February 3, 2013
This weekend we narrow our focus, in geographic terms, and concentrate our attention on the exhibitions along Chelsea’s diverse 22nd street “art corridor”.
Chelsea gallery recommendations – exhibitions to see this week.
Yancey Richardson Gallery is showing a contemplative and notably nostalgic photographic triptychs by David Hillard. Hillard’s images are still, lacking all implied motion, focusing instead on the singularity of time. Interesting also is the broken perspective of the panes. Windows, in particular, seem to be placed at different angles, appearing at once parallel to the viewer’s field of vision and visibly skewed. “Eric Discerning”, 2011 (featured here) recalls Cezanne and his iconic still lives or even the Dutch Baroque masters and their lush compositions. The exhibition titled “The Tale is True” is on view through February 16, 2013.
Sikkema Jenkins Gallery‘s current exhibition features semi-figurative abstractions by the Portuguese-born artist Jorge Queiroz now based in Berlin. The works are wonderfully tactile and offer a seemingly-endless embedded narratives to explore. The palette is vibrant, intensely complex and captivating. Something about the fluidity of his outlines reminded us of Edvard Munch’s paintings. Ask to see the catalogue of the artist’s previous work (unfortunately none are available for purchase) and you will see how his previous imagery has evolved. Many of the earlier works (some are drawings) had a two-part composition that separated the image into “above and below ground”. Those of you familiar with Dostoyevsky (Notes from the Underground) and Jose Saramago (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis) will immediately connect Queiroz’s imagery to these authors’ famous stories and characters. The exhibition is on view through March 2, 2013.
CRG Gallery is focusing their current exhibition on the prismatic abstractions by Steven Bindernagel. Comparisons to Twombly’s Four Seasons will be inevitable, but Bindernagel’s evolution of Twombly’s signature color blots and drips is an interesting possibility of the famous gesture’s transformation, one that’s definitely worth exploring. The exhibition Steven Bindernagel: In Conversation is on view through February 23, 2013.
PPOW is exhibiting the latest work by a London-based artist Suzanne Treister. The small-scale works first appear to be stylized Tarot cards, but read the text and you’ll see that behind the familiar imagery lies a very real history. From the gallery:
“HEXEN 2.0 looks into histories of scientific research behind government programs of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements. Treister’s HEXEN 2.0 charts, within a framework of post-WWII U.S. governmental and military imperatives, the coming together of scientific and social sciences through the development of cybernetics, the history of the internet, the rise of Web 2.0, increased intelligence gathering and implications for the future of new systems of societal manipulation towards a control society.”
The exhibition HEXEN 2.0 is on view through February 23, 2013.
The Outsider Art Fair is the art destination of the weekend so prepare yourself for vigorous stair climbing, insistent crowds and don’t forget your magnifying glass. Read our overview of the fair.
The overall impression is that this fair is focused on Folk art. It’s probably an incorrect art-historical term (“outsider art” being the preferred one), but once you see booth after booth of Esther Hammerman and Giorgos Rigas-esque work you’ll see what we mean. The pendulum seems to swing between country scenes, stylized figures that resemble simple, often one-dimensional child drawings, (in fact we spotted an elderly couple skimming through a portfolio of drawings that could not have been anything but a second grader’s drawings, complete with sparkles and rainbows), and painstakingly detailed work that requires a great deal of concentration from the artist and the viewer.
That said we found some real jewels that are worth the trip, and if you’re able to afford them – acquiring some of these pieces.
Galerie St. Etienne, an unexpected exhibitor at the fair, although it turns out they are one of the oldest galleries to specialize in outsider art. Jane Kallir mentioned that the gallery was first to exhibit works by a renowned American folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, or as she is better known – Grandma Moses. The work that caught our attention was a fluid abstraction by Madge Gill. The artist is said to have created this work while working with a spiritual Meduim and thus assigns authorship to the spirits who “worked through her”. See the work (below) and create your own associations.
Hudson had colorful and deeply harmonious works on paper made anonymously by the illiterate tribes from Rajastan, India. From the gallery:
“These small paintings on found paper are made anonymously in India (especially in Rajasthan) by practitioners of Tantrism—some of whom are artists—to represent and embody fundamental aspects of Tantra, a vast and complex spiritual and philosophical practice. Viewing or meditating on these reductive and essential images stimulates specific mental and/or spiritual experiences that are part of Tantra’s teachings. While the images are centuries old with highly codified forms and colors, the paintings are packed with such a high level of the artists’ intentionality that they continually appear fresh and alive.”
More recommendations in our review.