Sunday, February 24, 2019

SFMoMA: China on My Mind

Art and China After 1989 at SFMoma. Museum Link
This painting by Wang Xingwei from 2001 (from 6.4.89) is banned in China for its reference to the famed journal photo in which bodies rather than penguins are transported.  
A beautiful map re-imagining borders as a board game.

Ding Yi, b. 1962, acrylic and paint on canvas, much like the Brooklyn painter Rob de Oude.
Yu Youhan, Abstraction 1990-4 from 1990, acrylic on canvas. He is "widely considered the father of abstract painting and Political Pop in China," to give the range of artistic output by a single individual in a momentously changing society.

Lieu Wei, Two Drunk Painters, 1990 by a conceptualist painter born in  1972 with no uniting aesthetic to his work. Contemporary painting in China did not get started until the 1980s, so there is an enormous range of social realism, Pop, abstraction and other stylistic fusions, which focus on community in a rapidly changing world.
Yu Youhan, b. 1943, Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Modern, So Appealing? 2000, collage. Youhan is a godfather of painting in China.
Yu Hong, 2001, Deng Xiaoping's Tour in the South of China,  "China Pictorial," p.2, no. 6,  1992 and Twenty Six Years Old, A Still of the Film "The Days," 2001, From Witness to Growth. Ink jet print, left, oil on canvas, right. 66 x 79 inches.

Sequence of the filming of To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain,  1995--a groundbreaking performance work filmed secretly in Beijing's East Village created by artists Cang Xin, Duan Yingmei, Gao Yang, Ma Liuming, Ma Zhongren, Wang Shihua, Zhang Binbin, Zhu Ming, and Zuoxiao Zuzhou, courtesy Zhang Huan.

Revisiting Chinese landscape in a large-scale ink work.

Lu Xiaodong paintings of young soldiers in the middle east and Beijing barracks defending their territory. The quotes are from the soldiers: their names, ages, and military affiliations.
The revamped Xu Bing installation from 9/11/01 dust.

This show was beautiful, moving, poignant, with so much more than shown here. Like the Guggenheim, SFMoMA declined to show the famed dog racing film by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, or the insect installation despite the ferocity and violence of these works reflected the artist's experience.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Evolution on the LES

Mary Jones has an exhibition through March 10th-- Travel Light at High Noon Gallery Link.
Two works (one earlier, one current with these) can also be seen in the group exhibition Incise, Echo and Repeat through March 2nd  at The Clemente nearby (107 Suffolk St. at Rivington).
These ambitious paintings integrate actual scans with skeins of paint in hybrid, almost Surrealist space that originates for the artist in Renaissance portraiture. 
As in life, so too do these paintings absorb simultaneous layers of information compressed as color and image.
The associative leaps once made with simultaneous color in Impressionist paintings now vault across multiple media.
Contre jour, or backlighting the figure--a trope often used by Bonnard and Vuillard--reappears in these portraits.
Walking the tightrope between expressionist immediacy and a more stable, established tradition of portraiture. The  ambition in these paintings is great.

Riley Brewster's recent paintings in Doing What Comes Naturally curated by Robert Storr at the Resnick Foundation. Exhibition Link
These paintings were at one point the ultimate measure for me, although they have never had anything to do with the way that I actually paint. Here, earth (coat), 2018, 23.75 x 24 inches.

Brewster paints in the vernacular of Resnick himself (here, a Resnick).

Upstairs, painted strokes re-assemble as object-like notation in John O'Buck's Landscape , 38 x 60 inches.
The Key, 2018, 72 x 42, oil on canvas.
Andrew Spence, one of two eye boggling gridded works: Untitled Brown/Violet, 40 x 35 inches.
Joyce Robins, Untitled 12, 2018, oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches.
These really hold you in a psychedelic Gorky landscape: Untitled 15, from the same series.
Joe Fyfe was at Nathalie Karg in Kiss the Sky, with works made from Vietnamese kites and other materials combining poems from Artaud. Gallery Link

Speaking to a globalization of materials and ideas. 

Altoon Sultan at McKenzie Fine Art, showing works on painted porcelain such as Angle Over Folds, 2018, which here looks grey but is actually blue (the wall is white in reality). The size is 8-1/4 x 10-3/4 inches.  Gallery Link
The porcelain works were exhibited along with egg tempera on calfskin parchment mounted on panel, radiating the energy within compression in surprising spatial gaps.

Solid, geometric shapes hold the eye then emit, from their neutral color variations, a pure hue. Reality becomes weirder than invention. 

Sultan is precise, fine-tuned and thorough. Her work is beautiful.