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

Paul Ramírez Jonas

Artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has created a work of art that encompasses all of New York City over several months, and Times Square is where it starts. I never thought I would make a trip to Times Square voluntarily, but on a sweltering late June afternoon I found myself waiting in line with a friend to get my “Key to the City”.

As described by CREATIVETIME, the public art organization that commissioned the piece called Key to the City, “One to one, one at a time, all of the time, thousands of keys will be bestowed by thousands of people on thousands of citizens for thousands of reasons that deserve to be recognized.” …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

Lee Bul

In the unique 2-story space of Lehman Maupin Gallery, you can view Korean artist Lee Bul’s latest sculptures from above and below and discover the fascinating complexity of her architecturally inspired works.  Suspended from the ceiling and combining stainless steel, aluminum, mirror, wood, glass beads, and more, the striking hard-edged sculptures suggest many forms including buildings, spacecrafts, satellites, and origami. Make sure to look up close at the sculptures and you will be surprised at how intricately crafted they are and the numerous decisions being made per square inch with the selection and application of materials.

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Roni Horn

American artist Roni Horn follows up her 2009-2010 retrospective Roni Horn aka Roni Horn organized jointly by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Tate Modern and currently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, with the first exhibition in the US devoted solely to her drawings. As large as eight by ten feet, six complex “pigment” drawings from the series called Else are on view for the first time at Hauser and Wirth New York. The power of these works lies not just in their enveloping scale and space but also in Horn’s sensitivity to material and touch and balance between conceptualism and intuition.

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