Monday, July 11, 2016

The Presidential Commemorative Smog Plates of Kim Abeles

When I visited the studio of Kim Abeles circa 1998, one of the most intriguing things I saw there was her stencil pieces created via the etching of smog. In addition to a dining room table with etched silverware and place settings, she had created a full set of Commemorative Smog Plates portraying the presidents of the United States from McKinley to the present. In addition to presidential portraits, each dinner plate was rimmed by one of their historical pronouncements regarding the environment. 

In short, after one hundred years of presidential declarations about the environment, an artist near the end of the century was able to produce etchings solely by means of the particulate matter in her polluted L.A. air. What was startling for her was how short of a time was required to produce the images.

The quotes themselves and the presidents' names were painted in gold leaf. 

The last two in the series, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, 
were shared in yesterday's blog post.
See more smog etching by Kim Abeles at The Smog Collectors pages of her website.

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Local Art Scene: Plein Air Duluth
This week forty outstanding artists from Minnesota and beyond will participate in the Duluth Art Institute’s second annual outdoor painting festival, Plein Air Duluth: Paint du Nord. Duluth offers wonderful inspiration for painters with postindustrial buildings nestled on a hill leading down to the greatest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, and surrounded by pristine wilderness. En Plein Air means “in the open air,” and artists will work outdoors from July 10 – 15 to quickly capture the landscape in shifting, natural light, immortalizing Duluth scenes. Many will post their painting locations on social media, using the hashtag #DuluthPleinAir16, so that the public can watch them transform canvases from blank slates to completed works. On Wednesday the public is invited to participate in a Quick Paint event at Midtown Park. The festival will culminate in an exhibition on view in DAI Galleries through September 9. Opening Reception is Friday.

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Don't miss tonight's opening reception for Martin DeWitt's The Nature of Space + Hybrid Forms. 5 - 7 p.m. at the Zeitgeist Atrium. 

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Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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