Underdonk, A Community Fixture

Underdonk started in 2013 as a small experimental project space and later evolved into a vibrant artist-run gallery located at 1329 Willoughby. Underdonk’s eleven members operate an ambitious exhibition program such as the notable 2015 exhibition “Paul Klee,” which featured work by twenty contemporary artists who referenced  the 20th century modernist master.   Continue reading “Underdonk, A Community Fixture”

Searching for the Meaning of Art: ‘Thomas Lendvai: 10’ at ODETTA

Searching for the Meaning of Art: ‘Thomas Lendvai: 10’ at ODETTA
Searching for the Meaning of Art: ‘Thomas Lendvai: 10’ at ODETTA

Photos by Etty Yaniv unless otherwise indicated

For Ellen Hackl Fagan, ODETTA’s gallerist and curator, titling the current sculpture show Thomas Lendvai: 10 was a no-brainer. When artist Thomas Lendvai came up with the title “Ten,” which marks the first time in ten years that the sculptor has been given a chance to show his large-scale sculptures in a New York gallery, Hackl Fagan embraced it willingly. Serendipitously, it also marks the tenth show at ODETTA. Continue reading “Searching for the Meaning of Art: ‘Thomas Lendvai: 10’ at ODETTA”

Duplicate Meanings: Finding What Is Lost at Storefront Ten Eyck

Eros by Mie Yim, 2013; all photos by Etty Yaniv

Typically, crowded openings are not an ideal setting for experiencing the artwork on display. Nevertheless, the current show at Storefront Ten Eyck, featuring Elise Siegel’s ceramic busts paired with Mie Yim’s abstracted figure paintings, thrives in a crowded space. As in a theatrical experience or a ritual ceremony, the visitors’ presence enhances the psychological tension that these artworks emit.

Continue reading “Duplicate Meanings: Finding What Is Lost at Storefront Ten Eyck”

A Genuine Urge to Behold: ‘Meltdown’ by Kurt Steger

Opening night at ArtHelix, with partial view of Meltdown by Kurt Steger; photo courtesy of Vincent Romaniello

Suspended murky waterdrops on the verge of dripping from an icicle onto a sheet of paper prove to be almost hypnotic in Kurt Steger’s interactive project at ArtHelix. Utilizing elegant wooden contraptions made of a rotating large-scale low wooden table, a transportable tall crane-like sculpture, and a few low benches, Steger’s participatory performance evokes a genuine urge to behold the genesis of a fresh mark, from the first drip to the final circular tracing. The resulting drip drawings hang on the walls, mostly depicting  circular forms that range from dark sepias to vibrant yellows and rusty oranges. Continue reading “A Genuine Urge to Behold: ‘Meltdown’ by Kurt Steger”

Dialogue between Art and Life: suggestion, that is the dream

To My Mougouch (dedicated to Agnes Magruder) by Arshile Gorky; all photos courtesy of Outlet gallery website, unless otherwise noted

In response to Arshile Gorky’s colored drawings exhibition, an ARTnewsreviewer back in March 1947 declared that Gorky is in no sense a draftsman and that his drawings “must be appraised as doodlings, for psychological rather than formal interest.” More than sixty years later, an exquisite Gorky drawing from 1946 on loan to Outlet gallery, serves as a starting point for a vibrant dialogue between more than thirty contemporary artists with strong and distinct personal iconography and some shared formal concerns. Continue reading “Dialogue between Art and Life: suggestion, that is the dream”

An Odd Symbiosis: Action in Non-Action

Artist Tirtzah Bassel, at the opening night of The Lines Start Here

Charged with urgency, precision and an acute sense of place, Tirtzah Bassel’s luminous oil paintings at Slag capture figures lingering in uncannily familiar public spaces.  Whether the subject matter of these canvases are crowds, couples, or single figures, the related verbs are of present continuous tense; standing, sitting, resting. These paintings, waiting in line at Trader Joe’s, sitting on an Ikea sofa to check a text message, or stretching horizontally on a bare mattress in the bedroom section, all entail the action in non-action. Although the commercial spaces these figures populate are filled with utilitarian objects such as red (and empty) shopping carts and a row of colorful sofas or beds, these interiors convey a strong sense of void. Objects multiply, proliferate and are caught along with their creators at the same space in an odd symbiosis.  Continue reading “An Odd Symbiosis: Action in Non-Action”

Artist-Gallerist-Curator Katerina Lanfranco: Fine Lines at Rhombus Space, a Change of Perspective

From left to right: Jason Peters, Nils Folke Anderson, Katerina Lanfranco, Helen Dennis, and Ann Stewart; all photos courtesy of Rhombus Space, unless credited otherwise

Katerina Lanfranco, the artist-gallerist-curator who runs Rhombus Space, has wanted to curate shows and run a space for a long time, but the right conditions never presented themselves as clearly as they did this year.  When her grad school friend left their shared Red Hook studio space, Lanfranco needed to decide what to do next. Knowing that she would be in an ebb period of her studio practice after a successful show at Nancy Hoffman Gallery a few months earlier, she chose to use some of her art sales to start Rhombus Space. Continue reading “Artist-Gallerist-Curator Katerina Lanfranco: Fine Lines at Rhombus Space, a Change of Perspective”

John O’Connor Artist Profile: A Voice of His Own

John O’Connor at his studio; photo by Etty Yaniv

At first it seemed odd to discuss basketball free throws with the artist John O’Connor in relation to his art work. Yet, athletic performance is an important part of O’Connor’s process. He energetically explains how a successful free throw involves magic and science, chance and control, practice and improvisation; themes that John O’Connor has been exploring in his paintings, drawings and sculptures since his formative years as an artist. Continue reading “John O’Connor Artist Profile: A Voice of His Own”