Art Review

Assenting Voices: Agitprop Art in North Korea

Assenting Voices: Agitprop Art in North Korea
Andrew and Anya Shiva Gallery at John Jay College
November 12 through January 23, 2015

Curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos, Assenting Voices presents twelve oil paintings on canvas and thirteen posters by North Korean print-making collectives. Two "Social Realist" style posters were created as early as 1956 and 1960, but the majority of them were produced in the 1970s and early 1980s. Posters by seven artists, working mostly with the Chosun Labour Party Publisher and Pyongyang Total Print Factory, are included. The carefully rendered contemporary oil paintings, dated 2011 and 2012, present idealized images that portray scenes of young woman in a variety of life pursuits.  Read more »

Fantastic Voyage

Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India
The Rubin Museum of Art
Through February 2, 2015
 
Two Tents
Mary Boone Gallery
Through December 20, 2014

The original impulse in my life as an artist was to write and to break from writing into image.... Art is the last oral tradition alive in the West. - Francesco Clemente Read more »

An Interview with John Mendelsohn

I first came to know Kook Projects from curator Soojung Hyun, who asked me to participate in their inaugural show Kooky Cutters: Redefined Realities. What I find particularly intriguing about this gallery space, besides being new and not in your typical art district, is its discreetness. Founded and directed by Kate Kook and co-founded by its curator, WooJae Chung, Kook Projects stands as one of the more unorthodox spaces in New York City, as it has no street visibility. For their openings, this nicely converted ground floor apartment directs its visitors to enter through an iron-gated service entrance, down a set of stairs, and past the building’s recycling area to an alleyway that leads to a fenced-in courtyard and interior spaces.  Read more »

The Shape of Things to Come

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
The Museum of Modern Art
Through February 8, 2015

In the early months of 1945, Matisse wrote to his daughter that he had gone as far as he could with painting in oil, intending instead to focus his efforts on a large-scale decorative project using the cut-out paper technique he had employed to make sketches and maquettes for his mural and theater projects in the early Thirties ("Red Dancer" [1937-38], and "Two Dancers" [1937–38] for Diaghilev's Rouge et Noir). "Painting seems to be finished for me for now… I'm for decoration -- there I give myself everything I can. I put into it all the efforts of my life." Although he had already been employing this technique for years as an adjunct to his paintings, it was not until the mid-Forties that he turned almost exclusively to cut paper as his primary medium, introducing a radically new operation that came to be called a cut-out. The Museum of Modern Art has devoted an entire exhibition, a mini-retrospective of sorts, to this final chapter in Matisse's work. Read more »

Bong Jung Kim Gets Right to the Point

Bong Jung Kim has a very deliberate and consistent way of working. His intention, which is navigated through bold combinations and contentious juxtapositions of symbols, mixes metaphors as he vies for a deeper cord in our psyches. He is primal with respect to color and technique, yet he tells his tale with references to the darker side of the collective contemporary social condition and our quick to throw away and ever-upgrading technology. Read more »

Poetic License in Public Spaces

Siah Armajani: The Tomb Series
Alexander Gray Associates
September 4 - October 18, 2014

Iranian-born Siah Armajani, inarguably one of the finest sculptors in America to have emerged out of minimal and conceptual art, the main aesthetic strategies of the late 1960s, creates deeply affective rigorous and ruminative work. It appears to be at once elementarily simple and tautly complex. Read more »

Little Q+A: Margaret Roleke + Bradley Rubenstein

Margaret Roleke's life has been spent in New York or the surrounding tri-state area except for three years living in London and two studying in Ohio. Her many trips to Europe, Asia, Central America, and South America have informed her practice. Roleke's art has been exhibited widely in the tri-state area, and also in several international shows. In the last year her work was seen at Scope Miami, Cutlog in New York, Fountain Art Fair in New York, and in several group exhibits in Connecticut, Harlem, and Brooklyn. Read more »

Little Q+A: Gina Magid and Bradley Rubenstein

Gina Magid is a Brooklyn-based painter who creates psychologically and visually layered imagery in paint, charcoal, satin, and other materials. She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2003 and a McDowell Colony Fellowship in 2004. Magid has had solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., New York; Acuna-Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles; and Artists Space, New York. Her work has been included in group shows at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York; DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Exit Art, New York; and Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York. Her work is currently at Ana Cristea Gallery, 521 West 26th Street, New York. Read more »

Little Q + A: Millree Hughes + Bradley Rubenstein

Millree Hughes, born in North Wales in 1960, has been making art on the computer since 1998. In the 2000s, he showed with Michael Steinberg Fine Arts. Hughes is currently working with Museum Editions (www.museum-editions.com) in New York City and Polyglot Gallery in Dallas, Texas.  Read more »

A Gallery Ramble under Darkening Clouds

Elizabeth: Trawling around today's Chelsea galleries recently made David and me mindful of the days when we would wander the streets of SOHO looking at art in some pretty great galleries. After the sun set, there were no Comme des Garçons or Cookshop to light the way home, but thin bedraggled men filling dumpsters with compacted shredded rags from the remaining sweatshops that dotted the area south of Houston Street. Frankly most of what was below Houston in the late 1970s and 80s was pretty creepy, outside of a few old standbys. Still, if you were there for the art, music or dancing, its edginess was exciting and romantic. It was also affordable to take a cab out of there -- if you could find one. Read more »

Vanity Fair: Liz Markus + Bradley Rubenstein

Liz Markus was born in Buffalo, New York, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She has previously exhibited her work at Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach, Loyal Gallery in Stockholm, and ZieherSmith in New York. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as numerous private collections. Her current solo show, Town & Country, runs through July 3rd at Nathalie Karg Gallery, 41 Great Jones Street in New York City. (Image above, Babe Paley 1.) Read more »

The Inner Workings of Kyujung Kim

While touring the galleries in Hudson, NY, I happened upon the serigraphic prints of David Roth at Hallam Bruner gallery. Roth’s works, which has roots in Bauhaus, fall somewhere between Conceptual Art and what was once called Neo Geo. All this aside, it was the uncanny similarity to the newly made LED art I saw just the evening before in New York City that had me thinking about collective consciousness.   Read more »

Little Q + A: Wesley Kimler + Bradley Rubenstein

Bradley Rubenstein: I first encountered your work in the late eighties. I remember a painting of yours called Hunters that was quite memorable. It had the impact of something iconic, like an Eqyptian stele or a Barnett Newman piece. The work that you have done in the last several decades has continued to have that effect, in my opinion, and I have enjoyed following along on your trip through painting. Let’s go back, though, for a minute and fill in some of your history. You live and work in Chicago. Where did you study before then?

Wesley Kimler: Alright, well, I left home when I was fourteen years old (and actually if you look on Facebook I posted a bunch of stuff). I grew up in the old South of Market area of San Francisco, living in derelict single-room-occupancy hotels down there. 

I didn't go to high school -- I was a street kid, in other words -- but what I made myself do was take music lessons during that time as I was growing up. I studied baroque flute with the idea that I could [laughs] be a classical musician. As I grew a little bit older, in my late teens and early twenties, I was hanging around with a lot of pretty well-known jazz musicians—some really great jazz musicians, like Joe Henderson and Woody Shaw (the great hard bop trumpet player who was a mainstay with Art Blakey for many years) and the whole crowd of the Both And Jazz Club at Divisadero Street in San Francisco, which is where I grew up. I saw how hard their lives were, so i decided to become a painter. It looked more comfortable. It seemed like it wasn't as harsh as making art in a nightclub, with all the heroin and broken lives and so forth. Of course, it's no different, but I thought it would be. Read more »

Germaine Richier: The Return of a Shape Shifter

Domenique Lévy and Emmanuel Perrotin have collaborated on presenting a survey of figurative sculptures by Germaine Richier, who Lévy, -- in perhaps, overly bold rhetoric -- claims to have been “the mother of post war sculpture in Europe.” It has been fifty seven years since her first one person show in New York at the Martha Jackson Gallery. Hardly a forgotten figure in France and Europe, during her lifetime she was in five consecutive Venice Biennales, and in recent decades her work has been seen in major surveys of the period: Paris-Paris (1981) at the Centre Pompidou, Aftermath (1982) at the Barbican Art Gallery, Paris Post War (1993) at the Tate Gallery and a retrospective at the Foundation Maeght, Saint-Paul (1996), followed by another at the Academie der Kunst in Berlin (1997). In America, she fell from sight after her untimely death in 1959. The exhibition is on three floors of the two galleries 73th street townhouse. The first floor is overfilled with large pieces; the second is just right; and the third floor holds only a few works which share the space with Gutai artist, Tsuyoshi Maekawa’s disappointing variations on Alberto Burri’s burlap reliefs. (What were they thinking?) Read more »

Across the Great Divide

An Interview with Hijo Nam

Hijo Nam’s art projects an ability to seek and know. With knowledge can come an understanding that harmony is inner peace. This would account for the contemplative nature of the forms and combinations she chooses, the colors and accents she adds, and the surfaces and textures she reveres. Nam’s search often brings her to the lost and forgotten remnant of an outdated utilitarian mechanism. In her hands, a resurrection of a spirit occurs, and as a result, the object is moved beyond its thingness. This process, this journey then becomes transportive and transcendent as the object’s past, present, and future become one. Read more »

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