vol4 | dec07 - jan08

Do Ho Suh at Lehman Maupin

I've been having trouble getting done to the Lower East Side to see some of the many new galleries there. I finally did catch this show in early January, althought the gallery was a new branch of Lehman Maupin, not one of the alternative spaces more typical of the neighborhood. I haven't seen Do Ho Suh's work before, but this show was really impressive. Part of my immediate connection with this piece was the fabulous use of transparency, which has periodically surfaced in my own work. In Suh's piece the sense of looking at an object juxtaposed to a reflective surface like water is captured stunningly. On the lower level of the gallery, it is doubly uncanny because one has the sense of being under the surface. In flipping through the gallery's press clips at the desk I see he has done other translucent architectural pieces. I eagerly look forward to seeing more of this work.

neu New Museum

I visited the new New Museum a couple of weeks ago. It's quite a surprise to encounter this clean, stacked set of boxes slicing through this non-descript strip along Bowery. It's all encased in a grey mesh giving a subtle but striking appearance. The inaugural show is "Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century", a focused selection dominated by assemblage based sculpture. It's an great show with lots of artists who were new to me. In January a collage section will be added, followed by sound and web components in February.

A Few Good Shows / December 07

Not fully awake, I wandered into Mary Boone (W24) and found the Ross Bleckner show. At first I was inclined to say they were just nice to look at, but as I looked longer, I became aware of strong visual snap in a number of these paintings. The secondary, shadowy image, produced a flicker effect which made the images come alive.
Below is a piece by Liam Gillick, "Propped Discussion Platform". I'm always excited to see more of his work. This was a show at Casey Kaplan (W21) of selected gallery artists. Note: the curve of the platform is totally an artifact of the casual point-and-shoot photography.
Another interesting show was Claire Corey, "Progress" at Venetia Kapernekas (526 W26). The introduction of specific references from "2001: A Space Odessey", along with what seems to be a bit of simplification of the imagery, marks a bit of a shift in the work. I like this mixed media (digital printing with paint) work, but given how bowled away I was by earlier purely digital pieces, I feel more reserved in my reaction.
Lastly, I saw a show a four artist show at Green Naftali (W26) called "Epileptic Seizure Comparison." The show title comes from an installation by one of the "primary innovators of structuralist/avant-garde" cinema, Paul Sharits. The gallery press release goes on to quote Sharis: the piece is "an attempt to orchestrate sound and light rhythms in an intimate and proprotional space, an ongoing location wherein non-epileptic persons may begin to experience, under 'controlled conditions' ... the majestic potentials of convulsive siezure." Bring it on! Anyway I'm afraid I didn't give that piece too much time; the assaultive quality of the experience was quickly apparent. Very different in tone, but related by the curator throught the "schizophrenic vaocabulary of television" are Daniel Pflumm's light boxes based on corporate logos. He's done these pieces for awhile and I always love them (after first seeing his light boxes, I've wanted to try working with one myself). Anyway, enough verbiage, let's cut to the pictures below.

Freaky Friday

It's late November, and I'm just getting rolling again after sometime away from blog posting to work on some other projects. Anyway, I'll get started with some minimal items of a few things I've seen in the last month and a half. I saw the above painting by Johannes Kahrs at Luhring Augustine on W24 in the group show "Portraits" (note, glass on piece produced reflections).

Below is a piece from a show of large photographs (and sculptures) by Los Angeles artist, Amir Zaki (at Perry Rubenstein, 527 W23). I love the juxtaposition of the stone columns to the other materials, and also to the filled in windows and entrances. This image is a nice spin on Ed Rusha's photography and his "Standard Station" painting.