Art Review

San Antonio Never Disappoints

sala_diaz1Last week, in between installing my exhibition at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center and attending the openings for that show, I was able to visit a number of galleries in San Antonio. As I had experienced in my four previous trips to San Antonio, I found a lively art scene fueled by a proud community of hard-working artists, gallerists, curators, and directors supported by a good number of critical publications, city officials, and enthusiastic collectors. Make yourself available for a First Friday and you'll be amazed by the four or five thousand visitors that will pass through just about every art space in the downtown area. Read more »

Shoe Sale: Works by Ed Radford

crinkled_shoeMost art aficionados will recall Andy Warhol’s early work as an illustrator, when he made fanciful renderings of 1950s fashion footwear. Recently, I’ve come to know two artists who focus a considerable amount of time and effort on the art of the shoe. During a recent studio visit, I was treated to a sneak peak of the shoe paintings of artist and hat/clothing designer Yuka Hasegawa [right], as she prepared for her solo show at Gallery Milieu in Tokyo. Her shoe paintings ranged in style from smoky Surrealism to more concrete representations, each having a certain personality in mind for its wearer. Read more »

Indianapolis Art FYI

bosch_ecce_homoWith its famous Speedway, the once champion Colts, and the popular Pacers, Indianapolis is first and foremost a sports town. What most do not know is that Indianapolis has an art scene, albeit limited, with one world-class institution, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), as its core. At the IMA, you will find a number of stellar art objects ranging from Asian and African antiquities to formidable examples of modern and contemporary art from Europe and the United States. For one, they offer one of the Ecce Homo (ca. 1510, left) paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, which features a relatively calm Christ before of a mob populated with the typical Bosch crazies. Read more »

Brooklyn 1, Queens 1

spiders_in_loveDuring a recent visit to Brooklyn and Queens, I went to two galleries where I will be showing in 2008 and found intriguing shows. The first location was Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, a pristine space with a world-class program that features four guest-curated shows per year. At this time, curator Joshua Altman, who is also the current director at Stux Gallery in Chelsea, offers his take on artists who create animations that, for the most part, ignore any standard animation techniques. The show is titled Extremes & In-Betweens, which refers to how the outermost positions of a character's body movements set the mark for the changing movements in-between, a concern or approach that rarely, if ever, enters into the minds of the artists assembled here. Read more »

Yin Yang

anderson_bull_collageOne of the best aspects of the Manhattan art scene, and perhaps my favorite, is its diversity. You need only go to a handful of galleries to experience a broad range of concepts and aesthetics. Once in a while, you hit a few shows that blow out the borders a notch or two, keeping the whole thing increasingly fresh and expansive.

This is the case with two current exhibitions, Michael Anderson: Media Violence at Marlborough Chelsea, and Hiroshi Senju at Sundaram Tagore Gallery. Michael Anderson's art has painterly, fluid, reactive and compelling iconography culled from street posters. Read more »

Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art, Pt. 3

yi_li_yeh.jpgThe third and final leg of Frolic opened November 6th at the Taipei Gallery, an impressive space that unfolds from the lobby of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office building to an open second floor space. As was the case in the first two shows, curators Thalia Vrachopoulos and Jane Ingram Allen chose art that evoked whimsical thought.

Projected above the throngs of opening visitors is Yi-Li Yeh's double video Orange Flower 1, showing a young woman dressed in a yellow, phallic-laden outfit as she runs through a series of martial arts poses while spewing flowers (life) from her outstretched arms. Read more »

Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art, Pt. 2

wen-fu-yu.jpgThe second of three exhibitions collectively titled Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art opened at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York on October 18th. The atmosphere at the opening, as it was at 2 X 13 gallery two weeks ago, was energizing. For the second installment, curators Thalia Vrachopoulos and Jane Ingram Allen offer the work of 13 young artists who, this time around, have a bit more of an Eastern focus esthetically.

Inspired by the exhibition’s focus on humor, Wen-fu Yu offers “God Bless You!” (above left), a mixed media installation composed of bird netting and white duck feathers. Read more »

Chicago: Some Notes Upon My Return...

dread_by_mosley.jpgSome of you who know me would have heard about the Intelligent Design Project that Michael Zansky and I have been presenting in a number of spaces throughout the U.S. . The third show in the series opened at Kasia Kay Art Projects on the 12th of October, and I look forward to hearing from anyone who sees the show in Chicago.

From this point on, I would like to tell you about what I saw in other Chicago galleries, all well worth a visit. First, in the west loop, I happened by four exhibitions that were real winners. Read more »

Judit Reigl: A Survey

center_of_dominance_reigl.jpgBorn in Kapuvár, Hungary in 1923, Judit Reigl resides in Paris and is considered a major figure in European art – but not here. In fact, you could say she is relatively unknown in the U.S. save for shows like the one up now at Janos Gat Gallery, her first New York exhibition.

Reigl, like the show as a whole, is abruptly pure. It took me a few minutes to rewire my brain to think in terms of art that truly was made for cerebral pleasure, for the artist herself, and not for the making of a marketable object. And that, to me, is a very European attitude – or at least this was the case in the middle of the twentieth century. Read more »

Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art

frolic_1.jpgThe atmosphere on opening night at 2 X 13 was festive and tantalizing. The exhibition offers a sampling of works that put forth a diverse overview of the concept of humor. Nothing is too overt, and most works suggest some sort of social or emotional mores, but less specific than I expected. Curators Thalia Vrachopoulos (based in New York) and Jane Ingram Allen (based in Taiwan) managed to project, via their chosen artists and works, an eastern feel with western bent, making it all seem comfortably different.

Fay Ku's large gouache on paper works reminded me very much of Amy Cutler's works, but the narrative in Ku's art is a bit more problem-oriented. In one work, a woman spies her heavily overgrown pubis while in another, half tree, half nubile women attempt to swallow blowfish whole, which leads to punctured cheeks and problematic situations. Read more »

SquARE zERo: Gudjon Bjarnason

bjarnason_view.jpg

Gudjon Bjarnason employs chance, relying heavily on a very extreme form of controlled chaos. At the core of this exhibition are variously mangled minimalist metal sculptures that he fabricates and later destroys, either by dropping them from great heights or blowing them up with dynamite. Extreme, but Bjarnason is from Iceland -- a land that tends to suggest extremes, from the immensely various amounts of available sunlight through the year, to the strangeness of the glaciers and volcanoes that dominate the landscape. Read more »

Holistic Art - P.C. Turczyn: Gilded Paintings

maelstrom.jpgI came to know the Omega Institute through a show I co-curated with Kathleen Cooley (Fear is a Four Letter Word) at their last Being Fearless conference in New York City. Omega, as you may already know, is an innovative institute with a holistic approach to life and living that is progressive and full. I went up to their main campus in Rhinebeck for Family Week this summer and had a fulfilling and spiritually uplifting stay. While there, I happened by the Ram Dass Library at the center of the campus where the mixed media works of P.C. Turczyn were on display.

As a rule, library shows can be pretty mediocre, even amateurish, so I didn't expect to be impressed -- but I was impressed. Turczyn's work, which is based on basic patterns found in nature, was meticulously crafted and beautifully designed. There was a palpable energy or force in the work that really grabbed my attention. Read more »

Mark Wiener: Inside Out

strokes_blue.jpgThe chances of seeing a storefront in midtown Manhattan converted into a blank canvas for an artist to create an automatic, abstract work of art is pretty slim, given the real estate values in the city these days. But the Lab Gallery has been doing such outside-the-box thinking for some time. I had the good fortune of being associated with this progressive approach as a curatorial advisor through January of this year, so I like swinging by now and again to see what is going on at the Lab. Read more »

Dustin Yellin: Suspended Animation - Robert Miller Gallery

dustin_yellin_resin.jpgAmidst the cacophony of fast and loose summer group shows offered in Chelsea this year stands, literally and figuratively, one unforgettable exhibition. The art of Dustin Yellin is a cross between painting and sculpture, science and science fiction. His magical objects, some taller than the viewer, are comprised of dozens of layers of resin that are meticulously painted with acrylic and inks - layer atop layer - until a sinuous "life form" appears that looks like it would be at home in sea, sand, or air.

Each object is a comment on nature, genetic experimentation, color and form, culminating, in this reviewer's mind, in some of the freshest and most distinct art being made today. Read more »

Automatic Update: When Life Goes Pop - MoMA

lars_laumann.jpgAutomatic Update, MoMA, NYC

"The art of our era is not art, but technology. Today Rembrandt is painting automobiles; Shakespeare is writing research reports; Michelangelo is designing more efficient bank lobbies," notes oft-quoted Howard Sparks.

Well, the sensible Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media, The Museum of Art (MOMA), might just have forced Mr. Sparks to augment his theory an iota. With her entertaining new exhibit, Automatic Update, which runs until September 10th, London clearly showcases the reverse process, with five contemporary artists extracting art from technology. Read more »

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