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”
Hyperaccumulators are plants capable of growing in soils with very high concentrations of metals and are known for extracting contaminants; thus, helping the ecosystem. This duality of destruction and restoration underscores “HyperAccumulators” – the current vibrant group show at Pelham Art Center. In their upcoming artist talk, curators Alexandra Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein will lead the panel on how contemporary artists interpret connectivity between nature, toxicity, and possible regeneration. And not merely in nature. As curator Alexandra Brock says, “we have become ‘HyperAccumulators’ dealing with the everyday environmental and political climate we are living in. The artists are taking in all this- and helping us return to a better state.”
Five Myles, Slag Gallery, Fresh Window, SOHO20, Studio 10, SARDINE,Sikkema Jenkins
No matter how banal it might seem to say that Barbara Campisi‘s “Sound of Light” — the artist’s massive and joyfully interactive, labyrinthine installation at Crown Heights gallery Five Myles — is lit, it’s still a fully legit thing to say: it’s both lit and LIT. Lit up in both senses was also Campisi’s packed opening, during which visitors were invited to ‘draw’ their own light doodles all throughout the translucent-panel maze of sorts while listening to live music, encountering meandering dancers, and constantly running into strangers who didn’t feel like moving — not out of confusion, but because they were just fine and dandy right where they were, playing around with LEDs like all adults should do more, as every single kid in attendance that night would’ve surely agreed.
SRO Gallery, M. David & Co., ODETTA, Klaus Von Nichtssagend
Dozens of warmly chromatic landscapes with hints of fantasy and abstract intrigue are on view in “Unextinguished,” a kind of amuse-bouche of a genre-specific group show that opened at SRO Gallery a couple weeks ago. It features a great many paintings, and a great many relatively literal as well as apparently non-objective takes on landscapes by Sahand Tabatabai, Sheila Lanham , Cathy Diamond , Moses Hoskins, Cathy Nan Quinlan and Cecilia Whittaker-Doe. If you need a respite from the drudgery of winter (I always do), head over to SRO.
“Please Watch Your Head” reads a curious sign taped to the metal door of Ortega y Gasset Projects in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Opening the door I realize how this instruction is essential to navigate the jewel toned gauntlet of brick-a-brack curtains cascading from the ceiling in a slender corridor that leads to the main gallery space. Ben Pederson’s solo show “Some Stuff You Forgot About” represents two mature bodies of work which reveal the depth of Pederson’s philosophical approach, as well as the synergy between the artist and the curator Eleanna Anagnos.
Microscope Gallery, Underdonk, Transmitter, TSA New York, Studio 10, Amos Eno, The Border Project Space, Green Door Gallery, Scholes Street Studio
Microscope Gallery, Underdonk, Transmitter, TSA New York
Above are just a handful of hints and glimpses of notions of formal analogousness I noted among four quite different works by four different artists in four different excellent exhibits, all of which opened at the 1329 Willoughby building in Bushwick on the same night earlier this month.
At top left, an instant of a video involving a ‘vectorial world’ by Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten at Microscope Gallery . At top right, one of Amy Butowicz‘s amusingly alt-quotidian metamorphs in her bizarrely joyous solo show at Underdonk . This piece in particular seemed immediately suggestive of Humpty Dumpty’s pants, or The Penguin’s pants, or the pants worn by some bloviating politician in a parodical caricature by Daumier. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be anything of the sort. I am sure I want pants, or I guess culottes, of just that sort. Moving along, the painting to which those pants, or maybe ‘pants,’ point is by Alessandro Keegan. It’s one of several strong works he’s showing in “Heed,” a winning two-person show at Transmitter that features also very strong work by Angela Hiesch . At bottom left, a sculpture that seemed to imply a distilled tincture of time frozen still in atemporal liquid motion, or something of such a strangely wordable sort, in “Object of Desire,” a large group show curated by Amanda Martinez at TSA .
From de Tocqueville on, travelers have chronicled America, fascinated by its vast space, bustling cities, and diverse people, the gap between the idealized vision of itself and the version outsiders see. In 1947, before Jack Kerouac and Robert Frank took their famous road trips, Simone de Beauvoir took one of her own. Traveling East to West by trains, cars and Greyhound buses, she crossed nineteen states and visited fifty-six cities in four months, recording impressions that were published in 1948 as “America Day By Day”.
Photography is inherently effective at telling a story of place. Not only of documenting its history, but also possibly of predicting its future – projecting how a place is or is in the process of becoming. For the group show, “Rutland: Real and Imagined,” which opens in January 31, 2019 at The Alley Gallery in Rutland, Vermont, artist and curator Stephen Schaub brings together eight internationally recognized artists who interpret through their use of photography what constructs a sense of place. Altogether, the resulting photographic imagery in this exhibition creates an engaging story about Rutland – not as a single place but rather many places that come together in the minds and lives of the people who live there.
The work in “New Narrative Now,” curated by Michael David and Martin Dull at M David & Co. is united by a particularly muscular and aggressive kind of paint handling – unsurprising from a gallery well-known for cultivating abstract expressionist work. The paintings also share lyrical and mythical storytelling qualities. Recognizable figures flicker and bend across these canvases, wading through turgid waters, or wrestling with ropes of paint, or bathing in dreamy color. Animals and toys crowd some canvases, women stretch tortured forms across others. Personal mythologies illuminate and infuse each canvas, casting a mysterious spell for the viewer.
Step off of the gray pavement, step out of the chilly dullness of an impending New York City Winter, traverse the threshold of Next to Nothing Gallery, and indulge in the celebration of painting currently on view at 181 Orchard Street.
“Plush Paint: please do not pet, caress, fondle” features the work of Jason Stopa, Osamu Kobayashi, and Susan Carr in a bounty of paintings and sculptural hybrids that boast tenacious gestures, mysterious shapes, and amped up colors. As the eyes adjust to the stark whiteness of the minimalist space, at first glance the work appears as a collection of unearthly gemstones unified by candied commercial hues and vibrating combinations of paint. Robert Erani, Gallery Director and Curator employed the cohesion of color to serve as an “accessible commonality that any viewer can appreciate.” For Erani the visual pleasure of these works seduces the viewer to take a deeper look and discover less obvious nuances that distinguish the individual work of each artist.