Jan 102020

Gagosian is currently showing artist Richard Serra’s work at two of their locations. Above are works from Serra’s Rounds series and fill the entire West 24th Street location (closing 1/11/20), and in the 21st Street space is his Reverse Curve sculpture (closing 2/1/20).

Jan 032020

Black Girls Window, 1969

Mystic Window for Leo, 1966

As part of MoMA’s Opening Season, they are showing Betye Saar’s 1969 work, Black Girl’s Window, along with several of her works on paper.

The exhibition “explores the relation between her experimental print practice and the new artistic language debuted in that famous work, tracing themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at the core of Saar’s work from its earliest days.”

This exhibition closes 1/4/20.

Dec 272019

Volcanic Eruption At The Junk Yard, 2019

Standoff at the Bedrock Bunny Club, 2019

After The Rapture (Border Town), 2019

Rosson Crow’s paintings for her exhibition Trust Fall at The Hole are bright, chaotic, and very reflective of the times we are living in.

From the press release-

Rosson Crow is in one sense an American History Painter—capitalized—who has made paintings across a range of subjects, foreign and domestic, but always meditating on the American story and her place in it. Since her debut show at Canada Gallery in 2004 while still an undergrad, Crow has established herself as a big, brainy, macho painter who nonetheless maintains a performative seduction with color and content.

This new exhibition features ten immersive panorama paintings that meditate on our 2019 moment in America. In what is her most urgent and timely work to date, she grapples with the erosion of American institutions and even of reality and truth itself. “Chaos autopsies” she calls them, each taking on specific aspects of her thinking—or dreaming—about current issues. KonMari is about the latest trend of disciplinary minimalism but depicts a giant landfill of “fast fashion”; After the Rapture in a Border Town shows a human-free street at the Mexican border; Volcanic Eruption at the Junk Yard is a fierce, fiery pit of melting old cars, while Ocean Front Property in Arizona is pretty self explanatory. No humans are present in any of the works, unless a cardboard cutout or statue; in this trust fall there is no one to catch us.

Using luminous oil paint, spray paint and thrown enamel, Crow builds up the surfaces of her works as she layers their content; bleeding into one another, the paintings feel like a tinted vintage post card, hi-contrast outlines whose colors have melted with time. Using moments of photo transfer for snippets of text, bumper stickers or beer cans, the repeating transfers confer a sense of glitching in the painted image, heightening their theatrical illusionism while questioning their reality; has this image been photoshopped? Has this video been edited? How much can we trust our own eyes?

The paintings are topical but not didactic. Ignorance, absurdity and swirling misinformation make the current political landscape untraversable; to a civilian psyche it makes analysis and action extremely difficult.  The exhaustion that comes from this onslaught must make artmaking even harder; most retreat, make head-in-the-sand works that don’t attempt any sociopolitical issues. Crow has always made works that highlight the staged nature of space, that look at fake or contrived scenes, like the painting above; in this Garden of Eden recreation from a religious-themed creationism park, the plants look like they are from Home Depot not an actual tropical jungle. Looking “behind the curtain” at manipulated reality is a non-partisan issue that speaks to both sides of the cultural divide, as everyone is stuck in this morass together; everyone wants to unravel the myriad ways we are secretly controlled and how power is written into our lived and virtual environment.

This exhibition closes 12.29.19.

Dec 202019

The paintings in Li Songsong’s One of My Ancestors, at Pace Gallery in Chelsea, are rich in both color and texture. Li creates his paintings from found photographs, adding another dimension to the work.

From the press release-

In the process of reinterpreting found imagery drawn from public sources such as everyday news items, Li adopts an impartial attitude. “I did not deliberately look for these images,” he explains, “It just happened. For example, a friend of mine went to an old book stall in Beijing to buy old magazines. I saw a good photo, and then I used it. I don’t seem to care about the content of the image itself. Of course, they are a starting point, but they will affect you more on a psychological level than in a narrative way.”

Li is interested in the ways in which images can trigger memories and emotions—a psychological impact magnified by his technique. The use of impasto and the dense materiality of his brushstrokes elicit a potent haptic response, while his palette of cool shades of gray, green, and beige create an estrangement from his chosen subject matter, as seen in Little Brother (2017), South (2017), and Civil Rather than Military (2018). Through his signature use of compact blocks of color, Li deconstructs and reassembles images, pushing his art towards abstraction.

This exhibition closes 12/21/19.

Dec 192019

Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at Lisson Gallery’s 24th Street location is a reflective wonderland where the sculptures twist your perception of your surroundings as you move around them. If his work looks familiar, he has created many public outdoor works including Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean”, which is permanently installed in Millennium Park in Chicago.

The exhibition continues at Lisson Gallery’s smaller 1oth Avenue space with several of Kapoor’s colorful wall-based circular sculptures in semi-reflective hues.

Both of these exhibitions close 12/20/19.


Dec 122019

Petzel Gallery is currently showing Walead Beshty’s solo show “Abstract of A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench”. The sheer volume of work covering the walls is overwhelming and impressive in its assembly.

From the press release-

The work A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench, was originally commissioned by the Barbican Centre, London. The London-born, Los Angeles-based artist first exhibited the work there in 2014, covering the 273 ft long Curve gallery from floor to ceiling in cyanotype prints. The prints were produced over the duration of a year (October 9, 2013–October 8, 2014) and are chronologically installed in proportion to the exhibition space. For its New York première at Petzel, approximately 5,120 cyanotypes (38% of the total 15,616 sq. ft work) will be presented.

In A Partial Disassembling of an Invention … , each cyanotype (a 19th Century photographic process using ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferro-cyanide) was produced by placing tools and other objects used in the production process of the studio on cellulose waste material generated by that same process (such as wood, cardboard, or paper) that was coated with UV-sensitive cyanotype material. After being exposed to sunlight and washed in water, the object’s silhouette appears in reverse against a cyan-blue background.

In using everyday objects, such as receipts, prescriptions, invoices, financial statements, legal documents, letters, gallery invitations, etc. from the working life of the studio, an inherent transparency is embedded in the work, demystifying the artwork and exposing its process of coming to be. Representative of the lives of those who made it, the cyanotypes expose both aspects of identity and circumstance, situating the work within political, social, and economic exchange without being representational or depictive in the conventional sense. While both the Barbican and Petzel iterations deal with debris, this new display has a more overtly American immediacy to it. Considering the resurgent discourse on the politics of representation, there is a new urgency to exhibiting the work for the questions it evokes about the modes and uses of representation, such as how art can accurately display real world conditions of labor, production and power, and whether a truly accurate and transparent form of representation is possible.

Beshty will also show Prologue to A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench, which are the cyanotypes that were produced in anticipation of the Barbican work from August 1, 2013–October 8, 2013, along with seven volumes of the 59-volume archive of the work. The books—in their Prologue and Opus volumes—comprise bound pages printed recto and verso of the entire work reproduced at 1:2 scale. The volumes create both an archival record of Beshty’s workspace as well as an index of all the tools and artefacts used for the work’s own making.

The title of the project is a reference to Hollis Frampton’s hypothetical lecture he muses about in a talk delivered at the Whitney Museum of American Art, but never actually gives. The title of this phantom lecture alludes to the origins of the medium, and its inevitable obsolescence. It also calls forward the question of the role objects play when they have ceased being useful. Wrenched by time from their intended use, the objects become purely aesthetic, becoming the focus of contemplation in both historical and poetic terms.

This exhibition closes 12/14/19.

Dec 062019

Currently at Brooklyn Museum is Garry Winogrand: Color, the first exhibition dedicated to Winogrand’s color photographs.

From Brooklyn Museum’s website-

While almost exclusively known for his black-and-white images that pioneered a “snapshot aesthetic” in contemporary art, Winogrand produced more than 45,000 color slides between the early 1950s and late 1960s.

Coming from a working-class background in the Bronx and practicing at the time when photographs had little market value, Winogrand did not have the resources to produce costly and time consuming prints of his color slides during his lifetime. Yet, he remained dedicated to the medium for nearly twenty years.

The exhibition presents an enveloping installation of large-scale projections comprising more than 400 rarely or never-before seen color photographs that capture the social and physical landscape of New York City and the United States. On his numerous journeys through Midtown Manhattan and across the country, Winogrand explored the raw visual poetics of public life—on streets and highways, in suburbs, at motels, theaters, fairgrounds, and amusement parks. For him, the industrially manufactured color film, which was used by commercial and amateur photographers, perfectly reproduced the industrially manufactured colors of consumer goods in postwar America. By presenting this group of largely unknown color work, Garry Winogrand: Color sheds new light on the career of this pivotal artist as well as the development of color photography before 1970.

Winogrand’s photos are always captivating, both in his style and subject matter, and now there is the addition of time, which adds nostalgia to their allure.

The exhibition begins with a slide projector showing single slides, most of which aren’t on view in the main room (shown below).

The main room (shown below) has slides rotating on the walls along both sides of the large room with seats in the center for viewing. The pairings often accentuate each others colors, with the smaller slide of each pair staying up longer. It is definitely worth making the time to see them all.

Also included in the exhibition are a room of Winogrand’s black and white photographs and a video of him discussing his work.

This exhibition closes 12/8/19.