Friday, December 01, 2017

Run don't walk: a stroll through Gorky's Ardent Nature at Hauser and Wirth uptown

When you walk in the door: poured oil with opaque runny marks--a pile of joyful shapes and textures.
Gallery Link

At the Gorky retrospective in Philadelphia years ago, the drawings were shown grid-like on a wall. Here, in  an almost perfect, exquisite installation, they are accompanied by relevant paintings.
Even the wall text is great. 

Wounds or portals, demarcated within the script brushed lines create a private syntax.

Populated, here and there, with the surrealist configurations of elegant lines we associate with Gorky. 

In the back room, one of the most perfect paintings ever: dark and light, opaque and transparent, dry and wet.

Another syntax: 'scoops' of space, hollowing out areas for symbols and marks to inhabit. 

Matisse's Red Studio reconfigured into liquid, pulsating space.

Large charcoal drawing, using the wipe out method to delineate form.
Earlier works by a year or so

Dynamic, lively crayon drawings on the third floor

Heavier paintings, too--spoke with Vico at the gallery about triangulation and hidden forms and motifs;
But the paint in these is heavier, the surface almost choked compared to the watery elegance and restraint of the other works, such as
First floor, back room, shown before in this post. It strongly suggests an interior space, such as Delacroix's Women of Algiers, though the light on the top left third of the painting is only alluded to in Delecroix. For extra fun, and because Gorky studied him so passionately, I include a link of Picasso's reconfigured Women of Algiers. Picasso Women of Algiers at

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Uproot at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn Riverfront

Patrice Robinson, Reparations, 2016, oil on panel, 24 x 36 inches in Gabriel de Guzman's Smack Mellon curatorial debut, Uproot. Gallery Link

Jes Fan's Soft Goods III, 2017. Digital print, 35 x 24 inches. 
Jon Henry's southside Chicago Pietas, digital archival prints, 30 x 24 inches.

Monika Malewska's waterbased painting (24 x 19 inches) asks the ongoing question what DID happen to Sandra Bland. An eloquent reminder of the many questions that plague us, her paint by numbers and aqueous application reinforcing the instability of legalized criminality, fake news and uprooted notions of justice long held dear.  

Katya Grokhovsky's Temporary Habitat, 2017.  
DaoPe Reo's Ad Astra - To the Stairs, documenting mileage from Uganda to Trump's Great Wall. 
Patrice Robinson's Veiled Ignorance, 18 x 24 inches

de Guzman's love of texture and draping comes clear in this stripped tree bark impression, 

as well as Borinquen Gallo's woven thicket of caution strips and plastic, and 

This laser-cut, hand-painted rendition of US Constitution starting with, "We the People..."

Rebecca Graves' needlepoint, January, 2017

A moving, visually compelling augmented reality comparison between WWII and now. 
Zhiyuan Yang's family fantasies
and realities 

Kenneth Pietrobono, 2017. Choose 3 to keep: which would I choose...Global? Progressive? Democracy?
This artist will give a talk December 3rd at Smack Mellon; Facebook link here:

A barge of communal images and texts for the riverfront
Cecile Chong's Veritas Inverso, 2017 - literally uprooting and upending gravity

Sara Jiminez's tapestry of images and cloth
While clouds hover on the horizon, so too does clarity. Artists grappling with material, working out what they know.

PS. Another show nearby to see is Wendy Klemperer's metal animals at the Humanities Gallery, First Floor, LIU Brooklyn (1 University Plaza).