Saturday, April 27, 2013

Judy Glantzman at Betty Cuningham Gallery

Judy Glantzman's startling new body of work at the Betty Cuningham Gallery in NY came after seeing Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, which she visited for the first time three years ago. Her work shifted  from "her typical introspective self-portraits" to a broader examination of war and its impact.

From the artist's statement" 

“All of my work is like a flashlight on the dark underbelly that exists under the surface of polite society.  The United States is engaged in wars without any impact on our daily life.  My work always had the macabre, and I wanted to marinate in my natural impulse, no holds barred.  I felt that I understood the language of the psychological self-portrait and I wanted to try to invent a new language for myself.”

“I approached the work with collage. What did one image look like next to an entirely different image: one might be made from observation- an image of something that symbolized war and death- a skull, other bones, guns. I tried, in a series of small canvas mounted with paper, various motifs like a mourner over a coffin.  The hope was that, in combination, the pieces would yield greater meaning than the individual parts, that, as an artist, I was creating the stage with room for the viewer to locate his/her own associations.”

Til May 11th • Betty Cuningham Gallery, 541 W. 25th St, NY

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kenny Scharf, 55, arrested

     Just saw this post on Facebook from the Hyperallergic site about Kenny Scharf's recent arrest. Recently caught his show at Paul Kasmin (that's where the photo in the article is from). Interesting piece about the contrast between his first arrest and this one. Some of his justifications for graffiti feels a bit thin, especially at his age and degree of success. I'm sure he's pretty well off at this point and has the ability to express himself anyway he desires. I don't think doing one of his squiggly characters on a wall is rebellious or interesting, it actually seems a bit pathetic. Maybe I'm just middle-aged and cranky. One part of me is like, "Wow! 55 and still doing his thing!" and another part of me is like, "Wow! 55, grow the fuck up."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dumbo Art Center article from Hyperallergic

Cheap rents = artists move in = thriving art scene = gentrification = art scene flounders.
The classic story of gentrification as pertains to DUMBO (down under Manhattan Bridge overpass) from an article on Hyperallergic's website.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Elizabeth Peyton at Gavin Brown's Enterprise

     The cavernous space that is Gavin Brown's Enterprise seems to contrast with the  smallish portraits by Elizabeth Peyton. It was kind of perplexing, actually, to see 1 painting on an entire wall in one of the rooms. The works fare better in the other rooms, displayed with more of their brethren. What's up with the GBE website?? No statement, no info, no shots of  work. Odd.

     Peyton's works are paintings, drawings and etchings of musicians and friends. Almost all are posed reflecting the slacker generation, sitting, slouching, and looking off - disinterested? bored? watching TV or video games? Fill in the blanks.

     Her portraits are mostly made up of loose, brushy, drippy, washy strokes giving the bare bones of info about the sitter. But don't be fooled, there's alot more going on in these pieces than is readily apparent. Despite the lack of details and the "quick sketch" style, Peyton's marks are important. Some are crucial, and others aren't noticeable for their importance without some focused looking.

     Michael Stipe of the now defunct REM was there, ubiquitous at art events these days. Kind of amusing to see a rock star amidst the rock star portraits. They're cool time capsules. The androgynous music folks, the bearded hipsters, the art world people- all in her works, portraits of her times.

Elizabeth Peyton at Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 620 Greenwich St, NYC - 3/29-5/13/13