Friday, August 11, 2017

Short video with Ellsworth Kelly

     Ellsworth Kelly unquestionably has a place in art history. I was never excited by his work. I felt it made sense and has relevance in its timeframe, that is, in the step by step linear history of art and the development of abstraction and minimalism. But beyond that, it felt repetitious and nothing more than variations on a theme. When he breaks from the simple geometric shapes painted a color (blue square etc) and "pushes" a bit - using organic shapes, juxtaposing shapes and colors, channeling Matisse and Rothko - those pieces are much more interesting, IMHO.
     Although brief, this video of EK talking about his work is insightful. I find his earlier work with shadows, like the painting in blue of parts of shadows based on his photo of the stairs (seen in the video), to be far more intriguing than a black square or yellow rhombus.
     Even at his age, it's wonderful to see an artist still jazzed by painting and his personal visions.

Monday, June 19, 2017

NY Works Initiative - spaces for the arts??

     Kudos to NY Mayor DeBlasio for attempting to address the issues creatives face trying to live and work in NY. Not a ton of specifics yet, and this one stat from 2014 really jumped out at me: "an eye-popping 53,000 applications poured in for a scant 89 apartments at East Harlem’s El Barrio Artspace PS109."  Wow.
     It's exciting to know from that stat that there are still so many folks making art in the NY area! If these initiatives are successful, hopefully other cities will take note and use empty/abandoned spaces in a similar fashion.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Alice Neel at David Zwirner

David Zwirner showed paintings by Alice Neel from Feb-April 2017. Made it to the exhibit, here are some shots of her portraits.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

At last! The debut of the video series "5 Minutes With The Gallery Guy" is here!

     I started this blog 9 years ago. I wasn't looking to be a critic, I wanted to share the excitement and enthusiasm I have for looking at original art.
     Years ago I owned a bar in Hoboken called Liquid Lounge, which also had an art gallery. In the beginning I wanted to remember my customers' names but I think I fried a synapse in doing so, and since then have a rough time with names; I knew people by their face or their drink as is common with many bartenders! There's so much referencing of names in  the fine art world, I needed a way to help me remember names of artists and galleries, so I figured writing about them would help. And here we are.
     I'm also not shy in front of a camera or mic, I've done some extra work on TV and film (a bucket list thing) and began to think about a video version of this blog. Many artist interviews are dull affairs of two talking heads unless there's a budget for inserting shots of work and photos etc. Also, we're all very aware of the short attention span of this generation (still reading?) so I decided to do 5 minute interviews, covering the basics and whetting the viewers' appetites to learn more about the artist. I also feel that people will watch 3 or 4 short interviews as opposed to one long one, particularly with artists they may not know. We plan to do some in odd locations or situations as well as in studios, and also to add some "B-roll" footage of the art during the interview. We have 2 in the can, and more on the planning board.
     Please take a look. You can become a follower and get notified when we post new interviews. Thanks for your support and please share!

Best - Joseph Borzotta

Friday, April 21, 2017

A late post about NY Armory show 2017

     So with all the busy stuff of life going on, I realized after scanning through older photos on the celly that I didn't post the ones from the NY Armory! Yikes! Without further ado and just a few notes, here are some photos I took.

     Some of my favorite pieces were at El Apartamento, a gallery from Havana, Cuba. At first glance, the Degradation Series by Diana Fonseca looked like abstract paintings. Upon closer inspection and with info by the gallery rep, I learned that they're actually made up from peeling paint from walls in Cuba, and reassembled into these pieces on canvas. Creative, surprising and gorgeous.

      This book piece, also by Fonseca, has this cutout filled with rice, meticulously placed into a pattern, a grid. Unreal patience and craftsmanship to put this together, right? Click on the image to get a larger view of it.

"Lampenfieber" by Luthor Hempel at Sies & Hoke, Dusseldorf

      Paintings on album covers by Mike & Doug Starn at Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden:

""Untitled 2004" by Chantal Joffe, oil on board at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago

Another piece by Chantal Joffe, saw her work at about 4 galleries

"Forms Derived From a Cube" by Sol Lewitt 1991
     Jeffrey Deitch had an eye-catching installation at his large booth, one of the most talked about (which he made sure to tell several people while I was there). A group exhibit, loud, pink, with paintings, sculpture, and an interesting mix of work. And fun!

There's JD on the right.
"Workplace" by John Currin - 2002

"And Everything Was True" by Chloe Wise - 2017

It was very interesting to see this rare piece by Giorgio Morandi, the Italian painter known for his still-lifes of bottles because, well, all I've ever seen of his work IS the bottles. Here is a cityscape of his done in 1954 in the same wan, almost monochromatic palette he uses in his bottle pieces.

Cotile di Via Fondazza

Forgive me if I have this wrong, but some notes were sloppy. I think these are by Howard Hodgkin @Alan Cristea (London)

     These 2 pieces are all about the Benjamins, dollah bill y'all, and at the Armory money talks.
I don't have the artist's name who did the first piece (a hit when posted on my Instagram account) and the lower one is "Money" by Mel Bochner, 96x65" at 2 Palms, NY