Tuesday, December 23, 2014

4 floors at RH Contemporary NYC

When visiting RH Contemporary at 437 West 16th St. for the first time Friday. I was met with 4 exhibitions...one on each floor, that all touched me and made me want to write about them. This kind of thing has never happened to me and I guess that's why it felt so odd to have 4 solo exhibitions in a row, not to mention the same gallery, that I enjoyed. People who know me know I am quite picky in what my mind and soul enjoys. I went to RH, as it is a gallery that has been garnering a lot of my attention with some great new artists. 4 of which are spoken about below.

I went in and went immediately for the top floor, of which Koen Delaere was having his first solo exhibition with the gallery. I have only known of Delaere's painting for a short time, but when I first saw it in reproduction it caught my eye and I thought it was definitely something I would want to see in person. Finally got my chance and was NOT disappointed at all. Luscious surfaces and dreamy use of color permeate Delaere's paintings. Of the paintings included I believe it was "(untitled) Boca Santa Cruz" that caught my eye the most. I felt I could see Koen just attacking the canvas with his methods of application and getting such a lyrical feel out of it. Dig into it for yourself. See how his textures balance and unbalance your state of being.

Untitled (boca santa cruz)

Walking into the 3rd Floor Gallery, I was met with Paul Gillis' work. A strong body of work utilizing wonderful patterns done with graphite and washes of color on thick linen canvas. His work gives me the feeling I get when I look at Morandi. Though with a more contemporary or craft-like approach. In his short film from the gallery, he mentions needlepoint, which I actually thought this work was at the beginning, the lines are so fine and delicate. I believe the one work that stands out to me more than the others is "INTERIOR II" with it's castle-like window forms, a very dreamy and brooding imagery.

Tofer Chin's exhibition is in the basement of the building. But being in there, you'd never know. Nice high ceilings with plenty of room for his large wall paintings and works on canvas. Chin works like his contemporaries, hard edged painting, but he's got something more going on with it that gives more a sense of touch and painterliness. I dig how he's able to blend so many options in painting together to create something that is new and fresh to my eyes. That being said, go check it out for yourself. I think you might like it. I know I did.

The last exhibition I focused on in the gallery is actually the first one you see when entering the building. Lucas Jardin is kind of what I might refer to as a reverse painter. Instead of putting paint on a canvas, he begins with a prepared set of imagery that was printed onto a primed canvas. Once that is in place, he proceeds to pour a LOT of turpentine onto the surface to dissolve the imagery and let this wonderful ideology of painterliness come forth. I spent a good while with these dissolved printings, I as a painter have a really hard time referring to anything as "Painting" when it doesn't actually have the standard definition of PAINT on it. Granted, the ideology of Painting is pigment with a binder on substrate, but when I don't see brushes or rollers or squeegees being used, it definitely messes with my head...so I guess you really COULD call them PAINTINGS.

And coming off that note...one can really allow themselves to get lost in Jardin's color world. I found them quite interesting, and watching the wonderful short films that RH does for their artists, gives more of a sense of who, what, why, when, where, and how. Too bad more galleries don't do this for their artists. Dig into the photos, click on them to enlarge them so you can see more detail. If you are around the NYC area until March 7th 2015, you can pop in and see all of these works for yourself.


  1. Nice report, Jeffery. Makes me get into this more during the holidays and of course, see the gallery.

  2. Glad I could be of service. It's one thing I am trying to do with these writings. Giving people a different view of the work that perhaps entices them to become more interested in the work.

  3. Wow! I', really impressed how artists express themselves in painting. They have different ways of showing it. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. People will surely appreciate the paintings. They are all beautiful.

  5. Very impressive! Soon someone will be calling that they are interested to purchase your painting.


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Columbus, Ohio, United States