Friday, November 23, 2012

Beer with a Painter: Ellen Trumbo

with Ellen Trumbo, in front of her Grand Haven Landscape
photographs of us by Tyler Loftis

Ellen Trumbo’s paintings are (like her!) full of light and painted with an absence of showmanship.  She lives in Grand Haven, a beautiful town on Lake Michigan.  She and a small group of fellow painters have created an aesthetic sanctum of creative energy in the Midwest, and I like to visit, write, collaborate, and feed off their inspiration. 

Ellen is the kind of woman who quietly runs everything in town – and by that I mean she manages five restaurants, co-directs a gallery, and fundraises for multiple cultural events per year.  She is also the friend who can play a mean game of trivia and doesn’t flinch when I get competitive at beach soccer and nearly break her toe.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beer with a Painter: Judith Linhares

Photographs by Elizabeth Kresch
Read our interview here on the Hyperallergic Weekend Edition...  

Judith Linhares’s painting has been on my mind since I saw a show of her work in the spring of 2011 at the Edward Thorp Gallery.  At the time I was thinking about both contemporary figurative painting and gestural abstraction, and these solidify in Linhares’s work with a rare conviction.  

In her paintings, hippie couples, twisted sisters, and talismanic animals cavort and tend to their cave-den, dream-cove environments.  For all the fantasy, there’s a metaphoric truth to their space and light, a connection to the natural world, despite the wild way she gets there – complementary, high-chroma bands of color succinctly and fluidly describing bodies and surroundings. 

Born in Pasadena, Linhares studied in the Bay Area in the 1960s and 70s, and has lived in New York since 1979.  She has had close connections to a panoply of artistic traditions including Bay Area figuration, California assemblage, outsider art, the Chicago “Hairy Who” and Mexican ritual objects.  But it was a nice surprise to realize she and I share an interest in some of the New York figurative painters as well, especially Louisa Matthiasdottir.

I invited Linhares to talk painting over beers at her bar of choice.  She’s in the process of moving, but already had her eye on the beautiful century-old Brooklyn Inn, in her new neighborhood of Boerum Hill.  Everything was amber-colored on that autumn early evening, from the wood bar to our Spaaten and KelSo of Brooklyn IPA.

Thank you Judith and Hyperallergic editors John, Tom, and Hrag.