It is often the case that the immediate juxtaposition of aesthetically kindred galleries TSA and Transmitter allows, maybe accidentally encourages visitors to make observations about concurrent exhibitions with relation to one another. I’m not sure the curators at the respective spaces are always keen on hearing such thoughts – especially from me, since over the years they’ve likely tired of knowing that I’ll always be looking for something – but there are times when the formal or conceptual fluidities or contrasts between shows are so striking that commentary of the sort proves simply irresistible. Continue reading “Nota Bene with @postuccio [ix]”
“Scrapbook Performances” is an admirably extensive, broadly politically engaged series of evenings of performance art programmed by Microscope Gallery in relation to their current group show of video art, “Scrapbook (or, Why Can’t We Live Together).” Performances have been scheduled for basically every Monday and Friday for several weeks already, and there are still several more weeks of gatherings to come.
Brian Wood’s drawings are literally visionary. They derive from what the artist describes as a “trance-like” state, where the ego is consumed by the image, as the inner mind and hand become vital conduits for arising images. This inner process results in drawings that invoke nuanced mental states, fragmented memories, and perhaps most important, a glimpse at the unknown. Holland Cotter wrote in his NY Times review of Brian Wood’s 2014 solo show Enceinte that the artist creates “a kind of Symbolist world in which emerging into life and being devoured by it are part of the same inexorable process.” In a cynical age with ubiquitously ironic art, this unabashed approach to the spiritual elements in the process of art making is quite refreshing.
The grouping of mostly floor-bound sculptures in “Ground Histories”, the current group show curated by Will Corwin at PS122 Gallery, not only pulls our attention to the ground, but also makes us aware of what is underneath its surface – archaeological artifacts, graves, excavated memories. In the east room a triangular layout consisting of Will Corwin’s altar-like sculpture, Heidi Lau’s arched-shape ceramic sculpture sprawling, and David Goodman’s forte-like structure, create a sense of both tension and connectivity. Made of plaster and sand, painted with terra cotta and white tempera hues, and tied with rough ropes, Corwin’s “Jaw” is a rectangular free-standing sculpture that draws literally upon teeth and invokes the idea of the archaic – an architectural ruin from an unidentified culture, or an archaeological artifact with an enigmatic ritual significance. The tooth, a pivotal element in both forensics and bioarcheology, can be read in Corwin’s sculptures as a loaded metaphor for what it means to be human.
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.
The Chimney, Ulmer Arts, Transmitter, Century Pictures, CLEARING, Superchief
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.