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Mike Weiss Gallery

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The Deep and Shallow Ends of Painting

by Aldrin Valdez
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 zigzags, and globular cakes. What she ends up producing, however, is material excess. Benson invokes vi... [more]
Posted by Aldrin Valdez on 11/14/11
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Love Letter in Paint

by Aldrin Valdez
The strength of Kim Dorland’s paintings lies in the way they evoke bodily functions and transgressions, physical and emotional. For Lori 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 recurring terrain in his work, but here it is obvious and ultimately too derivative. Francis Bacon’s... [more]
Posted by Aldrin Valdez on 8/21/11
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Maestro in Action

by Charlie Schultz
Hermann Nitsch, the septuagenarian Austrian artist, is known for some pretty grisly performance art. His most famous work (performed in a variety of ways over one hundred times), Orgies Mystery Theatre, features freshly slaughtered animals and entrails on display. This sets the stage for Nitsche pouring blood over the naked bodies of people tied to crosses. The art world celebrates this gore, and holds it up as evidence that artists are not too timid to deal frankly with the visceral nastiness of machinegun warfare and its kinship with religious ideologies. Now New Yorkers have a chance to s... [more]
Posted by Charlie Schultz on 2/20/11
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Shack in the Woods

by Natalie Hegert
It happens when they least expect it, and when we, watching, have come to expect it the most.  A group of teenagers enters a wilderness of some sort, far from supervision, and far from safety.  Amped on hormones, liquor and laughter they engage in licentious behavior; they separate, coupling.  That’s when the monster strikes—enraged by their behavior, he targets and kills each young person, one after the other, in successively horrifying ways.  Usually only one survives to tell the tale. It’s a common fable that we’ve come to know as the modern horror film, warning of the dangers o... [more]
Posted by Natalie Hegert on 11/14/10
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Liao Yibai: Real Fake - Mike Weiss Gallery, New York

Liao Yibai: Real Fake - Mike Weiss Gallery, New York Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds exhibit at Tate Modern reminded me of an exhibit I saw in Mike Weiss Gallery, Chelsea, New York last month. The exhibit, Real Fake, featured artist Liao Yibai's larger-than-life scaled glittering sculptures of commodities such as iPhones, diamond rings, handbags and cash (Chinese currency Renminbi).  Though, obviously it meant to be a damning take on the (Chinese people's) ever-increasing consumerism, it invited joy and giggle.  The thoughts behind the shining surface was so well sealed behind the metal sheet, that it was largely lost in the initial gla... [more]
Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 10/20/10