For their current exhibition, Petzel Gallery decided to focus on the issues raised by the recent election by having a group show related to that theme. In addition they are encouraging visitors to “write down their reactions, thoughts, anxieties, hopes for the future.” There is a lot of great work in the show by a long list of artists that includes Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, Glenn Ligon, Jenny Holzer, Charles Gaines and Sam Durant. Although it can be exhausting these days to follow politics, it is encouraging to see creative expression thriving in the midst of the chaos.
This is the last weekend to see Kerry James Marshall:Mastery at Met Breuer in New York, definitely one of the best exhibitions I saw in 2016.
Here is Met Breuer’s overview of the exhibition-
This major monographic exhibition is the largest museum retrospective to date of the work of American artist Kerry James Marshall (born 1955). Encompassing nearly 80 works—including 72 paintings—that span the artist’s remarkable 35-year career, it reveals Marshall’s practice to be one that synthesizes a wide range of pictorial traditions to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society and reassert the place of the black figure within the canon of Western painting.
Born before the passage of the Civil Rights Act in Birmingham, Alabama, and witness to the Watts rebellion in 1965, Marshall has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African American experience. He is known for his large-scale narrative history paintings featuring black figures—defiant assertions of blackness in a medium in which African Americans have long been invisible—and his exploration of art history covers a broad temporal swath stretching from the Renaissance to 20th-century American abstraction. Marshall critically examines and reworks the Western canon through its most archetypal forms: the historical tableau, landscape and genre painting, and portraiture. His work also touches upon vernacular forms such as the muralist tradition and the comic book in order to address and correct, in his words, the “vacuum in the image bank” and to make the invisible visible.
The exhibition runs concurrently with Kerry James Marshall Selects, a room curated by Marshall, of work from the Met collection “ranging from the Northern Renaissance to French post-Impressionism, and from African masks to American photography of the 1950s and ‘60s, underscoring the global and historical nature of the influences that are predominant in his practice”. This is a wonderful addition that adds another layer of perspective to the work.
Taking up two floors of the building, and with work that is often filled with detailed imagery, make sure to leave enough time to take it all in.
For more information on the artist, this New York Times article discusses the retrospective, the artist’s history, and includes quotes from an interview the author had with Marshall in his studio.
This exhibition closes on 1/29/17. If you are in Los Angeles, or visiting, it will open at MOCA Grand Avenue on March 12, 2017.
(Image courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Photo by Nathan Keay)
To keep these posts a little shorter, I have split them up into two parts. The following continues the list of Chelsea exhibitions.
Terry Winters’ vibrant paintings at Matthew Marks Gallery are made up of layers of marks in oil, resin, and wax.
From the press release-
“These recent paintings are a series of accumulations,” Winters says. “There’s a range of paint application in terms of both material and technique. Each color is a marker, a stage of development. I’m moving across the surface, modulating the material in different ways. That inflection produces an amplification of colors, both physical and chemical. But color is basically wild and full of surprises.”
Pádraig Timoney’s work in The Deedle Eye, at Andrew Kreps Gallery, is a diverse combination of painting, photography, and installation.
From the press release-
Despite the visually distinct results, at the work’s core is a focused inquiry into the mechanics of images. Timoney conversely works in both directions – creating new images from abstractions (the captivating results of processes achieved in the studio), or rebuilding them part-by-part from photographs or observation. In each, he acknowledges the inherent flaws of these constructions, from the faultiness of recognition, the errors of translation, and further, the subjectivity of both viewers and the artist.
These in turn become generative openings in Timoney’s work as they are distanced from their original context. The images exist within thrilling, new visual constellations, allowing for the introduction of artifice and illusion, and the question of not only what they depict, but why? Each work records an index of decisions that determine its final state, materially and cognitively, displaying a history that is intentionally left open-ended. Figuration appears to hover only a hair away from abstraction, as if the movement of a line would cause one to collapse into the other. The narrowing of this gap suggests that the works’ initial disparate appearance may lead to an alternate understanding of their connections; a net that widens only to close anew, though what’s caught within it is left for the viewer to decide.
Also make sure to go to the space next door to see Klaus Weber’s sculpture Emergency Blanket.
Ai Weiwei has four shows up in NYC right now. Two of which are in Chelsea, at Mary Boone Gallery and Lisson Gallery, one is at the Mary Boone Gallery uptown, and one is at Deitch Projects in SoHo. Mary Boone Gallery and Lisson are both showing Weiwei’s Roots and Branches work, which includes large scale sections of dead trees, sometimes like the one seen below in cast iron at Lisson, and a 25 foot sculpture made up of tree parts bolted together. The uptown gallery includes a circle made up of 40,000 spouts broken off from Chinese teapots. Deitch Projects gallery has Laundromat, in which Weiwei has arranged items of clothing left behind by Syrian refugees (after they were forced to leave camps near the border of Greece) that he collected and laundered.
There are many excellent art shows closing this week in Chelsea. The following are a few of them:
For Paulina Olowska’s Wisteria, Mysteria, Hysteria, her painting series at Metro Pictures, she conceived and executed the work in the Polish village Rabka-Zdrój, where she lives.
From the press release-
The paintings incorporate arcane references and nuanced details from sources that allude to the pastoral. Olowska combines portraits of women from gardening magazines with elements from Slavic mythology and folklore, as well as techniques from Les Nabis, artists who left Paris in the 1890s in favor of the countryside….
Olowska’s atmospheric paintings evoke the forgotten history of Rabka-Zdrój’s past grandeur as a 19th century spa town. In the triptych “Wisteria,” an elegant young woman in a red dress and hat leans, arms outstretched, against a wooden fence as flowers from the tree that gives the work its title fall from above. To her right in the painting stands Villa Kadenowka, a 1930s mansion that Olowska has transformed into a center for artist events. To the woman’s left is the abandoned Modernist addition to Kadenowka. In “Hysteria,” a mother, baby in arm, stands outside a dilapidated house with a spray-painted for-sale sign. In “Mysteria,” a woman wearing an elaborate cape proudly rides on horseback through the woods. Olowska establishes a narrative between these two works; in one scene a woman chooses to leave the trappings of conventional domesticity, while in the next another embodies ideas of mobility and freedom.
At Lennon Wineberg, Inc., are Carl Palazzolo’s The Hours, and Maine Notes, his small (8inches x 8 inches) canvas paintings that vary in subject and composition, but encompass his central themes of memory and the passage of time.
Troy Brauntuch’s large scale paintings at Petzel gallery become clearer the longer you look at them, and vary in content from images of sculptures, to ball gowns, to the gloves from the O.J. Simpson trial.
Nan Goldin currently has two exhibitions in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art is showing The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a slide show of almost 700 images Goldin took documenting her life and the lives of those around her, starting in the 1970’s and continuing through 2004. The show has taken place in various iterations throughout the years and includes a soundtrack with music from The Velvet Underground and James Brown among others. While it plays you watch the people in these images party, fight, get married, have children, and sometimes, like Goldin’s good friend Cookie Mueller, die, all in a span of about 45 minutes. It’s hard to see these photos and not be left wanting to know more as you are drawn into this intimate world. This exhibition runs until 2/12/17.
It’s interesting to see the work at MoMA and then to see Nan Goldin:blood on my hands, at Matthew Marks Gallery. It is the first public exhibition of her drawings as well as her new “grid” photos. The small drawings come from diaries Goldin has been keeping since childhood. They are often disturbing but the content adds insight into the personal life and thoughts of someone who has already shared so much. You can also see parallels in the drawings and her photo work, in terms of both content and style.
The photos in the exhibition are large pieces, each created around a specific color, and each taking up a wall in the gallery. The images that combine to make them are from different places and time periods and yet they flow as if they were always meant to be arranged with each other. The results are more contemplative then her other work and an interesting progression. This show closes 12/23/16.
Marc Straus gallery on the Lower East Side has two great sculpture shows closing this weekend (12/11/16). Todd Murphy’s mixed media sculptures are gorgeous creations which glow on the walls of the upstairs space.
On the first floor of the gallery, are Chris Jones’ intricate pieces created with images from discarded magazines and books. The details within these worlds become more and more apparent the longer one looks at them, including plants growing into other spaces and laundry tumbling out into other frames.
(images via Marc Straus)
Carrie Mae Weems currently has two exhibitions in Chelsea at Jack Shainman Gallery’s spaces. Included in the work at the 24th Street space is All the Boys (2016), in which slightly blurred images of young black men wearing hooded sweatshirts are placed next to text panels that include information, some of it redacted, about the black victims of police violence. While those images are more subtle, the most affecting piece in the exhibition is the video All The Boys: Video in Three Parts. It includes some of the cell phone footage from several of the recent deaths of black men at the hands of police, including Eric Garner and Philando Castile, and is incredibly difficult to watch. This is interspersed with funeral scenes, the dreamlike image of a man running on a treadmill with a clock in the background, and Weems’ calm voice speaking over the scenes.
In the 20th Street space are images that will be more familiar to those aware of Weems’ previous work Roaming and Museums and is an interesting contrast to the work in the other gallery. In Scenes & Take (2016), she places herself, with her back to the viewer, on the sets of various successful television shows created by and starring black people, including Empire and Scandal. She then includes commentary in text on the side of the images.
In a recent interview with the New York Times she mentions the reasoning behind this focus on Hollywood-
I decided to go and stand in spaces where I think significant transformations are taking place in television as a way of pointing, trying to understand the role of black actors. Directors like Lee Daniels and Shonda Rhimes are laying the foundation for what can be imagined within the context of American culture. Most people go for their programming to paid television, so there’s an economic shift. Network television has been left to poor people.
Both these exhibitions close Saturday 12/10/16.
Too Much Seaweed, 2016
From the press release-
In Barrel of Fortune, his first solo exhibition at CANADA, Bareikis distills his enduring vision into bundled masses. He stacks and wraps cultural objects in fabric and string, building altar-like assemblages shrouded by paint and recognizable trash. The sculptures are propped up by found furniture, wood or aluminum, and exposed to forces like time, gravity, or the elements. Rendered in deep reds, acidic oranges and vintage blues, each work operates like a junkyard relic: a curious portal into another era slowly merging with the local flora. It’s here where Bareikis navigates, somewhere between scientific method and pure psychic automatism, covering his tracks in a role equal parts wandering scientist and mad poet.
Detail from A Rearrangement, 2016 (image via 1st Dibs)
Photographs by Andrew Moore (Bano Rojo, 2000 and La Espera, Cayo Granma, Santiago de Cuba, 2012 and Cash Meier Barn, Shadbolt Ranch, Cherry County, Nebraska)
The images from Andrew Moore’s show currently at Couturier Gallery are both beautiful and sad as they show Cuba as it is now, while at the same time the evidence of what it once was is all around.
The beauty of decay is also evident in some of the images from another of Moore’s subjects, Nebraska. These images are currently on view in New York at Yancey Richardson gallery.