175 Rivington Street , New York, NY 10002
May 28, 2014 - July 13, 2014
by Bradley Rubenstein
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein
| tags: pop figurative painting
With exuberance and dark wit Walter Robinson has explored America’s fascination with the seedy underbelly of urban life for more than three decades. His work has drawn from Film Noir, pop advertising, and trash literature; in the 1980s he dipped into a pool of film stills, paperback book cover art, and pinups (in that age before digital porn), in line with artists such as Robert Longo, David Salle, and Cindy Sherman. Unlike Longo and Salle, who made their images more distilled and sanitary through large-scale studio production, or Sherman, who dove headfirst into making the noir-schlock masterpiece Office Killer (1997), Robinson steadily kept his hand in the mix, developing a painterly touch that belied the appropriationist strategies of the decade.
The eleven new paintings and works on paper in Robinson’s show at Lynch Tham are based on middle-income, middle-American store advertising for Target, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Lands' End, source material particularly relevant to Robinson’s work. Through simple depictions of clothing such as the neatly folded Long Sleeve Plaid, (2014) or the van Gogh inspired Lands' End Boots from $25 (2014)—items that Warhol might have said everyone would wear—Robinson creates an eerie darkness. The shirts are precisely tucked in, like police evidence; the boots kicked asunder. These paintings suggest that in our current moment in time both school shooter and victims might be shopping at Marshall’s.
Walter Robinson, Land's End Boots from $25, 2014, Acrylic on linen, 30 x 24 in.; Courtesy of Lynch Tham Gallery
Robinson’s figurative paintings address the audience they are “selling” to. The implicit stance in Lands' End Swimming in Confidence (2014) and Target Dresses Cardis and Wedge Sandals (2013) is utopian, proposing a happy, healthy, and harmonious world of ever-changing patterns, seasonal colors, and interchangeable, endlessly consumable product. Robinson’s brushwork is integral, informing his ability to draw from these ready-made images a sense of painterly depth that transforms the banality of the advertising image into something seductive on a deeper level.
In Target-D Signed and Shaun White (2013), the strongest work in the exhibit, four boys with skateboards and Beatz headphones smile out at the viewer. The imagery on two of the boys t-shirts is carefully abstracted, drawing our focus into the painting, and we don’t notice right away how staged and frozen the boys’ expressions and postures are. The contrast between the potential menace of a group of young Justin Biebers, and the delight that Robinson takes in the painting of them creates what Marcel Duchamp called a “delay” in painting—we are drawn into the image, but our eyes wander the paths of the brushwork and color. Robinson wrings poetry out of pandering of advertising. It is as if he were a forensic cultural detective, using his brush like a lab scientist dusting for fingerprints. In this case Robinson is using paint, gently probing for the clues and meanings imbedded in the images he reproduces.
Walter Robinson, Long Sleeve Plaid, 2014, Acrylic on linen, 28 x 28 inches; Courtesy of Lynch Tham Gallery
All the most avant-garde of movements, from the Impressionists to the Pop Artists, eventually ended up, to some degree, kitsch decorations. To be "Post-Modern," especially in the 1980s, was a high-wire act, walking a tightrope between aesthetic cynicism and irony; dabbling in kitsch, was, out of necessity, a net. Robinson’s works on paper are an appeal to pleasures of consuming, in particular Lands-End Sleeve Flannel (2013) which shows three plaid shirts, folded and neatly arranged in a row, suggesting that they might be small, medium, and large. Here Robinson is both critical and complicit in this bid for pleasurable consumption. He has often trafficked in kitsch, and in this show in particular, his critical relationship toward the iconography of commerce and his love/hate relationship with popular imagery adds up to a success in measures that few painters working today can match.
(Image on top: Walter Robinson, Land's End Swimming in Confidence, 2014, Acrylic on linen, 36 x 60 in.; Courtesy of Lynch Tham Gallery)
Rockaway Beach Surf Club
302 Beach 87th Street Rockaway Beach , Corner of Beach 87th and Rockaway Fwy. , New York, NY 11693
June 29, 2014 - September 1, 2014
An art festival salutes Rockaway! resilience
by Allyson Parker
Posted by Allyson Parker
| tags: photography installation sculpture Rockaway Artists Alliance site-specific Rockaway Beach Patti Smith Hurricane Sandy
Last weekend Rockaway Beach’s Fort Tilden opened its gates to a crowd of art connoisseurs, local creatives, and bronzed beach goers for a day of art and activism supporting Rockaway Beach. The Rockaway Artists Alliance and the National Parks Service hosted the hordes of art lovers who came to witness the opening of the site specific art installations (on view through September 1st), a free open-air performance by rock legend Patti Smith, and a Walt Whitman poetry reading by hipster heartthrob, James Franco.
Curated by MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach in collaboration with photographer/musician and long time Rockaway resident Patti Smith, the exhibition—appropriately titled Rockaway!—is an effort to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the artists who live and work in the community year-round. Smith, along with artists Janet Cardiff and Adrian Villar Rojas, installed site-specific artworks into the newly restored landscape in the most culturally sensitive and artfully impactful ways while the Rockaway Artists Alliance took the opportunity to host a day of family friendly activities and workshops.
Smith, who has been making art since the 1960s, took over two of the repurposed art galleries for a site-specific installation and an exhibition of her photography, which reaches back more than fifty years. The 107 black and white photographs, titled Resilience of the Dreamer showcases the artist's career through her travels, relationships, and inspirations. The series begins with a collection of personified portraits like the typewriter of Herman Hesse, the paint brushes of Duncan Grant, the corset of Frida Kahlo. The works seem to credit the most influential characters in her life by anthropomorphizing the most powerful tools of their physical and creative expression.
The exhibition continues in an adjacent building by way of a humble sculpture garden featuring the repurposed remnants of domestic objects displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The recycled path winds towards a dilapidated building formerly used as a locomotive repair facility that houses piles of damaged and discarded emphemera, re-contextualized graffiti, and a bed frame inserted into the middle of the exhibition’s floor plan. The gilded bed frame sits slightly raised above the ground on a white platform, painted gold and draped in soft white curtains that billow with each gust of sea breeze. According to the work’s description, the sculpture is to remain in place and decay over time, referencing the instability of time and the impact of Hurricane Sandy on both the families and homes of its victims.
The other stand out installation is Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Piece Motet, installed appropriately in the Fort Tilden Chapel. The chapel, which was severely damaged in the storm, was restored to host the exhibition of Cardiff’s forty audio speakers organized in a circle around the building’s interior. The speakers are raised on simple metal poles to stand at average human height, each one carrying the voice of one choral member. The auditory piece is a reworking of a sacred sixteenth century motet created by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis, and most commonly believed to be composed for Queen Elizabeth I’s 40th birthday in 1573. The eleven-minute piece is played on a continuous loop and is so awe inspiring that most members of the audience stood motionless for the piece’s duration with eyes closed and ears pressed against a favored speaker. With voices so rich and a sound so melodically unified, their presentation as digital audio tracks is almost forgotten as one’s ear recognizes the corporeality and weight of their choral harmony.
The final installation is Adrian Villar Rojas' homage to the Hornero, an iconic bird of Argentina known for building its nests out of found materials. The installation, entitled From the Series Brick Farm, features synthetically created birds’ nests that Rojas made by hand using mud, straw, grass, and clay—a credit to the power of perseverance and ingenuity. By incorporating the natural architecture and materials of the landscape, Rojas makes a direct connection to the power and impact of geography on the lived environment. The nests, which are scattered throughout the grounds, also serve as a reference to the former use of Fort Tilden as a military base whose ward was to provide protection against potential aerial and nautical attacks.
The day concluded with an evening as impactful as the art it supported. Actor/artist James Franco recited a selection of Walt Whitman poems with assistance from Smith, who wrapped up the evening with a free outdoor concert of her most beloved songs. The duo was introduced by a host of arts supporters and cultural program coordinators without whom the day and exhibition would not have been possible. Their speeches were remarkably humble and heartwarming, reminding us that devastation can happen at any time and when it does, we should all be so lucky to have the friends and family that a close knit community like the Rockaways can enable. With the dollars from corporate sponsors and the hearts of the 500+ volunteers that helped restore the coastline, Rockaway Beach is positioned to become an even stronger residential community and a more relevant arts district than ever before.
(All images: Courtesy of MoMA PS1)
2368 Montauk Highway , Bridgehampton, NY 11932
July 10, 2014 - July 13, 2014
Hampton Happenings: Your Guide to Summer Art in the Hamptons
by Allyson Parker
Posted by Allyson Parker
| tags: art fair guide the Hamptons Dan Flavin Institute Parrish Art Museum Art Southampton Art Market Hamptons ArtHamptons art market art fairs
It’s official! This past 4th of July celebration greeted the summer season of New York City’s art scene. Hordes of urbanites will trade in their metro cards for polo mallets as the Hamptons Art Fairs kick into full swing. Troupes of art aficionados will flock to this east-end mecca of white beaches and even whiter ensembles. The Hamptons Art Fairs are known for their trendy parties, trendier market swings, and art collectors who have a penchant for scooping up big ticket items at the drop of a well-coiffed hat. Opening this weekend are Art Hamptons and Art Market Hamptons followed by Art Southampton in late July. As most New Yorkers are avoiding the scorching city heat, we’ll be turning it up as red dots and auction paddles fly. Here’s our itinerary on things to come out east.
Art Market Hamptons [July 10-13] specializes in connecting art dealers with collectors. Their market friendly focus helps expand the platform of arts appreciation within the context of networking and investments. Located in Bridgehampton and produced by veteran dealers Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause, this fair is sure to contain the front runners of market friendly art investments.
Art Hamptons opening night, 2013; Courtesy ArtHamptons
ArtHamptons [July 10-13] is known for its boutique style exhibitions featuring the top galleries in post-war and contemporary art. This year, they’re hosting a line up of galleries, events & lectures culminating in their annual Art Polo game in a merger of all things art and affluence. Special events include a John Chamberlain Auction, Expert-Led Guided Tours and ArtKids -collaboration with Free Arts NYC- hosting special family friendly programming. And don’t forget the annual Hamptons Tea Dance on Saturday July 12th with none other than DJ Lady Bunny!
The Herzog & de Meuron designed Parrish Art Museum—a recent recipient of the “Best Museum” in Travel + Leisure's International Design Competition—is following the formula for art world acclaim. Along with exhibitions from the museum’s permanent collection and sculpture garden, this weekend will feature the museum’s Midsummer Party on Saturday, July 12th, and closing reception for Jennifer Bartlett’s History of the Universe. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stretch out after a long weekend at the fairs, the museum even offers a yoga class on Sundays.
Photo by Matthu Placek; Courtesy of Parrish Art Museum
Later on in July, Art Southampton [July 24-28] features 80 modern and contemporary art galleries from around the globe. With a preview benefitting the Parrish Art Museum and Southampton Hospital, this year's fair is estimated to attract over 16,000 collectors, curators, and professionals in the field of contemporary art.
The Watermill Center—a self-proclaimed laboratory for performance—is an exploratory research center for the creative disciplines including art, dance and theatre. On July 26th, the center will host its 21st annual summer benefit supporting the center's artist residency program which hosts 100 artists from over 30 nations each summer.
For ongoing exhibitions in the Hamptons area during July, one we’re looking forward to is Genieve Figgis’ Yes Captain, now on at Harper’s Books in East Hampton. This will mark the first public presentation of the Irish painter’s work in the U.S.
Established in 2012, the East Hampton Shed is exactly that. A shed in East Hampton, but one that shows a host of really great artists. Right now you can catch I Never Called You A Dream, a project by Hector Arce-Espasas and Lewis Teague Wright in the diminutive space.
For a short exhibition (July 5-17) you can catch the latest project by artist Zachary Armstrong at Robert Blumenthal's East Hampton space. Let's just say it's dinosaur-themed.
Dan Flavin Institute, a Dia adaptation located in Bridgehampton and established in 1983, hosts nine permanent installations of Flavin’s work created between 1963 and 1981. The institute is housed in a converted firehouse originally built in 1908 and couldn’t be a more appropriate resting place for the infamous light artist.
Editor's Note: This article has been corrected; our previous figure for Art Southampton's attendance was incorrect and has been updated accordingly.
(Image on top: Art Market Hamptons 2013; Courtesy Art Hamptons)
Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark, Millstone Rd., Watermill, NY 11976
July 10, 2014 - July 13, 2014
ArtHamptons: Looking to Korea and Beyond
by Max Nesterak
Posted by Max Nesterak
| tags: graffiti/street-art digital performance mixed-media drawing painting abstract expressionsim korean ArtHamptons art fairs
This year, ArtHamptons returns to the Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark bringing a unique focus on contemporary Korean art. Citing a growing fascination in New York with contemporary Korean art, ArtHamptons will feature fifteen Korean art galleries bringing with them over 150 artworks.
Fittingly, Korean-born, New York-based multimedia artist Jayoung Chung will open the fair with her performance, Performing with You. Developed in part during her residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Chung’s piece weaves together drawing, technology, and sound to create a full sensory experience.
Bringing together so many elements and mediums, Chung’s piece isn’t easy to describe (best watch the video of her performance at the Watermill Center below). Using conductive charcoal, Chung will draw on paper she’s embedded with twelve strings of conductive wire. As she touches the paper with the charcoal, the strings produce digitized images and sound, with the sound, in turn, further affecting the digitized images. Drawing inspiration from her audience as they come and go, Chung will continue to draw until the paper becomes black with charcoal. The result is a multi-dimensional artwork created in real time. Modified for ArtHamptons, Chung's piece will be staged in front of the pavilion with two smaller monitors on the ground alongside her canvas.
Performing with YOU from Jayoung chung on Vimeo.
Chung’s work reflects her training as a painter, a programmer, and a musician. After receiving two BFAs in Seoul, one in painting and another in design, Chung moved to New York City where she earned an MPS in Interactive Telecommunication Programming from NYU in 2010. As a child she learned three traditional Korean instruments. In her work she attempts to marry these interests, using her eye for visual art and design to create connections between traditional arts and new technologies. If you’re lucky enough to hold a Black Card, you can see her show outside the pavilion at 7pm.
Another highlight this year is the fair's retrospective of Jane Freilicher, who’s been named this year’s recipient of ArtHampton’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Exhibited by Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Near the Sea: A 60 Year Retrospective highlights the artist’s long career painting the landscapes and cityscapes of her native New York.
Freilicher came of age with the Abstract Expressionists and informal New York School of the 50s, belonging to circle of prominent painters and poets including Helen Frankenthaler, Frank O’Hara, Joan Mitchell, and Larry Rivers (whose work was a major focus last year at ArtHamptons). Painting from her homes in Manhattan and Water Mill, Long Island, her distinctive pastel color palette, brushy paint strokes, and always-prominent vase of flowers reflect her technical skill and sustained commitment to a simplistic beauty and a ‘painterly realism.’
Kim Woo Young, Harper Avenue, 2014, c-print, 110 x 154 cm; courtesy of Park Ryu Sook Gallery
While never quite reaching the fame of some of her friends and contemporaries, Freilicher’s work has earned her a place as one of America’s most esteemed artists of the 20th century, and her paintings are in the collections of America’s most important art institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. On Saturday, Freilicher will be at ArtHamptons for a book signing.
Two additional artists making appearances I can’t go without mentioning are LA ROC and Lady Bunny. The Haring-dubbed “Graffiti King of the Lower East Side,” LAII aka LA ROC aka Angel Ortiz will be showing at the Lawrence Fine Art booth as one of ArtHamptons’ spotlight artists. As for Lady Bunny, the legendary drag queen is returning to the Hamptons this year to DJ the annual Empire State Pride Agenda Tea Dance supporting LGBT issues.
As for outside events, except for a bit of cloud cover, it’s going to be high 70s and sunny. Perfect for sharing war stories of your recent acquisitions at Saturday’s party hosted by the “elite and prestigious” Young Presidents Organization/World Presidents Organization (invite only) or experiencing the “thrill of social and economic exclusivity” at Sunday’s polo match (open to all ticket holders).
See the full schedule for ArtHamptons here.
[Image on top: Jayoung Chung, Performing with You, multimedia performance, Photo by Caterina Verde; Courtesy of the Watermill Center]
Ryan Lauderdale, Jessica Sanders
59 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013
June 21, 2014 - August 2, 2014
Light, Linen, Formica, Wax
by Megan Liu Kincheloe
Posted by Megan Liu Kincheloe
| tags: mixed-media sculpture abstract painting light art
In their two-person exhibition, Ryan Lauderdale and Jessica Sanders present work that takes various approaches to creating physical objects through systematic processes. What’s remarkable is how their works seem to dialogue through the diversity of the basic forms and materials each artist prefers. Lauderdale presents hard-edged, technological lamp-like wall sculptures while Sanders is showing two focused groups of paintings that use the properties of beeswax over linen. Their works are displayed side by side in each of the cavernous rooms at Kansas and their remarkable coherence is a testament to the savvy eye of the gallerist that paired them.
Black Lamp (2014) is Lauderdale’s most arresting work. In this piece the slick black curve of an open cylindrical wheel merges with the vertical base that houses a pair of tubular fluorescent bulbs. Every side of the well-crafted structure is finished in black, glossy Formica. High-contrast reflections of white light streak the surface and highlight nuances in the sculpture’s form. With a portico-shaped hood and hidden sockets, the fluorescent tubes are pinned upright into a recessed base pedestal with trapezoidal sides. It’s as decadent and appealing as the specialized shapes of a customized car.
Ryan Lauderdale / Jessica Sanders, Installation View; Courtesy Kansas Gallery
The three-piece installation that occupies the back room, Interior with Cornice (2014), is like an opulent mise-en-scène. Here, freestanding triangular structures mirror each other across an attached glass platform. The pieces are furniture-scaled, but their skeletal structure does not invite participation with the body in any way. There’s a sense of theatricality to the luxurious-looking forms that are actually made of readily sourced, low-cost materials. This theatrical characteristic is equally present in Lauderdale’s Hall Monitor (2014). Its sporty blue and white two-tone exterior bulges as if it were adjusting to accommodate the dimensions of mechanical or electronic equipment inside. Lauderdale doubles this theatrical effect by leaving black power chords exposed and incorporating Elfa shelving unit components (vis-à-vis The Container Store) into other works. The pieces smartly toy with the passage of style where over time high design is knocked down to its cheaper iterations; it’s why Interior with Cornice has the specific look of a 1980s re-interpretation of Bauhaus rather than just Bauhaus.
Lauderdale mines the utopic narratives embedded in the history of design to build his own vocabulary of form. Consequentially, his work slips between associations of Modernist furniture and architecture into other realms where similar codes have been borrowed and particularized such as the aspirational marketing of exercise equipment, transcendental meditation, and the faux-fancy gaudiness common to cheap casinos and strip clubs. His combination of design nostalgia with minimal art just works. It amounts to a precisely observed American Mannerism that is simultaneously earnest and cheeky.
Crumple A39, 2014,
Beeswax on stretched linen with artist frame,
35 x 27 in/ 88.9 x 68.6 cm; Courtesy Kansas Gallery
By contrast, Jessica Sanders' minimal works reinforce the natural forms of organic materials such as bee’s wax. In both her Saturation and Crumple paintings, Sanders sets up a regulated action that displays a given material’s characteristics more so than the artist’s hand. To create her Crumple works, Sanders stretches fine suiting linen in different shades of indigo and grey before coating the linen in hot wax. The coated linen is then unstretched, crumpled, and re-stretched. The result is a mini-geology of wrinkles and stress cracks in the wax along with a crust of tiny, sugary particles of broken material. The accumulation of varying thicknesses of the semi-opaque beeswax over the colored linen creates an intricate marbled pattern and an impressive tonal array. Alongside stretches of pure beeswax or uncovered linen, slightly saturated sections look darker and wax-coated areas appear chalky, desaturating the color of the linen underneath.
In the Saturation series, Sanders makes sensual wax pours onto raw linen. They are beautiful but with her interest in fixed interventions, I’m more interested when the parameters are set where the material behaves rather than when the material is composed. Sanders' works are sensitive, absorbing, and finely executed with handmade frames with unpredictably placed and particular-seeming nails along their edges.
It’s a satisfying contrast to see 1980s hyaloid set pieces up against tactile and unpretentious process works. Both Sanders and Lauderdale engage a sort of period style, and each are able to use the attending associations from the strong historical quotations to expand their work. These artists manage to be truly inventive inside what would seem like a tight framework to work with.
—Megan Liu Kincheloe
(Image on top: Ryan Lauderdale
, Hall Monitor, 2014
, Formica, wood, hardware, fluorescent, and spray paint on glass
, 106.7 x 248.9 x 18.4 cm; Courtesy Kansas Gallery)
Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Ark, Millstone Rd., Watermill, NY 11976
July 10, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Top Picks from ArtHamptons 2014
by Allyson Parker
Posted by Allyson Parker
| tags: korean art Korea contemporary ArtHamptons art fairs
Thursday night heralded in the brigade of well-dressed fair-flockers for the opening night of ArtHamptons. A celebrity studded event—Moby sighting included—it’s no wonder these single lane country roads congested into a veritable parking lot in a matter of several short hours. This year's theme of “escapism from the everyday” is fair director Rick Friedman’s call to curate with color and levity, an appropriate agenda for collectors looking to don the walls of their seasonal beach homes with blue-chip quality investments. As to be expected, there was a sprinkling of pop-iconography, metallic beach prints (à la Massimo Vitali, only not), and your standard color-coded ab-ex paintings. A pithy little anecdote to note are the artwork déjà vus when you get the distinct feeling you’ve seen that work, or at least that style before. Chances are, you probably have. On a wall not several booths over the same artist is probably exhibiting a piece from the same series with another gallery—a gentle reminder that the art world is smaller than you think and originality is often the most valuable commodity.
The real standout of the fair is the integration of Korea Contemporary, formerly the Korean Art Show. Dispersed through out the exhibitors are fifteen South Korean galleries sponsored by the Korean Galleries Association, highlighting the country’s contemporary art scene. A welcomed breath of fresh air, you can recognize the South Korean artwork even before confirming via the label or price list. The most adventurous in medium and the most progressive in subject matter, the Koreans really hit the nail on the proverbial head with their contribution to the canon of contemporary art. Even the galleries that were not a part of the Korean curation included works from independently represented South Korean artists amongst their international artist rosters.
Following our second glass of free champagne and our third walk down the pop-up aisles, here’s our selection of top five artists from ArtHamptons 2014.
#1: Sungchul Hong at Anthony Brunelli Fine Art, New York
Sunchul Hong, Perceptual_mirror, 2013, Solar LCD units, acrylic, 21.65 x 21.65 inches; Courtesy of the artist
South Korean mixed-media artist Sunchul Hong utilizes LCD solar panel systems to create a kinetic sculpture of modern mastery. Each panel contains an independent charger and display unit creating a beautifully choreographed flickering of rest and activation. Much like the individual window units of a soaring highrise, each panel represents the presence, or lack thereof, of a particular entity or body. Suspended in customized plexiglass boxes, each amalgam of energy packets is assembled in a sleek geometric shape, cleverly forming cohesion amongst the independent cohorts.
#2: Park Seung Mo at Keumsan Gallery, South Korea
Park Seung Mo, Another Wall 527, 2014, Stainless Steel Mesh, 189 x 95cm; Courtesy of the artist
These life-sized sculptural works give their subjects a weightless effect. Sculpted from several layers of steel mesh, each layer is rotated slightly to give a sense of dimensionality and depth to the subject matter. The industrial quality of the medium is balanced gracefully with its corporeal volume and the almost skin-like texture of an otherwise violent or aggressive material. Suspended from atop, the work commands a dominating presence in physical space.
#3: Carla Groppi at Alicia David Contemporary Art, London
Carla Groppi, After Atget (32) Parc de Saint-Cloud 8, 2014, Pastel on paper, 61 x 49 inches; Courtesy of the artist
Carla Groppi’s work is an homage to art history with a contemporary twist. Attracted to cool colors, the artist often works in blue hues recreating scenes from French daguerreotypes that highlighted scenes of urbanism and modernity. The artist reduces the original image to its most basic lines and forms, capturing the freneticism of the city without the literal narrative. Her drawings often mimic the piece from the past, synthetically replicating a print, all the while being done by hand. With painstaking attention to detail, Groppi’s work communicates the ideals of art history with a modern vernacular.
#4: Elisabeth Lecourt at Envie d’Art Gallery, Paris
Elizabeth Lecourt, Pierre Verte, Rubis Rouge, 2012, Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Saint Augustine map rep. 1585, Signed and sealed E.L. Elisabeth Lecourt; Courtesy of the artist
These clever little constructions of history catalog the history of fashion, commerce, and imperialism in a quaint and sweet motif. Folded to perfection, this series of “geographic clothing” captures the domesticity of capitalism and the results it has on culture. Combining the meticulous fabrication of a French fashion designer and the research of a seasoned historian, Lecourt’s work contains a history of modern civilization wrapped into a neat little bow (literally).
#5: Jong-wan Choo, Shin Gallery, New York
Jong-wan Choo, Emergence, 2012, Acrylic, colored pencil on canvas, 74.8 x 87.8 in /190 x 223 cm; Courtesy of the artist
This Michelangelo rendition is the finest of Choo’s charcoal-colored creations. Constructed painstakingly from colored pencils and sized to monumental scale, this series is an example of human diligence. An homage to the master himself, Choo influences form with the finest etch of a pencil, with a touch as delicate as Michelangelo’s must have been when striking the edge of his chisel. Like sand slipping through a loosely formed palm, each figure begins to dissolve into origami-like forms, breaking down the modern human psyche into a million disparate pieces of crumpled refuse. Choo's figures are both human and metaphor simultaneously.
[Image on top: Carla Groppi, After Atget (33) Parc de Saint-Cloud 9, 2014, Pastel on paper, 61 x 49 inches; Courtesy of the artist]