Ron Milewicz – Axis Mundi at Elizabeth Harris

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Pink Moon, 2019 oil on linen, 18 x 13.5 inches, courtesy Elizabeth Harris Gallery

In Axis Mundi, his current painting exhibition at Elizabeth Harris, Ron Milewicz shows a body of work that reveals his continuous fascination with the mystery of trees. While focusing his gaze on a specific woodland landscape ,the Hudson Valley woodlands, Ron Milewicz is opening a portal not only to the universal meaning of trees, but also to the overall vulnerability and wonder of life on this planet. Ron Milewicz shares with Art Spiel some reflections on his approach to painting and on what draws him to his consistent thematic exploration.

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A Romantic Comedy hosted by Wallplay

Steven Pestana in dialogue with Art Spiel

Installation View, A Romantic Comedy. L to R: Kevin Frances, Andrew Allison, Amanda Thackray

A Romantic Comedy, co-curated by Steven Pestana and Sophia Sobers , is a large-scale installation-based group exhibition which explores the mystery and ambiguity of romance in the 2020s through the actions and objects of everyday life. The opening takes place during Armory Weekend and the show runs throughout the end of March. Steven Pestana describes for Art Spiel the curators’ background, elaborates on the genesis of the show, then gives some background on its host, Wallplay, and its venue at 25 Kent street in Williamsburg.

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Yasue Maetake – Intersubjective Narratives

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Urethane Flower on Steel Stem Clad with Foam (2013-2019), H91 x 110 x 67 inches (H233 x 284 x 177 cm), steel, polyurethane resin, epoxy clay, burnt and varnished Styrofoam, photo by Mark Waldhauser

The Japanese born Brooklyn based sculptor Yasue Maetake largely draws on laws of nature like gravity, as well as on her Japanese cultural heritage like Butoh dance/theater. The artist describes for Art Spiel her artistic impetus, layered ideas, and elaborate process.

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Museum as Muse at the Flatiron Project Space

Museum as Muse, Installation, Image courtesy of Leigh Behnke

A favorite experience of mine is to visit the Metropolitan Museum without a show or work of art in mind to see. I enjoy wondering the galleries until I come across something I had not noticed before and then spend the time looking and analyzing the work. This experience is likened to one I have recently had at “Museum as Muse”, a show curated by Leigh Behnke, consisting of works by the artist herself, Joe Fig and Peter Hristoff. The show is not at a sprawling Chelsea gallery or at a small, but relevant Lower East Side venue. It is tucked away within the confines of an academic institution, School of Visual Art, located on 21st Street in the SVA Flatiron Gallery Project Space. As the title suggests, all three artists have used the museum in some capacity as a starting point for their work.

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Magdalena Dukiewicz at Stand4 – In Every Dream Home a Heartache

In every dream home a heartache, installation view. Photo courtesy of the Elisa Gutiérrez Eriksen

A former medical office located in the heart of Bayridge Brooklyn, hosts Magdalena Dukiewicz solo exhibition “In Every Dream Home a Heartache“, a visual, physical and poetical exercise in which the artist revisits particular objects and memories from her childhood in Poland to explore an idea of “home” that has been inoculated in her mind from an early age. For Dukiewicz, the thought of a home brings a cumulus of anxieties related to social expectations, which calls into question the preconceived ideas of how things are supposed to be in life: motherhood, marriage, work, living in a place other than your birthplace, fulfilling certain obligations.

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Controlled Entropy, Taher Jaoui at 81 Leonard Gallery

Taher Jaoui: Controlled Entropy installation view, photograph by Hannah Rozelle, photo courtesy of the artist

One might find Taher Jaoui introverted the moment meeting him. It might be less about an aloof temperament commonly found in an artist than a reserved and prudent character often associated with a science person. The way in which Jaoui’s artworks act out follows a similar interpersonal pattern. Those scratchy mathematics signs and formulas are the most prominent elements of the new series of monochrome paintings featured in Taher’s current solo exhibition Controlled Entropy at 81 Leonard Gallery, co-hosted by Uncommon Beauty Gallery. The juxtaposition of the handwritings of mathematical formulas and the gestural brushwork in an abstract expressionist manner not only prompts questions about Jaoui’s background, but also problematizes the hostile split between art and mathematics. Reminding viewers of a lecturer running a mathematical calculation across the blackboard with chalk, this series of paintings highlights the performative elements in mathematics, as well as the craft aspects of labor invested in this intellectual activity.

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Zac Hacmon at the Border

Eva Mayhabal Davis in dialogue with Art Spiel – Beyond the Pale

Installation view of Beyond the Pale by Zac Hacmon. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Etienne Frossard

Zac Hacmon‘s sound sculptures at the intimate Border project space are overpowering in size, as if cutting the air with their sharp diagonal tiled lines to create a sense of suffocating sterility. Their oddity is intriguing and repelling simultaneously, and their placement in the room forces the visitor to navigate around with considerate effort. The sound consists of a series of stories recorded at the Arizona-Mexico border, and adds another layer of urgency, creating altogether an inspired fusion of sound/form. Eva Mayhabal Davis, the curator of Beyond the Pale , elaborates on the premise behind the show.

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Catchat, following an Interview With a Cat

Kristen Clevenson in conversation with Noa Ginzburg, February 2020

Catchat, a screenshot of a skype conversation, 2019.
Photo by Hannah Bruckmueller

“This is an interview recorded at the Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, 12 Burgplatz Düsseldorf,” announces the interviewer. “MIAOW! MIAOW!” replies the interviewee.” In 1970, the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) conducted and recorded an Interview With a Cat. In Catchat, a trans-Atlantic collaboration between Hannah Bruckmüller, Michal Ron, and Noa Ginzburg which was recently published on PROTOCOLS, the three listen carefully to the protagonist cat and transcribe French and Cat tongues into Hebrew and Latin letters. Kristen Clevenson and Noa Ginzburg share with Art Spiel their conversation about cats, collaborating while in different time zones, transcribing illegible languages, and using deep listening to assert agency.

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Surface and Sky: Jeffrey Morabito at SFA Projects

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Monstera Deliciosa Vase, 2019

Jeffrey Morabito’s show “Birds and Flowers, Vases and Windows” is beautiful and lush and draws you in. There are vibrant colors and wandering lines, rich passages that feel like small works unto themselves–secret gardens waiting to be discovered within each larger piece. But if there are elements that delight the eye, there are ideas that tease the mind. For running through his art and practice is a sense of duality and contradiction where opposites collide and play, posing gentle questions as they merge into new concepts and forms.

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Michael Alan is New York’s Past, Present and Future

Michael Alan In conversation with Markella K

(The American Legend, Image courtesy of Michael Alan)

It’s time to question the nature of a city when everything you loved or heard about it has changed so much. NYC now has changed into a huge playground with high end food prices, fancy cell phones and luxury condos. I came here full of dreams just like everyone else, hoping to fit in and to see what Warhol left behind.

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