Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy & Healthy New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lots 'o' links to articles about 2014 Miami Art Basel

Art and cocktails in balmy Miami Beach for 2014 Art Basel? No? Well, pretend you're there with the following links to photos, news, and reviews of the annual art and party fest:

Lots of photos of art from Art Info:

From NY Times:

From ArtFCity

From ArtNews:

From Hyperallergenic:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sean Landers at Petzel Gallery

      Although Sean Landers's new show is titled "North American Mammals," there are actually three parts to it. Included are nine paintings of books and underwater scenes. The running theme is an odd combo of inspiration: Moby Dick and Magritte.
      The critters all have tartan fabric patterns on their skin/hides. The most impressive of which is the 28 foot "Moby Dick (Merrilees)", oil on linen (below). There's an obvious artistic challenge in painting on that scale, which Landers pulls off admirably well. Reminds me a bit of that feeling when you go to the Museum of Natural History and encounter the giant blue whale model overhead.
      The animals are cross-referenced on the book paintings. According to the press release, "themes run from the eternal existence of a painting (Mountain Goat and Boar) collecting and being collected (Howler Monkey and Hare) the core attributes of being an artist (Jaguar and Pony)."
"Sincerity and Empathy (Black Bear and Cardinal) 55x72"

"Performance Becomes Reality (Pony)"  55x72

"Casting It Out to Sea (Howler Monkey)"   38x50"

"The Urgent Necessity of Narcissism for the Artistic Mind (Jaguar)"   50x65"

     Although there's a hint of kitsch to these pieces (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), Landers's skill elevates them beyond that. Exhibit runs through Dec. 20, 2014. Def worth seeing. At the very least, for that whale piece.

Petzel Gallery, 456 W. 18th St., NYC Tues-Sat 10am-6pm

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Lucid Visions" at Panepinto Galleries

     The annual Jersey City Studio Tour is a swell event. Lots of enthusiasm, events, venues, and a buffet of styles (and quality) in a sprawling city with Wall Street edifices on the Hudson and creeping gentrification. Still, JC has its shady areas, hipster artsy folk, and pioneers who were there way before Starbucks.
Yun Sung Jang - "Jun,"  (84" x96") oil
     The Mrs., the boy and I did a quick run to a few spots in downtown and saw a fantastic show at Panepinto Galleries. "Lucid Visions" was curated by Diana Corvelle, Cara DeAngelis and Tun Myaing and features work by 23 NY Academy of Art alumni. The show features 32 pieces, mostly painting, as well as sculpture and drawings. Coming off the elevator one is greeted by a large oil portrait (84" x96"), "Jun," by Yun Sung Jang, an expressionless face staring right at each visitor. Mr. Jang also has a diminutive by comparison portrait (below) at 8"x11" inside the gallery.
Yun Sung Jang -"Pregnant Woman After Kathe Kollwitz"  (8"x11")

     Dreams and dreaming, not uncommon terrain in art, are central to the concept of this exhibit. "Lucid dreaming" is is a skill  in which a person can navigate or control the direction of their dream state. I'm friends with a medium from El Salvador who explained this technique to me years ago. Basically, by getting into a meditative/trance-like state and quieting one's mind, you begin to enter the dream state and with the right teacher and lots of practice, can begin to manipulate things. For example, if you're walking in the dream, you can control which direction you go, etc. These works attempt to "shift perception of what should be called a 'real' experience."

Wil Kurtz -"Henry"  (60x84x22") mixed media and newspaper


    In the center is a large sculpture of a horse by Will Kurtz, mixed media and newspaper. Saw a few fullscale horses at past art fairs and this charming nag (young? old? skinny? ill?) is covered with newspapers and headlines. The hay, mane, tail and eyelashes are made of shredded newspaper.

   An owl must be included in any show about dreams, and below is Tyler Vouros' "Barred Owl."

Tyler Vouros -"Barred Owl"  (35"x56") Charcoal and water

     Shangkai Kevin Yu's "A Winter Indoor" is oddly compelling and fitting for this show. A pretty simple image, but does a great job of getting the viewer to pause with a, "Wait, what??"

Shangkai Kevin Wu -"A Winter Indoor"  (42"x60") Oil and acrylic

Angela Gram -"The Herd"  (48"x60") Oil

   "The Herd" by Angela Gram is a beautifully rendered and oddly composed painting of nude
bodies and ibix-like horned critters.

Samuel Evensen -"Audience to a Birth"  (62"x72")

     From tight realism to a more chaotic, very loose style is Samuel Evensen's "Audience to a Birth", a rush of snippets of imagery - a nightmare? a substance fueled dream state?

Melanie Vote -"Found" (40"x20x20") Fiberglass resin and mixed media

Guno Park -"Olmec"  (11"x14") Ballpoint on paper

"Lucid Visions" is up through November 24, 2014. Contact Panepinto Galleries for hours at  Located at 371 Warren St, 4th Flr, Jersey City, NJ.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Great editorial from Hyperalleric

Cheers to Hyperallergic and writer Ric Kasini Kadour for this editorial, "I Don't Care About David Byrne Anymore!" It starts out taking it to Mr. Byrne for his commentary, but the best part (the most uplifting if you will) of this is when Mr. Kadour points out the other places and artists besides Chelsea dwellers. Yes, there's a whole wonderful world of art out there besides what gets the headlines!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Top 100 Most Collectible Living Artists (ArtNet)

Very interesting. Art Net has 2 lists, first is the top 100 total sales, second is top 100 individual sales.
NY, London, and Hong Kong are the hot spots auction house-wise, and list 1 has many Asian artists on it (many of the names I believe are Chinese). Maybe this is wealthy Asian collectors buying and selling to bolster the Asian art market (and their investments)?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Newark Museum lecture series on Asian collection

4 part lecture course being offered at Newark Museum:
Speaker: Annette Juliano, Professor of Art in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers-Newark.

Fee: $60 members; $75 non-members;
Individual lectures: $20
Pre-registration required
Call 973.596.6613 or visit the link here.

Deepen your understanding and appreciation of the Newark Museum’s Asian collection with this four-part series presented by Dr. Annette Juliano.

Join us for an introduction to the arts and culture of Asia beginning with a brief discussion of Islamic arts, the bridge between West and East, moving eastward from South Asia to the Far East. Gain insight into the sacred beliefs and values that shape pictorial imagery, sculptural form, architecture and objects of devotion. Discover the similarities and differences in the arts of these diverse cultures and explore cross-currents of religious and aesthetic influence. Religious and secular arts will be included such as Hagia Sophia, Sanchi, Ajanta, Mahaballipurim, Borobudor, Angkor Wat, Jokhang, Dunhuang, Sokkuram, Byodo-in, as well as related sculpture, paintings, and decorative arts.

October 28: Introduction: Visual Languages and Seeing the World

November 18: Manifestation of the Gods: Sacred Structures and Spaces: Temples, Mosques and Shrines

December 2: Manifestation of the Gods: Sculpture and Painting

December 16: Expressions of Power in the Material World: Walls, Gates, Palaces, and Cities

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Paula Cooper Gallery summer show

     Summer in the NY gallery scene consists of many group shows featuring new talent, old talent, experimental work, etc. Galleries often use them as an opportunity to show work/artists that they're considering for bigger things, just to test the waters. Also allows the gallery folks to take a vacation! They're over now and the new season has started, but 2 weeks ago I passed by the Paula Cooper Gallery and grabbed some shots. The gallery is located at 534 W 21st St, New York, NY 10011.

Timothy Cummings, "Isabella" acrylic, 31x29

Joseph Raffael, "Swirling Fish" Watercolor on paper, 51.5x76

Michael Gregory, "Bonner's Ridge" Oil on canvas, 73.75x63.5

Bill RIchards, "Flowers and Branches" Graphite on paper, 17.75x21.5"

Hung Liu, "Huddling I" mixed media, 20x20

Nicolas Africano "Untitled) cast glass, 22x5x5

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Interview with Eric Fischl

Eric Fischl talks about changes in the art market, his career, and the "second act".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

15 Street Artists To Watch

     Buzzfeed just published a list of 15 street artists to watch on Instagram.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

First contemporary art gallery in Harlem?

Artnet reports first contemporary art gallery opening in Harlem! Surprised that it's the first, I'm sure if there were others before that this article will generate info about it. Great news for Harlem, though!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Walton Ford at Paul Kasmin - amazing!

     There are a handful of artists whose work I've seen in the flesh that IMHO, are under-appreciated. Don't misunderstand me, they're not unknown by any means. Some have very impressive resum├ęs, are in demand,  have been written about by important folks in important publications, and so on. I mean that their work is so unique, well-crafted, and intriguing that they should be getting more mainstream attention, even just a smidgeon of the Koons, Hirst, Sherman etc publicity train.

     Walton Ford is one such artist. When you see his work, you don't forget it. Large scale paintings of animals, real and mythic, looking like a page from an Audobon book with a funky twist. By big I  mean "epic" proportions, like 10+ feet, but it's not just the size that counts. Ford does them in (wait for it) watercolor!! If you have ever worked in that medium, you know how tricky and unforgiving it can be. The majority of watercolors done are sketch pad size, maybe going up to 18x24ish. Yes, there are some brave souls and talented artists that work larger with watercolor. But you have to see Ford's work in person! It's astounding! When you get close you can see the brush work and the daubs of white highlights but when you step back, all that blends into - well, look at the photos here.

     The big hit and image that got the most press is the striking, "Rhyndacus," clocking in at 119 1/4 x 60 1/4 inches. Yeah. Huge. This one's based on a Roman account (from Aelian's De Natura Animalium) of a 60' snake in Turkey.

The Graf Zeppelin - 41x59
Windsor - 41x60

     Less fearsome and more humorous are "The Graf Zeppelin" and "Windsor." Ford takes a different approach by having text on these pieces written from the point of view of their central characters, a gorilla and a mandrill.

The Tigress - 60x120"

     I usually don't post every image from a show, but in this instance I have (except Gleipnir, I have a detail of the head of the beast as the delicate hand of a young reaches into its formidable maw to touch its tongue. (NOTE: Click on any image to see a larger version!) Sadly the show ends this weekend, but if you are able to get there, I highly recommend it.
Detail from "Gleipner" - 69x119"

     Don't get the impression from the beginning of this post that Mr. Ford is toiling away in anonymity. He has work in the collections of the Smithsonian and the Whitney, a mid-career (he's 54) survey at the Brooklyn Museum that travelled in the US and Europe, and Taschen Books has issued three editions of his coffee table sized monograph, Pancha Tantra. Impressive for sure. Not as much mainstream media attention as a giant shiny balloon rabbit sculpture, but hey, Duck Dynasty gets huge ratings while PBS struggles with fund-raising.

Calvaire - 60x41

Bosse-de-Nage 1898 "HA HA!" - 60x41

 Paul Kasmin Gallery is at 293 Tenth Ave and 27th in NYC,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sigmar Polke at MoMA

Interesting article from the New Republic about the Sigmar Polke show at MoMA. 
Recommended reading, it goes much deeper than just a show review.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cynthia Daignault's interesting show concept...

     Here's an interesting concept for a show by artist Cynthia Daignault via Lisa-Cooley Gallery in NY.  31 people brought her an object to trade for a painting of that object. The press release & photo below explain more.


May 1-31, 2014 Closing Reception: Sat., May 31, 7-9pm

6 Decades Books, 265 Canal Street #210
Hours: Fri and Sat, noon-6pm, and by appointment

"Das Tauschregal" is an experiment in participatory economics. Daignault sent an open call asking viewers to trade "objects of value" for paintings. 31 participants were chosen anonymously and each agreed to trade one object for its painted representation. All thirty-one objects will be displayed on a shelf at 6 Decades Books, beginning on the first day of May. Each subsequent day, one painting will replace the object it depicts. At the end of the month, the shelf will hold only paintings, exchanging concrete commodity for abstract representation, as in currency. Installed concurrently with the Frieze Art Fair, Das Tauschregal suggests an alternative art market, exploring the notions of value independent of price (meaning, sentiment, aesthetics, formalism, power, influence and beauty).

Cynthia Daignault was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently lives in New York. She attended Stanford University, and was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2010. Her work was featured in a solo show at White Columns in 2011. Daignault is a recipient of the 2011 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Her first solo show at Lisa Cooley, New York opened in Fall 2013. She has published two limited edition artist books, titled CCTV (2012) and I love you more than one more day (2013), the latter on the occasion of her solo show at the gallery. Daignault will present a new body of work at Frieze New York in May 2014, and she will be included in the group exhibition, Crossing Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum in Fall, 2014.

For more information, contact Rachel Valinsky at or (212) 680-0564

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brutal review for Schnabel show

     Recently on my Gallery Guy page on Facebook, I posted a link to an interview with Julian Schnabel and asked whether his answers were honest feelings or artspeak b.s. I suppose that was because I was leaning towards the latter. So tonight someone else posted this brutal review by Laura Cummings for The Guardian about his new show in London with the title containing the words "colossally bad," so right out of the gate you know what to expect. Here's the link, and make sure to read the comments section, it's also quite interesting:

and here's the gallery link:

     I usually don't like to go neg here on The Gallery Guy. I remember reading a similar skewering review of a David Salle show in the 90s that left you almost gasping. Salle and Schnabel both hit it big around the same time and both are controversial as many question their actual skill. The "if ya can't make it good, make it big" line is often used (as the Guardian review does) when examining the merits of their artistry. And it's valid. Let's be real, it's an example of the difficulty of publicly discussing abstract and alot of post-modern work: if you say the work is just emperor's new clothes, you run the risk of sounding like a Philistine and/or ignorant. Although Ms. Cummings trots out the "why?" question a bit much, she balances that with pretty level-headed criticism of his composition, style, and technique. It's tricky for the average person to dismiss the "what does it mean?" question as the basis for thumbs up or thumbs down when viewing art. Simply put, one can enjoy a piece without knowing what the artist "meant" or reading the statement or an essay about it. But Schnabel's work seems so linked with art world artspeak (along with his own artspeak), and artspeak often carries the stigma of trying to put lipstick on a pig that it's easy to become exasperated by the hype, praise, and huge prices for his work. Ms. Cummings does a fine job channeling that into her review.