Sunday, December 10, 2023

El Espacio 23 / To Weave the Sky: Textile Abstractions from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection

In the main room, there are two wonderful examples, one I photographed and one I did not: here, the most magnificent Paul Jenkins I have ever laid eyes on.  (PJ 1923 - 2012) Phenomena Palace Change, 1975-6 - and it's huge, but I don't know the dims - I'd guess 12, 14 feet long.
Another view of the Jenkins.  Frances Trombly had a beautiful vertical hanging in pink and cream tones with long tassels, but I couldn't get to it. 
A series of works on paper by Polly Apfelbaum kicking off a segment on "Chromatic Structures," or how color blocking reveals the power of color vs. rational geometry.

A stellar Bernard Frieze nearby, the surface impeccably primed, almost like a latex.

Many Stellas in Florida, of prize Protractor vintage. This by far and away the best, also reminding me of what I saw as a child at the then-Pasadena Museum of Modern Art. Stella's Hagmatana I, 1967, simply the best I've ever seen. (At Basel, Yares (NYC) featured Stella's first-ever painting at Princeton, a brushy black painting--make that second-best for Stella).

Spectacular weaving of printed bags by an artist in CdMX. 

Display of lights in its own darkened room.

Candida Alvarez. The painting comes into focus in the camera lens--the lighting is spectacular, as is the color and surface of the painting.

A small and early Al Held, wonderful to see, almost a Renaissance composition.

A rather larger Summer Wheat, in which the paint is funneled through a screen.

Sam Gilliam, early vintage. Again, his breakthrough made more important by seeing these early compositions.

Etel Adnan weaving. Definitely my favorite work by her for moving beyond the comfort of scale and translating another medium.

Colombian-born Fanny Sanin (b. 1938) and her magnificent Acrylic No. 2, 1990. What a gift to learn about this painter, based in New York! According to her web site, "Sanín was born in Bogotá, Colombia and earned a degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Andes. She continued her education with graduate studies at the University of Illinois and the Chelsea School of Art in London. During her early career she resided in Monterrey, Mexico and since 1971 she has lived and worked in New York, NY."

Gene Davis - and here I thought working on unprimed canvas was revolutionary! He was doing it when I was 20!

Landscape Gestures section, which links color to organic earth material, and weaving to arial views of the landscape. Here, the glorious Joan Mitchell I photographed at PAMM in 2018. 

Kenneth Noland--took me by surprise. Now can't remember if early but would certainly think so.

Alice Wagner, b. 1974.

Random Intersections #10 by Leonor Antunes, Portugese, b. 1972, shows with Marion Goodman. Leather and brass hardware.

Helen Frankenthaler. Vanilla, 1978. I love finding these examples of work that don't see the light of day usually. 

Kapwani Kiwanga's sisal fiber and painted steel Sisal 1, 2021. In 1891 German colonizers introduced sisal in Tanzania, and built a market for it until its independence in 1960, when it collapsed. Guggenheim recipient Kiwanga lives and works in Paris.

French-Algerian artist Kader Attia, 1970, France. Untitled (burnt wood) picture, 2007. 

LA-based  interdisciplinary artist Gala Porras-Kim, b. 1984, Colombia. 78 West Mexico Ceramics in LACMA Collection, Nayarit Index, 2017. Whole view.
Gala Porras-Kim. Detail.

Abel Rodriguez and Aycoobo Wilson Rodriguez, b. 1941 and 1967, both Colombian;
Arbol de Ceiba, 2018, acrylic on paper, and Terraza baja, 2018, acrylic on canvas

Sheila Hicks

A spectacular early Yinka Shonibare CBE, Girl/Boy, 1998

Sonia Gomes, b. 1948, Brazil. She lives in Brazil and is represented by Pace. She works with fabrics gifted to her and works spontaneously within community.

Spaniard Nacho Martin Silva's En lo Oculto, 2018, oil on linen.

el Origin del Circulo II, 2014, by Oscar Abraham Pabon.

Tania Candiani, Lipo Front and Back, 2002-5, searing portrtayal of pre-surgical analysis of women who don't suit prevailing social ideals, whether by weight or by age

Yanira Collado's large scale fabric montage ruminating on her historical past 

Brazilian Laura Lima's Leviata, 2019, dyed cotton yarn

Conrad Marca-Relli, 1913-2000, L-4-72, 1972, Oil and canvas collage on canvas

Ernest Neto! I would not have guessed. Cotton voil crochet and wooden knobs, referencing myths related to the Huni Kuin people of the Amazon region with whom Neto has been living and working. Snakeskin pattern enters into this "body". (We are in the body section, but I did not record it).

Closing with a Kenneth Noland rug.

Hands down this show was the most miraculous exhibition I saw in Miami. This is how a collector collects. It is spectacular.


Saturday, December 02, 2023

Walasse Ting's Parrot Jungle at NSU Museum, Fort Lauderdale

Because a hot pink introduction is not a daily thing elsewhere, and it's perfect for Ting's work. 

Who was Walasse Ting (1929, Wuxi, China; 2010, New York, NY)? We know he moved from China to Paris, met and hung out with Cobra members before moving to New York. I read he encouraged Vivian Springford's abstractions in the 1950s, and was friends with Sam Francis. He lived in my apartment building! All of this and more caught my interest and fascination. Ting named himself Walasse, combining his childhood name 'spoiled'/Hua-la-si + Matisse! 

Throughout the exhibition there were several display tables of ephemera, delicious, valuable memories of old New York and artist affiliations.

Letter from Carnegie Institute
A Pearl receipt! Ting was unafraid to run up a bill. 

The list to the left of receipt: artists' contact information with whom Ting shared an exhibition.
His spirit shines through: on one hand calligraphy and on another irreverent images of body parts.

Rice paper mounted on canvas in the French style 'marouflage,' adapting Chinese ink and acrylic. The acrylic does not respond with the agility of the ink, but Ting manages large, bright areas that glow.

Lower left: letter to daughter Mia at Westbeth! So cool to see.
Such a great spirit, huge joy in color
Perhaps the most subtle and beautiful marouflage work.

Purple Studio, 1993, an homage to Ting's idol Matisse's Red Studio of 1911.
A result from a painting session with Sam Francis!

Ting's work in oil, which I felt was his best. Despite the thick paint, there is an airiness and spontaneity in his application. I Take My Pants Off Facing Sunset, 1969, acrylic on canvas.
Love Me With Your Heart That I Want, 1975
Miss World, 1975, acrylic on canvas, 12.5x7.5 feet: honoring  pornography at its peak. 

Raindrops on my Eyes, 1974

I Man Fountain, 1966

We now pivot to the early work, as I traveled through the exhibition backward. Pekin Opera, 1955, ink and oil on paper mounted on canvas. Showing the influence of his friend Pierre Aleschinsky.

Chinese City, oil on canvas, 1959--a simply gorgeous adaptation of ink to oil--and the show makes clear the artist's devotion to living between cultures, places, and approaches to paint. As history evolves we will witness more of this diasporic thinking--in which the diaspora is not tied to a specific place but becomes its own location.

My Memory is Too Much, 1958, oil on paper
"When you look at mountains, you imagine yourself being mountains; tigers and deer will skip under your armpits; when you see the ocean, you become the ocean; whale, tiger grouper, yellow croaker, and goldfish will swim in your mouth; when you see a tree, you are a tree, shooting up from the ground; cherries, plums, and lychees are falling from your arms. How do transformations happen? Think of the cloud and rain in the sky, they split and join, join and split. Splitting is expressive, to divide oneself into a thousand pieces." Wallace ting, 1973 

Three Tang Era Women, 1960s; the titanium white perhaps his foray into acrylic on rice paper.

Early in Ting's US tenure, he took a ceramics course, focusing on ancient Chinese forms such as "marital boxes" ~ these works capture his charm

Two collaborations, above and below, with Pierre Alechinsky whom he met after arriving in Paris in 1963.

In 1953 arrived in 
Paris. Six months later meet Pierre 
Alechinsky. Six months later meet
Asger Jorn. Six months later meet
Karl Appel; drink coffe with them in Paris-Cafe. Working all kinds of job
to making a very simple living. Living 
in a six inches window room. Paint
there, eat there.

How I adored this business letter discussing the value of his work, which Ting drew upon. Love his attitude.
Botticelli's Birth of Venus conceptualized as an umbrella, 1966. My favorite painting in the show--insouciant, light, poured, yet drawn. "Ting's poetry and painting often reference the Chinese metaphor of rain and clouds as symbolizing intercourse, and the shared space under an umbrella as a point of intimacy." "SOMEONE MAKE LOVE/HIDE INSIDE CLOUDS/STICK RAIN DROPS/LIKE BABIES, Ting wrote in Green Banana, 1971.