Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Syd Solomon at St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, January 2019 - with Judy Pfaff add-onSyd

Polymer tempera, various inks, oils, and a lactic caseing sealant. Rough edges bring unpredictability. 





Solomon moved to Sarasota in 1946, and began commuting between FL and East Hampton in the 50s. He exhibited frequently in the 1960s and brought Conrad Marca-Reilli and James Brooks to Sarasota, where he founded the Institute of Fine Art at Sarasota's avant-garde New College.
Judy Pfaff at St. Petersburg--a big, beautiful, cutout work on paper. Will contrast with images from her current show.




Judy Pfaff's current wall works at Miles McEnery. Moments of detail hugely exciting, particularly when paper.  Volume, space and material pose compelling questions in the combination of industrial and crafted materials: how are we used to seeing what we see, and how does it translate from one modality to another?



Saturday, December 15, 2018

Opening and Closing: Wilson, Mazza, Riley, Yuskavage, Gutai, and Packer

Just opened: Paula Wilson's The Light Becomes You at Denny Dimin. Gallery Link

Wilson, seen here in two guises, the daughter of a sociologist, comments with subtlety on the infiltration of media in our lives.

The artist lives in Carrizozo, NM, and runs a residency there I attended earlier this year. Her environment matches the paintings and prints: cobbled together from odds and ends. Brick and iron and metal make walls, in the way that iPhones, canvas and color make a painting. 
A relationship between Wilson's stained glass reflections and Matt Bollinger's film still paintings.
Jen Mazza's Disobedience Is Not Careless at James Gallery, CUNY . Gallery Link

Mazza's paintings of books are enchanting.
The surfaces look like plaster, slathered on so the touch of the brush glides softly over.



The most gorgeous painting.
Source material (there is also a library of carefully chosen readings)~
and its influence.
Jennifer Riley's Machine Series Paintings, presented by Silas Von Morrisse at CHASHAMA, midtown. Gallery Link



Riley is not looking at early American landscape per se, but her inversions contain their buoyant light and space.
She is working with large metal components as superimposed shapes she then works around.
Lisa Yuskavage at Zwirner uptown. Gallery Link

As her work becomes less distorted by her own subjective desires, it becomes tricker compositionally.

The padded walls remain, the wine a shocking color note, as the implied opening of the reflected shirt. The paint is accomplished, confident, blithely scraped away or slathered on.


I think of Bronzino's tense moments of contact that feel heated despite their seeming quotidian nature: opening a book, or holding a letter.
This painting was shocking for its deep red space, reminiscent of Yuskavage's 1993 series Bad Girls, and especially the man's creepy, glass-like eye.
His standing leg disappears into the black hole his eye protrudes from. Scaffolding creates a fretwork for plants that takes us right back to 1960s suburbia. Stockings meet ground turn in chromatic rainbow frenzy.
Always the hands, block like, intertwined, creating staccato meeting points.


Next door, the Gutai show at Hauser and Wirth. Gallery Link
Thick, joyous enamel freely brushed on.


Or piled.
Such calligraphic freedom in these works, their marks piling on, yet distinct in their articulation.

From the transparent blue pour top right to the density of middle, the substance of paint transforms. 


Bars of burlap create striations like rice fields on a  cliffside, scaffolds for paint to address.


Glue hangs heavy in the pearl white world of Matsutani.


There's a beautiful film about this Japanese artist who lives in Europe, and his work with glue is no less compelling for its expansive sense of time.



A spellbinding performance of light and shadow.
Seen from side.
First work as you enter the gallery. 
Jennifer Packer, Quality of Life at Sikkema Jenkins. Gallery Link

Interspersing portraits of 'bodies I love' with flowers to memorialize those struck down needlessly.