Postcommodity Retools Mechanisms of Western Culture to Critique Itself at SMoCA

Categories: Review, Visual Art

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Mikey Estes
Postcommodity's two installations will be on view at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art until April 26, 2015.

Indigenous art collective Postcommodity's two installations currently on display at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art as part of its "southwestNET" series until April 26, 2015 transform idyllic imagery into a subversive spectacle, utilizing Western culture to critique itself. The Southwest-based interdisciplinary collective currently consists of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist, and Nathan Young. What ties these two participatory installations together is the precarious nature of our interactions with the works.

Promoting a More Just, Verdant and Harmonious Resolution (2011) and Pollination (2015) each utilize the audience as a catalyst for dystopic destruction -- our movement within the space activates the piece. Our bodies are essentially invading the space, much like how Western modes of culture and capital invade the natural landscape and non-Western cultures. The problems that Postcommodity addresses are heavy and deeply ingrained in history and social constructs. Through speaking the language of Western culture and retooling it, the collective is raising these concerns in an ironic, humorous, and accessible way.

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"Minimally Speaking" Plays With Art History at Bentley Gallery in Phoenix

Categories: Review, Visual Art

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Bentley Gallery/Clutch Photos
From Here to There by Matthew Magee is featured in "Minimally Speaking" at Bentley Gallery.
Plenty of ink has been spilled on the topic of minimalism, a particular type of art process and product popularized during the 1960s. John Reyes, director for Bentley Gallery, describes it as art meant to be "totally objective, unexpressive, and non-referential." It followed something called abstract expressionism, a style prevalent during the 1940s and 1950s, which favored abstraction over realism and valued artwork filled with expressive qualities.

"Minimally Speaking," an exhibition on view at Bentley Gallery through the end of March, explores works by six artists who reflect the recognition that it's possible to combine impulses towards order and expression in a single work. It's most evident in a trio of works by Matthew Magee, which reflect mainstays of minimalism such as repeated lines and shapes while demonstrating the artist's own impulses towards whimsy and play.


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2015 Arizona Governor's Arts Award Winners Announced

Categories: News, Visual Art

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Winners of the 2015 Arizona Governor's Arts Awards were announced in a Tuesday, March 24, ceremony at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

The awards honor both individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture in Arizona and are presented by the Office of Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Citizens for the Arts, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

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"30 Years" Exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery in Phoenix Shows What's Possible for Arizona Artists

Categories: Review, Visual Art

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Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery
Calder Crowd by Carrie Marill is featured in "30 Years" at Lisa Sette Gallery.
Recent reflections on the state of the arts in Arizona have called to mind both areas needing improvement and what's working. Lisa Sette Gallery, which moved to midtown Phoenix after 28 years spent in Scottsdale, is clearly in the "getting it right" column -- as evidenced by the quality of works featured in its "30 Years" exhibition currently on view.

Lisa Sette Gallery opened in the new space during mid-June last year with "Hello Midtown!", featuring works by about half the artists Sette represents. "30 Years" has a similar feel, in part because they have a dozen or so artists in common -- but also because the physical space remains consistent for each show. Unlike some other galleries, which shift temporary walls to reconfigure exhibition spaces, Sette has one open space with a central nook that typically holds one large-scale piece or installation.


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Suzanne and Bud Selig Donate $2.5 Million to Phoenix Art Museum

Categories: News, Visual Art

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Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum
Bud and Suzanne Selig's donation will help fund a chief curator position at Phoenix Art Museum.

Suzanne and Bud Selig have donated $2.5 million to Phoenix Art Museum, the museum's board announced in a March 19 statement.

Suzanne, a member of the museum's board of trustees, and Bud, former Major League Baseball commissioner, reside in Scottsdale. Their donation will be used to fund a chief curator position at the museum, a job that, in recent years, has been folded into the duties of the museum director.

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State of the Arts: 10 Things Phoenix Needs to Do

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Carrie Hobson
Phoenix's arts community is at a make-or-break moment. It's time to grow up.

Consider yourself on notice, Phoenix. Here are 10 things to do in the next three years.

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6 Must-See Third Friday Art Shows in Phoenix on March 20

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Courtesy of Halt Gallery
Work by Lena Klett featured in "Subliminal" at Halt Gallery in the Roosevelt Row A.R.T.S. Market.
We've finally hit the art-meets-weather sweet spot, when temperatures are just right for making the art walk rounds during First and Third Fridays. A whole new crop of shows opens this week, and some cool shows are about to close. So start early, and enjoy this mix of art and nice weather while it lasts.


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Greg Esser on the State of the Arts in Metro Phoenix

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Buzzy Sullivan and Taylor James
Greg Esser weighs in on the state of the arts in metro Phoenix.
When Jackalope Ranch issued a 10-question survey asking Phoenicians (and anyone with an opinion of Phoenix) to sound of on the state of the arts in the Valley of the Sun, dozens provided insights on what's happening in the city's creative realm. We'll present a selection of survey responses here over the next three weeks. Up today is artist Greg Esser of ASU and Roosevelt Row CDC.

What are three words that describe the arts in Arizona?
diverse, inclusionary, participatory

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"Feminism Today" Doesn't Deliver on Its Name at Downtown Phoenix's MonOrchid

Categories: Review, Visual Art

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Lynn Trimble
Works by Mimi Jardine, Melissa Aissa Martinez, and Christine Cassano featured in "Feminism Today."
Given the rich complexity of feminism past and present, we were intrigued to learn of the latest exhibition at Shade Gallery, located at monOrchid in Roosevelt Row. Titled "Feminism Today," the exhibition features works by 13 local artists -- all of them women whom curator Nicole Royse says she's long admired.

Royse planned the show in early February, after a "veteran artist" she won't name pulled out of a planned March exhibition at the gallery. She'd recently run across online articles saying wives and mothers couldn't be true artists, and she was concerned about Arizona policy makers infringing on women's rights. Thus the "Feminism Today" framework was born.


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Phoenix Artist Daniel Funkhouser on Science Fiction Addiction and How Play Shapes His Work

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Mikey Estes
Daniel Funkhouser in his Phoenix studio space.

What happens in the studio, shouldn't always stay in the studio. Studio Visit Q+A is a new weekly series that profiles artists in their studios. We ask them questions, they provide answers, and then we have a nice discussion about their work. This week: Phoenix artist Daniel Funkhouser.

Arizona local Daniel Funkhouser's work has been a staple in Phoenix's art scene for the past several years. The ASU-trained painter is a former member of Eye Lounge and when he isn't producing his pop assemblages, he works for Scottsdale Public Art. His solo exhibition last fall at Bokeh Gallery was one of our 10 must-sees, so we sat down with him in his studio to talk about his work and what could be coming next.

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