Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Ellsworth Kelly, Matthew Marks, Nadiah Fellah
Ellsworth Kelly has recalled of his early development as an artist: “I didn’t want to paint people. I wanted to paint something I had never seen before. I didn’t want to make what I was looking at. I wanted the fragments.” In Ellsworth Kelly at Ninety—a title that refers to the birthday the artist celebrated a few weeks after the show’s opening—fourteen paintings and two sculptures in Kelly’s signature fragmentary style are on view. Impressively, all of the large works were made in the past two years, evidence that the artist’s age has not affected the prolific production of his work. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Filed under: New York | Tags: Bruce Conner, Nadiah Fellah, Paula Cooper Gallery
On view at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York is a large selection of pen and ink-blot drawings by the artist Bruce Conner (1933-2008). Spanning the period of 1962-2000, the drawings vary from postcard size to medium-scale works, and are all black-and-white. Also on view is a 2008 film by the artist titled EASTER MORNING, done in collaboration with the musician Terry Riley. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Installation view, Paula Cooper Gallery. Image courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery. (more…)
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Julie Mehretu, Marian Goodman Gallery, Nadiah Fellah, NYC, painting
The artist Julie Mehretu has often commented that “trying to figure out who I am and my work is trying to understand systems.” In a new body of work on view at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, it is equally her desire to understand systems and their disintegration that becomes the subject of her art. Taking her point of departure from the events of the Arab Spring, Mehretu employs her trademark aesthetic of complex, layered imagery to evoke the topics of political and social change, as well as the civic spaces that became the sites of the recent revolutions and occupations. – Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Gedi Sibony, Greene Naftali, Nadiah Fellah
On view at Greene Naftali are twenty new works by the New York artist Gedi Sibony. The show begins with a small room of found, framed works, each reversed in its frame and hung on the wall, so as to only display its posterior side to viewers. Poetic yet elusive titles like Into a Ring of Doubles and Doric Ions conjure the possible imagery present but now hidden. Instead, viewers are confronted with the aged and discolored backing of each work, irregularly held in place with patches of tape. By purposefully obfuscating from our view the presence of what is now known but implied, Sibony creates a sly commentary on knowledge and assumptions, pointing to a strong conceptual element in his own practice, and priming visitors for works in a similar vein in the gallery’s main space. – Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Beyond the small room of framed works, the remainder of the gallery is entirely lit by the northeastern facing windows of Greene Naftali’s eighth floor space. This changes and dramatizes the experience of the sculptures depending on the time of day or weather. Indeed, the term ‘dramatize’ is an apt one—many of the free-standing sculptures in the show evoke similarities to stage props or backdrops, their found materials and crude constructions reminding one of alternative or guerrilla theater productions.
Gedi Sibony | Eight More Petals, 2013, Wood, foam core, cardboard, paper, tape, 97 x 44 x 18 inches. Image courtesy Greene Naftali.
Upon entering the main gallery, one encounters by a large, semi-circular structure, placed between two large columns. Titled The Porcelains, the structure appears as a stage might, centrally positioned, and providing a flat plane on which to stand. However, its pristinely white appearance, and title that equally references distance and fragility, betrays its lack of use, causing us to contemplate its latent possibilities.
Gedi Sibony | Ceaseless Episodes of Blossom, 2013, Carpet, primer, 98 x 73 ½ inches. Image courtesy Greene Naftali.
One of the several works that employs the backsides of large rugs—a method that falls in line with Sibony’s reversed prints also on view—is Ceaseless Episodes of Blossom. The large triptych is positioned behind the semi-circular ‘stage,’ as if a backdrop, and features a grid of four reoccurring emblems, each signifying one of the four seasons. The juxtaposition of a rigorous grid format combined with the randomness of the emblems’ repetition aligns the work with those like Alighiero Boetti and the Arte Povera movement in general, a connection that is also referred to in Sibony’s use of raw and found materials.
Another function of the large, obtrusive structure in the center of the gallery is that it forces visitors to move along the periphery of the space, whether or not they are aware of it. Thus it fits with Sibony’s declaration that he likes to “complicate space” with his sculptures, compelling viewers to inadvertently move in patterns or configurations that they might not otherwise within a gallery.
Gedi Sibony | Grants Every Gift, 2013, Carpet, toy Ferris wheel, 90 ¼ x 71 ¾ x 7 inches. Image courtesy Greene Naftali.
Similarly compelling such movement is a large carpet fragment titled Grants Every Gift, hung with its underside exposed, and lying unevenly against the wall. When one instinctively peeks around the side of the work to look for an obstruction, one sees a small toy Ferris wheel wedged between the rug’s surface and the wall, suspended at roughly eye level. This hidden and unexpected object is evidence of the wry humor present in much of the artist’s practice, and slyly gestures at his ability to “toy” with our assumptions and expectations.
Gedi Sibony was born in 1973, and is originally from New York, where he currently lives and works. He holds a BA from Brown and an MFA from Columbia University. Since 2000, his work has been exhibited widely in the US and Europe. His sculptures were included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and the 6th Berlin Biennale in 2008.
Gedi Sibony is on view at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York through June 15th.
Nadiah Fellah is a graduate student of Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York.
Filed under: Interview, New York | Tags: Arthur Pena, Conversation, Cordy Ryman, Dodge Gallery
I recently saw my first Ryman pieces in person at the Dallas Art Fair. Dodge Gallery had a piece made of 2 x 4’s, painted and hanging on the wall. There was also a corner piece comprised of stacked 2×4’s painted with soft, shiny colors. Upon closer inspection of the corner piece I noticed hand writing that indicated some sort of possible measurement. I couldn’t tell because Ryman had cut the wood off before the information could be fully retained. But the markings were just enough to show his hand. I mean this in both that it injected the work with a very direct connection to the artist in what could otherwise be mistaken to be a minimalist corner sculpture and it also showed his hand in the sense of a “reveal”, exposing the transparency of the process of making that Ryman is so willing to offer. After mounting his first solo show with Dodge Gallery, Adaptive Radiation, and just finishing up a public commission at Michigan State University, Ryman and I had a conversation. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
Cordy Ryman | Adaptive Radiation, 2013, installation view
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Andrea Belag, Andrew Spence, Brian Fee, Chelsea, Edward Thorp Gallery, Gary Stephan, Jim Lee, Painting Advanced, Rachel Malin
I’ve got abstraction on my mind. Not that I shy away from unmistakable figuration — and I admit my weakness for the sexiness of fin de siècle Paris (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec et al) — but lately I’ve been focusing my attention on process and color, whether or not form is even discernible. I moderated a panel of young abstract artists recently, yet despite my grasp of ‘contemporary trends’ I still turned my attention to the boldly titled group exhibition Painting Advanced that opened recently at Edward Thorp Gallery in Chelsea. The kicker is the five assembled artists aren’t all young (Gary Stephan and Andrew Spence are some four decades older than Rachel Malin), yet they are continually reworking the language of abstract painting, even within their own evolving styles. Time to take the pulse. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
Andrea Belag | Retrace, 2012, Oil on linen, 45 x 38 inches. Courtesy of Edward Thorp Gallery, New York.
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Anthony Palocci Jr., Dave Miko, Eleven Rivington, Tom Thayer
Tom Thayer and Dave Miko have paired up to create a series of video installations at Eleven Rivington’s exhibition space at 195 Chrystie St (the exhibition was on view through March 17th). Tom Thayer’s animations and assemblages were included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, they are a kind of dark atmospheric storytelling pulling from the language of puppetry and theatre. Dave Miko’s work is a more straight forward painting process, at times including the use of hand written text with oil on aluminum and recently, installations of wall sized drip and spray paint paintings. Miko was included in the Greater New York show at MoMA PS1 in 2010. The two have come together for what they call, “Baseless Legion of Architects Rent Asunder,” a poetic title and an interesting marriage of two artists. Each piece in the show consists of a projection on an aluminum sheet hung a few inches off of the gallery floor. It looks as if they have worked simultaneously at their collaboration, with Thayer’s projections and Miko’s paint meeting up and complimenting each other in different segments. - Anthony Palocci Jr, New England Contributor
Miko & Thayer | The Tender Color of the Raspberry Darkens, Slowly Obscured by the Pale Mold, 2013, 4:30 loop; Acrylic on aluminum with video projection, 80 x 60 inches. Courtesy of the artists and Eleven Rivington
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Basquiat, Gagosian, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nadiah Fellah
Basquiat’s career encapsulated the kind of intensity and drama that art legends are made of. Within a period of five years he went from being a high school drop-out living on the streets of New York, to an established painter whose work was in high demand. Shortly thereafter, he died of a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven, ending his short, but prolific career. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Installation view of Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Brian Fee, Medusa Pie Country, Peter Blum Gallery, Rosy Keyser
Take that old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and quintuple it, then dive into Rosy Keyser’s latest solo Medusa Pie Country, the inaugural exhibition at Peter Blum Gallery‘s new midtown location. Keyser’s canvases are open books, flayed, stained, and/or augmented compositions imbued with visual narrative and reinventions of painting itself. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
Rosy Keyser | Hungry Shepherd, Honeypot, 2013, Diptych. Left panel: enamel, spray paint, and rope on steel. Right panel: dye, enamel, bamboo, and polycarbonate on aluminum and wood on canvas. 106 x 178 inches (left: 102 x 87 inches; right 106 x 87 1/2 inches). Courtesy Peter Blum Gallery, New York. Photo credit: Adam Reich
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: Al Held, Alphabet Paintings, Brian Fee, Cheim & Read
Some of the most massive — and massively satisfying visually, despite of and due to their reverberating minimalism — paintings exhibited in the West Chelsea gallery run right now hang in Cheim & Read, in Al Held’s seven-part suite of classic Alphabet Paintings. These are a treat: they exemplify Held’s ‘golden age’ geometric abstraction as much as Rene Magritte’s The Treachery of Images is tied to Surrealism and Damien Hirst’s shark the excessive ’90s. But seriously, Held’s early hard-edge compositions, spanning 1961-67 and dipping into his deftness with black and white, leave big impressions. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor