Friday, March 19, 2010

Chelsea

My friend and neighbour Melissa Meyer is an artist.
Since I first met her in early December, she has been my New York cornerstone for arts culture. Last night we had a date- an arts crawl throughout a few of the Chelsea galleries. It was a two-hour tour through four openings featuring artists representing very different forms and mediums.
We began at the massive and highly sought out David Zwirner gallery. The enormity of the high ceiling-white walled space was the perfect landscape for artist Marlene Dumas' "Against the Wall" solo-exhibition. Her work represents her experiences with, and her world view of political discourse through paint using a dark and minimalist technique.

"Her paintings integrate complex themes- ranging from segregation, eroticism, or more generally, the politics of love and war- to explore how image-making is implicitly involved not only in cultural processes of objectification, but also in the way which events are documented and collectively understood."

The Wall, 2009
Oil on linen

Next we moved on to the Elizabeth Harris Gallery for Greg Lindquists "Nonpasts" exhibition of sculpture, painting and performance-based installations. The ambiguity of his locations-based painting evokes-for me- a sense of time past and the loss of an identifiable culture. Throughout the gallery, squared hollowed out cement tiles are placed in grid form. Guests are invited to stand, jump on and/or break the pieces. My impression is that it, in conjunction with his paintings represent urban sprawl and the spreading of human developments crushing the natural structure of "our communities" and how we generally neglect the consequences which may or may not result in a non-identifiable landscape as the basis of our collective culture.

Elizabeth Harris Gallery

With time frames in mind, we hustled out of the gallery and onto the next with artist Lisa Hoke and onto the next. At first glance, artist Warren Isensee's large-scale optical and sculptural oil on canvas paintings draw you in with their linear and brightly coloured geometric radiance. But, give it time and the exquisite multi-dimensional shapes will captivate the senses and create an image so visually stimulating that you feel like you are looking into the soul of the painting. I never would have assumed that something seemingly so simple could evoke such depth. In truth, this exhibition was my favourite.


Ground Loop, 2007
Oil on canvas

Our final stop was at the Don Joint: Waldameer exhibit at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery. The space itself is reminiscent of the Queen West galleries in Toronto, but the crowd couldn't have been more unlike the trendy west-end hipsters that flock to them. His pieces, created in collage form and style suggest a fantastical carnival-like theme. Layers of acrylic paint and ink are the backdrop to various prints and paraphernalia thoughtfully; Japanese Geishas, black and white pen drawings, and vintage movie tickets create dimension. Connedia Dell Arte -esque clowns are studded with tiny diamonds and stand in the forefront of colours so rich and deep and textured. The artist said that he had been working on these pieces for over twenty years, mentally layering the visuals.


As we left, I asked Melissa if there was a market for collage. In my ignorance, I wouldn't have assumed that this "arts and crafts" technique held much weight in the arts world but she said that she tells all of her students that collage is the most important form in American arts history. It is the best representation of the mind and the creative process as it best shows how we build and create from a single layer.
Interesting, huh?




Don Joint, Apples 2009

2 comments:

See-ming Lee said...

Hey nice meeting this you yesterday at the Eagle. Didn't know that you're an art lover :)

Cheers,
See-ming aka SML

Bunny Adams said...

im a lover all things...thanks for checking in!!