Nota Bene with @postuccio [iii]

Five Myles, Slag Gallery, Fresh Window, SOHO20, Studio 10, SARDINE,Sikkema Jenkins

Five Myles

Barbara Campisi at Five Myles, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino

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.

On that note, and with hindsight, I don’t believe I witnessed any youngsters swiping around madly on smartphones the whole time, doing whatever the hell it is they do with them in their standard mode of conduct at art openings, or maybe in general. I really don’t know, nor do I really care. But I reckon that if you do have kids, or you have to deal with kids — or I guess if you are kids reading this (why limit my readership?) — it might not be a bad idea to get the whole crew over to Five Myles while “Sound of Light” is still up and (drum roll) LIT. It seems other live and interactive events might be scheduled during the show’s run, so get informed first.

Fresh Window, Slag Gallery, SOHO20, Studio 10

What might’ve been the rather strange but totally mundane, easily noticeable yet so workaday that it didn’t seem of note, at times but not always both formally and metaphorically curious, ponderably present common element I noted among a handful of shows that opened at the 56 Bogart building last weekend?

Handles!

Obviously.

And what a boring reveal on my part. Sorry.

Anyway, I’m not referring to the ‘@’ kind of handle. Rather, as you can see from the pics above and below, I’m taking about handles real and implied, utilitarian and not, singular and multiplied, lonely and en masse. It’s particularly curious that, among the primary examples I found and have noted here, the only display of handles that features also the presence of hands just so happens to be the set whose applied use on the handles’ ends leaves them submerged in water, and thus extra-interestingly wide open to interpretation. Get a grip on that!

My examples of this circumstantially ubiquitous handle phenomenon include: Jeff Feld’s handle-upon-handle, quirkily just-right broomstick sculptures in “The Deceptive Everyday,” an equally quirky and just-right-overall group show at Fresh Window , with similarly strong conveyances of quotidian weirdness in works by Magdalen Wong and Christine Zufferey; John Monti’s somewhat cane-like, well-socialized ‘wallflower’ sculptures in his solo show “Hearts and Stems” at Studio 10 ; the aforementioned boat-rowing, humanly ‘handled’ paddles in a painting by Tirtzah Bassel , in her promisingly fresh, vivacious, chromatically vibrant solo show, “Close One Eye,” at Slag , which I’d say is easily Bassel’s most impressive show there yet (so do the right thing and defy the artist’s request in her show title); and a lonesome broom in Bonam Kim‘s surely much more ‘footprinted’ than ‘handled’ installation, “Objective Tracings,” at SOHO20. In the context of her show, Kim’s broom registers as much more of an idiomatically literal wallflower of sorts than John Monti’s many un-lonely ‘wallflowers’ on view down the hall. It’s also a broom whose most humanly graspable and grasp-worthy, so to speak, component might well be the one that you’d least expect: its brush at the bottom, as it’s made of crowd-sourced clippings of human hair.

Installation view at Fresh Window, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino
John Monti at Studio 10, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino
Tirtzah Bassel at Slag, photo courtesy of
Paul D’Agostino
Bonam Kim at SOHO20, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino

SARDINE

Daniel Giordano’s sculptures at Sardine, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino

“The Big Linguini” is the title of Daniel Giordano‘s new solo show at SARDINE . While that seems to suggest that what you’ll find inside might have the visual aftertaste of a huge, scrumptious twirl of perhaps piquantly olive-oily, aglio olio peperoncino pasta, I’m not quite sure that your visual aftertaste would be very much like that all, in fact.

I say that not because Giordano’s half dozen or so sculptures in “The Big Linguini” aren’t good. Indeed, they are good, very good, maybe even great, and they’re certainly a whole hell of a lot to look at.

I say that more because ‘whole hell of a lot’ is an apropos expression here. Giordano’s super-extremely mixed-media works seem eager to express themselves as spewed morsels of petrified scar tissues exhumed from a light-forsaken bog on a tragicomic exoplanet, a distant world that was once the site of an epic dance battle between rival clans of intergalactic garden gnomes, a universe-bumpin’, bass-heavy showdown that of course went hilariously awry, which is to say became a vicious bloodbath, in everyone’s favorite episode of that planet’s most popular TV show, which should be streaming here sometime soon on the interwebs. It’s called “Game of Gnomes.” Just wait ’til you see that “Red Wedding” scene. Super duper sick.

So yes, super-extremely mixed-media. For instance, here is my approximate materials list for the sculpture pictured above:

spent sparklers, dung, clumps of troll hair, resin boogers, swollen lymph glands, imported grasses, vampire fang, mammoth tusk

And all that protruding from a substrate of mixed medieval humors.

My conjectural title for that piece: “Megatron”

My conjectural title for the piece pictured below: “I Changed My Mind, Take the Gun and the Cannoli.”

And now I’ve changed my mind, too. I think you really might find “The Big Linguini” to be a visually scrumptious show. It’s loads of good stuff to chew on.

Probably all held together by some delicious Big League Chew. That really should be the title for one of those sculptures.

Daniel Giordano’s sculptures at Sardine, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino

Sikkema Jenkins

A large work by Brenda Goodman at Sikkema Jenkins, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino

Not too many painters can achieve consistently brilliant results with their works at a very broad range of scales, and employing a number of different palette moods, and apparently without ever really requiring greater or lesser compositional complexities to keep things sufficiently right-on.

Brenda Goodman, especially in her big solo show at Sikkema Jenkins on view now, is often far more than sufficiently right-on in all of those respects. Her gracefully gritty paintings span a scale range from the viewer-engulfing or viewer-distancing – or better, both – to the quite small, and all the way down to very small works on paper, and her killer palettes are so fluidly humored as to include pink-punched neutrality in several, cheerily rainbow-flavored in several another, and dark-metal melancholic in just a few.

And the works in general manifest nary a divergence at all in the way they marvelously do what they do – in senses material, sensory, compositional and plectic alike.

Goodman has received lots of praise for her recent exhibitions and studio yields. It’s all merited in full.

Her current show closes this weekend, so get over there very soon.

A small work by Brenda Goodman at Sikkema Jenkins, photo courtesy of Paul D’Agostino.

The occasional “Nota Bene with @postuccio” pieces by Paul D’Agostino are modified versions of selected capsule reviews and other art notes he posts on Instagram. Follow him there for other posts as well: @postuccio.

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Paul D’Agostino, Ph.D. is an artist, writer, translator and curator based in Brooklyn, New York. More information about him is available here, and you can find him as @postuccio on Instagram and Twitter.