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Nick Cave
JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY: THE SCHOOL
Kinderhook, New York, New York
May 17, 2014 - September 17, 2014


Nick Cave Takes Us to School
by D. Dominick Lombardi


There are a handful of stellar institutions that one might plan to visit for a weekend away from the summer heat of New York City. The newest, and one of the most impressive is The School in Kinderhook, New York. Kinderhook is a picturesque town just north of Hudson, which itself is an established attraction for New York City dwellers looking for gourmet food, an eclectic variety of antiques, and a vibrant gallery scene.

The School was converted by architect Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas from the stately, albeit abandoned and foreclosed, Martin van Buren High School into a unique and beautiful exhibition space. The main gallery is a converted gymnasium with an awe-inspiring, cathedral-like presence. Around this space is a wraparound walkway where individual works maintain a certain uncanny intimacy with the viewer. Throughout the building there are a few more "finished" viewing spaces as well as a number of rooms in different states of decay for use as installation sites. These are outstanding. In total, the well-known New York City gallerist Jack Shainman has generously created a bright, new, and exceptional 30,000-square-foot museum level art institution that promises years of momentous exhibitions.

The current, inaugural exhibition showcases the work of all around creative genius Nick Cave. It centers on Cave’s well known Soundsuits that replicate the size and shape of the artist’s own body. The suits are adorned with everything from multi-chromed popsicle sticks, pot holders, pipe cleaners, and porcelain and plastic figurines to stuffed animals and sideshow statuary. As a result, this colorful, mind-blowing menagerie of freestanding forms has a super-real presence in our hearts and minds. They defy reason—and at times gravity—while extending the persona of the individual wearer to such a degree as to make them part of a free association continuum of otherworldly time travel.

Nick Cave, Installation view; © Photo by Jeremy Lawson / Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Then there are the other sculptures that Cave creates as potent individual statements. The Soundsuits conceal “race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment” as the artist states. In comparison, the other sculptures and assemblages more directly confront racially based injustices. As with the Soundsuits, Cave employs any object or means to get his point across in these unsettling and insightful works. In one release the artist notes, “It all started when I found a container at a flea market shaped like the head of a black person. The description read ‘Spittoon.’ I was shocked. This led me to begin collecting this extreme category of black inflammatory objects, carefully noting the way they were described and the places they were found.”

You cannot look at these sculptures without feeling the artist’s pain and resentment with regard to racism and hatred. One major piece of this type, Property (2014), is displayed in the aptly named Principle’s Office space. It consists of a long row of antique box molds containing a variety of curiously connected objects stretched across the gallery floor before a lawn statue of a barefoot, black servant, who stares blankly into space. One wonders, if our subject could only figure out the obscure puzzle before him, could he wind his way to freedom from the constraints and oppressions of his day? Perched atop a combination of odd platforms, he stands in front of a nest of ceramic birds in all sizes and colors, held together with soldered steel branches and long strands of beads. It calls to mind a connection between animal sacrifice and the breaking down of one’s spirit as the weight of the situation becomes evident.

In Classroom 2 there are three more poignant works. Two contain offensive, sambo-type effigies of young boys sitting atop stacked high-chairs. They too are set against a backdrop of nesting birds, only here it serves more as a playhouse or cover from a world filled with humiliation and suffering. Cave has an innate ability to soften the blow just enough so visitors can be lured in with open minds and light hearts.

Nick Cave, Sea Sick, 2014, mixed media, 96 x 72 x 10 1/2 inches;  Photo by Jeremy Lawson / Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

 

Classroom 1 holds four works that are a far less intricate, allowing the message to be perceived more immediately and at a far greater distance from the work. Sea Sick (2014) in particular caught my attention as it directly contrasts the adoration expressed for the classic, albeit kitschy, "big ship" painting against the unyielding agony experienced by shackled slaves traveling just below the deck.

The four large-format, multi-level and multi-faceted wall assemblages that hang in the Main Gallery and the two tondi comprising stitched together found sequined garments project more whimsy than wallop, however they are no less commanding of the space they inhabit.

This comprehensive exhibition by one of today's most important contemporary artists is a powerful debut for Jack Shainman's new gallery.

 

D. Dominick Lombardi 

 

(Image on top: Nick Cave, Installation view; © Photo by Jeremy Lawson / Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York)



Posted by D. Dominick Lombardi on 6/23 | tags: performance installation mixed-media sculpture figurative Soundsuits Kinderhook racist memorabilia slavery African American

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20140702133022-land_s_end_swimming
Walter Robinson
LYNCH THAM
175 Rivington Street , New York, NY 10002
May 28, 2014 - July 13, 2014


Mallrats
by Bradley Rubenstein


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.

 

Bradley Rubenstein 

 

(Image on top: Walter Robinson, Land's End Swimming in Confidence, 2014, Acrylic on linen, 36 x 60 in.; Courtesy of Lynch Tham Gallery)



Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 7/2 | tags: pop figurative painting

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20140705094252-1
Group Exhibition
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


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.

 

Allyson Parker

 

(All images: Courtesy of MoMA PS1)



Posted by Allyson Parker on 7/5 | tags: photography installation sculpture Rockaway Artists Alliance site-specific Rockaway Beach Patti Smith Hurricane Sandy

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20140708135722-hamp1_1
artMRKT Hamptons
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


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. 

www.artmarkethamptons.com

 

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! 

www.arthamptons.com

 

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.

parrishart.org/programs

 

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. 

www.art-southampton.com

 

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. 

www.watermillcenter.org

 

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.

www.harpersbooks.com/

 

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.

easthamptonshed.com

 

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.

www.robertblumenthal.com/

 

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.

www.diaart.org/sites/main/danflavinartinstitute

 

Allyson Parker

 

 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)



Posted by Allyson Parker on 7/8 | tags: art fair guide the Hamptons Dan Flavin Institute Parrish Art Museum Art Southampton Art Market Hamptons ArtHamptons art market art fairs

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20140709014919-9
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


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]



Posted by Max Nesterak on 7/9 | tags: graffiti/street-art digital performance mixed-media drawing painting abstract expressionsim korean ArtHamptons art fairs

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20140709144445-7_kansas_js_rl
Ryan Lauderdale, Jessica Sanders
KANSAS
59 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013
June 21, 2014 - August 2, 2014


Light, Linen, Formica, Wax
by Megan Liu Kincheloe


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.

Jessica Sanders,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)



Posted by Megan Liu Kincheloe on 7/9 | tags: mixed-media sculpture abstract painting light art

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