A SKY FILLED WITH SHOOTING STARS (Blog), September 8, 2010
On The Fingers of One Hand, The Best of this Week's New Gallery Shows — Robert Ayers
It’s that time of year again. Labor Day’s behind us and the city’s gallery season is about to begin. It is always an exciting moment, regardless of the economy, and it’s an excitement that seems to catch the imagination of people way beyond the usual gallery-going public. Though I shall be happy to give Chelsea’s Thursday evening bunfight a miss, it’s a long time since I remember the fall line up for New York’s gallery and museum shows looking quite so tantalizing. Everyone has their predictions, and they’re often pretty much the same, so I’ve tried to change things up a little bit, and here, in my “On the fingers of one hand” format, are five shows opening this week that, while I’m not claiming they are the indisputable best out there, are ones you’d certainly be silly to miss.
Since they first opened for business just three years ago, Darren Ching and Deborah Klomp Ching have planted their DUMBO gallery firmly on the New York City art map, and managed to make a significant contribution to gallery-goers’ perception of the possibilities for contemporary photography. Their new show promises to be one of the best even by their daunting standards. Phillip Toledano has already produced some remarkable bodies of work (“Bankrupt”, “Phonesex”, and “Days With My Father” are probably his most celebrated projects) but his “New Kind of Beauty” pictures achieve a unique character, and are as haunting as they are timely. His subjects are people who have had themselves radically remodeled by cosmetic surgery – in their pursuit of the sublime they have achieved something nearer the ridiculous, and herein lies their pathos. (Please note that Klompching are quite sensibly jumping the gun a little and opening their show tonight, Wednesday, September 8)