Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aaron Garber-Maikosvka at C-l-e-a-r-i-n-g

For every NYC trip I make these days. I always head down to C-l-e-a-r-i-n-g gallery on Johnson Ave in Bushwick. Aaron Garber-Maikosvka is new to the gallery and this first exhibition is quite the smack in the head to a lot of people. 

First, upon entering the gallery and hearing someone yelling, I was like, "oh no, not more video art". But upon further viewing, and the fact that the work this gallery exhibits always gets me to spend some time and slow down and take in the work, I always end up finding work that intrigues me and keeps my brain thinking. Upon reading what the artist was accomplishing in this video, I immediately felt it to be better than 90% of the other video art I have seen over the years. His yelling and dancing were choreographed moves of a medicine man or other types of "creator-beings".

Side Note: While writing this, I suddenly felt the desire to put the headphones on and listen to some ELEH, which you too can hear here. As I often feel ELEH is also a "creator-being", but of the sound world.

As I sat on the gallery floor to partake in the viewing of this piece. I was at first very interested in the technical side of things, from the 4 cameras being used to film this, to how the editing plays out over the length of the piece.

Once beyond all the technical garb, I was able to get to the meat and bones of this film. What I perceived was a modern medicine man, at a hilltop Lowes business, and his constant barrage of sound and fury being a way to subvert big business and in some ways even to put a curse on said business. I couldn't help but laugh a few times as I was feeling the flow of Aaron's bombardment toward the sign and therefore the company. I remember telling the gallery owner how I felt he was putting a curse on Lowes and we should keep an eye out for that company to see if it works. Only time will tell, and we really won't know if it was Aaron's doing or not.

I don't know if this film will ever see a broader release, maybe something on youtube, but that would negate the value of the artwork, but I feel that if more people took the 10 minutes to check this out, they would being to want to learn more about these "creator-beings" and how they manifest their magic.

From the galleries press release: "Within the animist belief system of Indigenous Australians, a songline, also called dreaming track, is one of the paths across the land (or sometimes the sky) which mark the route followed by localised ‘creator-beings’. The paths of the songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance, and painting. When Aaron Garber-Maikovska sets out to make a video he packs a van with equipment and a cameraman, leaves his studio in Gardena, LA and heads East. He drives in search of frontiers between the urban landscape and the Californian desert, a spot where he can position himself, center of a makeshift stage, surrounded by the attributes suburbia, and record himself forging a new song, story and dance. Every video is shot in a different location and form a sort of mapping of the Inland Empire around Los Angeles."

Check out the video AND the work by Zak Kitnick "C&D" until June 26th. So there is still plenty of time. Though I wouldn't wait too long, there is a good chance that upon first view, you might get the desire to visit again and you don't wanna be too late for that second viewing.

Be sure to read the full press release before partaking in the exhibitions, they will give you so much more to think about upon viewing than regular press releases do. These ones actually help.


Max Frintrop at Lyles & King

One of the first galleries I knew I wanted to visit when I got to NYC this time was heading down to Forsyth and go to see Max Frintrop's paintings at Lyles & King. First thing I want to mention is the atmosphere of the gallery. Not many really have an atmosphere, they are just big ass rooms. This space has a character and rawness to it that really works with the paintings. You walk from outside down into this room with very low headroom. I mean VERY low. If you are over 6 feet tall you are going to walk around with your head down in the entry of this gallery. The big space is in the back of the gallery, walking down the hand hewed beams that make up the stairs is just totally engaging for me, I had to spend my time admiring the architecture of the space, and once that was taken in, I was then able to really take in the paintings.

Instead of giving you the typical art talk about painting. What I want to give you is more of a photo essay on these paintings, photos you won't see anywhere else, my own personal choices of details I thought you the viewer might find interesting. Hopefully getting you to desire to see these in person just as I did.

I personally feel that if critics like Harold Rosenberg had seen this, they would have been praising it. It's quite amazing action painting. Even though no one really uses that term anymore.

Text from Alex Bacon from the press release for the exhibition: "Lately Frintrop has been pushing the quality of liquidity inherent in his use of ink as his medium of choice. The resulting works are simultaneously pared down (without being reductive) and more spatial, in a pictorial sense. In some paintings forms tumble over one another, and rush towards the viewer, while in others a built up assemblage of marks are threatened by an aqueous shimmering that dissolves the legibility of its structure. In still other paintings a tight grouping of marks surge in a particular direction, upwards, and to left, right, or center. At times they even collide, causing a spectacular pictorial event to unfold near the center of the canvas."

There was something that made the viewing in the front room like snuggling up in a comfy blanket. I guess it was because of the low ceiling that the painting was forced to be in the middle of the wall and because of this, the viewing was much more like you might catch if you were in the artists studio, with the paintings propped up on paint cans. Really gives viewing in this room a direct and comfortable experience. Would love to personally make a nice 12 foot wide painting and put it there. 

Now go hop in your speedwagon and get down there, the exhibition closes June 5th.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sadie Benning at Callicoon Fine Arts

I believe my first interaction with Sadie Benning's work was in the original building of Callicoon Fine Arts on Forsyth Street in the Lower East Side. I was doing the regular gallery hop, and happened by this tiny space with these great new edged paintings. Mostly shapes, flags, all put together in this very cool and interesting manner. Instead of canvas, these are all made from plywood that was cut into the design she wished, and then carefully painted and put back together. Simple concept, totally NOT simple in the actual making of it.

My recent NYC trip, I was out on a Sunday, which BTW is a GREAT day to gallery hop in the LES of NY. Very few people around, much less tourists running in and out, snapping a few selfies and then leaving, onto the next space. Delancey Street is quite the busy street, except for galleries, there are very few on that street, another recently moved further east, but that's another story. Callicoon has been on Delancy for a couple years now in a much bigger venue for their artists, and it has showed in the quality and grandness of their exhibitions. Sadie is my personal favorite of their artists. We all have favorites and it's not bad to mention that one is your favorite. Her work has a directness to it, it's immediate but there is also the underlying sense of much more going on than what you immediately see. I recall taking in the craft of how she cuts all the ply up and then assembles it back together into these wonderfully playful paintings. I made sure to get some pics of details I feel will help you, the online viewer, get a better sense of what her work looks like in person. I dig the new designs she is coming up with, though the funny face was a bit kitschy for my tastes, I feel the sunset was my personal favorite work in the exhibition. I think her designing of landscape is something I would love to see more of. But her talent of coaxing imagery from a plywood panel in such a lyrical but calculated way is one that is supremely hers and I believe will keep her name on people's lists for many decades.

The exhibition runs at Callicoon Fine Arts until July 29th, 2016, so you have plenty of time to see it for yourself. 49 Delancey Street. NY.

Looking at details, I can see underpainting and I wonder if this painting was originally multicolored, or was just another monochrome that was eventually repainted to it's final state. Either way, it's a powerful painting.

Thanks for reading. Jeffrey Collins

Friday, May 20, 2016

Kissed by the Sun

I came back from visiting some galleries today to find this happening on my painting. So naturally I grabbed my cameraphone and got some pics. Thankfully this new cameraphone is so much better than my i-4 which stunk for taking pics of dominantly red paintings. This LGG4 is much better at it. Click on the images to open them larger. I hope one day you too will be able to have this experience with your and with my work.

Cheers to all.

Painting is:
36X48 Inches
Acrylic on Acrylic Yarn on Painted Wood Chassis.

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Columbus, Ohio, United States