Thursday, June 16, 2011

Misc Gallery shots: Haring, Van, Kirkland and Lee

Did a gallery hop on 6/2, here are some quick notes and shots:

- Feature Inc (131 Allen St) has large paintings by Isabella Kirkland of fauna and flora. I'm often left a bit cold by work like this that seems scientific and mechanical, but Kirkland brings a sensitivity and sense of reverence that makes them more accessible. And from a technique standpoint, they are stunning! The detail in the plants and trees and leaves, and the various birds and jungle critters is a feast for the eyes whether you're a painter or not. (til 6/18)

Over to Chelsea and when walking by Nicholas Robinson Gallery I was drawn in by the large red paintings by SeaHyun Lee. Upon closer inspection, washy monochrome paintings of landscapes and traditional Korean architecture are mashed up with modern battleships and industrialization.
Lee recounts his time in the military wearing night vision goggles and observing the heavily mined 4km wide demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. The goggles bathed everything in red, hence these images. There are times when reading artist statements seems merely an exercise in artspeak and being pedantic, and then, as with Lee, you learn something that brings the pieces to a different place of appreciation. (535 W 20th St, til 6/27).

Jonathan Levine Gallery
had a return show by French-born, Barcelona-based Miss Van. She started painting her couquette-ish "poupée" (doll) figures into her street art before moving to canvas and the gallery. Many of the works in this show are on paper. This show, "Bailarinas," brings these characters into the realm of dance and still blends her animal imagery and role play with her mysterious, pouty figures. (529 W 20th, til 6/25).
Stopped at Gladstone Gallery (515 W 21st, til July 1) to see the large scale works on paper by Keith Haring. They also had pages from his sketchbook of geo drawings, and amusing penis sketches.
Always bittersweet when I see his work - he was so prolific and talented, always pushing - it's inspiring. At the same time it makes me sad to think what he would've produced if he didn't die so young.