An Open Lab Magazine Tumblr
Curated by Katherine Nonemaker

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: 
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. 
To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” 
~ Pearl Buck
(Cy Twombley’s desk)

Yayoi Kusama in her New York studio, 1960.

Red Planet

Museum Monday: In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has organized the major retrospective of Alexander Calder, Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic. Highlighting many of his most iconic kinetic sculptures - including stabiles and mobiles fashioned from wire and metal - Calder and Abstraction is on view at LACMA through July 27, 2014. 
Alexander Calder: The Art of Invention, our inaugural exhibition at Pace Menlo Park, a pop-up gallery space at 300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, California. On display through May 13, the exhibition will feature monumental stabiles, bronzes, standing and hanging mobiles, colorful gouaches, and wearable jewelry. 

Albert Oehlen (German, b. 1954), Little Symphony, 1994. Oil on canvas

Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918), Schlafendes Paar [Sleeping Couple], 1909. Pencil on paper, 32 x 30 cm.

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976), Homage to the Square: Calmness, 1970. Oil on masonite, 40 x 40 in.

Happy Easter // 4/20 everyone! 
May the new beauty of spring fill you with calm, joy, and fresh beginnings. 
Katie & Open Lab Magazine 

Francis Bacon (British, 1909-1992), Figure Turning, 1962. Oil on canvas, 198.4 x 144.7 cm.
→ One of the most transformative experiences of my life


One of the most transformative experiences of my life was standing close enough to a Roy Lichtenstein painting to see the hand-made imperfections of his trademark hard edges.

I don’t mean to wax poetic here—it wasn’t an emotional or spiritual transformation, per se—but that experience involved the gradual realization that technical and, I supposed, intellectual perfection (like the perfection of a perfectly straight edge) is both unattainable and unnecessary for artists, or anyone, to attempt and to achieve.

At the time I wasn’t, what I would describe, an artist; I was quite young but I was totally absorbed in the idea of art.  So this experience, which began as a superficial observation, increasingly found application in the way I proceeded to receive the world around me and my potential role in it—despite art, but because of art.

In hindsight, realizing that Lichtenstein’s lines weren’t perfect meant that I could try anything without the weight of my unrealistic expectations obstructing my attempt, and, furthermore, that other people might end up really loving what I do despite the insecurities inherent in my ridiculously close perspective.

I don’t mean to imply, by noticing the minuscule deviations of the lines, that I became in any way disillusioned with Lichtenstein and his work; quite the contrary.  I came away from that experience understanding that the artistic “giants” who I admire are not, in fact, precision machines and I was doing everyone a disservice by believing as much.  Once I realized this, once I realized everyone is in the same boat, at least two things seemed to happen: 1) I gained practically unconditional compassion for everyone else; and 2) I gained compassion for myself.


Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920), Brown River, 1996. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in.

Alfred Leslie (American, b. 1927), Flag Day, 1956. Oil on canvas, 79¼ x 72 in.
Antipode Ronchini Gallery | Londonpreview 10 April 2014 | 6 - 8 pm Ronchini Gallery London is pleased to present Antipode, a solo exhibition of new works by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, who makes multidisciplinary work through the synthesis of photography, installation, performance and sculpture. Smilde’s work centres on an impermanent state of being between construction and deconstruction and is often about situations that deal with duality. The exhibition title Antipode takes its name from the geographical term which refers to parts of the earth diametrically opposite each other. 
For Nimbus Sankt Peter he produced a cloud inside a gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, a site previously used by artists including Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor and Cindy Sherman. 
‘If you take away or reposition objects that occupy buildings and spaces, there is a stronger emphasis on the bare architectural elements that define a space. That’s where I start working from.’
Ronchini Gallery |  22  Dering Street | W1S 1AN London