11 October 2015

What's up another week

Magritte, Souvinir de voyage
Will Ryman's new sculpture Classroom, in which each student is made of a different natural resource, occupies the gallery in front of his The Situation Room, based on the photograph of Obama and his advisors watching the presumed raid on bin Laden's compound, made of crushed black coal (515 w27, til Oct 17).  The two rooms together offer a base and superstructure snapshot of the culture surrounding it, as defined by Marx in 1859: "The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure, and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political, and intellectual life." Ryman "sketched out the scene" of The Situation Room "trying different colors before settling on black coal, both as a symbol of prized natural resources that have led to so many wars, and for its ability to redact the identity of the faces, as though they were censored material. From a cold-storage room, he pulled out studies where he had tested different grains of crushed coal, both glinting and dirtlike. The coal dusting over the figures evoked the lost city of Pompeii, where ancient life was buried in ash, frozen mid-motion." I'm predictably reminded of the "stone" phase of Magritte, figures petrified in his paintings beginning at the outbreak of WW2 and more so in the 50s, concurrent with Ernst's petrified Europe After the Rain series.

Theophanes the Greek, 15C
The Magritte influence is more clearly seen on the second floor of Metro Pictures (519 w24), where a few new Jim Shaw paintings* include a painting in which the stigmata of Jesus is apparently inflicted by several of what René called "the locomotive (charging out of the chimney).. This metamorphosis is called "La Durée poignardée (Time Transfixed)," (below) a metamorphosis compressing, in Shaw's case, the image of the crucifixion, more prominent in Western painting, and the transfiguration, emphasized in Eastern Orthodox iconography, into "a single glance."  Shaw visited Magritte's petrification motif in his "Red Rock," Magritte's "Castle on the Pyranees" with faces of pop culture painted on, as Noëllie Roussel paraphrases "Jim Shaw has often referred to Magritte as a symptom of a culture in which reproductions and their spin-offs so saturate our mental and imaginary worlds that art eventually becomes part of our way of seeing reality." This joins a few other new paintings and a wall of older, amusing parodies of folk art, a room which seems to be a well-guarded secret on the internet as the staff conjectures it will be up another two weeks. 

You may wonder, how does Jimmy get away with art history references?  I'll let Riopelle, who has what unsurprisingly I consider the best show in town** at Acquavella (18 e79, til Dec 11), take this: "Picasso? No, he's a mass of references. A reference himself. Artaud yes, Picasso no."

Jean Paul Riopelle, Les Picandeaux, 1967

Up another week at BravinLee (526 West 26th Street #211) is Elektra KB's "Accidental Pursuit of the Stateless," in which the Papess of the Theocratic Republic of Gaia expresses her solidarity with migrants though a video of three costumed T.R.O.G. natives attempting to assimilate into German culture, filmed during her residency in Berlin.  An embroidery of hers from her last show quite stood out at Spring/Break this year, and there is more here in that format as well as collages, a bed, and various other media.

* coinciding with his retrospective at the New Museum through Jan 10
** along with the larger CoBrA show, up til Oct 17.

26 September 2015

Pics from Pope's Visit

Managed to score a Non-Conferring Individual pass for the Philadelphia Conference of Families and got close up -

Theological discussion

Digs my date, totally ignores me

The line outside..

..goes on and on..

20 September 2015

What's up

Ray Johnson at Feigen (34 East 69th) has been held over for another two weeks, including versions of his Rimbaud cover altered by 1971 readers of American Arts and his portrait of Max Ernst inside Ray's own head (right).  They also have a couple Matta works on paper out and one by Tanguy.  One thing I gathered from the documentary is we both drink the same tea.

Shows just opening I saw around there:

Concurrent with Ft. Lauderdale keeping 120 works of theirs by Asger Jorn and the Hell-Horse of the WW2 Danish underground up til February, Blum and Poe follow up last fall's Karl Appel show with a three floor overview of CoBrA with a delightful Jorn selection of their own, til Oct 17 (19 e 66th).  A room is devoted to the sculptures of Shinkichi Tajiri, subject of a new monograph, who emigrated to Amsterdam after detention in Arizona during WW2 and being wounded in Italy, as well as photographs of temporary sculptures and his short cinematic evocation of early 60s Dutch ganja.

Jonier Marín's performance works, mostly from the early 70s, include his posting the work "incomunicable" upside down on Bogota buildings, photographing it behind passers by, and turning the photo upside down, 35 e67 4th fl. til Oct 31.

Sander, Three Peasants
August Sander photographs of Weimar era folk looking very much their respective professions, including the severe mug of Raoul Hausmann (Deborah Bell, 16 e71 4th fl. til Oct 31)

Two floors of Gego's wire sculptures and experiments with line (Levy 909 Madison til Oct 31)

Robert Morris' epoxied felt shrouds emptied of the figure reference Goya's dunces and other runway poses, (pdf) 18 E 77 til Nov 14

DAG Modern's first retrospective features Avanash Chandra, who drew inspiration from Swinging London's interest in tantra in the early 60s to move from townscapes to erotic 'humanscapes' to return to the tropical landscape, 41 e57 suite 708 til Dec 5.

The Brassaï photographs (right) featured in Henry Miller's 1956 Quiet Days in Clichy, mostly taken in the 30s, in the order of their appearance in the book, 41 e57 suite 1406 til Oct 24.

When I came to the fourth floor at 24 w57h, I recalled reading that Marian Goodman's show was up but was faked out, thinking that the show was in installation.  The walls were curtained off , the floor, like Pierre Huyghe's Met roof, was unfinished, a man in traditional African dress stood in the back of the gallery. I went to Stux and getting back on the elevator, confirmed that it was Goodman's floor. I returned and the man in African dress told me I could look at this room and the other one, following me into the other one to tell me I could take photographs of Adrián Villar Rojas' Oxymandias-like replica of Michelangelo's David on the floor, with the curtains and other small items comprising a time image, at which time I told him I didn't have a camera. (til Oct 10)

Marlborough surveys sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz's career, 40 West 57th til Oct 17

Mike Kelley's (511 West 18th Street, til Oct 24) urithane resin and mixed media sculptures of the cityscapes resulting when "Superman ultimately wrestles Kandor away from Brainiac and hides it in his Fortress of Solitude, sustaining its citizens with tanks of Kryptonic atmosphere. As Kelley once explained, Kandor functions for Superman as ‘a perpetual reminder of his inability to escape the past, and his alienated relationship to his present world.’" (Update 10/5 - huge and well presented, stuff that wasn't in the retrospectives)

Kandor 10B (Exploded Fortress of Solitude), 2011

Dana Schutz (456 W 18th Street til Oct 24) She seems to have moved to more everyday subject matter when she moved to Petzel as opposed to the more varied, at times history themed finale at Feuer; this one adds some stylistic wrinkles. (edited 10/5 after seeing the show)

Wolfgang Tillmans, Gordon Matta-Clark, Isa Genzken, and Dan Flavin at 19th/20th Zwirner til Oct 24th.

Sarah Sze (521 West 21st Street til Oct 17) adds sound, painting, and sattelites to her fall garden.