Chelsea Buzz

bing_lee.jpgI never have enough time to get around to see everything I want to see. So if you are too busy too, maybe a quick pass through these few shows will give you enough of an art fix to last you till the next time that window opens a crack.

2X13 Gallery, located on the fourth floor at 531 West 26th Street, offers two one-person shows. The one I thought to be more than worth anyone’s time was Bing Lee’s two rooms of art. The main room is a wall painting titled “Nacho American Cheese” (left), a curious work that balances quirky and oddly repetitive black forms against a traffic sign yellow ground. Using just a few stencils and somewhat narrative free-formed shapes that all fit together, Lee manages a mix of organic fluidity and mechanical control.

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Near this is a video, which features some of the 20,000 intimately animated and fun drawings Lee has made since 1983. Some of these images repeat, looking like faded tattoos. All in the next room. All wonderful.

Then there are the two shows at Galerie Adler. This stop is on the second floor of 547 West 27th. Both shows are amazing, but the art of Léopold Rabus is truly unforgettable. His main subject for this show is a dead, variously posed raven who looks more vital and important in death than he may have ever been in life. The two key works will stop you in your tracks: “In a Barn of Trunks in the Valais” (right) will bend your vision and your thoughts, and “Dead Raven” is meticulously reverent and spiritual.

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The next show to see is Antonio Petracca’s one-person exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery, 529 West 20th Street. Here, Petracca manages quite beautifully to enhance and somewhat politicize ancient Pompeii by “tagging” actual sites with American culture such as graffiti and signage. This, added to the increase in color and freshness Petracca affords these Pompeiian murals, as in “Kiss Me” (left), resonates like a Dean Martin melody down some moonlit alley. That’s Amore!

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While in the building, take a run up to Ricco Maresca Gallery to eye some of the most unique vintage photography I’ve seen in quite some time. These are sepia-toned photographs by Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas taken at U.S. military camps during and shortly after World War I. Here, the two photographers posed countless soldiers in great shaped masses that mimic everything from the Statue of Liberty (right) to Woodrow Wilson. Don’t miss it! – D. Dominick Lombardi

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D. Dominick Lombardi is an artist with representation in Kasia Kay Art Projects and Lisa Boyle Gallery in Chicago, and Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY; a writer with Sculpture, DART, & Magazine and NYARTS; and an independent curator.

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