I'm really impressed by Christian Ruiz Berman's striking show at Outlet, 253 Wilson Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11237 (through December 6th). Like heraldry or icons, Berman's work seems to have some esoteric meaning, however cryptic.
|Installation view of the work of Christian Ruiz Berman at Outlet.|
With its bright, luscious colors, and materials such as porcupine quills and Macaw feathers, there's an exotic quality about the work that references South American kitsch – but, of course, this work is refined and sophisticated.
Christian Berman, Dos Mantras, 2015, acrylic, gouache, feathers, porcupine quills, metal screen on panels, 24 x 18 inches.
|Christian Berman, Zaïde's Offer, 2015, oil, acrylic, wood, cement, sisal rope, and macaw feathers, 112 x 49 inches.|
These are finely constructed objects made of separate pieces put together like marquetry or large jigsaw puzzles.
|Close-up detail of Christian Ruiz Berman, Zaïde's Offer, 2015.|
Galerie Manqué (I love the name), in the 56 Bogart building, is a tiny "pop up" gallery that has been doing some interesting shows. Their last exhibition consisted of photographs of disconcertingly human-looking robots – moles, wrinkles and blemishes included. Their latest, Days Have Gone By (through December 6th), guest-curated by artist and poet Andy Mister, also has to do with realism – this time realistic depictions of other images. For example, Thom Stevenson, Piranha II, 2015 (below), is an oil enamel painting that's painstakingly rendered to look like a silk screen.
|Thom Stevenson, Piranha II, 2015, oil enamel on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5 inches.|
And Chris Oh's Sirens, 2015 (below) is a highly realistic depiction of a beat-up 1992 album cover of the R&B band Chic.
|Chris Oh, Sirens, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.|
Installation view of Lat and Long, an exhibition by Karen Oliver (photo: Fresh Window). What look like the hollow centers of the cinder block wall are actually mirrors inserted in the openings that reflect the other objects in the room.
|Installation view of Gradual Kingdom by Meriem Bennani at Signal. The actual exhibition is a lot darker than this photo.|
Unlike most galleries in Bushwick, which tend to be small, the Signal gallery, 260 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206, is large with high ceilings. They generally show big sculptures and room-size installations. Their current show is Gradual Kingdom, site-specific video installations and other works by Meriem Bennani (through December 20th).
I was hoping to review exhibitions in Bushwick that I hadn't covered in an earlier post, but several of the galleries I wanted to visit weren't open when I went, and others were just too out-of-the-way for this trip. Another time.