Monday, October 16, 2017

Christopher Wilmarth @ Betty Cunningham/Tibor De Nagy Rivington Street, NYC

Sunday I went around to galleries around the lower east side. I made my way over to Betty Cunningham Gallery which I guess is now also called Tibor De Nagy.

Photos taken with my iphone4, if you wish for better pics. Please donate.

Open through October 29th, there is a tremendous Christopher Wilmarth exhibition of his sculptures and works on paper.

Walking in you are surrounded by tremendous work by the sculptor that apparently was getting ready to enjoy a lot of success when he took his own life. Can't gloss over that since it is a part of his legacy. But what really matters is the amazing work he left behind.

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Three sculptures, steel and glass lie on the ground, one is on the wall and the rest of the show is work on paper. Spending time with the work on paper, since I hadn't seen very much of it, you slowly gain the sense of how they connect to the sculpture. I always find it interesting to see just HOW the work was created, and thankfully Wilmarth left lots of clues in his drawings. From the pencil lines to the razor blade cuts, you gain the presence of the hand, and all it's mannerisms.

It's obviously the sculptures that he got known for. His uses of glass as a sculptural medium with steel was definitely what sat him apart from his peers. Some called him the Rothko of sculpture, since the glass being covered in parts, almost always frosted in one way or another. The work is full of visual interest for the viewer, you don't need to read about these, just looking you can see so much of his creations. I've a few colleagues that adore and knew Wilmarth. One of the videos I have made with Forrest Myers AKA Frosty has him talking about Wilmart in his studio.

I feel like I should say more, but in all honesty I don't wish to. His works need to be seen and enjoyed in person. only so much can be said before you get tired of reading about it. One of the reasons I like showing my own photos with these personal reviews.

I believe this piece in particular was my favorite. I really dug the placement of the glass and the balance of it, while heavy with steel, it's also light with the glass.

You've still got a bunch of time to get down there yourself. Spend some time, give each work a few minutes to really get down and work on your visual sense, I think you'll be happy you did.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Alex Gardner @ The Hole - Bowery - NYC

Sunday: 1:30 PM Temp 73 and humid.

Manhattan, NYC, The Hole Gallery 312 Bowery.

Building: Whitest building around for at least a block or two.

Photos: Taken by me with my iphone 4. If you want better photos, hit that donate button here...

Interior: Even more white, probably the brightest gallery in town. Alas...Wonderful place to view paintings.

Alex Gardner is having his first show at The Hole, Run by Kathy Grayson. It's become the go to place to see new artists around the NYC area. She is a big fan of painting and shows more of it than most galleries do.

The exhibition runs only through today, which is why it's a bit sad to write this so late in the timing of the exhibition.

It's a strange hallucinogenic world these pictures inhabit. The quality of the brush, the shading of the clothes and the non-world in which these creatures live, it's only the beginning for these people. The figures themselves are reminding me of the non faces of Mark Kostabi, these people without faces, really without just about any features which would let you know anything about them. They all inhabit some strange fantasy world where it would seem that personalities haven't been given, or maybe it's long after the humanity we know today, to where people no longer have their own personalities, their own thoughts, stuck in a world they can't leave. It seems as if each person in this world pretty much looks the same, one type of man and one type of woman. Really disheartening to think about such things. A world where life revolves solely around shapes and shadows, nothing left to do, except BE.

In the structure beneath the darkness, you see details of the hands and feet, there isn't much to the non-faces, as that is the way it's supposed to be in this non-world. One part of the humanoids that is very detailed is the hair. He obviously spent a lot of time working on each strand of hair in the picture. Giving the work an even stronger ability to talk to you.

Most of what you see from the artist are what I feel could be details of a larger world that Gardner has created. I can't help but wonder why there were no large scaled pictures that give more insight into what this pre-post-world looks like, outside of all these portraits.

My advice...keep your eyes on the details after that first viewing. Upon repeated viewings they reveal more of their layering. The color choices were quite exquisite along with the execution of the working, and the reworking of the picture continues to give more for the sensitive observer to enjoy.

I look forward to seeing where Gardner takes these paintings in the future, he's a great draftsman and I look forward to seeing his development of this world and the beings that inhabit it.

Check out the elegance and beauty with which the hand is rendered.

I only wish I could have seen this show a few weeks ago, and wrote, that way maybe someone reading this might just head down there and dig into these the way I was.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tester #2 07-08-2017

9.5" X 6"
Acrylic and Coal Dust on Acrylic Yarn on Painted Wood Chassis

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cerith Wyn Evans at Century Pictures

"Cerith Wyn Evans artistic practice focuses on how ideas can be communicated through form."

The beginning of an artist statement that isn't complete bullshit.

This past weekend, I was doing the Brooklyn Artist Studio's roundup, stopped by some galleries in the Bushwick section, found the new Koenig & Clinton space, stopped in, and in the project space Leo Koenig calls Century Pictures, there was the first work by Cerith that I have been able to catch in person. 

Having not known any of his work in person, and only seeing reproductions, my first thought after thinking and pondering the exhibition was, this fellas work should not be allowed to be reproduced on websites. It only does a quarter of the justice that viewing in person can give you. This particular work that Koenig installed, is a beautiful chandelier, which immediately drew my attention based...I roughly the same kind a friend of mine has installed in his home. Funny how things like that can happen. And I was able to see this chandelier just a couple weeks back for the first time. So in a way, this is my way of telling my friend that some famous artist is using the same chandelier he has as an artwork. Oh the funny things the universe does for those paying attention.

After the initial viewing was done, it was time to really get into the meat and potatoes of this piece. First off, if you have problems with strobing lights, this might not be the exhibition for you. But that depends on how much you can handle. As Evans has it in his practice that he likes to utilize Morse Code in some of his works, which give the work it's flashiness. Granted my brain didn't immediately go to Morse Code without it being revealed under the press release. But once I knew that, it made some pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and my interest grew.

One problem I've had with conceptual art over the years, is that so much of it is based on the idea, and past viewings have proven this to me, that the idea outweighs the actual artwork. This time it was definitely one and the same, the idea of morse code in a chandelier is brilliance. Especially one as beautiful as this work is.

I'm going to stop here and just put up some pics I took with my iphone4. I used to have a better LG G4 cameraphone, but like all G4 users, last april the phone died on all of us and now there is a big lawsuit against LG for this crap. So unfortunately the photos aren't as good as I could get, but you'll get enough with this to help you make up your mind to witness this exhibition for yourself. There is another show in the front of some wonderfully manipulated photographs from "Miljohn Ruperto & Ulrik Heltoft’s ongoing series, Voynich Botanical Studies. Carefully rendered by Ruperto and then manually printed by Heltoft, the otherworldly images of twenty unique ‘specimens’ have been inspired by the original Voynich Manuscript. This exhibition brings together the largest gathering of ‘specimens’ ever on view since the project commenced in 2013." (as quoted from the press release). Being that I am a fan of this manuscript, I was definitely intrigued by the exhibition. But Cerith's exhibition was the one that really grabbed me.

The exhibition is up till October 22nd. 1329 Willoughby AvenueBrooklyn, NY, 11237
(212) 334-7866
If you enjoy these reviews, please do help by donating to the cause to help me get more of these. It doesn't need to be much. All help is appreciated.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Harold Ancart: The Seasons @ C L E A R I N G

It's been quite a while since I've been back to CLEARING. Now that I am in NYC again, I can easily visit, which I did today, visiting with Harold Ancart's new work he calls The Seasons. A group of paintings laid out like handball courts.

After my initial viewing. I began noticing little things in the works, the scale was the immediate thing. As the works grow larger, as do the thickness of the plywood. He could have kept them all the same thickness, but he chose to go this direction and I give him a lot of credit for that kind of thinking. To me, this kind of scaling is tremendous. It really gives the work much more body than if he had went the other way.

Ancart is easily a big fan of Clyfford Still and it is evident in these new paintings, that he's taking that admiration into new venues, and as always, it may hint at Still, but it's very clearly Ancart's work, full of psychedelic landscapes.

Each work in this group, which I believe is also a tendency of Ancart's, is not titled. Fully leaving the idea of naming to the viewer and what their thoughts might be as they gaze upon the layering of colors and shapes to bring forth a new view of how handball courts are used and reused. There aren't many that truly keep their original look. Over time they are painted and repainted, each time using different colors, sometimes slightly different than before, sometimes very different. In viewing I imagine myself playing on one of these courts, the dreaminess of Ancart's psychedelic landscapes always giving out a feeling of being on another planet...if that's what you think things might look like. It's just my own personal way of seeing. I've felt since the first time seeing his work that it gave the feeling of views from another world.

I admire Ancart's way of taking his painting style and adapting it to another substrate. Like myself

Seeing the above image. I was surprised and happy to learn that Ancart wasn't trying to pretty up the materials he was using, his work always has a raw feeling which I dig. As I was viewing them, I began to think about how if I were doing the same thing, just how different my work would look compared to these. Mostly because I have that tendency to cover up things such as this. But that's those differences between artists that people don't talk about much.

All in, I'd say I am very happy to have been down to take this exhibition in and be able to write about it here. Makes me much more interested in learning about Ancarts next group of work. You can take the exhibition in for yourself pretty much 7 days a week. One of the only galleries to be open 7 days a week...11-6PM.
On view till November 5th.

If you enjoy these reviews, please do help by donating to the cause to help me get more of these. It doesn't need to be much. All help is appreciated.

Tester #1 05-20-2017

It was may of 2017 when the idea for this new series which I call Testers. I had been having conversations for a year or so with a couple friends about my work, and had people ask me about freestanding work. It was just a few days before the birth of this first Tester, that I finally had the inspiration which popped into my head late at night. Inspiration can find you working, but you don't HAVE to have the paint brush in your hand at the time. This idea came to me of an even smaller version of these, but in retrospect I felt it was a bit TOO small. The next day I began making this first one.

What I had been looking for was a way to give an opportunity to view both the front and back of the PAINT at the same time. And you now can do that with these. Looking from the front you can easily see through the entirety of the work, through the backside of the flipside and to the front again.

I have only 4 of these at the present, but there will definitely be a lot more of these in the future. I am already working on the next development of this body of work.

Please click the images to enlarge them. Enjoy, and Thank You.

9.5" X 6" X 2"
Acrylic on Acrylic Yarn on Painted Wood Chassis

It's a beautiful day to be alive!

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Columbus, Ohio, United States



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