Jul 122024

The painting above is 3 Oracles, 2022, by Sayre Gomez, on view at Columbus Museum of Art. It is part of the exhibition New Encounters: Reframing the Contemporary Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art .

From the museum about the work-

Based in Los Angeles, Sayre Gomez often employs techniques borrowed from Hollywood set painting and commercial advertising to heighten the sense of lifelikeness in his paintings. In 3 Oracles, Gomez’s depiction of a vacant big-box store renders the shifting forces of the consumer economy in exacting, photo-realistic detail. The three appliance brands represented on the store’s façade, DieHard, Craftsman, and Kenmore, were all formerly owned by Sears Corporation, a retail giant that filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

Gomez recently co-curated the Feed the Streets Benefit Show at Sebastian Gladstone in Los Angeles. The opening is tomorrow evening (7/13) from 6-9pm and the exhibition will be on view until 8/3/24.

The group exhibition includes work by- Alfonso Gonzalez Jr. , Andrew Park, Bennet Schlesinger, Bryan Ruiz, Calvin Marcus, Chad Murray, Eddie Martinez, Emma McMillan, Evan Holloway, Greg Ito, G.V. Rodriguez, Jaime Muñoz, Jake Longstreth, Jonas Wood, Josh Smith, JPW3, Julia Yerger, Juliana Halpert, Justin Caguiat, Kalan Strauss, Mario Ayala, Max Hooper Schneider, Mungo Thomson, Nick Angelo, Nick Clark, Nihura Montiel, Richard Tinkler, Ryan Preciado, Sam Moyer, Sayre Gomez, Sterling Ruby, timo fahler, and Tristan Unrau.

All proceeds benefit Feed the Streets and their ongoing mission of colecting donated food, hygiene products, clothing, and educational items for hand to hand distribution in Los Angeles and New York. Feed the Streets also provides athletic and creative resources for underserved youth.

Jul 092024

“Jeff Way In His Tribeca Loft”, 2023; “Turtle Owl Death Mask”,2018 and  “Egyptian Violet Gorilla Mask”, 2017

Kimiko Fujimura “Party-3 (Party at Peter’s), 1990, and “Kimiko Fujimura in her Chinatown Loft”, 2023

For his current exhibition, Loft Law, on view at Westwood Gallery, documentary photographer and filmmaker Joshua Charow photographed artists living and working in the remaining spaces still protected by Loft Law in NYC. The well-crafted portraits offer a chance to see how the artists have made these spaces home over the years.

The gallery has also included artwork by eleven of the artists featured in the photos- Carmen Cicero, Loretta Dunkelman, Betsy Kaufman, Kimiko Fujimura, Joseph Marioni, Carolyn Oberst, Marsha Pels, Gilda Pervin, Steve Silver, Mike Sullivan, and Jeff Way.

From the gallery-

In 1982, Article 7-C of the Multiple Dwelling Law, also known as the Loft Law, was passed in New York City. The law gave protection and rent stabilization to people living illegally in manufacturing and commercially zoned lofts. Hidden behind this legislation were thousands of artists who needed a live/work environment at an affordable rent. These artists protected by the Loft Law changed the trajectory of New York’s cultural landscape.

Three years ago, Charow found a map of the remaining buildings with Loft Law protection. He rang hundreds of doorbells to find and photograph over 75 Loft Law tenants across the city to document the last of these incredible spaces and the creative individuals who made them home. Charow’s interest in the Loft Law and the vanishing history of New York stemmed from his early teenage years when he became immersed in a subculture called ‘Urban Exploring,’ the practice of illegally climbing skyscrapers, bridges, and abandoned subway stations. One of the rooftops he visited was an old factory building in South Williamsburg, where a tenant explained to Charow about the building’s remaining tenants under Loft Law protection.

The photos are a living visual document of the expansive spaces: old flophouses on the Bowery, garment factories in Tribeca and SoHo, glass factories in Greenpoint, and even a former ice cream factory in DUMBO. From the 19th to the 20th century, many buildings in NYC, including SoHo, were manufacturing centers for items from sewing machines to textiles to printing houses. The massive light-filled loft spaces with high ceilings were left empty when these businesses vacated in the mid-1900s and moved to other areas outside of New York City. The industrial-zoned lofts were not legal to live in, as they did not meet the building requirements for residential use, and oftentimes were completely raw spaces without a kitchen, shower, plumbing, or even heat. However, artists were attracted to these large spaces where they could work and create at any hour of the day. At the end of the 1970s, loft living started gaining attention in the media and the wealthy started to become attracted to this lifestyle. Soon landlords began to evict the artist tenants in favor of a wealthier clientele. A group of artists formed the Lower Manhattan Loft Tenants and spent years lobbying in Albany to gain legal protections and rent stabilization. At the time the Loft Law was first passed, there were tens of thousands of artists living in lofts across the city. Today, only a few hundred artists protected under the original 1982 Loft Law remain. This exhibition marks one of the first documentary insights into this vanishing history.

The majority of Charow’s images depict painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, and filmmakers captured amidst their industrial loft spaces. Notable portraits include experimental music and film artists Phillip (Phill) Niblock (1933-2024) and Katherine Liberovskaya (b. 1961); Phill was instrumental in the avant-garde music and film scene from the 1960s to the present. Visuals artists include 97-year-old abstract and figurative expressionist Carmen Cicero (b. 1926), who has works in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum; Kimiko Fujimura (b. 1932), who in 1965 was selected as “Japan’s Top 5 Female Painters in Contemporary Art” by Geijutsu-Shincho, a Japanese monthly art magazine; minimalist painter Loretta Dunkelman (b. 1937), a co-founder of the all-female artists cooperative A.I.R. Gallery; and Gilda Pervin (b. 1933), whose studio occupies the top floor of a 1790s Quaker building linked to the Underground Railroad and happens to be the old studio space of famed sculptor Eva Hesse, who worked there from 1965-70. Also included is Chuck DeLaney, co-founder of the Lower Manhattan Loft Tenants, an early activist group that was responsible for the lobbying and passing of the Loft Law.

This exhibition closes on 7/13/24.

Jul 052024

Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning, at the Museum of Modern Art, showcases the artist’s long and varied career. The exhibition includes her videos as well as props, sculptures, paintings and drawings. It’s a celebration of her collaborations (including Volcano Saga with actress Tilda Swinton), performances, installations, and her use of play to create all of these inventive works.

From the museum-

“I didn’t see a major difference between a poem, a sculpture, a film, or a dance,” Joan Jonas has said. For more than five decades, Jonas’s multidisciplinary work has bridged and redefined boundaries between performance, video, drawing, sculpture, and installation. The most comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States, Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning traces the full breadth of her career, from works that explore the encounter between performance and technology to recent installations about ecology and the landscape.

Jonas began her decades-long career in New York’s vibrant Downtown art scene of the 1960s and ’70s, where she was one of the first artists to work in performance and video. Drawing influence from literature, Noh and Kabuki theater, and art history, her early experimental works probed how a given element—be it distance, mirrors, the camera, or even wind—could transform one’s perception.

Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning presents drawings, photographs, notebooks, oral histories, film screenings, performances, and a selection of the artist’s installations. Jonas continues to produce her most urgent work through immersive multimedia installations that address climate change and kinship between species. “Despite my interest in history,” she has said, “my work always takes place in the present.”

The museum’s website has several videos of her work online, as well as an interview with the Jonas in her NYC loft (seen below).

Art21 also has some great videos worth checking out to learn more.

The exhibition at MoMa closes 7/6/24.

Jul 022024

The brightly colored mixed media paintings Rosson Crow has painted for her exhibition, Babel, at Miles McEnery Gallery are perfect for the chaotic times we are currently living in.

From the gallery-

Crow’s works, rendered in oil, acrylic, and photo transfer, are hyper saturated in both palette and her own lexicon of distinctly American iconography. Often drawing direct inspiration from gathered experiences and ephemera from cross country roadtrips, her subjects range from exploding party stores and spilling over fruit stands to populist political crusades and overrun monster truck rallies.

The exhibition centers on three arc-shaped canvases depicting the construction, peak, and destruction of the biblical Tower of Babel. Pulled into the contemporary landscape, Crow’s inspiration stems from Jonathan Haidt’s 2022 essay in The Atlantic, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.” Using the story of Babel as an allegory for the recent fragmentation of collective discourse, the paintings bring the viewer through this dissolution. Going from utopian idealism to the point of breaking and its aftermath, Crow confronts us all to address the parallels between her canvases and our fragmented reality of contention and polarization.

Julia Halperin writes, “Crow has always been a student of history—political history, pop-cultural history, art-and-design history. Critics have described many of her large-scale, epic compositions as contemporary history paintings. But she does not depict history as it unfolded or even as we wish it had unfolded. Instead, she shows history as we might actually receive it today: distorted, manipulated, heightened, blurred, and out of context.”

This exhibition closes 7/3/24.

Jul 022024

Amy Bennett’s small paintings for Shelter at Miles McEnery Gallery seem peaceful at first but become more disquieting as you progress through the gallery.

From the press release-

Small in scale but dense in narrative, the paintings in Shelter function akin to a short story. Each oil on panel encapsulates a snapshot still of a moment, prompting the viewer to draw upon one’s own lived experience to flesh out the lead up and its aftermath. Teetering between subjective realities and familiar memories, Bennett mitigates serene compositions with the unsettling: a sunbather lounges under the moon, a sleepwalker drifts through the home, a family gathers for breakfast in a flooded kitchenette.

Rather than painting from memory or photographs, Bennett begins her process by building miniature models. Vignettes of sprawling nature preserves and domestic interiors set the scene for figurines dressed in custom tinfoil garments frozen in place. Elizabeth Buhe writes, “Bennett’s works are not just technically brilliant repositories of painted form; they are texts that query the circulation and sedimentation of images, or perhaps memories, and how these come to snap us.”

This exhibition closes 7/3/24.

Jul 022024

Isca Greenfield-Sanders’ beautiful paintings, currently on view at Miles McEnery Gallery were created using vintage slides she found at flea markets and estate sales.

From the gallery-

In her fourth exhibition with the gallery, Greenfield-Sanders invites viewers through blooming meadows, sprawling beaches, and grassy slopes in quiet introspection. Her palette strays from the representational, rendering her landscapes in soft pinks, hazy blues, and mossy greens. The paintings exude a sense of familiar serenity suspended in time, each bathed in a mesmerizing dance of light and emotion. “Her work wheels through time, seasons, and weather, deftly summoning the transparent hues of early morning or the diffused light of an overcast day, the brightness of a summer noon so incandescent that you might think you need to blink while regarding it,” writes Lilly Wei.

Greenfield-Sanders’ idyllically nostalgic paintings find their origin in vintage 35-millimeter slides, sourced from flea markets and estate sales, often capturing family vacations. She sorts through thousands of forgotten memories and moments, selecting the ones that resonate, then co-opting elements from each to establish her compositions. The in-depth process distills initial photographs through collage, printing, drawing, pasting, and then, once perfected, painting.

“Her interest lies in the way photographic mementos shape actual experience that time distorts,” writes Linda Yablonsky, “Memories fade. They conflate. They become a history that is less a record of fact than the stuff of dream.”

This exhibition closes 7/4/24.

Jul 012024

Laura Letinsky’s has created several intriguing photographs for her exhibition, For, And Because Of…, at Yancey Richardson. Her unique assortments of objects- half eaten and smashed fruit, dying or dead flowers, loose papers, ceramic pieces- form works that challenge the idea of the still-life.

From the gallery’s press release-

The work in For, and because of… was made mostly during Letinsky’s 2023 residency in the South of France at La Maison Dora Maar, the former home of Maar, the French photographer, painter, and poet, who was also the romantic partner of Picasso. Inspired by the light of Provence in contrast to the dark weather of her home base in Chicago, Letinsky began a series she titled Who Loves the Sun in which she used natural light together with artificial light to provide her images with a radiant glow. Her subjects included borrowed objects such as a ceramic vase and glassware from La Maison that may have belonged to Maar. The detritus left behind from other artists-in-residence, as well as flowers and weeds growing nearby also found their way into her images. Yet, her photographs are not necessarily about what objects appear within them but rather about the medium of photography itself.

Letinsky explains, “I make pictures of very ordinary things in a way that destabilizes and questions the camera’s authority while also indulging in its sexiness, solicitating a visual pleasure that is tethered to other senses.” Letinsky complicates the singular point of view of the camera by building frames within frames and precariously positioning objects in relation to one another. In reference to her innovative picture spaces, Letinsky notes, “Cezanne’s still lifes described objects from multiple perspectives so as to refer to perception being a constantly shifting process. I try to harness this, to articulate that we’ve two eyes and are ambulant living beings.”

Through her work, Letinsky questions what is necessary to make a photograph that is considered “good.” Dissonance and interruption are components of her language in which objects’ perspectival positions are abstracted and gravity is elided. By working with objects associated with the home, she makes images that evoke tenderness and project an uneasy and fragile beauty.

The exhibition title, For, and because of… refers to the incommensurability of things, suggesting that there is not a concrete metric by which to measure or to reckon with life events. Letinsky notes, “So the show, the work, is for, and because of the wars, because you never called me back, for the rain that watered my garden, because the train was late, for my sons, because flowers bloom…”

This exhibition closes 7/3/24.

Jul 012024

For Stephen Shore’s latest exhibition, Topographies, at 303 Gallery, he has created stunning landscapes using a drone. The compositions draw you in and the details keep you transfixed.

From the gallery-

Beginning in 2020, this body of photographs was shot using a drone, resulting in sharply detailed aerial views of rural and suburban landscapes. Topographies builds upon concepts Shore has examined in his large-format landscapes from the 1970’s: pictures which uncover certain qualities intrinsic to the American vista. By employing a far-reaching, elevated perspective, Shore demonstrates how, from altitude, landforms are revealed, and conversely, how the built environment interacts with the land. In viewing these photographs, it becomes apparent that every detail of Shore’s pictures– from edge to edge, whether near or far– is as carefully considered and articulated as the next.

Shore has persistently explored new possibilities within the photographic image. Since his early practice, he has incorporated new formats and technologies, utilizing innovations as a means to achieve his own ends. Shore’s pictures seem straight forward at a glance but surprise with their ability to draw out the subtlest moments, distilling quiet sublimities from unassuming subjects.

This show closes 7/3/24.

Jun 272024

“The Day Before”, 2024, acrylic, oil, fabric collage, oil pastel, pencil on poly cotton

“In Between Dreams”, 2024, acrylic, oil, fabric collage, oil pastel, and pencil on poly cotton

Thoughts on the Table, 2024, oil, acrylic, pencil, oil pastel, paper collage on poly cotton

“Home Made by Home”, 2024, oil, acrylic, pencil, oil pastel, fabric collage on poly cotton

Areum Yang’s mixed media paintings explore the many possible meanings of “home” in Home of Being, her exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery. The use of bold colors and textured details creates images that grab your attention.  Although the works can be a bit chaotic at times, when searching for place to call home, especially while adjusting to unfamiliar cultures, that is often how it feels.

From the press release-

Yang, who was born and raised in Korea and immigrated to New York for art school in 2019, has grappled with a feeling of in-betweenness born out of that experience. Painting has been a vehicle for her to explore what home signifies. Without providing answers, her narrative is vague and ambiguous. Is home merely a roof over one’s head? A place of safety? Where loved ones reside? A repository for meaningful objects? In one painting, a crouching figure perched on a stool is accompanied by a regal dog, conveying the importance of companionship. In another, two figures lying in bed, eyes closed and hair intertwined, are feverishly imagining flocks of birds and a boat rocking on the sea, indicating that home is a place where one dreams. A different painting shows a figure seated at a table drawing, creating, surrounded by domestic objects gathered from past and present. “Home isn’t a fixed destination,” Yang explains, “it’s a dynamic, evolving experience shaped by one’s choices and connections.”

Birds and fish make frequent appearances in Yang’s paintings, depicted both as captives in cages or bowls and flying or swimming freely. They function as metaphors for her own journey of living between different cultures and trying to define her surroundings. In I’m Home, a hunched figure grips the sides of a fishbowl, face eerily pressed against the glass, while the fish has escaped and is splayed out on the tabletop, essentially reversing the dynamic between the observer and the observed. As the narrator of this story, Yang captures the interplay between these two worlds and acts as both the observer and the embodiment of diverse perspectives or characters. From this outlook, she invites viewers to step back and discover home in the richness and range of their own unique experiences.

Yang’s process of combining both wet and dry materials (charcoal, pencil, collage, pastel, acrylic, oil) lends motion to her subjects and captures an emotional state bordering on urgent anxiety. Figures coarsely rendered in pencil or charcoal inhabit vibrant backgrounds imbued with colorful, improvisational mark-making and collage. At moments, the boundaries are blurred, and the subject and atmosphere become one.

This exhibition is on view until 6/29/24.