Archive for April, 2007

Art Gotham Opening Reception

The Square Foot Show reception at Art Gotham was an absolute mob scene. There had to have been 1,000 people through the doors that night. People were lined up down the hallway, down the stairs and out the front door. Forget using the elevator. I’ve never been to an opening where there were staff directing traffic (keep moving, stay to the right). The show ends on April 20.



Gallery hopping in Chelsea

Spent the day gallery hopping in Chelsea before the opening at Art Gotham. The number of new galleries since last I was down for the day was astounding.

I really enjoyed the Kimberly Hart show at Mixed Greens Gallery. Clever,playful stuff that shows a bit of the sense of wonderment with the universe that is so rare in the art world at the moment. Seeing something that steps outside of the often overly cynically self-conscious sensibility that is the current NY “up market” is a breath of fresh air.

Also worth seeing was the David LaChapelle show Awakened at Tony Shafrazi. The water photos have a “scenes-from-the-second-coming-of-christ” look about them. However, the back room is the fashion magazine-ish, celeb pandering and should be avoided. Really, that should go in the flat files (who hasn’t already seen Pam Anderson’s fake boobs?).

In some ways, the large work called “Deluge” (above) reminded me of recent photos by Wang Qingsong, whose work is one of the first to make me laugh out loud in a long time. The first Quingsong photo I’d seen was at the Williams College Museum of Art. As I browsed the picture, it suddenly dawned on my that the models were posed in correlation with works from western art history. I realize that this is a commentary on western-centric art historical impact on eastern culture, but the moment of realization really was a laugh out loud moment.

Unfortunately, they were in the process of installing the Dylan Graham show at RARE, so I only got to glimpse through the windows. What I did see looked promising though, so I’ll have to go back and check it out.

Also nice to look at but a bit monotonous was the Ciao Fonseca opening at Paul Kasmin, just around the corner from Art Gotham. Really lovely handling of paint, but once you’ve seen the first six, there isn’t enough variety to keep them from looking like they were fabricated to be bought (which is, I suppose the idea – though it comes off as “I’d like one, don’t care which”). I like where these new pictures have gone but it would be nice to see the variety of his previous work. This is definitely work that has to be seen in person, there is lots of important textural detail that just doesn’t photograph well. Also, seen at the opening was the venerable Walton Ford, whose work is carried by Kasmin and whom Great Barrington is lucky to call a part-time resident. A few of his prints even grace the walls of Pearls restaurant on railroad street, which is quite something considering that he recently had a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum.

On the other end of the spectrum, the worst show that I had the displeasure of witnessing was Pierre Bismuth at Mary Boone. I LOVE the Boone gallery space and have seen some great shows there but what a shame to waste such prime real estate on such utter nonsense. He should stick to writing screenplays, which are much more interesting.