Geoffrey Dorfman

Artist Q&A with Geoffrey Dorfman

In a time when the centrality of painting has been questioned and abstraction appears to have exhausted its possibilities, Dorfman maintains his commitment to oil and brush on canvas. For him, the Abstract Expressionists were a starting point, not an ending point.

Dorfman’s approach is not goal-oriented movement toward some idea or vision. Rather, it is an identification with with the properties of paint, understanding what it can do, and from there to the painting. For Dorfman, the edges of the painting are very important, and his works tend to move out beyond the canvas. At the same time, he puts small “stop signs” in his works, so as the eye pauses and contemplates before it continues on and outward. His strokes tend to “flutter,” in a way similar to the Impressionists, further generating movement and at the same time, anchoring the eye in the moment.

“Zoroaster”, oil on canvas, 42 x 46 in | 107 x 117 cm, 2020. Courtesy of Lawrence Fine Art.

How did you become a professional artist?

Most artists are ex-art students or teachers. They’re still practicing the lessons they learned or else they get diverted into something peripheral, but call it art anyway. I myself didn’t know any different. I had been working summers in the movies as an electrician. I had an ‘in’ through my mother’s brother. In the late 1960’s I worked on several commercials and a few features, including Midnight Cowboy. (I and one other guy lit the set for Sylvia Miles’ bedroom.) Anyway, in 1971 there were openings in the scenic design union. You had to take a test and there was a $2,000 entrance fee. My uncle, who always drove a new Cadillac El Dorado, told my parents he’d front the money and … Click here to read more

Bobbie Moline-Kramer

Artist Q&A with Bobbie Moline-Kramer

Bobbie Moline-Kramer was born in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1946, and is now based in California. She traces her interest in art to a course she took at a local community college with Conceptual art pioneer John Baldessari, and to assistant work she did with Allan Kaprow, the originator of “Happenings.” As a painter, Moline-Kramer has pioneered a unique fusion of hyperrealism and gestural abstraction; she has also worked in mixed media. Drawing on personal narrative alongside art-historical reference, she has produced several distinct series while maintaining a deliberate compositional heterogeneity. Moline-Kramer teaches oil painting and is an adjunct professor at California State University, Long Beach.

“American Shunga, Zen Sensual”, oil paint, colored gesso, graphite on handmade Japanese paper, 40 x 60 in | 102 x 152 cm, 2018

How did you become a professional artist?

 Initially I became an artist because I was good at it, thus getting lots of praise from assorted adults. Then as I became older, I magically fell in love with both the concepts and the processes of making art. To this day, facing a blank surface still excites me with its unlimited possibilities.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

My latest series American Shunga celebrates both life and love. 2020’s lockdown was for me a time of paring the extemporaneous with a rediscovery of the essence of living…love.  Of the importance of the combination of love and spirituality in trying to achieve the ultimate in love, a Greek/Christian concept called agape. Agape love is a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love which I think I captured in a delicate piece that’s part Tales of Adjusted Desire online at Robert Berry Gallery.

Bobbie Moline-Kramer, photo by Tim Janssens.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

Since being an artist doesn’t pay the bills, … Click here to read more

“From the Viewpoint of MAKING”

Kenichi Kanazawa, “What is Making?”, video, 19 minutes, 2021.
Courtesy of WhiteBox.

The current exhibition at WhiteBox, “From the Viewpoint of ‘Making,’ curated by Masa Hosojima, includes the work of five Japanese sound artists: Kenichi Kanazawa, Ken Ikeda, Rie Nakajima, Takahiro Kawaguchi, and Hosojima. The exhibition has also included collaborative panel discussions, and multimedia performances of music, dance, and poetry, during its month-long run. These discussions and performances have included the following artists: Elliott Sharp, Matt Sullivan, Beatrice Antonie Martino, Maho Ogawa, and Juan Puntes; poets Anthony Haden-Guest and Jesus Papoleto; as well as the following contributing scholars: Tom Cohen, Reiko Tomii, and organizer, Kyoko Sato.

In a conversation about, “Making,” Hosojima said, “The point of contact is what making is to me…to make, play, and exhibit.” This point of contact is also evident in Kenichi Kanazawa’s work, “What is Making?” (2021), a 19-minute video, commissioned by Hosojima. We see his hand holding the rubber mallet, the mallet hitting the steel circular disk, and sand moving on the steel disk. The vibrating disk acts as a platform for various geometric pattern formations. Kanazawa studies cymatics. He states, “…it is a visual demonstration of the power of sound to create order out of chaos. Sounds starts to move in geometric form.”

The actual geometric visual patterns that are formed by the vibrations are a mystery. In Kanazawa’a video and sound work, he has no control over the geometric patterns that are formed. In this way, “What is Making” has ”no sense of mission,” as Hosojima defined making. Instead, Kanazawa plays, generates, and lets it flow.

Image courtesy of WhiteBox

Hosojima aims to reevaluate Happenings in the 1950s and 1960s in how he sees “making.” As he and I walked around the exhibition together, I thought of Yoko Ono’s early … Click here to read more