Monday, July 11, 2016

From NY Times: Collecting Street Art

Article from the Personal Business section of the July 9, 2016 NY Times about collecting street art.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gallery Hoppin': Lower East Side!

    Been awhile since I hit my old stomping grounds in NYC's lower east side. Did the obligatory lunch at Katz's and stopped by the bar I used to own (12" DJ Bar) on Essex, now in it's 4th incarnation since selling it. It's not just that place, the whole lower east side is changing rapidly. Alot of it started when the New Museum took residence there around 2005ish, and a slew of new galleries, relocated galleries, and satellite galleries are filling the area along with bars and restaurants, but thankfully the fashion boutiques have yet to take root. But I digress, these changes are for another blog this one is about a brief afternoon of gallery hoppin' and let me tell ya, I barely scratched the surface! I visited Dutton/Mulherin, Louis B James, Pierogi, Callicoon Fine Arts, James Fuentes, Freight & Volume, Castor, Denny, Equity, Rachel Uffner, and a few others.

     Lots of abstract work, but most of it had just a hint of freshness is the best way I can put it. Whether it's palette, presentation, application or media, it didn't feel repetitive or stale. Sometimes it was the introduction of an unusual element that took it out of pure abstraction, like small round pieces of smooth glass added to the paint (like at Samuel Jablon's cool show at Freight & Volume)? glazed over bits of collage? Or like in Matthew Fischer's found object constructions/paintings at Louis B James in which he takes assembling found objects to a different place in how they're built?  Below is a closeup of one piece in which there's a box with a bird's nest and book inside - nature, culture, daylight.

     Strauss Bourque-LaFrance (how's that for a name?) at Rachel Uffner had a series called "post paintings", also about collage and assemblage. 2x2" pieces of basswood are piled and assembled into unique wall hanging constructions, covered in paint and some pieces are collaged with images from the NY Post. But he doesn't clobber you over the head with the newspaper, it's subtle (from a not very subtle newspaper).


    Pierogi, formerly of Brooklyn, and I guess they dropped the 2000 from their name, had a unique take on something done by several artists - book spines and book cases. Often they're trompe l'oeill paintings of someone's book collection, or a loosely done version of the same in various mediums. In this case (pun intended) Ward Shelley builds actual shallow book cases, maybe 2" think, with strips of wood inside as the books and spines with meticulously replicated typography. Tossed in are small cameos and dishes. I've seen the book spine and book cover theme done many times, but never like this.

     LES is the new Chelsea? It definitely has a vigor and freshness and the small storefront galleries remind one of SoHo and East Village galleries from "back in the day." Print out a map, get down here soon, and allow yourself plenty of time because there's plenty to see.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Images from Scope and Pulse NY 2016

Rune Christensen "Modern Icon" Joseph Gross Gallery, NY

Zoe Byland "Sisters" (acrylic and airbrush), Haven Gallery, Northport NY

Brian Viveros, Thinkspace Gallery, CA

Lyle Owerko, "Boombox 5 and Cassettes" Joseph Gross Gallery, NY

Nelson DeLaNuez, "Mary's Little Cocktail" - Off The Wall Gallery, Houston TX

MIchael Gorman "Krist (Odd Man Out Series)" - Axiom Contemporary, NY

Holly Farrell, "Cars" - Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MASS.

Sam Tuffnell, "DAD_ANUS_TMI_JP_PC" -Castle Fitzjohns Gallery

Sergei Isupov - Ferrin Contemporary, MASS.

Galerie L'Inlassable, Paris

Mu Pan, "Orangutan" - Cially Paulsen Gallery, Denmark

Juan Travieso - Jenn Singer, NY

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Armory Show 2016

(Click on any image to view it larger)

    On a sunny chilly day in NYC,  I eagerly made my way over to the west side for the Armory Show press preview. I made a quick tour of the Modern section, mostly established blue chippers, the highlight was looking at a piece, turning around and being face to face with Steve Martin! Yes, the wild and crazy guy is also a long time art collector. Speaking of humor, Rhona Hoffman Gallery of Chicago had this Mel Bochner piece, capturing what some people think of the art fairs.
     Onto the Contemporary section which is the bulk of the show. I didn't get the sense that galleries were showing work as edgy as a few years ago, probably a nod to economic realities. The real edgy work is at Independent. Each year the art fairs have trends, and I was a bit taken aback by this banner. Partially because African American art and imagery were in abundance here; Academy Awards fallout or coincidence?

Many portraits of blacks in various media, and Kehinde Wiley had a strong presence with four or five large scale paintings at different booths.

A show-stopper was this sculpture (right) at Sean Kelly Gallery by Mr. Wiley (wasn't aware he is involved with sculpture, too) titled "Bound" from 2015. Beautiful piece.

Abstract work has a strong presence at this Armory show. Not so much "action" painting, more of a controlled abstraction using visual and tactile textures, like these two below by Gabrielle Picco at Francesca Minini Gallery's booth from Turin, Italy.

This piece (below) by Zander Blom from Capetown, South Africa at Stevenson Gallery is another example of this, combined on one surface.

    There's something that "bedazzled" me about this decorative piece by Angelo Filomeno, "Tell Me, Tell Me," at Galerie Lelong in NY. Maybe because it's crystal and embroidery on  - - wait for it -- denim!

These two portraits by Alice Neel were one of the few nods to realistic painting.
To the left is "Pervis" from 1958 and right is "Abdul Rahman" from 1964.

Best name of a gallery goes to:

And here are a few more random shots:

Daniel Joseph Martinez, "Museum Tags: Second Movement (overture)Robert Tilton Gallery, LA

Claire Tabouret, "The Team," at Galerie Bigada & Cargnel, 118x90"

Marc Bijl at The Breeder, Athens, Greece

Ruby Onyinyechi Amanye at Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt Gallery, Seattle