Saturday, July 19, 2008

What the Flock

(Above, Brian Lynch's Big Bus, 2000, monotype, 10 x 13)

One thing that I have always strived to do since I started this site was to regularly keep up my postings. Unfortunately, as per late, I have found that extremely difficult. I just finished my first catalogue essay for a Hofstra University 2009 group print show entitled Ancient Echoes in Contemporary Printmaking. It is my first professional publishing, so as you might surmise, it has taken up a great deal of my time. The artists included in this exhibition are Mary Pinto, Brian Lynch, Jessica Baker, Tomomi Ono and Michael Herstand. If I told you that this is some of the best work I've seen in New York since I moved here in 2003 it would be an understatement. The artists are all accomplished, extremely insightful, and masters of their craft.

(Above, Tomomi Ono's Spring I, lithograph and mixed media, 16 x 21 inches)

On top of this, I work full time at Denise Bibro Fine Art in Chelsea. In September we have two very important shows dear to my heart I've helped to organize, containing artists I've come to admire over the past two and a half years. I have wanted to do the best job I can do in terms of getting them proper exposure. Nancy Baker, author of the Tireshop art blog and former contributor to the always brilliant and sometimes controversial Anonymous Female Artist blog, (as well as former Winkleman gallery roster standout), opens our Platform project space not with a bang, but a nuclear explosion. I cannot tell you enough how pertinent her works are in this day and age, given our current state of disunion, disarray, and society hurtling towards oblivion without a care. A Bacchanalia of decay. Her show is entitled Duck and Cover Drill, a humorous reference to the ridiculous drills put forth for school children by the U.S. Government in the 1950s. To survive a nuclear holocaust, all you needed to do was sit under your desk in fetal position. (Yes, that must be it!!) Though her cast of characters do not necessarily directly reference the troubling era we are in today, it is easy to see how her hodgepodge of revelers in celebratory inebriation can be interpreted as the yellow canary. In my opinion, Ms. Baker is the Hieronymous Bosch of her generation.

(Above, Nancy Baker, Backstroke, 2007, oil on wood panel, 25 x 15 inches)

Our other concurrent show will include Christopher Reiger (author and creator of the Hungry Hyaena art blog), Boyce Cummings, the 2005-2006 Rome Prize Winner for painting, and Massachusetts artist Amy Ross. The show title is "Animus Botanica." Again, just as Baker showcases society's amazing ability to hear, but not really listen, these artists reference our own very personal connection to nature, yet there is a disturbing undertone throughout. All is not necessarily well with these fine, feathered friends. Take Reiger's "The Wildings Come to Feed," as pictured below.

Meticulously crafted, this piece is interesting for a big reason: It's a flock of territorial red-winged blackbirds. A sight for sore eyes, the beauty of these creatures is magnificent, but they aren't the most friendly of birds. They have been known to cluster dive humans en masse, especially in the Chicago area. Not content with giving up their territory, they are a prime example of the natural realm fighting back at its human oppressors. In no way do I think Reiger meant for this piece to be taken as, "Ooh, look at the pretty birds." They're more like the Howard Beach of the bird kingdom. You will get cut.

To see a sneak preview of works in Animus Botanica, click here.

Next week, my summer season reviews of the Greatest Hits Albums of All Time-- AKA, the summer group shows.

Easily won Best of Show for me: Greene-Naftali and Matthew Marks Gallery's concurrent Painting: Now and Forever, Part II.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th, everyone

Have a hot dog, drink a few beers, enjoy it.
And to most NYC gallery workers like myself, enjoy the 4 day holiday weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008