvas out the garage door. Of course, having a new studio feels like a fresh start. I finally have more floor space—my method is to work on the floor, kneeling.

And I have wall space: that’s amazing! The first thing I did when I moved into the new studio, I hung up about 30 of my paintings, it was like seeing them for the first time.

Challenges: Electricity? Yes. But no plumbing: no sink, no toilet. So I do a lot of trudging back and forth.

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THE WORK

I tend to work on several paintings at once and revisit old paintings accordingly. And especially now with the fresh new context of the studio, I see everything differently. I’m thinking I want to go toward interior scenes. Figures, of course. But I haven’t done much with objects, and I plan to.

Recommended Reads?

Ross King’s The Judgment of Paris. Immensely detailed, with a sweeping perspective on what King calls “the revolutionary decade that gave the world Impressionism.” King’s starting point is Meissonier, the Andy Warhol of the 19th century (and coincidentally Salvador Dali’s favorite painter). A brilliant illustration of the relativity of the canon.

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Another seminal book: Lothar Lang’s Expressionist Book Illustration in Germany, 1907-1927. I’ve pored over that book for years—the drama of the line, the black/ white contrast, the spare use of color as “gesture,” an art of protest. Raw and brutal stuff; those paintings can’t be tamed. The basics for me are content and drama.

And the inimitable Lucy Lippard, the art shaman. I don’t necessarily like the art she likes, but I love looking at art through her eyes. I See/ You Mean is a phenomenal novel.


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“Truth Out” art show and Wolf of Wall Street

contemporary, contemporary art, female artist, Uncategorized

One recent work “Wolf of Wall Street”

and installation photo from “Truth Out: current controversies, historical injustices”– group show curated by Rosary Solimanto and Jean Tansey, Unframed Artists Gallery, New Paltz, NY

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Installation view, “Truth Out”

aesthetica49-x-34-wolf-of-wall-streetguteliuspg

“Wolf of Wall Street” acrylic, charcoal, pastel, 49 x 34 inches

New work

acrylic paintings, art, charcoal drawing, contemporary art, female artist, feminist art, figurative art, portraits of women

40 x 24 new version18 x 24 new 20160517_113533-145 x 2345 x 23 Robot36 x 24 20160601_074943-1new version

Josepha Gutelius | Paintings

acrylic paintings, contemporary art, female artist, figurative art, male portraits, portraits of women

Experiments … Take a look at the painting “Every Memory Is Older Than You ” — I scraped off the original image.

Gutelius, 20 x 16, Man in the Holocene

Man in the Holocene, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16

Gutelius, 24 x 18, New Car Smell

New Car Smell, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 16

Gutelius, Another Exit Plan

Another Exit Plan, acrylic on canvas

Gutelius, 36 x 24 Building in Chelsea

A Building in Chelsea, acrylic drawing on engineering paper, mounted on canvas, 36 x 26

Gutelius, 24 x 18 Bracelets

Bracelets, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18

Gutelius, 29 x 16 Learning to Swim

Learning to Swim, acrylic on canvas, 29 x 16

Gutelius, 16 x 23, Lingerie

Lingerie, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 23

Gutelius, 36 x 24, Every Memory is Older than You

Every Memory Is Older Than You, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24

Painting process (old versions and new)

acrylic paintings, contemporary art, female artist, feminist art, figurative art, portraits of women

Perhaps because winter is coming, time to hunker down, I’ve been particularly keen on revisiting paintings, never quite content.

Some old versions, and new. Subtle changes, hmmm.

Red Coat, old version, acrylic on canvas

Red Coat, old version, acrylic on canvas

New version, "Red Coat,"  21 x 17, acrylic on canvas

New version, “Red Coat,”
21 x 17, acrylic on canvas

Windswept, old version

Windswept, old version

Windswept, new version, 28 x 17, acrylic on canvas

Windswept, new version, 28 x 17, acrylic on canvas