Monday, October 6, 2014

Lower East Side & Chelsea Round-up

By Charles Kessler

Here are some photos of, and very brief comments about, 23 exhibitions I selected from about 70 galleries I visited over the last week in the Lower East Side and Chelsea. Links to the individual galleries and exhibitions are provided in the captions.

Lower East Side:

There are some powerful paintings in this show, in spite of their small size. You can see some good reproductions here and here.
Installation view of  Second Family2 Rivington Street, curated by Julie Torres (no ending date reported).

Update: Julie Torres emailed me that the show closed. 

I recently mentioned Nichole Cherubini as one of the ceramic artists I admire working in the tradition of Peter Voulkos
Foreground: Nichole Cherubini, Verdent Empress, 2014, earthenware, glaze and birch plywood, 66 x 16 x 12 inches (Fitzroy Gallery, 195 Christie Street, until October 26th).

Do Ho Suh's main installation (you can see it here) is boring and old hat, but I loved the fragile delicacy of his rubbings of three-dimensional objects (a fire sprinkler in the photo below). They're especially captivating in contrast to the coarse sources of the rubbings.
Detail, Do Ho Suh, Rubbing/Loving Project, Corridor, 348 W. 22nd St., colored pencil on vellum, 57 x 104 x 5 ½ inches framed (Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie Street, until October 25th).

There seems to be some buzz about Jane Corrigan's paintings, and I can see why. The bravura of her simple flowing brushwork is impressive. Unfortunately, they all started to look alike.
Jane Corrigan, Milk, 2014, oil on linen, 28 ½ x 39 inches (Kerry Schuss Gallery, 34 Orchard Street, until October 26th).

Andra Ursuta's Tongue Mops are gross but affecting!
Installation view of Andra Ursuta's Tongue Mops (Ramiken Crucible Gallery, 389 Grand Street, no ending date reported).

Below is an example of the type of thing missing in Chelsea. Walking around the LES or Bushwick, or even Midtown, is interesting in itself. There so much to see, and so much going on besides the art. If the art is of no interest in Chelsea (and that happens sometimes), there's not much else to keep you going, especially since the auto repair garages and taxi depots have been pushed out. 
Bicycle polo, Roosevelt Park.


Unfortunately, Allan McCollum's show will be over by the time this post is published. I knew him when I lived in Los Angeles and I always liked him and his art. Lately his work has become richer and more existentially deep – and downright beautiful. 

McCollum created a system that allows for the production of a single, unique shape for every person in the world. You can read more about what he's attempting here, but it's possible to enjoy the work on a purely visual level. 
Installation view of Allan McCollum, The Shape Project - Perfect Couples (Petzel Gallery, 456 18th Street, until October 4th). 

It occurs to me that some Chelsea galleries are more like DIA Beacon or Mass MoCA than art galleries; and that's not necessarily a bad thing. This mammoth sculpture has to do with abstracting, bending and collapsing Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Apartments, in Chicago.
Installation view of Monika Sosnowska's Tower, about 110 feet long (Hauser & Wirth, 511 W. 18th Street, until October 25th).

This was pretty lame stuff for Mona Hatoum whose work is usually quite poignant. She has better work in the back room. 
Mona Hatoum, Twelve Windows (Alexander and Bonin Gallery, 132 Tenth Avenue, until October 18th).

Tomma Abts's paintings get lost in this space. 
Installation view, Tomma Abts  (Zwirner Gallery, 519 W. 19th Street, until October 25th).
Tomma Abts, Oke, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 19 x 15 inches (Zwirner Gallery, 519 W. 19th Street, until October 25th).
Why would Zwirner do that? It's not like they don't have more appropriate spaces to show intimate paintings (see below).
Installation view, James Bishop (Zwirner Gallery, 537 W. 20th Street, until October 25th).

In 2006 Jason Rhoades died of a combination of a drug overdose and heart disease. In spite of the chaotic way it looks, Rhoades provided precise instructions about the installation of this work.
Installation view, Jason Rhoades, PeaRoeFoam, first presented in 2002 (Zwirner Gallery, 537 W. 20th Street, until October 18th).
This is supposed to be the factory that makes "PeaRoeFoam," the white pebbles scattered about made out of "whole green peas, fish-bait style salmon eggs, and white virgin-beaded foam." Among other things in this typically whacky installation are replicas of the infamous Ivory Soap box with a picture of the porn star Marilyn Chambers (Beyond the Green Door) holding a baby. 
Installation view, Jason Rhoades, PeaRoeFoam, first presented in 2002 (Zwirner Gallery, 537 W. 20th Street, until October 18th).

Nick Caves's exhibitions at both of Shainman's Chelsea galleries are heavy-handed and repetitive – a loose cage, mainly gold colored, with stuff in it about race. 
Installation view of Nick Cave, Rescue, (Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 W. 24th Street, until October 11th).
But he nailed it with this relief about the oppression of African American servitude.

Nick Cave, Untitled, 2014, bronze and hand towels, 41 x 22 x 15 ½ inches (Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W. 20th Street, until October 11th).

Jonathan Monk's show (below) is a lot of art about art, but I was disappointed to learn that the one piece that got to me is really two separate works. The little Santa (Paul McCarthy Dressed as in Tokyo Santa with Young Head of Paul McCartney Standing – don't ask) seems enthralled looking at souvenir scarves hung on the wall (From One State to Another, Sewn Together to Make a Whole). It was quite disorienting and, dare I say, poetic.  Too bad.
Installation view, Jonathan Monk (Casey Kaplan Gallery, 525 W. 21st Street, until October 18th).

Jackie Winsor boxed herself in, as it where, making the same basic sculpture for decades. But this particular early work is helped immensely by the room's prefect proportions and colors. 
Jackie Winsor, Pink and Blue Piece, 1985, mirror, wood, paint, cheesecloth, 31 x 31 x 31 inches (Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W. 21st Street, until October 18th).

Mark di Suvero at Paula Cooper, along with David Hockney at Pace, are my favorite shows now in Chelsea. Di Suvero's sculpture is thrilling without being an overpowering and theatrical spectacle (like Monika Sosnowska's Tower at Hauser & Wirth is, above).
Mark di Suvero, Luney Breakout, 2013, steel, 22'3" x 22'6" x 12'6" (Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W. 21st Street, until October 22nd).
And who knew he's been painting all these years? And very well too. Most sculptors, even David Smith, tend to center an image when they make a painting, avoiding dealing with the edge. Not di Suvero. He plays off of and at times crashes right through it. 
Mark di Suvero, Untitled, 2014, acrylic paint on linen, 82 x 132 inches (Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W. 21st Street, until October 22nd).
Mark di Suvero, Untitled, c.1995, acrylic on canvas, 112 x 130 inches (Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W. 21st Street, until October 22nd).

I found Adam Putnam's 2x4 sculptures strangely moving, perhaps because they're barely held together, about ready to collapse. They will be part of a future performance. Check P.P.O.W's website for when. 
Installation view, Adam Putnam, foreground is Contraption 1, 2014, rope, wood, steel photograph, dimensions variable  (P.P.O.W Gallery, 235 W. 22nd Sreet, until November 1st).

Roxy Paine's current show is a tour de force of trompe l'oeil. (I always wanted to write that!) But what he chooses to make out of wood is what gives the work its haunting, sometimes poetic, quality. It occurred to me that the work is a reverse Thomas Demand.
Installation view, Roxy Paine, Checkpoint, 2014, maple, aluminum, fluorescent light bulbs, about 14 x 27 X 18 ½ feet (Marianne Boesky Gallery, 509 West 24th Street, until October 18th).

Rebecca Warren's sculptures look like ceramic, but they're painted bronze and probably have more to do with Giacometti than Peter Voulkos. 
Installation view, Rebecca Warren, Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear? (Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 W. 24th Street, until October 24th).

I've been interested in Matthew Richie's art since I first saw an installation at Artist's Space in the early 1990s. It's good to see that he keeps pushing it. 
Installation view, Matthew Richie, Ten Possible Links (Andrea Rosen Gallery, 525 W. 24th Street, until October 22nd).

It might be mildly interesting that Roger Hiorns's installation is made of an atomized aircraft engine and graphite and not ordinary sand, but ultimately it's just another Zen rock garden, and not a very good one at that. 
Installation view of Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2014, atomized aircraft engine and graphite (Luhring Augustine Gallery, 531 W. 24th Street, until October 18th).
His sculptures in the small back gallery are more interesting (why is that so common lately?), partly because they ooze a soapy foam giving them a creepy kind of life. 
 Roger Hiorns's work in the back gallery (Luhring Augustine Gallery, 531 W. 24th Street, until October 18th).

Jacob Hashimoto's installation is breathtaking when you first enter, but ultimately it's empty decoration. 
Installation view from the front, Jacob Hashimoto, Skyfoam Fortress (Mary Boone Gallery, 541 W. 24th Street, until October 25th).
What I found unusual is that there's a clear front and back to the work – odd for an installation presumably meant to be seen from all angles. 
Installation view from the back, Jacob Hashimoto, Skyfoam Fortress (Mary Boone Gallery, 541 W. 24th Street, until October 25th).

This is a small, beautifully proportioned space that Andrea Rosen has across the street from her main space. They've been effectively using it to compare and contrast the work of two or more artists – in this case the painted reliefs of Matt Keegan, and one of Anne Truitt's columns. Both artists deal with painting vs. sculpture, and sensual surfaces and color. 
Installation view, Matt Keegan (on the walls) and Anne Truitt (foreground), (Andrea Rosen Gallery, 544 W. 24th Street, until October 22nd). 

Most of the work in this exhilarating show was drawn on an iPad, enlarged, and printed on paper. And can this guy ever draw! 
Installation view of David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring (Pace Gallery, 508 W. 25th Street,  until November 1st).
If you can't get to Hockney's exhibition, the paintings work quite well online. You can see them on Pace's rather clunky website
David Hockney, Woldgate, East Yorkshire, 2011, iPad drawing printed on paper, 55 x 41 ½ inches (edition of 25).

Chelsea does have one great point of interest beside the art galleries – the High Line. The new addition has opened, and it's spectacular. 
New addition to the High Line.
My only fear is that future development will wall off the view of the city; it's already happened to some parts.

The High Line just before it turns the corner to the new addition.
It doesn't look good for the views as the nearby Hudson Yards is developed. I hope this doesn't become another tragic example of what Jane Jacobs called "catastrophic success." 
Proposal for the future Hudson Yards.

1 comment:

Martin Mugar said...

Somehow the completion of oversized buildings corresponds to economic malaise as in the Empire State Building started in 1929 and finished in 1931.