Art Review

High Anxiety

Shaky Ground
Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC
January 8–February 14, 2016

It is traditionally assumed that the art object is a record of history, whether the history of the artist, of its time, or merely an object left over after the fall of a civilization. While the writing of a period is open to the influence of retelling, interpretation, or the vagaries of translation, the visual object, by its very nature, promises us the stability of meaning inherent in its "objectness." How, then, in an age where perpetual war, disintegrating environmental conditions, and rapidly accelerating technologies, do we expect our artworks to function? What kinds of anxious objects will best represent to future generations our story? D. Dominick Lombardi poses these questions, and a group of artists at Lesley Heller’s Workspace seek to answer them in the exhibition Shaky Ground.

Lichtundfire

I happily went to the Lower East Side to visit with Priska Juschka and see her new collaboration / business, Lichtundfire. The opening exhibition is entitled Visceral Velocity or the Emotional Speed of Things and runs from November 4th through December 20th, 2015.

Paint It Black!

Anders Knutsson
Van Der Plas Gallery, NYC
September 5 - October 17, 2015

In his recent exhibition at Van Der Plas Gallery, entitled "Light, Time and Patience," Anders Knutsson spotlights color, the essential element that adds exponentially to the richness and vibrancy of visual art. Without the stimulation generated by hues our senses go hungry. Swedish American painter Knutsson has been exploring issues of color since the mid-1970’s, in dense wax and oil on linen “monochrome” paintings that highlight one pure color per painting. Their delicately modulated surfaces may look deceptively simple, but each piece involves the accumulation of 7 – 12 layers of carefully applied paint that creates luminous transparent depths. A number of the artist’s new works, engendered in 2014 by his joint project with Swedish weaver Hanna Kristine Isaksson, are referred to as "weave-paintings." Incorporating Knutsson's input on threads, fabric and design, Isaksson uses traditional Nordic techniques and patterns to weave linens that generate fresh assertions of light and color on the surface texture.

A Head Is Not A Head

HEAD: Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
Hamden Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst
October 18 - November 12, 2015

HEAD, a group show being held at the University of Massachusetts’ Hampden Gallery, is being curated by D. Dominick Lombardi from October 18 to November 12. The exhibition, which features the diverse work of 20 artists, as well as the collaborative work of the twelve artist Outside-the-Line Collective, embarks on a mesmerizing visual tour of the head as an evolving object in contemporary art. A far cry from the arbitrary identity marker of early portraiture, HEAD demonstrates the head as an indistinguishable entity capable of broad symbolic meaning.

My Gender-ation!

Pinned, Stitched, and Glitzed: Challenging Gender Stereotypes
The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College, NYC
September 9 - November 13, 2015

The exhibition entitled "Pinned, Stitched and Glitzed: Challenging Gender Stereotypes," on view at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explores mixed media in imagery that injects refreshing diversity to an art scene steeped in minimal art, conceptual art, and the enduring New York School. Curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos the show attempts to deconstruct the traditional female gender identification with the finely crafted handwork. The artists on view employ creative methods that transgresses the social expectation that dainty, precise art is the province of women while bold powerful art is reserved for men, including trans-gender and gay men. The show focuses on a variety of wall works and paintings comprised of cumulative segments that contribute to the final unified work. Renee Magnanti, Eozen Agopian, Maria Karametou, Ran Hwang, and Nicholas Moore create art that ranges from abstract wall pieces constructed with pins, buttons, bobby pins, woven and sewn textiles, to figurative paintings with glitter and objects affixed. This extravagant mix of ingenious, skillfully rendered media infuses the show with a jolt of creative inspiration that subtly challenges the usual expected stereotypes.

Shrine for Girls: Patricia Cronin + Bradley Rubenstein

Patricia Cronin's work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Venice Biennale; Musei Capitolini, Centrale Montemartini Museo; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University; Brooklyn Museum; and the American Academy in Rome Art Gallery. Her work has been included in group shows NYC 1993: Experimental, Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum; Watch Your Step, FLAG Art Foundation; and Sh(out): Contemporary Art and Human Rights, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland. Cronin is the recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants. She has also received support from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and Anonymous Was A Woman. Cronin's works are in numerous collections including National Gallery of Art, Washington; Perez Art Museum Miami; and the Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum in Glasgow. She is the author of Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found, A Catalogue Raisonné and The Zenobia Scandal: A Meditation on Male Jealousy.

Zombie Birdhouse

Keltie Ferris
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NYC
Through October 17, 2015

A screenwriter bursts into his agent's office. "I have a great idea for a new picture," he enthuses. "We do a remake of The Wiz. Only with white people!" Clichéd Hollywood joke, sure, yet pretty much on point with regard to current trends in art and music. The mash-up, dub, remix, redux, or whatever you want to call it, has replaced the "appropriation" strategies of the 80s. It has morphed into something called Zombie Formalism that for better, or worse, is now seen as a legitimate art movement.

Endless Waves

October Waves: Photography by Sandra Gottlieb
Walter O. LeCroy Gallery
The New York Hall of Sciences, Queens
9/1-10/31, 2015

The New York Hall of Sciences in Queens presents Sandra Gottlieb's powerful 2013 photographic series October Waves, curated by Marcia Rudy. Twenty-five large scale photographs (30 x 40”) and five smaller scale close-up shots feature images of pristine waves with patterns of foam and strongly moving undercurrents in an homage to the ocean’s majesty and its ever changing inexorable might. Gottlieb documents the especially devastating 2013-hurricane season with shots taken at sunset from the same location, each day in October, with the sun over her right shoulder. Often she enters the ocean in high boots to catch a wave at its peak, before it crashes to her feet; she describes the experience as “dancing” with the rhythms of the currents, where her past career as a dancer enabled her to segue with the ebb and flow of the tides. The show offers a brilliant view of pure nature, undiluted by subtexts, at its most sensory and direct.

Vanity Fair II: Franklin Evans + Bradley Rubenstein

Franklin Evans creates painting installations with the artist's studio as his subject. Since 2005, he has had twenty solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe and numerous group exhibitions at venues, which include, among others: MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA. He will create a new site-specific installation spreadsheetspace at Prosjektrom Normanns in Stavanger, Norway in September and a collaborative installation shelflife with artist Kate Gilmore at Art Production Fund/Cosmopolitan Hotel P3 Studio in Las Vegas in December.