Ribbons Become Space at SL

Elizabeth Riley, Structure from Light, collaged sculptures, inkjet-printed video stills on paper

At the end of “Dragons of Iceland,” a video the NYC based multi-media artist Elizabeth Riley made throughout her SIM residency in Reykjavik, the dragon protagonist is determined to escape the societal constraints and limitations placed on women when the artist was growing up. The dragon flies into a gushing waterfall which for Riley symbolized finality. But later-on, after she returned from the residency, Riley has both deconstructed and reconstructed this video into a sculptural installation, and throughout the process of art making, the dragon’s route shifted from a fall into the abyss to a portal into a different artform. Elizabeth Riley’s solo show, “Ribbons Become Space,” at SL invites us to experience an exuberant journey. The journey starts as you enter the front gallery space with a 2011 video installation “Dragons of Iceland,” continues throughout the back gallery space with two related large-scale wall works made recently for the SL Gallery, then loops back as you exit, leading us back to the video installation with a new perspective.

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Nota Bene with @postuccio [vii]

The Chimney, Ulmer Arts, Transmitter, Century Pictures, CLEARING, Superchief

The Chimney

The Chimney has two strong exhibits for you to visit sooner or later. One is on-site at the Chimney’s home outpost, the other not too far away in an outpost you might call new or newish — historical emphasis on -ish.

At the gallery’s home space is “Twilight Chorus,” where a duo of cleverly brick-niche’d, collaged-in assemblies lingering in the circumstantial hinterlands scan as a scrapbook-like index of the trappings of street art, potentially hinting at rather immediate exteriors. Objects elsewhere place you in the landscapes and atmospheres of paintings by many a surrealist. Works tucked into yet other nooks unfurl in extended intimacies, and chromatically order, reflect and unfold like mascara compacts and make-up tables. 

Many objects rich in reference and reminiscence in this also somewhat quietly rambunctious group show. Taken all together, it’s like an immersive diorama à la Miró. 

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Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum at CUE Art Foundation

Laurie Kang

The group show “Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum” at CUE Art Foundation raises questions on the meaning of visual formulae in contemporary art without falling into the trap of formulaic. The genesis of this three-person sculpture group show started with an open call in which the curators Mira Dayal and Simon Wu asked savvy art viewers to suggest “formulas,” that is, combinations of materials and tropes used, or perhaps overused in art today. Out of the 67 formulas submitted, the curators selected the ones they both found intriguing and invited Nikita Gale, Amanda Turner Pohan, and Laurie Kang to come up with responses to formulas that invoked the hard and soft, technological and biological, individual and institutional. Gale’s body-like textures, Pohan’s sleek kinetic sculptures, and Kang’s architectural steel structure, all merge industrial off the shelf materials with invisible elements such as sound, vibration, and sensitivity to light. Like the relationship of body and mind, their fragmented materials assume meaning through the hidden forces that seem to operate them.

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Long Time Passing – A Campfire Story

Jeannine Bardo at Stand4

In her recent exhibition at the New York Stand4 gallery, Jeannine Bardo displays her art in the wall and on the wall. The Brooklyn artist paints, scratches, plasters, and finds objects from nature that add up to a set of narratives that she titles “Long Time Passing/ A Campfire Story.” The artworks are subtle, with almost no color. The carvings and objects are not clearly visible at first glance. Bardo invites her viewers to take their time, sit by the fire, and listen as she unravels her tales, using shiny spots that glitter along their progression. As the stories unfold, her calm work reveals a sense of menace that continues throughout the narrative path.

Lifelines, 2019; image by Laura Sacks

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Nota Bene with @postuccio [vi]

M. David & Co. ,Cosmic Veggies, El Sótano, C&M Creative

M. David & Co.

So certainly sonorous that it’s surely a song is the duet of solo shows by Len Bellinger and Denise Sfraga that didn’t just open, but robustly, vividly, gregariously and, in part, also florally burst into being at M. David & Co. a couple of weeks ago. The energy and dynamism of the works in both exhibits is readily infectious, such that the reception itself assumed the same airs. That might’ve even been what catalyzed some of the springtime climes we’ve felt of late. And if so, great. Let’s see more, please.

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Linger Still – Kaveri Raina at Assembly Room

curated by Emily Burns

Linger Still, (installation view). Image courtesy of Assembly Room Gallery

Diaspora consciousness is an acute mindfulness of one’s cultural origins post-migration. This awareness can be, “heightened by communication and visits, and is retained in memories, storytelling and other creative forms.” Individuals or families who take the risk to migrate must navigate a series of unanticipated complexities away from the support of their families and communities. For those who choose to leave or flee from their homelands the sensation of “otherness” is a pervasive factor in their quest for opportunities, stability, and safety. This uncanny sensation serves as the conceptual pulse and subtle heartbeat for Kaveri Raina’s solo exhibition “Linger Still,” curated by Emily Burns currently on view at Assembly Room Gallery.

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Sandra Chamberlin, on Breathing Underwater

Sandra Chamberlin, Procession, charred cedar, 2019, variable size. as shown 20’ x 10 x 26” d

“The stream of sap in the trees varies according to the phases of the moon.”

-Theodor Schwenk, Sensitive Chaos

Sandra Chamberlin’s sculptural installations invites the viewer to enter a three-dimensional drawing of alternate life-forms. Lines made of wood float off the walls, hover in the air, or balance on the ground, altogether creating a sense of abstracted life-forms. These linear sculptures are deeply rooted in the artist’s intriguing relationship to materials and processes which overall tie into her intricate perception of nature. Since the early eighties, Chamberlin has been making out of wood abstracted shapes through meticulous manual and mechanical processes she has perfected over these years.

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Lizbeth Mitty & Dana James: The Thread

at M. DAVID & CO. GALLERY extended thru APRIL 21st, 2019 and an artist talk on April 14th at 4PM with Lilly Wei

Lizbeth Mitty in her studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Dana James in her studio. Photo courtesy of Drew Reynolds

I met with rising talent artist Dana James and her mother, veteran NYC artist Lizbeth Mitty, prior to their joint exhibition, “The Thread,” which opened March 15th at M. David & Co. Gallery in Bushwick. It was late February, and the artists were trying to answer the lingering question: Which new works should we display?

The debate was an extension of a conversation that had been running for months. Throughout the creative process, alone in their respective studios, the artists had frequently exchanged feedback on works in progress, eschewing criticism for constructive, “technical” suggestions that served to “open the floodgates” and renew the other’s creative energy.

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Nota Bene with @postuccio [iv]

Knockdown Center, Orgy Park, CLEARING

Knockdown Center

Wonderfully striking in bright luminosities, diagonal analogousness, situational room-to-room parallels, transporting suggestiveness and subtly warmed circumstantial frigidities are the two installations ‘contained,’ in a way, by “A Continuous Stream of Occurrence,” an exhibition that opened a few weeks ago at Maspeth gem The Knockdown Center . 

At top is Luba Drozd‘s room. It both looks and sounds like a veritable spatial knot of brilliantly site-specific polyphonia involving significant degrees of multidisciplinarity, multimateriality and strata within circumstantial strata of shadow-play. It’s a tough but fun knot to look at and into, and listen closely to, to begin to untie just how it works with totality and relative simplicity, though not in ways simplistic in the least. 

Rather than necessarily site-specific or sonic, the active state of William Lamsom‘s installation in the adjacent gallery is like that of a shimmering, gradually phase-changing antechamber to Drozd’s comparative cavern; they scan instantly as visually coherent in many satisfying and still individualizable ways. Entering Lamsom’s room alone is like stumbling into an abandoned research lab in a yearless future. Seeing the rooms in tandem is like being dropped in some nicely mysterious nook on Krypton and having no idea why.

Great installations, great show. Curated by a duo going by the ‘name’ XP (@xaviacarin & @parkcmyers). 

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Ethereal Anaesthetic

Joanne Ungar at Front Room Gallery

All Photos by Sharilyn Neidhardt

Joanne Ungar at Front Room, partial installation view

Pain produces sharp, bright sensations or sometimes ripping agony. It’s often intensely specific. The substances that bring us relief often do so by blurring the hard angles of our pain, allowing us to focus elsewhere. Some substances can leave us in a disconnected fog, far away from the source of discomfort. Others mute and muffle the pain, giving the relieved a sense of floating in a cushioned world. Calibrating effective pain relief can be a struggle for balance between an alert connection to the present and a silencing of uncomfortable sensation. Continue reading “Ethereal Anaesthetic”