Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Blogger Show at Digging Pitt
Recently, the Anita Shapolsky Gallery in New York City exhibited “Artists Who Paint”, featuring the visual endeavors of such literary luminaries as Kurt Vonnegut and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The” Blogger Show” at the Digging Pitt Gallery offers work in much the same vein, but with a greater sense of immediacy and accessibility. And the exhibit covers a wider range of venues including the Agni Gallery in New York City and, of course, the web.
The “Blogger Show” features bloggers who create art, artists who create blogs and some who blur the line between the two. But this in no way implies any diminished quality of the work exhibited; each artist brings a unique perspective to the show—some are representative of their body of artwork, some reflect their musings in the blogosphere.
One of the best examples of the latter is the display by Loren Munk (James Kahm)—most entries include a parenthetical screen name. “The Kahm Report” consists of still photos ripped from his various youtube videos; each photo features a bicycle parked in front of a museum opening. With shows ranging from Mark Rothko (National Gallery) to Frank Stella (the Met), it is well-worth logging on to check out this Brooklyn-based artist.
The main room at Digging Pitt is overflowing with art: hanging on walls, stacked on shelves and stored in flat files. It even spills into the bathroom. There I discovered Jean McClung (Urban Bytes)’s “Lower Eastside Dog”, a backlit collage mounted on plexiglass—especially striking in the darkened water closet. McClung’s blog features interviews with the people that make Pittsburgh so interesting. Check out the October interview with John Morris, Digging Pitt’s owner and raconteur.
The second room at Digging Pitt is a far more spacious and open gallery space. Here the delicate smaller pieces, such as Kevin Clancy (Soft soft pink pulls through the ivory void)’s “Meditation on a Line (12.5 feet)” are able to hold their own with larger, more colorful works. Clancy’s pencil on multilayered cut paper has an Escheresque quality of time and space slightly out of phase. Here we also find an intriguing archival display by Elizabeth Perry (Woolgathering.) Enshrined in a museum display case is the record of Perry’s museum drawing project: permission slips, passes and the finished booklets of watercolors. The full range of works—a drawing a day for nine months—can be found at Woolgathering.
The Blogger Show runs through January 12th at the Butler Street gallery at which time both the show and the gallery will close. The significance of this space has been inestimable as a gallery and outlet for emerging artists and their blogs, and an online bulletin board for the artist community and a little bit of New York in Pittsburgh. With its passing, it will be sorely missed.