Friday, February 3, 2017

More Balm, More Spark

Before and after the phone calls, postcards, marches and screaming into a pillow, there's art. Allow me to share some more of what I've been seeing over the past few weeks.

Detail of cast bronze sculpture by Michelle Grabner

Michelle Grabner at James Cohan, through February 9

This might be the best solo yet of Grabner's work at James Cohan. The cast bronze sculptures of hand-crocheted afghans, rich in patina and rubbed surface, stand out quite literally against large paintings that suggest woven fabrics. Checkerboard patterns (on toothy woven canvas) and the physical interlacement of warp and weft are inextricably linked--a reminder that the modernist/minimalist grid, contemporary painting and sculpture, and "women's work" share many common threads. More here.

Installation view: The detail that opens this post is of the sculpture in the distance in this shot
The grid detail below is of the large canvas in the photo above

Wide-angle view of the other side of the gallery, with other-side views of the sculptures just shown

Warm Up, Chill Down, Thaw Out at dm contemporary, through February 25

Two painters and a sculptor offer strong color and sharp angles in a show that offers us an intended respite from the icy blast of political reality. Richard Bottwin's sculptures elbow their way to your attention. Macyn Bolt's canvases hold angular shapes in perfectly planned tension. Matthew Langley's grid of small color fields are beautiful but assertive. Art doesn't have to be political to remind us that artists are powerful. We know how to hold our own. More here.

Richard Bottwin, Red Center, 2016, painted wood

View from the entrance: Bottwin's Red Center on the far wall; Macyn Bolt, An Equivocal Measure, 2015, acrylic on canvas (diptych)

Looking from the entry into the main gallery
dm contemporary photo

Installation of Macyn Bolt paintings. Slivers of color slice into the field, but that horizontal holds everything together. An edgy equipose prevails

Bolt, right; Matthew Langley, left

Matthew Langley, 24 works from the Painting A Day series, 2015-2017, 
acrylic on Museum Board

Emily Mason at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, through February 11

With a six-decade career of her own, Mason--who is also the daughter, wife, and mother of painters--has lived through and employed all manner of abstraction. These paintings, with the heft of oil, and the delicacy of watercolor offer the experience of pure color.  More here.

Installation view from the entrance
Below: Renewable, 2016, oil on canvas

Sarah Lutz and Patricia Spergel: A Conversation Afloat, The Painting Center

I love the conversation between paintings, or the visual interaction of various works in one room. This exhibition, which ended January 28, brought together two accomplished painters. While there are similarities of massed composition and succulent hue, Lutz is a builder of image, mashing together geometries and oozy organic forms, while Spergel seems to opt for a rich and dense atmosphere. More here.

Installation views above and below

Sarah Lutz, Monsoon, 2015; oil, paper, resin, and spray paint on linen

Patricia Spergel, Moon Jelly, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 32 inches

Pink in two shows at Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, through February 25

Anyone who know me knows that I rail against that wan, exsanguinated hue signifying sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a much more forceful range of color in two shows here--from eye-searing magenta in a hard-edge stripe to a luscious corally pink in a rococo composition. And the timing was perfect. I visited the gallery not long after being part of that flow of determined women in bright pink hats marching in New York City. More here.

Ann Walsh, Punch, 2009, vinyl on Plexiglas

Antonietta Grassi, Back Up, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 44 inches

Lorraine Glessner, Spying on the Sun, 2015, encaustic and mixed media on silk mounted on panel, 36 x 36 inches
Detail below

Jill Parisi, Cascade II, 2017, digital print on aluminum, 32 x 48 inches

Two solos at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts: Trine Bumiller and Laura Fayer, through February 11

Markel's gallery is an oasis of visual pleasure at the moment with woozy landscapes (Laura Fayer: Beyond Measure) and chromatic micro/macro views of the natural world (Trine Bumiller: Interference).  More here.

View from the entry of Trine Bumiller: Interference

Trine Bumiller, Tree Map, 2016, oil on panel

Installation view of Laura Fayer: Beyond Measure
Below: Fayer in the foreground with a view of two by Bumiller in the distance

Laura Fayer, Morning Glory, 2016, acrylic and Japanese paper on canvas, 52 x 44 inches

Mark Sheinkman at Lennon Weinberg, through February 25

Long known for his smoky black and white paintings and works on paper, Sheinkman here offers an immensely satisfying visual tangle of fluid lines and angular, brushy swipes. He wrests a lot in the way of immersive depth and achromatic "color" from his process and materials. More here

Installation view looking toward the back of the gallery

Above and below: Installation views looking from the back of the gallery toward the front

Susan Schwalb at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Schwalb is known for her reductive and exquisite metalpoint paintings and drawings, but for this splendid exhibition, Drawings and Prints: Selections from The Met Collection, what we saw were two of her prints. The show, which ended on January 30, included old-master drawings and the work of contemporary living artists. Schwalb was in excellent company, and vice versa. You can see all the work here.

Installation view of Susan Schwalb prints at the Met

Above: Passage Across the Sun, 2008, retching and aquatint
Below: Streams of Silver, 2011, etching and aquatint with hand coloring
Both images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

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  1. Ooh, nice choices, all of them. Wonderful work.

  2. Thanks for a beautiful respite from our new scary reality.

  3. Love this report of what you are seeing, Joanne.