4.23 / From the Archives: Close Encounters

July 31 2013


July 31, 2013. Though Art Practical has always published profiles closely examining the work or lives of artists who give lectures or public workshops in the Bay Area, we’ve dedicated a portion of every issue to the Visiting Artist Profile series since our third year of publication. The profiles collected here represent the pioneering writers who have brought their own unique approaches to this regular feature since its inception.

Elyse Mallouk wrote the first installment of the Visiting Artist Profile series about Allen Ruppersberg shortly after his 2011 conversation with Constance Lewallen at the Kadist Art Foundation (which at the time sponsored the series). Mallouk uses the space to delve into works like Al’s Cafe (1969), focusing mainly on how Ruppersberg has had tremendous influence on artists today. In contrast, Brandon Brown’s profile of Gabriel Sierra is a snapshot of the artist as he builds his own theoretical foundations for a successful contemporary practice.

In Art Practical’s fourth year, Matthew Harrison Tedford became the primary contributor to the Visiting Artist Profiles series, and we feature two very different selections from him here. In his profile of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, he focuses on relaying his experiences of viewing their art, at one point deliberating on whether the animation work Cunnilingus in North Korea (2003) is meant to be understood or not. At the other end of the spectrum, his profile of Hung Liu provides readers with much of the biographical background needed to fully place and appreciate the artist’s work.

Combining overviews of an artist’s oeuvre with insightful biographical detail, these profiles give critical context to artists who are currently visiting or exhibiting in the Bay Area. Alex Bigman’s profile of ISHKY, for example, sheds light on the mysterious numbers that were written across the Bay Area’s sky on September 12, 2012. While the Visiting Artist Profiles often provides context for artists’ works that may sometimes be left out of an exhibition, they have the power, more than anything else, to actively connect history with contemporary practices and engage Art Practical readers in the conversations going on all around us. Enjoy. - Catherine McChrystal and Matthew Harrison Tedford

Art Practical has invited its regular writers to guest edit thematic issues of content from our archive this summer as we prepare for the launch of our new website in September. These issues highlight the breadth of subjects we've covered over the past four years and some of the notable interests that catalyze artistic practice in the Bay Area. And here's a sneak peak of what is coming up for Art Practical. 


Allen Ruppersberg

Allen Ruppersberg

By Elyse Mallouk

Ruppersberg’s work has had tremendous influence on artists operating in the hazily defined territory of the public sphere.

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