Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Old New York in new New York

Oliver Jones' totem heads inThe Severed Head at Garageland Gallery, Kerry Law's popup gallery in Ridgewood (now closed for winter). The exhibition's Halloween theme supports the artists' theatrical, suspenseful, in Jones' case indigenous-adjacent, aesthetic and humor.
Oliver Jones' sculpture invoking Sumerian or ancient Egyptian portraiture, as well as totems.
Curated by painter Kerry Law, the exhibition's visual logic focuses on direct application of the hand. A dialog emerges between works creating a landscape of the mind.  L to R: Oliver Jones, Garry Nichols portraits channeling island culture from the 1940s (he is Tasmanian-born), Karen Schifano, whose stages feature a gestural, even spinning protagonist, and Michael Ballou's urban animal trophies. 
Opposite wall. Ballou, Schifano, Jones.
Opposite wall, pulled back to include Lawrence Swan's glazed geometric paintings (with Garry Nichols, Karen Schifano, Michael Ballou.)
The small space opens s a vast imaginary realm between what we recognize, sense, and remember. The intimacy and improvisation of the exhibition and collection of works revives a New York where artists, rather than market, lead the discourse by transforming an alley garage into a gallery. 
Zurcher Gallery presents Loren Munk's curatorial endeavor On the Bowery, assembling a group of luminaries who inhabited the boulevard. (Full disclosure, I shared Jake and Kristin Berthot's loft at 105 Bowery in the late 1990s. They, as well as I, had moved upstate so the loft was my crash pad for teaching classes such as Painting & Drawing New York On-Site  for New School's Visual Arts Department. The loft was Jake's home for many, many years; when he married Kristin and moved to Accord, NY he continued to teach at SVA).
Jake Berthot. So good to see his painting again, a perfect marriage between the grid system he used for his drawings and the lozenge image of the 1980s for which he is known.
Tom Doyle drawing. I'd missed this exhibition, which just closed at the gallery, and seeing this drawing am sorry I did miss it. It accompanies two photos of a young Eva Hesse, his bride at the time.
A super-juicy Valerie Jaudon.
Sylvia Plimack Mangold, a retrospective riposte to the trees she paints now.
It's amazing how artists carry their primary themes throughout time.
Joe Overstreet.
Martha Diamond.
Adolph Gottlieb.

Harvey Quaytman.
Lynda Benglis.
Loren Munk. He writes in his curatorial statement, "About fifteen years ago, following the recommendations of Walter Robinson, I picked up a copy of “The Field of Cultural Production” by Pierre Bourdieu.  Bourdieu, through his extensively documented research, confirmed many of my intuitive notions regarding art as a social practice, the accumulation of “cultural capital”, and the importance of the structure of our creative community."
"The Bowery/Lower East Side neighborhood is a unique stretch of Manhattan real estate with a cast of extraordinary characters, and a turbulent cycle of ebbs and flows.  ON THE BOWERY is conceived as an investigation into the chronological, and geographic nature of art’s production and evolution within this milieu." 
"The period of interest focused on in this exhibition (roughly the mid 1960’ to 2020), provides an outstanding opportunity to study how shifts in living/working space, economic ups and downs, and gentrification effect generations of artistic aesthetics and production.  Furthermore, I believe the current crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragile nature of these relationships and encourages a deeper awareness of how important maintaining our cultural connections and legacies are."
Stanley Whitney.

Old New York meets New New York. Amen.


UES Runabout

Christine Hiebert's Restless, new drawings at Victoria Munroe 
In their precise notations of space and use of crayon and pastel, Hiebert's drawings summon Gorky's Virginia drawings of 1946. In both bodies of work a sense of place combines with a private language. Link to Gorky's Virginia drawings here
A personal favorite. In the brochure-catalog, Hiebert speaks of watery horizontals played against dry verticals to push a structure as far as it will go.
Untitled, 2018, crayon, pastel, blue tape on paper, 40 x 26 inches
Untitled (chg.21.3), charcoal on paper, 47-3/4 x 32 inches
Lynda Benglis: Pleasted Works at Mnuchin.
Metallic pleats created 1982 through the 1990s.
The shadow play is a form of drawing in itself.
According to the gallery press release the forms are inspired by the fluted and fan motifs of Agean columns at the Louvre, which refer to the artist's Greek heritage.
 "A vaporized metal such as zinc, aluminum, or copper would subsequently be sprayed over the folded mesh, creating a shell-like surface that is finally polished, although the crevices between each pleat evade that polishing, creating a contrast which accentuates the texture, volume, and varying effects of light of each sculpture."
“'The metallizing technique is particularly suited to Benglis’s interest in transforming states of matter, in organic processes and in the comparisons of hard/soft and liquid/solid that continue throughout her work,” art historian Susan Krane has aptly stated."
Sound emitting from shadow. The fugitive movement of light upon form.

Sculptor Ron Baron and painter Sarah Walker in a serendipitous pairing at John Molloy.
 Baron's  densely collaged works become dimensional diaries of a time, place, or feeling.
Thought forms in the round, materially realized.
Small glaze paintings surface among textures and collage. 
Sarah Walke's lovely Conditions and Adaptations III, 2021
Acrylic on paper, 20 x 21 inches. The artist adds volume to the top layers in her psychological worlds.
The substance of paint--scratched, fresh, dripped--richochets between the surface and shallow depth. Chronophage IV, 2021, 12 x 12 inches
Installation view
Olive Ayhens's Transformations of Place at Bookstein Projects 

Two epic paintings and a spate of lovely watercolors painted in the artist's Brooklyn studio and her West Village apartment.
Uptown view from her apartment window, where she observes goings on across the street.
Jamboree, 2021, oil on linen, 51 x 63, a meditation on overpopulation and architecture and a summary of the artist's pandemic year.
Photo-based and invented characters combine in her crowd scene.
Olive Ayhens with an apartment view at night.
Her landscapes are both accurate and inventive.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

This Earth: Notes and Observations by Montello Foundation Artists at SUMA

Entrance to Southern Utah Museum of Art's current exhibition This Earth, curated by Stefan Hagen with Hikmet Loe, through December 23, 2021. Hikmet Loe is a renowned Utah curator and artist, whom I have long admired for her brilliantly researched book Robert Smithson Encyclo, which I read in its entirety during my Montello Foundation residency in 2018. Montello is founded by Stefan Hagen, artist visionary.  
Flanking the entry to left is my 2019 painting Whose Curious Tree, and to the right Kristin Furlong's Twice Migration, below.
I would not ordinarily document an exhibition I am in, except it is so wonderful, and this way everyone can have access to it. 

Eleanor Ray's Nevada Window, 2019
2022 Montello Foundation resident Fred Holcombe's Truck (2015)
Kristin Furlong's Twice Migration, 2017, In Dialogue with Nature
Letha Wilson, 2015 Montello Foundation resident.
Shown with Tyler Beard to left
Laurie Lambrecht, 2016 Montello Foundation resident (autumn), Observing Nature. "The interaction and layering of plants and their remnants formed complex tapestries that held my attention."
Lambrechts to the left with Patricia Watwood's Montello Book of Hours, 2017
Patricia Watwood, None/Lake, 2017, 30 x 11 inches, one of eight watercolors in Montello Book of Hours
Viennese artist 2017 Montello resident Markus Guschelbauer invented a wooden grid "that wandered with him from place to place."
Chicago-based painter James Kao's landscape studies from 2015; Kao, co-founder and co-director of Chicago's Fourth Ward and Associate Professor of Art at Aurora College, IL, was a 2019 resident.
Guschelbauer and Kao in situ
 Austrian artist Lea Titz's fictitious sculpture park at Montello Foundation, 2017
Martha Tuttle's beautiful, bark-like tapestry
Shown with Diana Spungin video "still" on left
Left, Dylan Gauthier, Right, Diana Spungin animated drawing
From rhythmic water to walking through landscape, pencil drawings assume vivid life.

Blane St. Croix, 2019 resident, shares Plein Air Arctic, Permanent Landscape II, 2020, from the coastline of the High Arctic to "render the devastating effects of climate change on permafrost."
SaraNoa Marks' inscribed clay tablet
Shown here with Michael Dax Iacovone's Tracing the Arc of the Solstice, 2020 (inkjet print)
New Mexico-based Cedra Wood's Plot, 2018-19, graphite on paper, 45 inches square.
Left, Summer McCorkle, whose recent exhibition at Smack Mellon featured spellbinding video, with Cedra Wood
Left: Lea Thomas (2018), Watching the Waves, 2019, fiber, cotton, indigo;
Right: Brie Ruais, Closing in on Opening Up, 132 lbs. (Nevada Site 3), 2020, glazed stoneware.
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
Preserving Nature: bug carlson + Watergrass video
Preserving Nature: Dylan Gauthier (2017)
Visiting the exhibition in person, and in Utah's expansive landscape, revealed many views of the Montello, Nevada landscape that reverberate across time. To see excellent installation photographs with full credit and more about the show and residency, visit Montello Foundation.