Ashley Stull Meyers

From this Author

Leif Anderson: TATTARRATTAT at Melanie Flood Projects

Leif Anderson. Purple Slurry, 2015; installation view, TATTARRATTAT, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Melanie Flood Projects. Photo: Worksighted.

The word “Tattarrattat” was first birthed in James Joyce’s 1922 novel, Ulysses. It’s the longest palindromic word in English literature and an unmistakable onomatopoeia that takes inalienable form only in a moment we can collectively imagine: a furious rapping at the door. Such phrases within Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake make him a legend amongst Modernist writers who are trepidatious about inventing words where none[…..]

Book of Scores at Disjecta

(From left to right) Ellen Lesperance, Alison O'Daniel and Helga Fassonaki. Book of Scores, 2015; installation view, Disjecta, Portland, OR. Courtesy of Disjecta. Photo: Worksighted

Cinematic moments are often remembered because of the dramatic musical accompaniment. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is forever memorable in part for its menacing theme composed by Bernard Herrmann. Likewise, Star Wars is instantly recognized due to John Williams’ heroic use of trumpets. Book of Scores, on view at Disjecta, is an exhibition that is equally as pointed in its intention. Occupying many forms of sculpture, sound,[…..]

Ellen Lesperance: We Were Singing at Adams and Ollman

Ellen Lesperance. We Were Singing, 2015; installation view, Adams and Ollman, Portland. Courtesy of the Artist and Adams and Ollman. Photo: Mario Gallucci.

Not many things are more difficult than articulating love. Displaying a lack of temperance can appear obsessive, while showing any sign of hesitance can be mistaken for a number of unintended things. Every so often, an individual demonstrates the ability to tow the line so eloquently and sincerely that the outcome is a lesson in expert labor. Ellen Lesperance’s exhibition We Were Singing at Adams[…..]

The Great Debate About Art at Upfor

Ben Buswell. ABRACADABRA (Perish Like the Word), 2015; graphite and non-photo blue; 38 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Upfor. Photo: Mario Gallucci.

“Art” is a contentious word. Endless positing over any succinct, defining properties has spawned countless op-eds, theses, and textbooks. The topic is comparable to that of discussing religion in mixed company—differences of opinion have more than once drawn blood. The Great Debate About Art, currently on view at Upfor in Portland, Oregon, is a small group exhibition contextually centered on Roy Harris’ 2010 book of[…..]

Interview with Erica Prince

Some Sense of Comfort With Some Sense of Confusio​​n​, 2014​, (performance still). Courtesy of AUX Performance Space, Philadelphia​.​

Canadian artist Erica Prince would not appreciate the Mattel playhouse I had as a kid, filled with floral furniture, plastic appliances, and female dolls to ensure that the household was running smoothly. Prince’s version, recently on view in Philadelphia, is my playhouse’s conceptual opposite—and that’s a wonderful thing. Prince is more inspired by science fiction than by domesticity. Her sculptures, installations, and drawings have a[…..]

Interview with Ian McMahon

Cascade, 2014; Freestanding cast plaster, used pallets; 40’ x 6’ x 21’ (each side).

Artist Ian McMahon is a material purist who makes monumental sculptures from raw clay and industrial plaster. The resulting works are contradictory in impression—domineering but fragile, familiar while avoiding redundancy. In his most recent exhibitions he has introduced an element of controversy for anyone who has ever engaged with the tedium of delicate materials—the work is made to be broken. Ashley Stull Meyers: Let’s talk[…..]

Interview with Shanti Grumbine

Shanti Grumbine. Persephone, April 2, 2013, A1, 2015; basswood dowels, anodized die, pigment print, mirrors, wood panel, 22 x 29 in.

Art in time of conflict is not for the faint of conviction. For its makers, it can be leveraged for communication, catharsis, or an attempt at clarity; Brooklyn-based artist Shanti Grumbine engages with all three. She cuts found text and images in reconsideration of the boundaries between absence and presence—between profane and sacred content. Her drawings, prints, and collages make hay of what remains from[…..]