2016 is definitely starting out with a BANG! Amazing exhibitions are scheduled to open throughout the month and here is your short and well spaced-out list of top 5 NYC shows you NEEEEEEED to see in January. The international (expanded) edition is due next, so start booking your flights and hotels now. Well, actually read the article first and then make your jet-setting plans. So, here we go!
1. Drawing Then at Dominique Lévy Gallery
New York/Upper East Side
909 Madison Avenue at 73rd street
DRAWING THEN: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties
January 27 – March 19, 2016
“Drawing Then is inspired by—and coincides with the 40th anniversary of—the 1976 exhibition Drawing Now, organized by Bernice Rose at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In her seminal catalogue essay, Rose wrote that “a number of artists have, and with increasing intensity since the middle sixties, seriously investigated the nature of drawing, investing major energies in a fundamental reevaluation of the medium, its disciplines, and its uses.” The exhibition will most notably feature loans from MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and includes works from the private collections of artists Mel Bochner, Vija Clemens, Jasper Johns, Adrian Piper, Dorothea Rockburne, and Frank Stella.”
The Warhol Dollar Bill was sold on May 13th, 2015 during the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale for a grand total of $5,3 million. It would be interesting to see if the painting will be listed for sale during this exhibition, or will be on loan from the current owner.
*Notice how the Warhol drawing features words “Silver Certificate” instead of “Federal Reserve Note”.
2. Izumi Kato at Galerie Perrotin
New York/Upper East Side
909 Madison Avenue at 73rd street
January 7 – February 27, 2016
Medium: Painting, Sculpture
“Izumi Kato is an artist who began painting after laying down his brush. Eschewing tools, as if to reject any reliance on the flightiness of brushwork, he applies layer upon layer of somber-hued pigment directly with his hands, not so much to paint as to rub the color onto the canvas. In this way, he depicts creatures with human contours, two staring eyes, a head, hands and feet. Those bold, forceful curves, throwing into relief the human shape, those organic lines, that distortion and simplifying of form, are inevitable products of painting with the hands, and as a result, Kato’s works possess a powerful presence that seems to illuminate the core of the human body.”
3. Mernet Larsen at James Cohan Gallery
New York/Lower East Side
291 Grand Street
Things People Do
January 22 – February 21, 2016
“In the early 2000s, Mernet Larsen came to a crucial turning point in her career, saying, “I decided that I wanted to paint old-fashioned narrative paintings with volume and depth and the essences of significant actions. I developed a longing for pictures evoking a classical sense of permanence, solidity, in the spirit of 15th century Italian painting. But I knew these paintings would be statements of longing, of recognition that essences must be constructed, not uncovered. They would have to be makeshift contraptions, taking into consideration the issues I had been dealing with for the previous 40 years.”
Describing the sensation one gets from viewing Larsen’s work, John Yau writes “it’s as if we have never seen anything like them before… Seeing becomes a kind of detective work, searching for clues while sorting through the visual evidence. We find ourselves on intimate terms with the familiar and even banal…The anarchy incipient in everyday life comes across as synonymous with its ordinariness…This is the undeniable power of Larsen’s work—she endows ubiquitous occurrences with an oddness that, on the surface of things, seems logical.”
4. Eddie Martinez at Mitchell-Innes and Nash
534 West 26th Street
January 30 – March 5, 2016
Medium: Painting, Drawing, Collage
“Many of the paintings in the exhibition originated as small, sharpie drawings on paper. The drawings are enlarged and silkscreened onto the canvas. Using this black silkscreen as a starting-point, Eddie Martinez then builds up shapes and layers, sometimes using the outline of the silkscreen as a formal blueprint, or sometimes disregarding the lines or covering them entirely.
In the catalog interview with Alison Gingeras, Martinez says, “the drawings and practice of drawing has always been a constant thing and existed on its own laurels. It’s the easiest, fastest way for me to chronicle my life. I don’t draw in my studio, I draw at home and traveling, so it’s really a biographical, journalistic tool”. Recalling the Surrealist project of ‘Automatic Drawing’ directly from the unconscious, Martinez’s works on paper feel raw and immediate.”
5. Doug Wheeler at David Zwirner Gallery
537 West 20th Street
Doug Wheeler: Encasements
January 23 – March 5, 2016
“A pioneering figure in what is often referred to as the Light and Space movement in Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, Doug Wheeler is noted for his innovative constructions and installations that manipulate the perception and experience of space, volume, and light. First made between 1967 and 1969, the artist’s “light encasements” evolved out of his ongoing experimentations with fabricated acrylic and neon, and consist of large panels of vacuum-formed plastic with neon lighting embedded along their inside edges. Installed in a white room with all architectural detail and ambient light eliminated, the light paintings appear to dematerialize, immersing viewers in a luminous space where light seems to have almost particulate mass.
In the 1960s, Wheeler created only twenty encasements of this type (including those presented here) in addition to two variant center light encasements, one of which can be found in the collection of the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California, and the other of which will be shown publicly for the first time in this exhibition. In the latter works, the neon light emanates from the center of the panel, rather than its edges, creating a more condensed luminosity. Unbounded by any kind of frame, the light appears to dematerialize from its source and hover within the space, thus generating a distinctive physiological experience. By shifting the work’s construction in this way, Wheeler provides an effective counterpoint to his own practice and deepens our perceptual experience.”
Warning: expect crowds of selfie-takers at this “Instagram-ready” exhibition, which means we’ll see you there!
Exhibition information and images come are courtesy of the featured galleries. Images copyrighted by the featured artists.
This article © galleryIntell