A Holiday You Can’t Really Escape

Christmas in July curated by Simon Castets at Yvon Lambert Gallery is one of the stand out summer group shows. It opens “with a bang” literally as a favorite artist of mine Roman Signer presents one of his “action sculptures” Zimmer mit Weihnachts Christmas Tree (Room with Christmas Tree) (2010). A decorated tree spins on a motor that causes its ornaments to fly off and smash against the walls. LOL! But seriously as Castets explains in Interview Magazine, “it seemed to convey the conflicting feelings a lot of us have about Christmas, which is ubiquitous. It’s a holiday that you can’t really escape in our world—even if you don’t celebrate it.” …read more

Summer Hours

Even though the gallery season has ended and most shows on view are group shows, weird summer-themed shows, or indoor yard sales, there are still some highlights. We’ve listed below 3 that you should check out:

Make a note though – many commercial art galleries change their hours for the summer. These galleries are now open Monday through Friday, 9 – 5 pm.

Saul Chernick

It’s taken me a year to figure out what I truly like about Saul Chernick’s work. I’ve seen some of these pieces (or their beginnings) in various places before and have always liked them for their technical skill. But what really fascinates me is the exuberance with which aspects of mortality and sexuality are created.

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Josephine Meckseper

Within a few minutes of looking at Meckseper’s sculptures, videos, and photographic works, you’ll notice her ongoing exploration of American consumerism and politics focuses this time on car culture and it’s connection to the oil industry and related domestic and foreign policy decisions. Manipulating found and appropriated objects and images, the artist offers a range of works in a direct and multi-reflective mode.

Dark from the outside, the gallery space immediately envelops you as you step through the door. Shiny reflective surfaces surround you including a sensational gridded mirror ceiling and gleaming slat wall. The dominant chrome look suggests car dealerships and discount stores. The dark fluorescent lighting along the floor’s edge adds an odd and disquieting tone to the environment. …read more

Richard Hughes

A visit to British artist Richard Hughesí exhibition on view at Anton Kern Gallery slowly reveals that all is not what it seems! Hughes, 34 years old, has established a reputation for meticulously crafted replicas of ordinary objects. He likes that the inordinate amount of time he puts into painstakingly recreating the item is invisible.

In the center of the gallery sits the fabricated foundation of a razed house. It evokes a mood of abandonment and loss. Look carefully to discover that in each room of the former home a letter appears shaped by stains and tears in the carpet and flooring. Can you see what it spells out? “The End” with the toilet hole providing the period! …read more

Liz Magic Laser

Don’t miss the inspiring and absurd feature-length video chase by Liz Magic Laser at Derek Eller Gallery that closes today! Laser adapts Bertolt Brecht’s 1926 play, Man Equals Man and filmed her cast of 9 performing it in the ATM sections of different NYC banks. She videotaped each actor’s performance separately and then edited the scenes together to present the complete tale.

It’s hard to believe how successful the resulting film is with the characters convincingly conversing with one another across the spliced together segments. The concept and technique speaks to Laser’s quiet brilliance. The actors deserve a lot of credit for delivering their lines with a range of emotion to the ATM machines and dealing with the bank’s unsuspecting customers and guards. …read more

Alison Elizabeth Taylor

Marquetry master Alison Elizabeth Taylor takes on the potent subject of foreclosure in her third solo show at James Cohan Gallery.  Taylor has made a name for herself by bringing the Renaissance craft of marquetry or wood-inlay into the 21st century.  A medium originally associated with wealth and luxury, Taylor creates an inherent tension by often choosing bleak or banal subjects for her socially conscious paintings.

Take time to marvel at Taylor’s ability to use the grain and tone of the wood veneer to create highly realistic depictions.  In an interview with Kurt Andersen on WYNC’s Studio 360, Taylor mentioned there are easily 40 different types of wood veneer in a small work. …read more

William Pope L.

There is much to look at in an exhibition from William Pope L. called “landscape + object + animal”; not just the live performer wearing pajamas, a Barack Obama mask and standing at the end of an inclined ramp made from bags of soil; but also the plush animals doused in coffee and scattered throughout the gallery, the signs that proclaim “Negro Ideas” and drawings made on vinyl banners.

Much to think about and feel too: the live performer is holding a cup with a green ink which could signify different things I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s possible to read them this way. The action itself is important, the colors, the movement, the associations, the composition. And taking it all in can take some time, but offers up an internal tension related to our understanding of identity and racial politics that could prove worthwhile. …read more

Heather Rowe

One of Dorothea’s favorites is back on view at D’Amelio Terras Gallery with a new installation titled Trouble Everyday. Called “quasi-cinematic” by Jacob Proctor, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art where this work was first shown, it forces the viewer to reorganize their perceptions of space while moving through it.

Heather Rowe
Trouble Everday
D’Amelio Terras Gallery — 525 West 22nd
until June 19, 2010

Amy Sillman

Amy Sillman, Shade, 2010.

This is your final weekend to take advantage of the much discussed and celebrated exhibition of new paintings by Amy Sillman at Sikemma Jenkins Gallery.  She expands on the show’s title, Transformer (…or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?) with imagery that unfolds slowly and with colors that evolve and mix and go from grey to saturated color and back again all as you walk through this show of large works. …read more