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The art scene is definitely extremely vibrant in New York City. From gallery openings to constant flux of new exhibitions, to art fairs sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with. I have definitely missed out on seeing couple of awesome exhibitions just because I wasn't aware of them in a timely manner. The William Vale one was one of them, for example (that one still hurts whenever I see a picture). With all the galleries and museums, how is one supposed to keep up? Well, if you're looking for a little of splash of color to brighten you up, pay attention, this post is about colorful artwork in view this month that you definitely do not want to miss out on!
On a side note, I have decided to dedicate at least one post a month to the art scene -if not more- so you can get your dose of art fix! What do you think? No matter how many times one walks down tenth avenue between 27th and 22nd, there is always this one exhibition that you miss and it sucks because you were just there! This actually just happened to me past Saturday, where I totally walked by a gallery without noticing the exhibition inside after it was too late! Plus, the gallery hours are so horrible for a working young professional, you probably have one precious Saturday, Sunday if you are lucky, to gallery hop. You can of course dedicate your entire Saturday to galleries, but do you really want to sacrifice brunch? Or, you can read up, and sign up to my mailing list since I'll be sending you the info on not to be missed exhibitions in the city so you're in the know! And let's not forget about awesome content you're about to soak in:)
Let's be honest, a little art work never killed no body. Actually, don't quote me on that it hasn't been fact checked :p. Jokes aside, we all love having a little art in our lives/ feeds if not in our homes. That's the splash of color, burst of creativity that screams sophistication any chic city gal needs. Plus, the gallery scene in New York is always refreshing, one can see people in all ages and backgrounds, whistling around, avoiding the high line and the tourists especially if the weather is good.
Elliott Hundley - Dust Over Everything
If I have to use one word to describe the collection of works by Elliott Hundley in this exhibition, it would be intricate. Boy the craftsmanship is exquisite. This exhibition fits right into the palette of those who are interested in dystopias. Side note - that's definitely me since I'm currently reading "the Brave New World" and our first book for the recently formed book club is "the Handmaid's Tale". Not so ironically dystopian books are on the rise, in light of current events, it's only expected to see the effects within the art world. Although this exhibition is not as directly political as "We Need to Talk" that was in view in Petzel Gallery until February 11th; nor it is as vulgar as Peter Caine's "the Old Man and the Sheep"; Hundley definitely reflects today's uneasiness through craftsmanship.
(Image via @britborcher)
Maybe it is the use of several organs that reminds me of the Brave New World or 1984; or maybe it's satirical political commentary that is successfully collaged into the canvas, maybe it's the protruding nature of this art; regardless of the reason behind it, the work in and of itself is jaw dropping. It's layered; both in physical and theoretical creation. Beware in approaching the canvas. This art comes at you. I personally believe and enjoy over interpreting any artwork, to the point where one might argue "but the artist most definitely did not think that". Well, the fact that the artist facilitated the thought in me is the art in its own right. Hundley, definitely makes you stop, think, and rethink. The colors are bright, the canvas is full of content, and the perspective is ever changing. Needless to say, this exhibition is a must see before it closes its doors.
Where: Andrea Rosen Gallery
Address: 525 W 24th St, New York, NY, 10011
Dates: February 10 - March 11, 2017
Michel Majerus - Aluminum Paintings
(Image via @shaas)
A stark difference presents itself when facing Michel Majerus' aluminum paintings in comparison to Elliott Hundley's work. The final product - the paintings- are so simple looking. Looks are deceiving. The intricacy of Majerus does not lie in the final product but in his process. As one of the earlier adapters of technology, he used Photoshop, yes Photoshop, to create his images. Maybe today, this doesn't seem as impressive since there is the notion of digital art; however, considering he embraced this process in 1996... that's impressive. I wonder what cs version he was using, 1 or 2.
7 of Majerus's works are exhibited in the gallery. Five are sequential super Mario paintings, although Mario only encompasses perhaps 5% of the surface area of the painting. With vivid colors calling for attention from the rear wall, these paintings are intriguing to say the least. Plus, due to the color palette used, they create a great backdrop.
(Image via @putonyourthinkingcap)
Where: Matthew Marks Gallery
Address: 525 W 24th St, New York, NY, 10011
Dates: February 10 - April 15, 2017
David Bradley - Room with a Views
(Image via @jelenajevtic_xo)
That is not a grammatical error. Imagine looking out of a window, after a night out; right at dawn from an east facing, near the ocean window. Everything is blurry, so you squint your eyes. You will make it to bed if the whole world stops spinning. Long story short, this exhibition reminded me of coming home at a warm summer night. Maybe I'm over interpreting again, or simply being nostalgic of summer... Presented in the back room of the gallery, four paired paintings resemble a scaled up window. In the middle of the room, there are three sun loungers with tilted screens. These screens shows the artists phone, as he paints.
(Image via @victus_)
Following up on the theme of technology, this exhibition is critical in nature. Although the view through a window should be clear, these paintings are as if one is looking through frosted glass. Intentionally blurred images imply the shortcomings of technology not only in painting but also in daily life. Whenever I think back of Nokia's tag line 'connecting people'; and can't help but chuckle. Maybe we are connected but not involved. One can know ins and outs of another's life, thank you Facebook, without having a single conversation. Anyways, that's another issue to be tackled in a longer post.
Regardless of shortcomings of technology in new media, Bradley manages to portray the vibrancy of intentionally blurred views. This way one can imagine their own view in a way, instead of being given a pretty picture to look at.
Where: The Hole
Address: 312 Bowery, New York, NY, 10012
Dates: February 18 - March 26, 2017
Katharina Grosse - Gagosian Gallery
Before diving into fascinating work by Grosse, I want to take the time and recognize the amazing space Gagosian gallery has. This is where my architectural background was having a one woman party. Yes, I do have a full time job and no instagramming is not it. One day. The space is vast and bare, except for couple of architectural moves. The skylights, that pierce through in the first room, the clear story windows and the trusses that span across in the rear room. Designing an exhibition space has been my dream program because of theoretical and practical challenges. Theoretically some argue that architecture of the space itself needs to be subdued in order to not compete with the art work presented within. Thus the idea of an empty white box. Some argue against the white box notion because it decontextualizes art and overlays an elitist notion on the act of seeing art. Meaning, when art is showcased in museums for example, one pays to see it. Thus, art is not totally public, it's only public to those that can afford it. Again, not so simple of an argument that can be resolved within a paragraph. Galleries are free, which dissolves that version of publicness argument. There is definitely advantages to the white box. How else can one soak in the dynamism of Grosse's pieces otherwise? Practicality is due to the responsibility to showcasing large pieces of art. How else can one fit the work of likes of Richard Sera for example?
(Image via @alexiavisone)
Talking about Grosse is work right after briefly touching upon theoretical approaches to white box gallery spaces could not be more appropriate. I, just like a lot of other art enthusiasts, consider street art as an art form. As valuable as those that are on white walls behind doors. But context was not necessarily the only aspect that traditionally separated street art from museum pieces, the tools used are traditionally different as well. Spray paint is an uncommon tool for an art work in a gallery. I guess, the argument here is artist is an artist regardless of where her work is presented. Through using spray paint, Katharina Grosse creates highly emotional, immersive, and subjective pieces. The colors are striking, the size requires a large open plan. Two can look at the same painting and leave with a different residue. What I'm curious about when looking at her paintings is which surface she uses while spraying the canvas. Does she hang it up on a wall like a traditional artist would or does she use the floor, Pollock style. What do you guys think?
Where: Gagosian Gallery
Address: 555 W 24th, New York, NY, 10011
Dates: January 19 - March 11, 2017
Yinka Shonibare MBE - Prejudice at home: a Parlour, a Library, and a Room
(Image via @museumi_)
Who else is a loyal Skimmer? They have been covering immigration lately, and I am personally a huge fan of the idea of educating the general public on issues that are highly controversial. Why do you talk about immigration, you might ask. Well, besides it's current relevancy, as one of the highly instagrammed exhibitions, this selection of work tackles the issue of immigration. Today, immigration is talked about hand in hand with refuge crisis. Although, both issues are extremely important, it's imperative to note the differences and not talk about them interchangeably. The brutal truth is, refuge crisis does not feel as close to home as immigration is. While we read and watch clips on displaced people due to various unimaginable circumstances, most of us do not see them in our daily lives. Immigration; however, as commonplace as it gets. Someone you know is probably going through the immigration process right now; thus is familiar with all the visa letters as if it's their native alphabet. I am one of those; no longer lost among the F-1, J-1, and the E-1.
(Image via @jjles)
In this exhibition, the artist explores immigration through various approaches. In the British Library, "positive contributions that immigrants bring to their adopted countries" are showcased through books that are presented on shelves. Each book embodies the name of an immigrant printed on a colorful cloth that is the signature of the artist. Alongside the names of immigrants there are the names of those who are opposed to immigration; emphasizing two sides of the argument. iPads in the space enables one to go through all the names in the exhibition, backed up by videos. The second part, parlour, is a staged room. This is the room of the patron. The Parlour was the most controversial aspect of the exhibition for me. As someone going through the immigration process myself, to think that one bourgeoisie person is reaping the benefits of my hardwork. I know that has been historically the case, but I do believe it's only one aspect of modern immigration. Or maybe, my thinking is just naive.
Where: James Cohan Gallery
Address: 533 W 26th, New York, NY, 10011
Dates: February 17 - March 18, 2017
Bonus Must See!
(Image via @cindyyuk)
Where: The Whitney
Address: 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY, 10014
Dates: January 27 - May 14, 2017