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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?)
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.
Although David Robilliard is now viewed with the gift of hindsight as being essentially a London artist, a closer examination of his life betrays that he stemmed from a more parochial soil, that of the Channel Islands. He no more represents '80's London by birth, than Andy Warhol embodies '60's Manhattan. It's their work and it's ethos that bequeaths them this status and blends them both so firmly into the fabric of their adoptive cities. Circumstance and happenstance gilded their evolution as gay men. Warhol escaped the confines of Pittsburgh for the heady promises of the Big Apple. Robilliard fled the stifling nature of island life, arriving in London in the early '70s become an artist and poet.
Allison Schulnik’s second New York solo exhibition at ZieherSmith, Eager, included a startling array of painting, sculpture, drawing, and film, creating a beautiful, yet haunting world. Schulnik talks with Bradley Rubenstein about her new show, her dance background, the difference between working in New York and Los Angeles, and, of course, cats.
Color has impact. It can repel or attract, program our opinions, set moods, even control traffic. In some ways color effects us based on our individual experiences and environment, yet there remains a systemic interpretation, prejudice or preconception about color that concerned artist Linda Vallejo addresses in her series Make 'Em All Mexican. By employing the color brown to change the ethnicity of mostly American Icons that appear here in the form of dozens of sculptures and figurines, a few paintings and a number of photographs, prints and postcards, Vallejo subconsciously moves racial stereotyping of Latinos to our collective front and center.
Most paintings, the instant you see them, they become familiar and then it's too late.- William Gaddis, The Recognitions