Trekking down 38th Street in the heart of the garment district on a Thursday evening in October, I made my way to SL Gallery where Michael A. Robinson’s solo exhibition, The Object as Evidence, was on view. As I pushed open the large steel door to the gallery I found myself immediately subsumed within a group of onlookers similarly clad in all-black. The artist’s talk had already begun and attention was fixed upon Robinson, a tall slender man with sandy-blonde hair standing beside a projector that cast images of artwork onto the wall behind him. Arms extended and eyes twinkling, Robinson elucidated upon the evolution of his work.
Rebecca Morgan’s solo exhibition “Town and Country“ at Asya Geisberg offers viewers a subversive and unflinching look into aesthetics of Americana. Panty raiding hillbillies, buxom bonnet sporting milkmaids, and characters engaged in Appalachian revelry scrupulously rendered in paint, graphite, and brass galavant throughout the exhibition. Morgan’s cringeworthy figuration walks the line between portraiture and allegory and highlights the pitfalls of romanticization. Inspired by the sucker-punch illustrations of R Crumb, Morgan’s depictions of rural life speak to notions of voyeurism, power dynamics, and the ubiquity of toxic masculinity within contemporary American culture. The works included in “Town and Country” strike a balance between hilarity and horror and provide a fantastical portal into the American psyche. I had the opportunity to chat with Morgan about her fourth solo show with the gallery and reflect upon her personal fascination with the subjects she portrays.
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.
“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.
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.