Gallery chronicle (February 2011)
Groundhog Day on the Upper West Side

A Studio visit with Loren Munk

James writes:

This month I dedicated my New Criterion column, "Gallery Chronicle," to the paintings and videos of Loren Munk. Here is some of what I wrote about Munk in the story:

Loren Munk came to New York to paint. When he’s not recording videos as James Kalm or writing about shows for The Brooklyn Rail, he is painting in his studio. He has been living and working in the same Red Hook loft since 1979. This history gets reflected in both his style in oil, which is heavily impastoed, rough, and rich in color, and in the connections he now depicts in his work.

Munk makes the case that personal connections matter and have always mattered in the world of art. Our links to the past matter as much as our connections to the present. So his paintings record the New York art scene in maps and lists from 1900 to today and document the inter-connectivity of a city’s artistic culture. For Munk, social media art, his videos, and his writing are all extensions of a reverential urbanism. (Hint: The City of New York could do worse than employ this urban historian for some grand artistic project.)

In preparation for the piece, I visited Munk in his studio. Here are some pictures from the visit.


Loren Munk talks about his work in his studio in Red Hook, where he has lived since moving to Brooklyn in 1979.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Munk develops his artist maps on paper, using Google Maps and other tools.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

This is a study for "Minimalism to Maximalism." Munk has a concept to depict the 100-year history of art in New York over a sixty foot mural.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Another study that is also a finished work on paper.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Munk keeps track of the artists he keys into his work with long lists


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

One of his works nearing completion. Each painting can take years.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Munk has been working on Ascension, one of his largest paintings, for several years.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Two diagrammatic paintings of artistic influences: Hans Hofmann and Joseph Beuys.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

One of his paintings now on view at the Elizabeth Foundation


Loren Munk, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (2006–10), now at the Elizabeth Foundation.


From Loren Munk Studio Visit

Munk at work on his video project as James Kalm, recording "The James Kalm Report" at the opening of Joe Zucker's latest show at Mary Boone Gallery.

And here's a chance to see Munk in person this week: This Thursday, February 3, at the Elizabeth Foundation's show "I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me", Munk will take part in a panel discussion featuring curator Eric Doeringer in conversation with Jennifer DaltonMunk, and William Powhida. The panelists will discuss their reasons for making art about the art world and the ways that their subject matter and art careers have influenced one other. Free and open to the public: February 3, 6:30 pm, 323 West 39 Street, 2nd Floor. 


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