Melissa Stern – Walking the Line

Melissa Stern‘s artworks depict abstracted narratives with complex emotional layers,  projecting altogether an urgent psychological presence. The figures  in her drawings and sculptures inhabit an absurd universe which is  darkly funny  in a deeply felt way. Her imagery is precise, poetic,  and overall underscores  a close affinity with language – bringing to mind an artist who is both an acute observer and a witty commentator.  That said, it is Stern’s sensibility of raw and expressive forms that makes her not only an observant narrator but also  an empathetic participant in her own human comedy. The artist  shares with Art Spiel her modes of thinking, process of making, and some plans, including her solo show opening on Oct 11 at Garvey Simon Gallery.

Melissa Stern, Red Boots 30 x 8 x 10 inches, Clay, graphite, object, linoleum, 2016

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Pop Goes The Weasel

POP GOES THE WEASEL- An exhibition that asks the question “why not”?

POP GOES THE WEASEL, installation view, photo courtesy of the curator

The group show “Pop Goes The Weasel” at The Williamsburg Art and Historical Society brings together a group of nineteen artists from Japan and the US, fifteen women and four men who are  working in seemingly disparate ways. Curator and artist William Norton  presents his premise as “Why not”? Why not bring together artists who simply share their pathos, political intent, psychological depth ,a love of materials, and above all, their joy in creating art? Continue reading “Pop Goes The Weasel”

Michal Gavish – Crystalline City at LIU

Michal Gavish, NYC3, photo courtesy of the artist

Crystalline City is an exhibition of large-scale installations by Michal Gavish, on view now at the Humanities Gallery at LIU, Brooklyn. Presented in this unique glass walled gallery akin to a large scale oval diorama, the viewer can see the works from the outside. Designed on a combination of translucent fabrics and papers, the hand made prints transmit and reflect the surrounding lights and allow for multiple full views of the installation, through and around these fabrics. Continue reading “Michal Gavish – Crystalline City at LIU”

Quotidian Metamorphosis at the Rockland Center for the Arts

As part of their Spring exhibits addressing Climate Change, The Rockland Center for the Arts features three exhibitions – two solo shows: Quotidian Metamorphosis featuring works by Jaynie Crimmins  and Aqueous Remains  featuring  Aurora Robson as well as The Tipping Point, a group show featuring J. Henry Fair, David Maisel, Alison Moritsugu, Richard Parrish, and Jill Pelto.

Jaynie Crimmins, Accumulations #4 , 12” x 12” x 12”D,  shredded household mail, thread over armature mounted on wood, 2016, photo courtesy of Cibele Vieira

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Thoreau and the Unibomber at Ess Ef Eff

Joseph Noderer, Neighborly, Paint on canvas, photo courtesy the artist
Joseph Noderer, Neighborly, Paint on canvas, photo courtesy by the artist

“Thoreau and the Unibomber”, David E. Kearns’ and Joe Noderer‘s two person painting exhibition at Ess Ef Eff, raises some current existential questions –  What point are we trying to access with our progress? What is the apogee of understanding? Is it all for a cosmic awareness and peaceful co-habitation? The show invites viewers to reflect on a dichotomous view of civil disobedience, of living alone in nature, along with the consequent personal and social fallout or success.  Continue reading “Thoreau and the Unibomber at Ess Ef Eff”

Slow Motion at john Doe

Michael Chandler Flying Ground oil on canvas 80 x 70 in. (203.2 x 177.8 cm.) Painted in 2000, photo courtesy of the artist
Michael Chandler, Flying Ground, oil on canvas
80 x 70 in. (203.2 x 177.8 cm.)
Painted in 2000, photo courtesy of the artist

The two person show at John Doe juxtaposes Michael Chandler’s paintings and  Charlie Rubin’s photographs. Both artists deliver meditative and vivid abstractions – Chandler makes visceral paintings founded in nature but informed by the rhythm of the city and Rubin  explores the artifice of place, and the post-Instagram void. Continue reading “Slow Motion at john Doe”

Objects from the End of Western Civilisation at Norte Maar

Kevin Curran, Objects from the End of Western Civilisation
Kevin Curran, Objects from the End of Western Civilisation

All Photos courtesy of the artist and Norte Maar Cypress Hills Gallery

In his exhibition at Norte Maar Cypress Hills gallery, Kevin Curran uses interior design elements as a departure point for an installation – combining  wallpaper, rugs, vases, framed works on paper,  wall-mounted and free standing sculptures. His surfaces merge opulent materials like crystals and gold leaf, with rough-hewn casual aesthetic. This exhibition includes drawings that refer to Afghan war rugs as well as political tensions in the US. The symmetry of rug design paired with natural and man made forces of destruction highlights the fine line between an orderly society and chaos. The imagery brings together a little boy’s enthusiasm for rockets, trucks and guns with the perspective of an adult’s anxiety driven by real world events.  Continue reading “Objects from the End of Western Civilisation at Norte Maar”

Planet Ax4+1 at David&Schweitzer Contemporary

Planet Ax4+1, Installation overview
Planet Ax4+1, Installation overview

Concern with Climate Change and how it impinges on our planet links the five artists featured in the impressive sculpture show at David&Schweitzer. Running the gamut from minimalist to narrative sensibilities and from found objects to fabricated materials, the sculptures created by Ruth Hardinger, Babs Reingold, Rebecca Smith, Kelin Perry, and Christy Rupp, engage the space in juxtaposition to one another – visually situating the overall exhibition at the intersection of natural history and archaeological excavation, thematically layered and at times poetic. The artworks in the show refer to the underground, trees, atmosphere, underwater, and animals- each of the individual parts that is essential for life on Earth. Continue reading “Planet Ax4+1 at David&Schweitzer Contemporary”

Outside of Time: Hiroshi Sugimoto at Japan Society

Installation view “Hiroshi Sugimoto: Gates of Paradise” at Japan Society
Installation view “Hiroshi Sugimoto: Gates of Paradise” at Japan Society

Art Ravels: Arts and Culture Unwound is an eloquent and well curated  blog focused on contemporary visual art  by Linnea  West 

In 1582, four recent converts to Christianity were sent from their home in Japan to Europe and the papal court by the Jesuit mission in Japan, as evidence of its success. Called the Tenshō embassy, the four boys met the Pope and saw the great sites of Renaissance Europe before returning home eight years later. Contemporary Tokyo-born, New York-based artist Hiroshi Sugimoto came across the story  of the Tenshō embassy while he himself was photographing in Italy. Continue reading “Outside of Time: Hiroshi Sugimoto at Japan Society”