Aug 07 2015

MIchael Solway ‘By This River’

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Michael Solway with artwork by Diane Landry. Photograph by Susan Byrnes

The Carl Solway Gallery is an icon in the Cincinnati arts community. In 2010, Carl’s son Michael became director of the gallery after running the SolwayJones Gallery in Los Angeles for 10 years. Below is an excerpt from a recent interview with Michael Solway. It coincides with By This River, an exhibition he curated that is currently on display at the Weston Gallery.

aeqai review

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Jul 11 2015

By This River

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Diving In

Weston exhibit ‘By This River’ makes a splash
By Steven Rosen · July 8th, 2015



By This River, the new group show curated by Michael Solway at downtown’s Weston Gallery through Aug. 30, is as refreshingly clear in its concept and intent as a sparkling mountain stream. It has the added benefit of offering much excellent work, including several pieces by an artist associated with the 1960s Fluxus movement who is now enjoying a rediscovery, Ben Patterson. I should first say I have grown perplexed with the intellectual complexity of some group shows in which the relationship of the work to the exhibit’s theme needs long curatorial explanation because it isn’t evident in what we see. It’s the artistic equivalent of writing in code. Yet, at the same time, I’ve grown bored with shows having simpler, broader themes — they often are banal and unchallenging. By This River strikes just the right balance. It has an active and thoughtful curatorial voice. Its theme is about how we long to live close to bodies of water and the effect that desire has on us — and nature.


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May 11 2014

Mark Dutcher “Opposite of Youth”

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Mark Dutcher

acrylic, oil and paint stick on canvas
96 x 120 inches

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May 12 2013

Channa Horwitz 1932-2013

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May 21st, 1932 – April 29th 2013 

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of artist Channa Horwitz. Channa passed away on Monday afternoon, April 29th, in Los Angeles. Her last few days were spent with friends and family, and she was at peace.

Channa Horwitz was born in 1932 and received a B.F.A. from CalArts in 1972. Working for over 50 years, Channa only realized in these past few years a professional success that had sometimes eluded her. From inclusion in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the New Museum in New York, she was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Only a few months ago, she had been announced as a participant in the upcoming Venice Biennale.

Over her long career, Channa worked primarily with drawings, creating a complex body of works on paper, including her iconic Sonakinatography (1968 – 2004) series. Using a system based on 8 numbers associated with 8 colors, the works reinterpret the traditional minimalist grid with a sensual twist, featuring meticulous hand drawings of complex geometric patterns with alternating colors and symbols on graph-ruled Mylar. Her drawings combine an apparent rigidity and structural logic with an element of chance suggested by imperfections, mistakes, and corrections that the artist leaves visible on the paper. Although visually close to Op Art, Horwitz’s work is much closer to Conceptual Art and works by colleagues Sol Lewitt or Mel Bochner. “I experience freedom through the limitations and structure I place on my work,” she once said.

Reading like elegant music scores, her drawings function as open scripts for possible music or dance interpretations. Horwitz had often invited other artists to interpret her scores in their own performances, revealing not only a generosity she had for others throughout her life but also the central premise of her work, that the simple grace of her specific order was built to set one free.

Channa is survived by her husband Jim Horwitz, her daughter Ellen Davis, her son Marshall Davis, her sister Marlene Martlow, and her nieces Linda and Stephanie.

Channa was an inspiration to many who knew her and many more who only knew her work.

She will be terribly missed.

- Francois Ghebaly




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Feb 26 2013

Hadley Holliday: One with the Sun: New Paintings, Carl Solway Gallery

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Hadley Holliday: One with the Sun: New Paintings, Carl Solway Gallery

February 20th, 2013  |  Published in February 2013

Hadley Holliday: One with the Sun: New Paintings, Carl Solway Gallery

by Karen Chambers


The work of L. A. artist Hadley Holliday is nothing if not complicated although that might not be immediately apparent as her colorful stained canvas paintings are delightful.

What she’s achieved is not far from Matisse’s articulated goal:

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art, which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.

In addition to this affinity, she has borrowed or alluded to a compendium of 20th century artists and styles: the Suprematism of Kasimir Malevich; the Futurism of Giacomo Balla; the Orphism of Sonia Delaunay; Color Field painters or Lyrical Abstractionists Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland; P&D—Pattern and Decoration–painters such as Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Mary Grigoriadis, and Kim MacConnel; and any number of watercolorists although Holliday uses acrylic paint.

There also hints of Indonesian batik fabrics, medieval stained glass windows, and Russian icons.

I hate to start with technique but Carl Solway Associate Director Anita Douthat volunteers that that is the first thing many people ask. So let me get that out of the way, using Holliday’s own words:

For the process I start with a line drawing on the canvas of the overall pattern. I use chalk, so the lines will disappear by the time painting is finished. I work on the canvases flat on a big table. There is no masking, rather I work in sections, pouring the paint or working wet on wet. I frequently paint a section with water first, and then pour into that wet area, so each section is a puddle of paint contained by surface tension. The floors in my studio are not level, so the paint frequently flows from one section to the next. The process is kind of a dance between control and loss of control. I paint into the “cracks” last, which brings the whole composition into focus. The silver and gold leaf are added along the way.

The majority of the works on view are from 2012 although there is one from 2011 and, remarkably, four from 2013. This University of Kansas (B. F. A., 1993, and M. A., 1997) and Cal Arts (M. F. A., 2004) grad is one industrious woman.

Although dated 2012, three paintings (all 30” square) are part of an ongoing series of poured squares, which Holliday began in 2006. Her aim was to pour a square, which she readily acknowledges was “an absurd idea as puddles don’t have angles or straight lines.” She was thinking about Malevich and had been “fascinated by the imperfections and brushstrokes that are visible in his work when seen in person.”

Two of the Russian Suprematist’s most iconic works are Black Square, 1915, a large black square floating in the middle of the white canvas, and Suprematist Composition: White on White, a white square on a white ground, balanced on its lower right corner. Holliday gives us Poured Square in homage to the first, and two paintings entitled Icon with the off-kilter square.

The evidence of Malevich’s hand in his reductivist paintings makes an odd contrast to Holliday’s more painterly compositions where she pours the thinned acrylic paint, almost like watercolor, to stain the raw canvas, but leaves no personal mark.

Of course, the technique recalls the stained canvases of the Color Field or Lyrical Abstractionists (this is not the place to delve into their subtle differences) mentioned above.

In her gallery statement, Holliday draws attention to her use of gold leaf in these dark, rather romantic paintings. She makes the point that it is metallic leaf applied with adhesive not metallic paint, a distinction that is not apparent. All of this—the titles, dark palette, and gold—makes the comparison to Russian devotional icons plausible.

But it’s the other works on view that interest me most. In composing them, Holliday starts with a small circle, roughly centered at the top of the canvas, and extends the pattern outward, arcing toward a horizon line at the bottom. The resulting compositions can suggest domes (especially Blissed Out, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 66” x 60”) or the rings of theater seats (Untitled [4]. 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”).

Holliday describes the kaleidoscopic radiating circles as “ecstatic, expanding, and spatial,” in contrast to the meditative squares “contained within the frame.”

As posited above, there are many parallels to be drawn between 20th-century art and her own. There’s a touch of the dynamism of Futurism in two paintings–Untitled (1) from 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”, and Blissed Out–Giacomo Balla with his fracturing of space to represent movement and speed comes to mind.

And, no doubt because of the color of these two paintings–indigo from denim to inky blue—and the repetitive patterning, they recall Javanese batik.

I see a similar connection between her paintings with their allusions to art movements and fabric design in several other paintings. Fire Season, 2012, particularly reminded me of Sonia Delaunay, the co-founder with her husband Robert of the Orphism school of painting that is distinguished by its use of strong color and geometric shapes. Sonia came to mind first because of her frequent use of the circle but also because of her work in fashion and fabric design.

Fire Season with its concentric bands of circles of sheer color also evoked rose windows in Gothic cathedrals or, at least, one sliced in half. Even though Holliday does not outline her shapes, as stained glass would be with leading, each area is distinct. The stunning colors—pinks, oranges, yellows, blues, and even the drabber taupes and smokey grays—are radiant, as if light were streaming through colored glass.

With these connections to the decorative arts, I found it interesting that Holliday sees a “ tumultuous relationship between abstraction and decorative art” in her painting.

It seems an odd statement. There is no lack of abstraction in the decorative arts. Let me just throw out a few examples: Islamic and Moorish art, illuminated Celtic manuscripts, Mimbres pottery, Navajo rugs, Malian mud cloths, Amish quilts, and so on.

And on the fine-art side of the ledger, P&D painters found no conflict between the decorative and the abstract. Think of Valerie Jaudon’s hard-edged compositions that might be stylized Arabic calligraphy; Joyce Kozloff’s “Moorish” tiles (Arabesque, a wall of tiles was installed at the Contemporary Arts Center in 1978); Mary Grigoriadis’s abstractions inspired by Native American, Islamic, and Byzantine art; or Kim MacConnel’s hard-edged geometric abstractions.

When “decorative” is used as a pejorative—I believe unfairly–I take it to mean lacking content and pleasing to the eye. A purely retinal experience. Eye candy. Holliday’s paintings are pleasing visually but there’s a lot more to see, more than meets the eye. And, like Matisse, she offers a comfy armchair from which to view them.


Karen S. Chambers


“Hadley Holliday: One with the Sun: New Paintings,” on view through March 23, 2013, at Carl Solway Gallery, 424 Findlay St., Cincinnati, OH  45214. 513-621-0069, Mon.-Fri., 9 a. m.-5 p. m., Sat., noon-5 p. m.


  • Hadley Holliday, Sun King, 2012, acrylic, gold leaf, and oil on canvas, 67” x 50”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Blissed Out, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 66” x 60”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Strange Radiance, 2012, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 66” x 60”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Fire Season, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 70” x 60”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Sky Vault, 2012, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 60” x 60”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Silver Star, 2012, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 60” x 60”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Untitled (1), 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Untitled, 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Untitled, 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Untitled, 2013, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 20” x 18”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Icon, 2012, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 30” x 30”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Icon, 2012, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 30” x 30”. Photo courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.


  • Hadley Holliday, Poured Square, 2012, acrylic and silver leaf on canvas, 30” x 30”.

Artist photo: Robert Wedermeyer/ Style Section LA

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Sep 18 2012

Carl Solway Gallery @ Expo Chicago 2012

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Carl Solway Gallery at Expo Chicago 2012, Booth # 501

Thursday, September 20 – 23, 2012

Saturday-11am -7pm

Expo Chicago 2012


Nam June Paik, Enlightenment Compressed, 1994, 19 x 16 x 14 inches

photo: Aaron Cowan



William Anastasi
John Cage
Jim Campbell
John Coplans
Merce Cunningham
Buckminster Fuller
Peter Halley
Ann Hamilton
Al Hansen
Hans Hofmann
Ik-Joong Kang
Tom Marioni
Allan McCollum
Yoko Ono
Nam June Paik
Roxy Paine
Judy Pfaff
Alan Rath
George Rickey
Joan Snyder
Keith Sonnier
Pat Steir
John Torreano
Robert Watts
Tom Wesselmann
Franz West
Hannah Wilke


EXPO CHICAGO / Chicago Gallery News Shuttle

Courtesy Transportation

Thursday – Saturday, 2 pm – 8 pm
Runs on the hour and half hour

Pick-up and Drop-off Points:

#1 Navy Pier Entrance 2
#2 West Loop at Peoria / Washington
#3 River North at Superior / Franklin
#4 MCA at East Chicago Avenue / Mies van der Rohe Way


Carl Solway Gallery
424 Findlay Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45214





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Sep 06 2012

Elizabeth Bryant – Stephen Berens – Sol LeWitt @ Carl Solway Gallery

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Carl Solway Gallery will participate in FotoFocus 2012,  a regional celebration of photography, with exhibitions by Los Angeles artists Stephen Berens and Elizabeth Bryant, featuring work from their 2010 residency in Sol LeWitt’s home in Spoleto, Italy.  A concurrent exhibition will showcase drawings, prints and sculpture by Sol LeWitt.



fotofocus cincinnati 2012


Carl Solway Gallery



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Sep 05 2012

100 Years of John Cage

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John Cage would have turned 100 years old today. Have a look at all the celebrations that are taking place around the world in his honor -

John Cage Centennial

John Cage’s genius an L.A Story – Mark Swed  LA Times


…and go get the Prepared Piano app

(c) James Klosty





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Sep 04 2012

Hannah Wilke and John Coplans @ The Albertina

Published by news under artist news,museums






The exhibition “The Body as Protest” highlights the photographic representation of the human body - a motif that has provided a wide variety of photographers with an often radical means of expression for their visual protest against social, political, but also aesthetic norms.

The show centers on an outstanding group of works by the artist John Coplans from the holdings of the Albertina. In his serially conceived large-format pictures, the photographer focused on the rendering of his own nude body, which he defamiliarized through fragmentation far from current forms of idealization. Relying on extremely sophisticated lighting, he presented himself in a monumental and sculptural manner over many years. His photographs can be understood as amalgamations of theoretical and artistic ideas, which in the show are accentuated through selective juxtapositions with works by other important exponents of body-related art.

The body also features prominently in the work of other artists such as Hannah Wilke, Ketty La Rocca, Hannah Villiger, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Miyako Ishiuchi. By means of these positions, such diverse themes as self-dramatization, conceptual photography, feminism, body language, and even transience are analyzed within an expanded artistic range. Moreover, the exhibition offers a differentiated view of the critical depiction of the human body as it has been practiced since 1970.

The Body as Protest at The Albertina, Vienna




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Aug 04 2012

Jim Campbell – Bay Area Treasure

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Like no other artist of his generation, internationally renowned media art pioneer Jim Campbell mixes technology, sculpture, cinema, and light into an art form uniquely his own. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art honors Campbell with this year’s Bay Area Treasure Award at a presentation and dinner on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Organized by SFMOMA’s Modern Art Council, the museum’s premier fund-raising auxiliary, this annual lifetime achievement award recognizes Bay Area–based artists who continually redefine the field of contemporary art. Campbell is the 13th Bay Area Treasure Award honoree; previous recipients include painters Robert Bechtle, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveria, Wayne Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley; sculptors Richard Serra and Mark di Suvero; sound artist Bill Fontana; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; architect Lawrence Halprin; and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan.


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