Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This group of very big, figure-ish sculptures have a sort of involved, mannerist-expressionist thing going on. Lots of materials, handled with lots of panache. I mean, I like them. Not quite so sure about the mirror/crystal thing, however. They seem to have some sort of gestural stance, like the arms-folded one that is impersonating Mr Clean. They seem to be dwelling on (and in) their issues. The one I enjoyed the best was the giant whose body was composed of many painted, or dyed-over casts of hands, because its physical made-ness was great to investigate ( colors sort of reminded me of the edible-candy necklaces we used to get at the boardwalk during summers at the jersey shore ) and because its story seemed to be potentially spooky ( Who stole my Golden Arm? ).
This show at Gagosian on West 24th street had some fun things to look upon, and I'd like to share my appreciation for the truly sweet, and engaging guard who was on duty there. He gladly stood for a photo to help show you the scale of these sculptures, although he declined to give me a boost up so I could sit on one of these folding chairs. Oh, well...
Monday, May 26, 2008
The Greenwich House Pottery studio in nyc is having a fundraising show & sale of historic proportions. Lots of the best-known american potters have taught and studied there over the years, and this show affords a glimpse of their various ideas and approaches to clay. Essentially, the school is selling much of their collection of works, amassed over time, which were donated while these artist/teachers were in residence. Wonderful work from super well-known and lesser-known names, selling for a really good cause! ( ends June 1st ).
Friday, May 16, 2008
This fairly anonymous-looking stairwell could be from just about any gallery. I noticed it for its pleasing generic-ness, but it belongs to the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea where I saw a fantastic show of Donald Judd woodcut prints that were touted in their advertising as "rare". Well, it turns out they are kind of rare, in more ways than one, although my efforts to get a decent photo of them had questionable results. These are very early efforts, though already clearly in the minimal vein, save for the very earliest, which has some playful pictorial things happening that could conjure most anyone except Judd. One thing I actually appreciated seeing in these was the lack of slick perfection that came to dominate printmaking for so long. It seemed clear that the prints were printed by the artist himself, and when I asked the gallery assistant if that were the case, I learned that yes, he had printed them with the help of his father, who had been a woodworker. Okay, so there was a smudge or two here and there at the margins of these: this show gave me a chance to think some new thoughts about something I felt I was pretty familiar with. Some of these thoughts revolved around time, and its effects on artworks themselves. Seeing silhouettes of oil leeching from printed lines to the surrounding paper is commonplace for engravings, and older prints; we get used to it and don't really notice it so much. But here, a large area of oil seepage is found on all of these prints, and I couldn't help thinking that someone who might not know what it was could take it for an element of the image. Which, I guess, it now is. Whether it is a detriment to the print is a question for paper conservators, I guess...