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 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.

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.

Jun 272024

Marina Kappos uses her experience as an identical twin to explore the concept of quantum entanglement for her current exhibition Spooky Action at Shrine Gallery. Her use of color and the preciseness of the work makes the paintings both aesthetically pleasing and impressive.

From the press release-

Spooky action at a distance is an enigmatic term coined by Einstein meant to describe quantum entanglement, or the strange phenomenon when particles, or objects– potentially of any size and at any distance apart, become inexplicably linked together. These bonded entities become responsive to one another as if invisibly tethered in ways scientists do not really understand, and which can no longer be described as independent. The theory is so unusual that Einstein was essentially dismissive of the possibility even while reflecting on it, but the concept has since been documented and confirmed.

Marina Kappos identifies with this phenomena, in part because she has experienced life as an identical twin, separate yet connected. As she describes it, “I have grown up with a mirrored reflection of myself, but one that is also independent and leading a different life than me.” Both Kappos sisters can quickly affirm that being an identical twin leads to a highly unique existence that is difficult for the outside world to understand. Like quantum entanglement, or “spooky action at a distance”, identical twins are intrinsically linked from birth, almost as carbon copies, and many sets routinely claim to experience telepathy or other forms of psionic abilities with their sibling. This duality of nature and sharing an almost exact form with her sister is one of the primary sparks driving Marina Kappos in her new paintings.

Kappos has honed a precision-based process that is truly her own. The paintings generally manifest subconsciously and are obsessively tight. She applies repeating layers of acrylic paint in different hues to form ethereal images and figures that rest slightly offset from their neighboring silhouettes. Reverberating faces and skulls, a new “spooky” motif, repeat in opposing mirror-image or spin together in cycles, all while dancing together in the confined spaces of her canvases; like echoes. The buzzing frequency and optical motion in Kappos’s works reminds us that our notions of what we think of as being concrete, or as existing as separate and distinct objects (even our own bodies) might be more fluid than we realize.

This exhibition closes 6/29/24.

Jun 272024

Terry Winters‘ paintings for Point Cloud Pictures at Matthew Marks Gallery reference data collection methods and patterns from the natural world. The colorful and energetic works leave it up to the viewer to make their own associations.

From the gallery’s press release-

Winters’s work centers on abstraction as a catalyst for exploring the natural world. In his paintings, composition and color give new meaning to a wide range of technical references, which include advanced mathematical principles, musical notation, botany, and chemistry. In the artist’s own words: “I’m taking preexisting imagery and respecifying it through the painting process. Information is torqued with the objective of opening a fictive space or lyrical dimension.”

The title of the exhibition refers to the seven Point Cloud paintings on view, in which overlapping grids of ringed particles create complex, amorphous shapes. Borrowed from the field of three-dimensional modeling, a point cloud refers to a set of data points in space, often used to articulate objects or landscapes in digital models. “The forms can also suggest the collective behavior of animals, such as the murmuration of starlings and the schooling of fish,” Winters says. His paintings build an illusionistic sense of ever-expanding depth, as the varying size, shape, and angle of his painted data points lend a dynamism to his canvases. With the utmost attention to pigment, the paintings are built up in layers of oil, wax, and resin, further eliciting the energetic potential of their compositions.

Created through a parallel process, each painting on paper fills a large sheet from edge to edge. To make these works, Winters chose a paper size called a double elephant, which was first developed in 1826 to accommodate J.J. Audubon’s life-size depictions of birds. As Winters has described, “I’m interested in these givens, working within the parameters of that aspect ratio, and how that affects the building of the work.” Together, the works create a space that is both immediate and imaginary, what Winters has called a “vitalized geometry.”

This exhibition closes 6/29/24.

Jun 222024

Eva Struble has created gorgeous worlds for her exhibition Gravity of Small Things at Jane Lombard Gallery. The paintings shift from abstract to realistic and back again as bits of the natural landscapes emerge.

From the press release-

Through painting and textile, Struble explores the concept of embodiment in the landscape, relating the physical act of making to her multi-sensory and visionary experience of place. Contemplating the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, the works collectively take into consideration our changing environment.

Struble’s paintings distill her physical experience of nature – the sharp touch of Yucca on her local hikes, the early morning smell of the Chaparral, or the disorientation of floating above seagrass in the ocean. Orchestrating a suite of visual constructs, the artist oscillates between chance and control while experimenting with pigments, media, layering, and collaging. Her work suggests a reflective yet speculative vision teeming with biodiversity and notions of cohabitation between species without interference.

The eponymous painting Gravity of Small Things effortlessly blends hazy nostalgia with honest representation and creative world-building. Sharp and soft edges intermingle in shallow focus as the viewer moves through silhouetted trees and gradient purple obstructions flecked with blue and red confetti-like marks. The landscape is at once familiar and remote, existing outside of conventional constructs of time and space. Recognizable elements break up the variegated ecosystem, playing with our perception to reveal effects similar to sunlight illuminating the changing leaves or the sparkle of reflections dancing on the surface of the water.

Snapshots of landscapes morph into organic forms as Struble reconciles her visual and corporeal memories of nature with her own body’s shapes, twists, and turns. In Malajon, layered washes of vibrant greens, blues, and pinks blend together to create a dynamic composition of varying depths, engaging our collective visual memory to suggest the ethereal entrance to an untouched cave, or perhaps a quiet adventure amidst jungle flora. As deliberate as it is exploratory, the artist’s otherworldly painterly manipulation gradually gives way to lend a semblance of reality to the abstracted composition. Drawing upon the viewer’s own experiences to evoke imaginative reflection, Struble’s works straddle the line between the human and natural worlds, simultaneously pushing and pulling to suggest alternative ways of coexisting.

This exhibition closes 6/22/24.