Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gallery Update

Leon Kossoff at Mitchell-Innes & Nash (534 West 26).
You don’t often get to see this much Kossoff here in the States.
Massive amount of drawings. The kind that say “anyone can draw, and I’m going to do it with more intensity than anyone can draw”. Sketchy madness.
And the paintings? From a distance the paint pulls together forming crudely raucous images. But up close the image dissolves into gobs of gooey, molten lava-like surfaces devoid of any representational gestalt. The paint is less psychological than Soutine, but physically denser.

Went to see Cyprien Gaillard’s “altered readymades” at Gladstone (530 West 21). The light in the rear space is amazing. The way it brings out the color on the metal surfaces reminded me of the light in Chamberlain’s buildings in Marfa, Texas. Same thing here, the surface colors and textures are rich, but Gaillard doesn’t manipulate the found as much. Instead he relies on the drama of size and material. The light is amazing.

KAWS at Mary Boone.
Didn’t stay long at this monumental, neo-pop awfulness. Guess I didn’t like it.
Like they used to say “when in doubt make it bigger”. And he did.

Brancusi in New York. Paul Kasmin (515 West 27)
Didn’t mention this last time but Brancusi’s photos in the back room are the best. These vintage images made back then with their worn edges and varying degrees of finish are a living time capsule and perhaps the best way to see his work now. They’re alive.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Does anyone have a problem with the fact that estates are cranking out the work of dead artists?

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Had the most pleasant gallery viewing today. The weather was cold, wet and otherwise miserable. Which meant there was hardly anyone in the galleries.

A must see is the Ad Reinhard exhibit (November 7 - December 18, 2013) at David Zwirner, 537 West 20 Street. Museum quality survey of his black paintings, his cartoons and slide show. 3 shows in one, with 3 different experiences. 1: Paintings that reveal themselves through a slow, quiet, meditative visual read. 2: Laugh out loud super complex comics and jokey illustrations. 3: Time-based travelogue, slide projection.
Once in a lifetime exhibit. Must see more than once.

Went back to the Serra exhibits. Even better the second time. Felt entirely different from what I had remembered. Noticed that he spot welded some of Inside/Outside’s  curved sections, but I didn’t hold that against him.
Currently there seems to be two views of Serra.
1.            His work exists in a realm of his own making, and he’s at the top of his game. He can do any thing he wants with metal.
2.            All right already, he mastered the metal, we get it. Can he please move on to something else? His early work was more influential.

Does anyone have a problem with the fact that estates are cranking out the work of dead artists?
Went to the "Brancusi in New York" exhibit at Paul Kasmin. Small polished bronzes in an intimate setting.  A jewel like exhibit of classic pieces.
Of course the work was cast from molds made years after he died. Is it ok to say that once an artist dies the production should stop? You can still get freshly minted Rodins. Of course Moondog by Tony Smith is a great piece, made by the estate and exhibited at Paula Cooper in the late 90’s. Glad to have seen it. But does anyone have a problem with the fact that estates are cranking out the work of dead artists?