The Painting Center, Present Company, Talking Pictures, NURTUREart, Slag, SOHO20, M. David & Co., Fresh Window, Studio 10
The Painting Center
I’ve been looking at and occasionally commenting on the virtues and various points of particular interest in Alannah Farrell’s lusciously pictorial, sometimes lushly lusty paintings for a number of years now, and one thing I’ve enjoyed noting is that there seems often to be something stealthily, furtively, sometimes perhaps a bit serpentinely surreptitious about many of her works.
Her strong and, if I may, downright charmingly displayed solo show at the Painting Center, “Worlds Without Rooms,” provides ready testimony to all that. Here, it’s in the butter-mint softness of her fine rendering touched off with subtle sfumato and notes of surrealism. It’s in the gently strange flesh tones and only-just inert, wee-bit-winkingly-quickened poses of certain sitters. It’s in the way some of them look not merely at you directly or askance, but into you — perhaps to rise up to bite, shock or seduce you, or maybe murder you, or maybe love you.
Or maybe they’d just propose to hit up the diner on the corner for a 1am cup of coffee — although at that hour, I think you have to call it a cup of joe, no?
Anyway, “Worlds Without Rooms” is a champion little gem of a show. In fact, you do come away from it with a lingering visual of some kind of gem-like sparkle-twinkle.
Significant semantic padding surrounds “When / if,” an excellent two-person exhibit at Present Company .
The show features a wealth of works by Calvin Burton @and Jonathan Miralda Fuksman. The semantic padding references grammatical structures, linguistic shaping and a key Lyotard text from the 1970s to discuss the evidently substantial extent to which the works are the yields of formal cross-insemination.
Yet all of that packaging, intriguing as it surely is, and nicely worded as it surely is, and not irrelevant in several interesting ways – and I say what follows much despite my particularly deep interest in every aspect of the padding – still scans as very external to the works themselves.
That should ring to one and all as a good thing. The works do well enough their own visual job of hinting to the viewer certain facets of their various relationships to one another. And they do so in refreshingly simple ways.
The simple truth about this strong exhibit at Present Company, in other words, is that it’s simply a true pleasure to look at. Go there. Do that.
Bed-Stuy to East Willy: Talking Pictures, NURTUREart, Slag, M. David & Co., Fresh Window, Studio 10
Perhaps my eyes were shaped or focused in some special way a few weeks ago when going around to openings one night, or maybe it was caused by one show or another in particular, but what I ended up finding of note in exhibits from a space in Bed-Stuy to several in East Willy was something consistently landscape-ish.
Landscapes as compositional orientation, landscapes as subject matter, and landscapes as collectively implied by multiple works in a show, and at times more overtly present as sociopolitical landscapes of the active critical spheres of our time.
Shows, artists and spaces that factored into such landscape-ish ‘ish, so to speak: Rachel Youens at Talking Pictures, Brett Wallace at NURTUREart, William Buchina at Slag, Nana Olivas at SOHO20. Dana James and Lizbeth Mitty at M.David & Co., Alexa Hoyer at Fresh Window, and Adam Simon at Studio 10.
All photos by Paul D’Agostino, unless otherwise indicated.
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.
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.