Look Ahead - Galleries in April (Marathon)
The Villager, Vol. 80, No. 44, March 31 - April 6
Paper A-Z, 2011
Courtesy of Sue Scott Gallery, NY
EAST VILLAGE / L.E.S.
Invisible-Exports: "Notes on Notes on "Camp"
Featuring works by Duke & Battersby, Mike Bouchet, Nicole Cherubini, Jeremy Kost, Jessica Labatte, and John Waters, among others, this group exhibition explores the meaning of camp in contemporary culture. Through diversity the installation aims to stress that even today, camp remains a vital aesthetic. In the hands of the assembled artists, it indeed becomes a poignant catalyst for expressing personal meaning, history and identity. Apr. 2 - May 8 (14A Orchard St.). For info call 212-226-5447 or visit invisible-exports.com.
Sperone Westwater: “Malcolm Morley: Rules of Engagement”
All of Morley’s twelve new paintings, as well as one monumental work from 2001, depict images of fighter pilots and airplanes. In fact, aerial combat has been a classic motif in Morley’s oeuvre since the early 1990s and he depicts his subjects with a keen eye for vigorous movement and compositional drama. Incorporating historic references, these paintings were inspired by illustrations found in books for young adults around the Second World War. The subject matter is rooted in Morley’s childhood, when he watched airplanes for hours from a hiding spot nearby a local airport. Mar. 31 – Apr. 30 (257 Bowery). For info call 212-999-7337 or visit speronewestwater.com.
Sue Scott Gallery: "Paper A-Z"
A most comprehensive investigation of the paper medium, this exhibition features more than seventy-five established, mid-career and emerging artists from around the country. In this staggering installation prominent names, such a Kiki Smith and Richard Tuttle, are contextualized with emerging talents like Grant Huang, Sarah Mattes, Rob Nadeau, Matthew Northridge, and Tamara Zahaykevich. The sheer number of participants guarantees a wide range of stylistic approaches and the show above all, serves as a testament to creative variety and aesthetic eclecticism. Rather than focusing on traditional drawings, “A-Z” pays special attention to constellations that while engaging the traditional support of paper, further experiment with printmaking, collage, construction, sculpture, cast paper and books. Along these lines, not just the medium itself, but its customary role is questioned and expanded upon. Through Apr. 22 (1 Rivington St. at Bowery). For info call 212-358-8767 or visit suescottgallery.com.
Apexart: "Let It End Like This"
In this exhibition, curator Todd Zuniga ponders the questions: “What will they say about you when you’re gone? What would you say about yourself?” With this in mind, he has invited over forty people to create obituaries, encouraging them to contemplate factual and fictional regrets, failures, successes, as well as last words. The result is an unusual but fascinating contemplation of what it means to die and what it means to be alive. Through May 14 (291 Church St.). Call 212-431-5270 or visit www.apexart.org.
Cheryl Hazan Gallery: "Jeff Muhs: Outliers"
Born and raised in Southampton, NY, Muhs draws inspiration from his intimate knowledge of Long Island’s south shore, the maritime landscape and its distinct light conditions. Simplified and pushed towards abstraction, Muhs' compositions embrace a modernist vocabulary and meditate on translucence and how color and form can define mood. Through Apr. 9 (35 North Moore St., btw. Hudson and Varick St.). For info call 212-343-8964 or visit cherylhazan.com.
SOHO / WEST VILLAGE
Artist Space: "Mark Morrisroe: From This Moment On"
This will be the first comprehensive exhibition in the US of works by Morrisroe (1959-1989). Despite the brevity of his career, Morrisroe's photographs have continued to gain in recognition and influence. Born to a drug-addicted mother, he left home and began hustling at the age of 15. When he was 17 years old, one of his clients shot him in the back, leaving him with a bullet lodged next to his spine for the rest of his life. The experience left a profound impact on him and his diaristic works, which depict friends, lovers and prostitutes against a post-punk background, exude a clear lust for life sensibility. Toward the end of his life, Morrisroe’s camera increasingly functioned as a mirror. With unabashed sobriety, he documented the stages of his fatal illness and managed to find life even while experiencing physical decay. Through May 1 (38 Greene St., 3rd Floor). For info call 212-226-3970 or visit artistsspace.org.
Grey Art Gallery: "John Storrs: Machine-Age Modernist"
Marking the first major exhibition of Storrs' work in 25 years, this exhibition pays homage to one of the foremost sculptors to emerge in the early 20th century. A pioneer of American modernism, Storrs (1885–1956) reinvigorated what had become primarily an academic medium. The forty works featured here, reveal the romance and vigor that Storrs found in the city and its ingrained industry. Especially his elegant abstractions of New York skyscrapers, which were produced during the 1920s and capture his signature blend of dynamism and radicality, explain why Storrs became a frontrunner of the American avant-garde. Apr. 12 - Jul. 9 (100 Washington Square East). For info call 212-998-6780 or visit nyu.edu/greyart.
Zürcher Studio: “Wang Keping”
Born in 1949 outside of Bejing, Keping did not begin making sculptures until he was twenty-nine years old. He never attended art school and fell victim to Mao’s Cultural Revolution due to his social background (his father wrote the first novel on the Sino-Japanese War and his mother was an actress). In 1966, he was conscripted into the Red Guards and later sent to northeastern China for his “re-education.” Afterwards he turned to art and in 1979, he was one of the co-founders of the historical avant-garde group Xing Xing (The Stars). He primarily works in wood, at times burning it to obtain a specific color, or polishing it to remove tool marks. Since 1984, Keping has lived in Paris, where he shows with Galerie Zürcher, this gallery’s branch in France. Through May 15 (33 Bleecker St.). For info call 212-777-0790 or visit galeriezurcher.com.
Fruit of Anxiety, Vegetable of Calm, 2007/2010
Color photograph on paper, 15 x 10.75 inches
Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery
Benrimon Contemporary: "Changha Hwang: Three-Fold"
Hwang's abstract paintings explore the divide between control and chaos. Born in Seoul and currently residing in the US, Hwang's sources of inspiration are distinctly multicultural. Islamic tiles, traditional Jewish paper cuts, Venetian lace, stained glass windows and Peruvian Nazca Lines, are among his favored influences. Apr 7 - May 7 (514 W. 24th St.). For info call 212-924-2400 or visit bcontemporary.com.
McKenzie Fine Art: “LAURA SHARP WILSON: Utah”
Sharp Wilson's new small-scale paintings are her least figurative and most complex to date. Aiming to convey a sense of clarity amidst confusion, she contrasts dense patterns that reveal a keen interest in ornamentation and decoration, with abstracted forms. Recently, Sharp Wilson and her family relocated to the state of Utah. Her work tackles the emotional weight of that move. While struggling with accepting her new home as a faithless, left-leaning artist from the East Coast, she created a body of work, which discloses that ultimately, she has found much inspiration in “the curious overlap of Anasazi, Ute, and Navajo, cowboys, Mormons, U.S. military personnel, and the many souls who journeyed here with the expansion of the West.” Through Apr. 30 (511 West 25th St.). For info call 212-989-5467 or visit mckenziefineart.com
The Pace Gallery: "James Siena: New Paintings, Drawings, and Prints"
Siena's new works focus on his traditional methodology. Employing repeated systems and predetermined sets of rules, he creates geometric abstractions rich in intricacy and movement. Despite this self-imposed structure, Siena still allows for unpredictability. In fact, his compositions are far from mechanical and instead, they consciously incorporate traces of the artist's hand. This extensive exhibition includes twenty-three new glossy enamel on aluminum paintings, as well as thirty works on paper. Through Apr. 30 (510 West 25th St.). For info call 212-421-8987 or visit thepacegallery.com.
Postmasters Gallery: "Oskar Dawicki - Phantom Pain"
This is the US solo debut of the prominent Polish artist, whose multi-media works explore notions of the grotesque and the absurd through a humorous lense. Born in 1971 and based in Warsaw, Dawicki belongs to a generation of artists that came after Pawel Althamer and in his videos, performances, sculpture and photographs, failure and misery are transformed into life-affirming gestures. In this context, existential torment reveals humanity and Dawicki's exhibition includes a ring made from his father’s kidney stone, a plant grown in a bottle of antidepressants, the artist's initials drawn in rat poison, as well as a stunning nocturne photograph of an apple tree, whose fruits have been bitten and partially devoured by the artist (a nearby video installation documents the absurd and yet strangely beautiful act). The gallery's dedication to the artist's quest is stunning and it is a rare occasion to find a gallery wall that separates the interior from the street, broken open by a silhouette, as if suggesting that Bruce Lee went through it. Through Apr. 9 (459 W. 19th St.). For info call 212-727-3323 or visit postmastersart.com.
For Van Molvyann, 2010
Found wood and felt, 36 x 28 x 10 inches
Courtesy of James Graham & Sons, NY
ABOVE 14th STREET
James Graham & Sons: “Joe Fyfe: Wood / Cloth / Color”
This installation of paintings, sculptures and large format photographs, reveals how much expressive variety Fyfe detects in found materials. During extensive travels through Bangladesh, Phnom Penh, and Vietnam, for example, he has gathered textiles and objects that generate a sense of place through texture and palette. While in the past, Fyfe’s paintings have involved burlap, felt, and muslin, he now extends his practice into the medium of sculpture. Carefully assembled and contrasted with a monochrome piece of textile, three pieces of wood for example, succeed in appearing at once casual and perfectly balanced. This combination of lightness and sincerity describes Fyfe’s oeuvre, which in its unique way, serves as a visual map to the cultural riches of the world. Through Apr. 23 (32 East 67th Street). For info call 212-535-5767 or visit jamesgrahamandsons.com.