It’s time to come out of the winter hibernation (even though it has not been bad this winter), and see some art! Here is my roundup of some of the interesting exhibitions going on in Chelsea and Lower Eastside.
In Lower Eastside, I liked John Kessler‘s at Salon 94 on Bowery and Anonymous Tantra Paintings at Feature gallery. These small Tantra paintings were done on found paper and reminded me of some of Thomas Nozkowski’s early works.
Over in Chelsea, there were some interesting painting shows. I was particularly interested in Janet Fish‘s still-life paintings at D.C. Moore as I also use the same motif of still life and patterns in my work. Fish’s sense of color is admirable but I felt her paintings are too traditional and conservative in terms of composition.
Other notable painting shows were Magnus Plessen at Barbara Gladstone (yawn, a big let down for me after his promising solo debut show at the gallery just a few years ago) and Eric Fischl at Mary Boone (society portraits of Hollywood and art world royalty, hmmm, but his painting technics surely are better than before). There was also an interesting drawings by Amy Wilson at BravinLee Programs. My favorite show from this outing was Tom Friedman at Luhring Augustin. Friedman, as usual, delights viewers with unexpected touches with material, scale and placement. Unlike other shows, the checklist is a must read for his show. I especially enjoyed Untitled (pixelated static), 2012, Styrofoam and paint (A sheet of Styrofoam was carved into a form simulating the curvature of an old television screen. A grid was then drawn onto the surface. A photograph of television static was pixelated, then printed as a value reference for squares cut out of paint adhered to the surface within the grid), an oddly painterly homage to minimalist sculptures and paintings.
One of the disappointment of the day was Chris Martin‘s show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. At a first glance, his show looked impressive with the scale and visual impact. For this show, Martin made large scale paintings that touch practically every contemporary theoretical and art historical concerns about the paintings, yet upon close inspection these paintings rings false and hollow. It’s all about gestures without any emotional involvement and commitment. I even preferred seemingly banal and conservative paintings of Eric Fischl and Janet Fish.
Here are some of the rest of the notable shows with images. I ended the day with going to the opening of an SVA alum, Nicolas Touron at Virgil de Voldère Gallery, which had whimsical, densely populated, meticulous drawings and sculptures.