Saturday, August 6, 2011

Some Art News

By Charles Kessler

A couple of new galleries opened on the Lower East Side.
The Hole
312 Bowery (just above Houston)
July 21st, The Hole hosted “The History of American Graffiti” book-signing event featuring special guest TAKI 183. Photo from their blog, “Art From Behind."
The Hole Gallery moved from a hole of a space on Greene Street in Soho to a relatively large and airy space in the Lower East Side. The gallery is run by Kathy Grayson, a former director of Deitch Project, and the gallery employees are nice, young, ambitious and willing to try new things. For example, their last show, FriendsWithYou, the art of the Miami duo Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, included a pop-up store that sold Native Shoes, a footwear company that makes some pretty wild shoes.

Mulherin + Pollard Gallery
The gallery is at the end of Freeman Alley, across from Salon 94, off of Rivington between Bowery and Chrystie Streets. You can also enter at 187 Chrystie Street, but Freeman Alley is much more interesting. They have a group show there now entitled Mundus Incognita, but as yet there’s nothing on their website about it or future shows.

In other news:
Today Roberta Smith has an excellent review of the Met’s Frans Hals exhibition; this in contrast to the disappointing New Yorker review by Peter Schjeldahl (you can get only an excerpt online).  Unfortunately, Schjeldahl's reviews lately have been superficial, contradictory and, surprising for The New Yorker, sloppily written.

One of the many nice thing about the Hals exhibition is the comparison you can make between Hals's painting Malle Babbe and a student version of the same subject. It really gives you a sense of how good Hals is.
Detail, Frans Hals, Malle Babbe, 1633-35, Oil on canvas (Staatliche Museen, Berlin)
Detail, Style of Frans Hals, Malle Babbe, mid-17th century, Oil on canvas, (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Via the Los Angeles Times I found out about a FREE iPad app that has breathtaking photos, live-action video and interviews of a series of dances Merce Cunningham choreographed for the nonprofit visual and performing arts journal 2wice. And did I say it was FREE?
From 2wice's Merce Cunningham  iPad App
While I’m on apps, the National Gallery, London has two — a very good free one with a couple of hundred photographs of their collection that can be downloaded HD directly into your iPhone or iPad photo album; and a great $1.99 one with almost 2000 photos. Here’s a sample; click to enlarge:
Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, (The Burlington Cartoon),  c.1499-1500, charcoal, black and white chalk on tinted paper mounted on canvas, 55.7 × 41.2 inches, (National Gallery, London)
A report from the Brussels-based art dealers’ federation Cinoa is going around the blogosphere. They found that art fairs and on-line art sales are taking over as the main source of revenue, and it’s hurting traditional galleries. 

Another thing making the rounds is an article in The Art Newspaper about why art is getting bigger. They conclude: Commissioning and acquiring art has always been a way for the wealthy and powerful to affirm their position, taste, influence and money; and there is nothing new either about huge spaces to display it in.

Finally, this to lift your spirits: The New York Times went through their archives and came up with a series of photographs of kids playing in New York. It’s a joy to look at.
1977: In the mud at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Neal Boenzi/The New York Times.

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