Please join me SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 at 8pm for a RECEPTION and WINNERS’ CHOICE RAFFLE At CHE’S LOUNGE
350 N 4th Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85705. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit CASA LIBRE; raffle tickets are $5 AND ARE AVAILABLE IN PERSON AND AT CASA EVENTS IN FEBRUARY OR ON LINE AT casalibre.org. Winners need not be present or may choose a work on display to take home that night. There will be no charge to mail prizes to locations outside of Tucson.
The mission of Casa Libre en la Solana is to cultivate and enrich a vibrant community of writers and artists through the invention, presentation, and appreciation of creative work.
Casa Libre provides- a venue for classes, residencies, readings and workshops, opportunities to artists by offering the resources and support they need to make their artistic dreams a reality and offers space for other community events related to arts and letters.
Casa Libre has these previous works in my Autopoiesis series on display.
A generous portion of the sale of any of these works will be donated to Casa as well.
One intaglio print
One 3″x3″ acrylic or mixed media on canvas
One 3″x3″ or 6″x6″ acrylic or mixed media on canvas or pine
One encaustic or acrylic or mixed medium of any size
Jill Darling, Hannah Ensor, and Laura Wetherington will be reading from at the intersection of 3. They have chosen my painting NINE CIRCLES MAKE A RAINBOW AND A TARGET for the cover.This is a very special event – a chapbook pre-release reading and celebration! These 3 put their very smart (and equally charming) brains together and made a thing and now we get to experience the wonder of it!
Saturday, April 12
$5 Suggested Donation
Trickhouse Live is an integrative arts series that brings together people working with words, images, sounds, videos, and performances. The series serves as a venue for visiting artists to interact with local artists and for the borders between genres and media to be permeable. Trickhouse Live is a physical world extension of the online cross-genre arts journal, Trickhouse.org, which is based in Tucson.
Antony and the Johnsons’ exquisitely painful song, Another World, conveys a desperate love for what’s here, confounded by the knowledge that it and we are ephemeral. The guiding principle for CLOUDSHOW / UTOPIA is to make ANOTHER WORLD and discover PEACE ON OTHER PLANETS. Because we hurt nature, each other, and ourselves, I set out to create my utopia as a place unpeopled, a place of clouds, rainbows, and waterfalls without us there to screw everything up.
No sooner had I begun serious thought about utopia, than I began to kick people out of it. I’d been thinking a lot about John William Waterhouse’s painting Ividia; in Latin, invidia is the sense of envy, from invidere, “to look against, to look at in a hostile manner.” Envy for or from others drives us to solitude. I recalled the noir film LE SAMOURÏ and reacquainted myself w/ its opening text, “There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle… Perhaps…” — Bushido
There are TRACES OF FORCES that guide us to each other and to ourselves. My work for CLOUDSHOW / UTOPIA actually began with a previous show inspired by The Divine Comedy, in particular by Michael Mazur’s monotype illustration for Canto XI, a map of Dante’s hell, which, if rotated, reads as a rainbow. In my painting, Nine Circles Make A Rainbow and a Target, a pink arc with red road markers represents the seventh circle, in which Dante houses those who commit sins of violence.
THE ROAD TO NOWHERE begins and ends within us. Though we do harm, we do love. We are kind. And we’re here for the near and somewhat distant future at least. Challenging myself to make objects without the presence of humanity didn’t come to fruition.
Accidents happen; it is a part of my practice to embrace them. When pouring the base for CLOUDS WHISPER TO THE MARTYRS OF AN END TO ALL WARS in a 115-degree garage, the dam broke. A few pounds of 400-degree beeswax and damar began to cascade across my worktable and fall to the floor. I quickly placed supports around the edges of the frame to save as much medium as possible. I added more medium, and pulled out my hot air gun to direct and re-melt the cooling surface. Despite my efforts, it began to harden unevenly. I walked away.
I returned to discover that the profile of a woman’s face had hardened into the “misshapen” surface. I decided to carve the minimalist symbol, seen in TRACES OF FORCES, as I had initially planned, and also to define the woman’s profile. I filled in the rest of the uneven surfaces w/ clouds, sky, and foreground. It was not until the piece was completed that some friends pointed out the optical illusion of a man’s profile tracing the woman’s profile. It’s a paradox – I set out to create a world free from people and behavior, yet I can’t help but make human faces embracing.
I desire connection and celebration, too. I want to go to a CLOUD PARTY AT THE RAINBOW. I want to KEEP DANCING. Music is an integral element of my practice. I like to dance while I’m working. I chose Jay-Z’s Heaven to start my playlist– I like to choose a certain song, then hit shuffle.
Reading, research, and other visual arts are integral to my process as well. They are my escape from actual making, but also my inspiration to get back to paintbrushes or sculpting tools. Inspiration for a series also comes from my collection of art postcards. For CLOUDSHOW / UTOPIA, I was inspired by one of King Tut’s inlaid pieces of jewelry and a drinking cup, Victor Pasmore’s The Green Earth, David Smith’s Voltri VII, Miro’s Bleu II, Howard Hodgkin’s Lovers, Kandinsky’s Painting with Three Spots and Calder’s circus.
I had the opportunity to visit California in the midst of production. I took with me Hundertwasser’s Complete Graphic Work 1951-1976, an exquisite, pocket-sized catalogue produced by Joram Harel in Vienna, 2008. At the LACMA, we saw Matisse’s large-scale ceramic La Gerbe, Hans Richter: Encounters (Richter was involved w/ the utopian groups Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter) and Chris Burden’s Metropolis II. I brought home a copy of Timothy Benson’s Expressionist Utopias and was surprised to rediscover that the guiding principle behind the many utopian movements is the desire to make a better community, which creates the innocence of a Garden of Eden or the complexity of an architectural fantasy. For the Glashaus utopians, a CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL is the center of their architectural ideal.
My cathedral is the rainbow, a WATERHOUSE. My utopia is a community of works that CIPHER THE COSMOS for SYMBOLS THAT BELONG ON THE ALTAR OF A FUTURE SPIRITUAL ONTOLOGY.
 From Timothy O. Benson’s Essay, “Fantasy and Functionality: The Fate of Utopia,” “artists around 1900 hoped to find in nature signatures or traces of forces that might reshape the world for the betterment of humanity”
 I worked at The Rainbow Bar and Grill in my early 20’s
 The title KEEP DANCING comes from Arcade Fire’s song “My Body is a Cage” (in particular, the lyric “My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love”) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhhZdune_5Q
 From Timothy O. Benson’s Essay, “Fantasy and Functionality: The Fate of Utopia,” the goal of the Munich Blaue Reiter (founded by Kandinsky and Franz Marc) according to Marc was “to create out of their work symbols of their own time, symbols that belong on the altar of a future spiritual religion”
TERZA RIMA aka CARNIELIAN BOYS 8″x8″ encaustic will be up for raffle to benefit the Art Foundation
Café 54 cordially invites you to the Art Foundation’s artist reception Saturday, August 10, from 5 to 8 PM. This celebration of artists will feature live music, a wearable art fashion show, performance art, food and refreshments. We will also be holding a raffle featuring prizes donated by local artists and businesses benefiting the Café 54 Art Foundation.
The event is open to the public and admission is free!
The Café 54 Art Foundation was established to provide and assist individuals recovering from mental illness the opportunity to express themselves through the creative arts. All tips from the Café Bistro and the Café’s catering business go to the Art Foundation Fund. Art supply scholarships are available to individuals recovering from mental illness who are currently working with Behavioral Health Programs, and show desire to express him or herself through the visual arts.
NINE CIRCLES MAKE A RAINBOW AND A TARGET 36″ x 36″ acrylic and graphite on canvas
“Nine Circles” refers to Dante’s description of Hell. The structure and orientation of the circles in this painting are based on Michael Mazur’s monotype for Canto XI, which appears in Pinsky’s translation of the Inferno. It is not a coincidence that Dante’s circles appear in my painting both as a target and as a rainbow, a symbol for gay pride. Gays are often targets of brutality. The pink arc with red road markers represents the seventh circle, in which Dante houses those who commit sins of violence. The absent road markers in the upper right symbolize a break in the cycle of violence.
Two new WIP for current show, EKPHRASIS at BENTLEY’S. Come out this Saturday August 11th btw 2pm-3:30pm to celebrate! AUGUST 14th IS THE FINAL DAY TO SEE THE SHOW LIVE. I’ll be serving light savories and sweets, lemonade and iced tea. To vew the show on line go to my website VALYNTINAGRENIER.COM.
SHOWING July 17 – AUGUST 14 At 1730 East Speedway Blvd. Tucson M – SA 7AM to 4PM SU 8AM to 4PM 520.795.0338
The primary iconography for this show, single-line figures, comes from Autopoiesis, a series I began in 1997. Elements in an autopoietic system are producer and product simultaneously. To live in an autonomous way, living systems need to obtain resources from their environment. Forms in art, because of their symbolic nature, are dependent upon a relationship with viewers, who are themselves producers and consumers. Ekphrasis, the use of one work of art to tell the story of another, is also an example of autopoiesis. In this exhibit, the figures represent spirits and living beings.
I began painting Divine Comedy a few years ago. In the process of finishing it for this show, the painting began to look religious to me as I built up the fore- and background colors and the black figures primarily with triangulation. I thought, I’m an atheist, what am I making here? Dante’s epic poem the Divine Comedy came to mind; I recalled how much I enjoyed reading parts of Mandelbaum’s Commedia and Pinsky’s translation of the Inferno. Dante’s form and subject matter, especially the humor and humanity with which he depicts both sinners and saints, became the guiding principle for the show.
I painted Francesca and Paolo, Dante’s adulterers, swaying in a sea of flames. Francesca and Paolo’s story is a precursor to the gothic novel, which combines elements of horror, supernatural evil, and romance. Gothic architecture offers another context in which to consider these works, with its castles and cathedrals, especially the statues and decorative schemes that address peoples’ fascination with, and fear of, supernatural power. My use of a pitchfork symbol is inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
Sympathy for the Devil (also the title of a Rolling Stones’ song) recalls for me the most stirring moment in Mandelbaum’s translation, his depiction of a devil weeping as he is forced to gnash an infinity of sinners. It hadn’t occurred to me that a devil might be anything but malevolent.
I love terza rima, a rhyme scheme invented by Dante. Composed of tercets, each stanza’s first and third lines rhyme, while the center line ignites the rhyme of the following tercet. My triptych Terza Rima represents types of couples (in the past, I have titled similar triptychs American Marriage, No On Prop 8 and Date Night). By placing the heteros in the middle, I’m attempting a metonym for Dante’s rhyme scheme.
As one element of an autopoietic system, I continue to reference and reuse my own art. The intaglio print My Pager is in My Other Pants mimics an early sketch I made for Autopoiesis. I etched the plate Kandinsky Coffin in 2010, using non-toxic methods. Working the print in encaustic with the Divine Comedy on my mind, it occurred to me that a coffin, paradise, and purgatory are three inventions created to accommodate the same event — the cessation of life.
To view these and other works online go to valyntinagrenier.com.