Aldrin Valdez

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A new and sympathetic masculine mythology   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Robin F. Williams at P.P.O.W Gallery February 13th, 2014 - March 15th, 2014
Posted 3/11/14
It’s clear from looking at Robin F. Williams’s recent work at PPOW that the painter has been busy. “Sons of the Pioneers,” her second solo show at the gallery since 2011, consists of ten oil paintings and one drawing (all created between 2012 and 2014). It’s an ambitious exhibition that builds from her last series of portraits, which featured teenagers hiding behind tough looks and couture armor. The textures and the overly elaborate details of their outfits were thrilling. They pulled you in... [more]
Serious Clowning Around   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Guðmundur Thoroddsen at Asya Geisberg Gallery October 24th, 2013 - December 21st, 2013
Posted 11/25/13
For his first solo show at Asya Geisberg Gallery in 2012, Guðmundur Thoroddsen presented ink drawings and wooden busts of blank-eyed bearded patriarchs—gods, men, and their progeny—as the exhibition title suggested: “Father’s Fathers.” Thoroddsen, who is Icelandic, was remixing imagery from various sources: Norse mythology, humankind’s evolutionary path, and the artist’s personal history, while the long geometric beards of the figures, depicted both in the drawings and the busts, alluded to... [more]
Long, Slow Paintings   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Rackstraw Downes at Betty Cuningham Gallery October 11th, 2012 - November 24th, 2012
Posted 11/4/12
Rackstraw Downes’s Presidio: In the Sand Hills Looking West with ATV Tracks & Cell Tower (2012) is a long painting: an expansive, panoramic view of sand hills in a small city in Texas. In the foreground, ATV tracks are dark brown, suggesting movement and shadow. There are two prominent hills creating a droopy, curvy “M.” Between these two hills, the downward slope frames a cluster of houses. Mint green and hot orange, these structures communicate to the viewer that they are very far away.... [more]
For her second solo show “Fade” at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Kris Scheifele has made a series of sixteen paint-sculptures. Body-like and reminiscent of flayed meat, they hang from thin nails on the wall. They allude to the human form but they also suggest handbags, torn yoga mats, the friction-burned undersides of tennis shoes—plastic detritus in the process of breaking down, the kind you might find in a garbage dump. But they are beautifully made. They sag and droop and—juiced up with... [more]
Parlors and Pastorals   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Angela Dufresne at Monya Rowe Gallery September 6th, 2012 - November 10th, 2012
Posted 9/17/12
In DJ Augustine, the largest painting in Angela Dufresne’s current show Parlors and Pastorals, one could say that the story goes something like this: DJ Augustine in the foreground is spinning records, his dog watches eagerly to the left, books are scattered on the floor, and a sculpture of Zeus or Poseidon, launching a trident or a thunderbolt in one hand and masturbating with the other, stands in the distance beneath an arched doorway. Another narration, more dreamy, might emphasize the... [more]
The Difference Is Spreading: B-Out at Andrew Edlin Gallery   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Andrew Edlin Gallery July 5th, 2012 - August 18th, 2012
Posted 7/29/12
On my way here on West 21st StreetI saw two finches or are those sparrowsone feeding the other seedsneck perked up as if he were asking a questionor receiving a kiss, then they both flew awayand on the wall was that school muralWe dream ofbeaut[a hole in the gray brick]elodiesand in my mind, still freshwas that show of queer artSincerityisnotenough & style is everything, voguingat “B-Out”and I felt summerI knew a little grace or could kind of guesshow it would feel: I have this scarf my... [more]
Cruising "The Piers"   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Vito Acconci, Leonard Fink, Ivan Galietti, Frank Hallam, Peter Hujar, Gordon Matta-Clark, Uzí Parnes, Shelley Seccombe, Lee Snider, Stanley Stellar, Tava, Arthur Tress, Rich Wandel at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art April 4th, 2012 - July 7th, 2012
Posted 7/2/12
“I was there; it was everything you ever wanted,” the man—probably in his 50s—gestured toward the left panel of Gordon Matta-Clark’s photographic diptych, Day’s End (Pier 52). “These walkways—they were full of naked men. Beautiful, naked men.” I tried to picture the naked men in the square, 1975 photograph of a dark warehouse interior, but with the other man standing a few feet from me, I focused instead on the right panel, not wanting to seem interested in him. Was he flirting or just... [more]
Compressed History   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Hunter Reynolds, David Wojnarowicz at The Art Show (Art Dealers Association of America) March 7th, 2012 - March 11th, 2012
Posted 3/11/12
At the Park Avenue Armory’s “The Art Show,” organized by the Art Dealers Association of America, P.P.O.W.’s presentation of works by David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) and Hunter Reynolds was a small but powerful show. Paired together, Wojnarowicz’s The Rimbaud Series and Reynolds’s Survival AIDS provoke difficult comparisons between the lives of two gay artists before and after the knowledge of AIDS. In 1978-79, Wojnarowicz photographed his friend and collaborator Brian Butterick disguised in a... [more]
The Deep and Shallow Ends of Painting   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Trudy Benson at Mike Weiss Gallery October 13th, 2011 - December 3rd, 2011
Posted 11/14/11
For her first solo show at Mike Weiss, Trudy Benson has embarked on an ambitious series of large abstract paintings. Actual/Virtual is comprised of thirteen heavily painted works all made in 2011. In each composition, black-and-white grids and big geometric shapes evoke architectural spaces on which Benson then layers oil, enamel, flashe, acrylic, and spray paint. The artist aims to achieve sensuous and playful accumulation by applying these mediums in various ways: drips, dribbles, graffiti... [more]
Lying Down and Looking Up   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jim Isermann at Mary Boone Gallery - 24th St. October 29th, 2011 - December 17th, 2011
Posted 11/13/11
I enter Mary Boone Gallery and momentarily think that I’ve stumbled into an exhibition in the process of being installed. There are no paintings on the white walls, no sculptures on the pavement-gray floor. A small black cushioned bench occupies the middle of the space. I look up and realize that the breathy triangular expanse of the trussed roof has been covered by a low-hanging grid of translucent plastic, which renders the sunlight an artificial fluorescence. The gallery feels like an... [more]
The word “portal” denotes an entrance or gateway. It also suggests a divide or transition between two places that are perhaps in opposition to each other or in constant flux, an opening through which a body enters or exits. Saul Melman’s current installation Best of All Possible Worlds—a group of translucent plastic doors overlooking the East River—is a meditation on a very particular, but ambiguous portal: the tenuous boundary between life and death, a half-way point between what is graspable... [more]
Space Invader   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tabaimo at James Cohan Gallery September 15th, 2011 - October 29th, 2011
Posted 9/25/11
Ghostly hybrids and uneasy, shifting spaces characterize the hand-drawn animations created by the Japanese artist Tabaimo in her solo show at James Cohan Gallery. DANDAN isn’t a conventional show of animated films. It is comprised of three short video-and-sound installations (the longest is about four-and-a-half minutes long), running on loop and projected on the surfaces of darkly lit rooms which further evoke a sense of haunting. There is also a series of small works (tetege, 2011) using... [more]
Body Language   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
William Anastasi, N. Dash at Nicole Klagsbrun September 8th, 2011 - October 22nd, 2011
Posted 9/25/11
The New York City subway is a strange mechanism that collapses distance and time. A train moves through a tunnel, most often beneath the city, carrying people who are more or less stationary; it hurtles in darkness at intense speeds, so that its passengers can emerge elsewhere above ground.  The act of drawing—the process of making marks on a surface—also complicates spatial and temporal realities. Through the hand, a thought becomes corporeal, transforming the flatness of paper into the... [more]
Love Letter in Paint   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Kim Dorland at Mike Weiss Gallery June 23rd, 2011 - August 27th, 2011
Posted 8/21/11
The strength of Kim Dorland’s paintings lies in the way they evoke bodily functions and transgressions, physical and emotional. depicts Dorland's wife in eleven portraits, which he describes in an interview with her as “truly loving.” The love that’s palpable in these works is clearly the love of paint and surfaces, but Dorland’s interest in storytelling can complicate his aesthetic explorations unnecessarily. Consider the brooding, twilight setting that Dorland conjures in Stargazing. It’s a... [more]
Re-Heating Tips   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
lément Bagot, steven bindernagel, Ajit Chauhan, Gustavo Diaz, Curtis Mann, Justin McAllister, Todd Norsten, William Powhida, Jonathan Rider, Rebecca Salter, Mathias Schmied, Lauren Seiden, Julianne Swartz, Jill Sylvia, Ana Tiscornia, Daniel Zeller at Josee Bienvenu Gallery June 30th, 2011 - September 3rd, 2011
Posted 8/21/11
Formally, what the sixteen artists of microwave,  have in common is the use of grids or grid-like structures in creating works of detailed complexity. The grid can be seen as a means of arranging sensory and abstract experiences into a system of information that the human mind can absorb and understand. In this light, a traditional painting can be defined as a locus of visual and tactile data contained on the surface of a tabular rectangle. A ledger is a grid format that arranges information... [more]
Subconscious Pickings   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Patrick Brennan, Jason Brinkerhoff, Ned Colclough, Ariel Dill, John Finneran, Liz Markus, Saira Mclaren, Scott Olson, Ann Pibal, Joshua Smith, Ryan Wallace at Zieher Smith & Horton June 16th, 2011 - July 22nd, 2011
Posted 7/10/11
“Grasping for Relics,” at ZieherSmith Gallery, is a group show of eleven artists and thirty-six works that, at surface level, have very few similarities. The show’s organizer Patrick Brennan, however, invites the viewer to look at the images with dreams in mind. His question—whether or not good dreams do the opposite of bad dreams in how the brain processes difficult emotions resulting from trauma—is never really answered. But it doesn’t matter. The mere mention of the word “dream” activates... [more]
Warp Speed   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tyson Reeder at Daniel Reich Gallery June 2nd, 2011 - July 15th, 2011
Posted 7/9/11
The nineteen paintings in Tyson Reeder’s solo show at Daniel Reich Gallery are modest in size but they open up a world that expands beyond the canvas' edges, as much as it is framed and contained by them. A wonderful screen with oceanic flora on one side and a pockmarked sky on the other holds that same macro/microcosmic flow. Possessing a handheld physicality that reveals their process, some canvases have glued paper surfaces that create rough quadrants, over which skittering marks or coiling... [more]
Play and exploration: art retains these traits of childhood as the artist transforms one material into another. Isn’t this a kind of sustainable practice? Today sustainability is a hot word, but really it has always been an innate quality of art-making. Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades are a case in point. And Jasper Johns’s strategy echoes Duchamp’s irreverent re-contextualizing: “Take an object. Do something to it.” In that light, Anne Percoco’s sculptures and collages underscore and make... [more]
Only So Deep   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Anthony Campuzano at Churner and Churner May 5th, 2011 - June 11th, 2011
Posted 5/28/11
Anthony Campuzano’s recent drawings in his solo show “Water’s March” at Churner and Churner  combine text and graphic elements with explorations of color and mark-making. Graphite and colored pencil laid atop bright washes of ink fill the poster-size rectangular boards. Pencil marks busily crowd around the nooks and edges of letters that come down in columns as big, bold shapes or as stuttering notations. The page is divided into smaller quadrants by the structural motif of window, doormat, or... [more]
Fit Models   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Louise Lawler at Metro Pictures May 6th, 2011 - June 11th, 2011
Posted 5/28/11
The strength of Louise Lawler’s current show of photographic images at Metro Pictures lies in their scale and placement. “Fitting” is how I would imagine a zine or a website such as Tumblr to look if it were made three-dimensional: streamlined, cool, and a lot of white space. Duchamp’s museum-in-a-box comes to mind, but with Lawler, the photographs on view are not images of her own art, but copies of other people’s art. Or is it not that simple? These photographs are hers after all. They are... [more]
Vynl   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 4/24/11
 Vynl102 Eigth AvenueNew York, NY 10011  Have you been to Vynl on the corner of 8th Avenue and 15th Street? The entire restaurant-bar is a pop music haven. Menus feature album covers from Whitney Houston to Barry Manilow. There are two bathrooms: one is dedicated to Justin Timberlake, the other to Boy George—their albums are on loop as you conduct your business. A rainbow-splattered mosaic of each singer completes the ambience in tile-form. Along the walls are glass-covered niches that feature... [more]
Mirror World   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Alyson Shotz at Carolina Nitsch Project Room March 11th, 2011 - April 30th, 2011
Posted 4/24/11
Alyson Shotz plays with the simple physical properties of metal and glass, much a like a painter does with paint. In that sense, the metallic surfaces of her sculptures at Carolina Nitsch Project Room are strangely organic, despite the pixelated world they create. (2011), a series of stainless steel cubes, recalls the body’s clustering of cells, such as pimples or cancerous growth.  As the title points out, Shotz makes use of neodymium magnets to create the effect of cellular formation on the... [more]
Class Acts   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Asya Geisberg, Leah Oates at Asya Geisberg Gallery March 31st, 2011 - May 7th, 2011
Posted 4/24/11
“First Class / Second Class” at Asya Geisberg Gallery is a group show that exudes irreverence and spunkiness as it considers but does not offer any resolute answers to questions about class structures and society. The exhibition combines photography, sculpture, drawings, paintings, and mixed media works. Holly Jarrett’s (2011) is an odd playhouse or a makeshift gallery constructed from raw industrial materials and magazine cutouts. A collage of images covers the panels, including wallpaper... [more]
Printed Matter195 Tenth Avenue New York, NY 10011 Make sure to purchase Christopher Schulz’s lovely book of graphite drawings at Printed Matter. For $10 you can get pin-up images of Seth Rogen drawn by Schulz, who has a careful, loving way of modeling the body. They’re just imagined pin-ups of Rogen, but Schulz makes every mark a palpable fantasy. Image: Christopher Schultz, Pin-Up. Courtesy Printed Matter. [more]
Heavy Metal with a Light Touch   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
John Chamberlain at Paula Cooper Gallery - 524 W 26th Street March 1st, 2011 - April 9th, 2011
Posted 3/20/11
A survey of John Chamberlain's crumpled bouquets of steel from 1962 through 1990 is at the Paula Cooper Gallery.  They’re cool, chrome-plated, and bear a striking resemblance to the vehicular shape-shifting Transformers in mid-metamorphosis. It's not an inappropriate comparison. After all, Chamberlain is known for using old automobiles and their dismembered parts to create sculptures with painterly surfaces. Some parts are marbleized and maintain a dripping, liquid texture. These are attached... [more]
Dance and Breaks on Canvas   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tomory Dodge at CRG Gallery February 24th, 2011 - April 2nd, 2011
Posted 3/20/11
Tomory Dodge's recent paintings (2010-2011) at CRG Gallery are busy with tremorous gestures that fly or hover above more streamlined bands of repeated color. They are large, squarish rectangles (the smallest one measuring 84 x 72 inches), sometimes formatted into long diptychs, that Dodge covers in vertical or horizontal stripes. This pattern is cleanly applied, bearing a similar finish to silkscreen, or heavy-handedly placed, scraped, or dragged down in streaks of mixed color. The stripes vary... [more]
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