Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Balm and Spark

Katherine Bradford, Bonfire, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 68 inches

Last week's impending inauguration left me feeling anxious and angry, so I went to look at art. In a frenzy of viewing I hit DUMBO on Thursday, the Lower East Side and Chelsea on Friday. While some galleries were closed in solidarity with the J20 Art Strike, I appreciated that many were open. You won't find a visual theme here, just a lot of great stuff on exhibition—and it's all still up. (But I will offer a between-the-lines message: Resist. Demonstrate. Fight Back.)

Katherine Bradford at Sperone Westwater, Lower East Side, through February 11

Bradford's ocean liners have left dreamlike scenes and floating figures in their wake. The light and implied heat of the bonfire is mysteriously at odds with the cool, nocturnal stillness of her aqueous imagery. Both beckon.

View from the entrance of the exhibition

Left wall of the main gallery
Below: Shell Seeker, Large Night, 2016, acrylic on canvas 

 Right wall of the main gallery
Below: Detail of Pond Swimmers, 2016, acrylic on canvas


Emil Lukas, also at Sperone Westwater through February 11

The artist's luminous thread paintings are complemented by a fabulous metal sculpture that quite literally builds upon his interest in light.

Through the doorway into a small gallery: Liquid Lens, 2016, aluminum

 Details above and below of Liquid Lens

 Center, 2016, thread over painted wood frame with nails, 36 x 36 x 3.5 inches

 Above and below: Detail and side view

Steven Alexander, Places to Be, at The Curator Gallery, Chelsea, through February 18

Alexander's ongoing explorations of color and proportion have yielded a visually powerful collection of new work. The title refers to the space and interaction between the painting and the viewer. A perambulation of the gallery offers places that feel electrified and others that are extremely still.

View from the entry

 Panorama from the back of the gallery looking forward

 View of the work on the right side of the panorama. From left: Optimo 7, Tracer 10, Reverb 17, and Poet XIV, all 2016, acrylic on canvas

View of the back wall with Poet XV and Voice 4; side wall: Four Winds 11 and Four Winds 10 with a partial view of Tabula 3; all 2016, acrylic on canvas

Ken Weathersby, Time After Time, at Minus Space, DUMBO, through February 25

The insertion of art historical images into his paintings is a new direction for Weathersby, who is known for precise geometric patterning and meticulous, often layered construction. The new work is a challenging mashup of collage and painting, past and present set into timeless tableaux.  

Installation panorama looking toward the back wall of the gallery

258, 2016; acrylic on linen over panel, collage

256 (Girl Swimmer), 2016; acrylic and graphite on linen, collage

Details above and below

261, 2016; acrylic and graphite on linen over panel, collage
Detail below


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