nyc art scene

a carefully curated calendar & cumulative catalog of new york city's most interesting art exhibitions and events. hand picked by Arthur Seen & Team

artwork focus:

El Diablo
 Ryan Schneider

currently on view in “Ritual for Letting Go” at:
Two Rams Gallery, 215 Bowery, NYC (entrance on Rivington)

84”x72”, oil on canvas, 2014

“El Diablo (pictured, top) began as an attempt to paint a giant ceramic bowl on a beach. Hopefully one day I will be able to pull that motif off, but in this instance, I was not. I worked on this big bowl with little crabs crawling all around it for about a day until I realized it was hopeless. This was not going to work- so I turned it around to face the wall and got really annoyed about the whole thing. Another giant canvas I was going to have to take off the stretcher, then stretch and gesso another one. It always breaks my heart a little when I can’t get it on the first try- but of course it happens all the time.

The next day I went to Pearl in the morning. I thought, ok, if I’m going to re-stretch this one and start over, then I’m going to get some really bright colors. I bought a bunch of nice paints- with a lot of very bright colors I hadn’t tried before- in particular an amazing orange I was really excited about. I also got some canvas.

When I got to the studio, I turned the canvas back around and studied it. What exactly was going on here? What did I see? I turned the canvas from horizontal to vertical (it’s 7x6 ft), and something clicked. That big bowl shape could be something else. Everything around the bowl (palms, crabs, clouds) was kind of working now that it was vertical, but the bowl had to transform. But into what? I immediately saw an owl- I kind of wanted to paint a big owl. But hadn’t I recently read some article somewhere about how owls were going to be really cool to paint this year, like cats were last year? Well then I’m definitely not painting an owl today. What else do I see? I saw a big mask. I’ve always wanted to paint a mask but felt like I shouldn’t because many artists before me have painted them. But I could really see it. This was going to have to be a big mask, and if it didn’t work, oh well.

I had to scrape away a lot of the wet paint that was there from the day before. Then I could almost immediately see where everything was going to go. I sketched it in- starting with the eyes and nose, naturally. Then I just started filling in big areas with color, beginning with orange. It was the most amazing orange I had ever seen, and I know that what goes really well with orange is turquoise, so I filled an area in with turquoise. Really quickly the mask took shape with bright wet paint, and looked really at home with the foliage and crabs all around it, even though they were sideways. I just left them as they were. Everything just kind of solidified.

It was a mask just floating there in the night. I was really attracted to it- it didn’t matter to me that it made no sense floating there. I imagined if I was walking on a tropical beach at night, the smells, the sounds of the waves and foliage blowing, and I happened upon this big mask floating in front of me. The mask was scary, but welcoming, and I was attracted to that. I added some stars in the sky and other details but wanted to keep it simple. By the night time I was finished. It almost felt as though it had painted itself.” -Ryan Schneider

continues:

last supper” & “mermaid, pig, bro w/ hat
 Urs Fischer

Gagosian Gallery’s Park & 75, 821 Park Ave., NYC
Gagosian Gallery temporary space, 104 Delancey St., NYC

The exhibition is in two parts, uptown and downtown. The uptown exhibition inaugurates the opening of a new Gagosian space, Park & 75, the downtown exhibition is in a former Chase bank branch on the Lower East Side. The uptown gallery contains a single large-scale sculpture last supper, Fischer’s take on the classical religious theme. At the downtown exhibit, features of the bank’s architecture and decor have been retained, from the corporate signage to the vaults—an incongruous setting for Fischer’s guilelessly expressionistic and exuberant sculptures. The cast bronze works, some of which are silver- and gold-plated, are a heterogenous bunch that includes a one-legged boy in an armchair, a big foot, a fireplace, some columns, a bust of Napoleon, a Louis XIV chair, a mermaid (conceived as a functional fountain), a depiction of sleep, a man copulating with a pig, a man and woman embracing, a hat on rocks, a man in a boat, a faceless cat, a pile, a Pièta, a lion in chains, and so on.

“Say what you will about the overall conceit — the bluest of blue-chip dealers slumming it, the whole affair some sort of astroturf DIY effort to seem scrappy and relevant — but Gagosian’s pop-up is actually pretty damn cool. The pieces are plopped throughout the gutted interior, next to water fountains or empty safes, tucked inside the upper shelves of empty closets.” - Scott Indrisek (photos & quote), ARTINFO

opens Sat, Apr 19, 5-7p:“The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014” John Ahearn, Stefan Eins, Peter Fend,  Coleen Fitzgibbon, Bobby G, Tom Otterness, Ann Messner and Laurie Arbeiter, and Alan Moore Cuchifritos Gallery, 120 Essex St., NYC (inside Essex Street Market)“An extension of The Real Estate Show of 1979/1980, this exhibition will serve as a living project space, presenting new work that continues to question the impending re-development of the Seward Park Urban Redevelopment Area (SPURA) sites. By addressing certain issues that have both united and polarized the neighborhood over the last 30+ years, the exhibition will encourage artists and community members to become an active part of the conversation by focusing on the particular insights and experimental processes that artists bring to imagining new urban spaces. All of the projects, contributed by former Colab members and participants in the original Real Estate Show, take form through audience engagement, as Cuchifritos becomes a flexible site for the active processes unfolding throughout the duration of the exhibition.” - thru May 18Corresponding Exhibitions:The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980 at James Fuentes, 55 Delancey Street, April 4 – 27RESx: The Real Estate Show Extended at ABC NoRio, 156 Rivington Street, April 9 – May 8NO CITY IS AN ISLAND at The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie Street, April 10 – May 11

opens Sat, Apr 19, 5-7p:

The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014
 John Ahearn, Stefan Eins, Peter Fend,
 Coleen Fitzgibbon, Bobby G, Tom Otterness,
 Ann Messner and Laurie Arbeiter, and Alan Moore
 
Cuchifritos Gallery, 120 Essex St., NYC (inside Essex Street Market)

“An extension of The Real Estate Show of 1979/1980, this exhibition will serve as a living project space, presenting new work that continues to question the impending re-development of the Seward Park Urban Redevelopment Area (SPURA) sites. By addressing certain issues that have both united and polarized the neighborhood over the last 30+ years, the exhibition will encourage artists and community members to become an active part of the conversation by focusing on the particular insights and experimental processes that artists bring to imagining new urban spaces. All of the projects, contributed by former Colab members and participants in the original Real Estate Show, take form through audience engagement, as Cuchifritos becomes a flexible site for the active processes unfolding throughout the duration of the exhibition.” - thru May 18

Corresponding Exhibitions:

The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980
at James Fuentes, 55 Delancey Street, April 4 – 27

RESx: The Real Estate Show Extended
at ABC NoRio, 156 Rivington Street, April 9 – May 8

NO CITY IS AN ISLAND
at The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie Street, April 10 – May 11

recommended:

NO CITY IS AN ISLAND

The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC

considering the works on view span a range of over 35 years, this exhibition feels coherent and contemporary. Lodge Gallery curatorial duo Keith Schweitzer & Jason Patrick Voegele invited former members of legendary NYC artist collective, Colab, to revisit their past methodologies: “Collaborative Projects Inc (Colab), focused on theme-centered exhibitions with a spirit of openness, experimentation, and minimal curatorial interference. Within this context, “No City is an Island” asked former members of Colab to respond to the exhibition’s title as a theme around which to contribute work. [The show] revisits the zeitgeist of a New York City long bygone, compares and contrasts the artists and urban realities of then with now, and honors one of the most influential art organizations in New York City’s history.” - thru May 11

artists: John Ahearn, Charlie Ahearn, Jody Culkin, Jane Dickson, Stefan Eins, Peter Fend, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Bobby G, Mike Glier, Becky Howland, Lisa Kahane, Christof Kohlhofer, Justen Ladda, Joe Lewis, Ann Messner, Richard Miller, Tom Otterness, Cara Perlman, Judy Rifka, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Teri Slotkin, Kiki Smith, Seton Smith

recommended:

The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980

James Fuentes Gallery, 55 Delancey St., NYC

a historical exhibition revisiting Colab’s infamous 1980 “The Real Estate Show” with original archived artworks. “During the late 1970s and early 1980s the art world underwent rapid change. More and more artists found inspiration by engaging the real world while simultaneously discovering the power of banding together either to confront or circumvent the established order… on New Years’ Eve 1980 a group of Colab members and friends started the new decade off with a bang by squatting an empty, city-owned building on Delancey Street and mounting ‘The Real Estate Show,’ an exhibition about greed, gentrification, eviction, and dislocation. Although the police quickly shut down the show, the guerrilla exhibition attracted so much media attention that as a compromise the city offered the artists the use of another abandoned building on nearby Rivington Street.” (Alan Moore and Marc Miller, 98Bowery.com)

opens Tonight, Mar 16, 6-8p:“Everything Under the Sun: Moon and Stars” Summer Wheat Pocket Utopia, 191 Henry St., NYCIn collaboration with Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden

opens Tonight, Mar 16, 6-8p:

Everything Under the Sun: Moon and Stars
 Summer Wheat
 
Pocket Utopia, 191 Henry St., NYC

In collaboration with Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden

Recommended
Opens Sun, Mar 2nd, 6-8p:

Crosseyed and Painless
 Daniel Rios Rodriguez

Sargent’s Daughters, 179 East B’Way, NYC


Daniel Rios Rodriguez’s work combines the intensely personal with the historical in a manner both humorous and dark.  The paintings begin with drawing into a thick layer of oil paint, and can include collage elements of raw canvas, linen and the scraps of old t-shirts onto the canvas. This is a means of recovery and reinstating a fresh surface, exploring the materiality and variety of textures a painting’s surface can have.

The subject matter of the work spans the immediate and classical: skulls, lemons and tall grass along a river are repeated- calling to mind the traditional vanitas pieces. The search is ongoing and the images are abundant.
- thru Mar 30

opens Fri, Mar 7, 7-9p:“Love Never Saved Anything” Logan Hicks PMM Presents, 154 Stanton St., NYCWhile much of Logan’s work deals with the often analytical, highly contemplative view of the urban environment, the paintings in Love Never Saved Anything were born out of the artist’s experiences and personal set backs this past year. The challenges led him to explore underwater photography as inspiration for these paintings. Logan explains, “The drifting, the weightlessness was how I felt internally. It seemed like the perfect way to capture what I was going through - adrift in a sea of uncertainty.” Having lived near the sea all his life, maritime themes have always been a unique influence for him, but are more explicit in this new body of work. Both haunting and elegant, his new paintings incorporate references from nautical superstitions and sailor traditions and showcase the range of perspectives from which the artist sees his environment.

opens Fri, Mar 7, 7-9p:

Love Never Saved Anything
 Logan Hicks
 
PMM Presents, 154 Stanton St., NYC

While much of Logan’s work deals with the often analytical, highly contemplative view of the urban environment, the paintings in Love Never Saved Anything were born out of the artist’s experiences and personal set backs this past year. The challenges led him to explore underwater photography as inspiration for these paintings. Logan explains, “The drifting, the weightlessness was how I felt internally. It seemed like the perfect way to capture what I was going through - adrift in a sea of uncertainty.” Having lived near the sea all his life, maritime themes have always been a unique influence for him, but are more explicit in this new body of work. Both haunting and elegant, his new paintings incorporate references from nautical superstitions and sailor traditions and showcase the range of perspectives from which the artist sees his environment.

opens tomorrow, Thurs, 6-8p:“Big Girl Now” Klara Kristalova Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie St., NYCWith each sculpture, Kristalova builds an imaginative narrative around common emotions and everyday situations, turning to a diversity of influences that include music, memory and current events,  literature, myths and fairytales.  Her slightly unsettling hand-painted figures—often hybrids of human, animal, insect or plant forms—communicate a tension but also a balance between states of being or transformation. The idea of transformation, particularly the age of adolescence as a time of both physical and psychological change, has been a recurring theme in Kristalova’s work. In Big Girl Now, Kristalova presents a group of portraits of women rooted in a more established period of the life cycle, suggesting that the transformation of youth does not cease once one is “grown up”.
pictured: Sneak peek of Kristalova’s during installation. This image features “Keyhole Woman,” (2013), “Young Girl Growing,” (2013) and “Twins,” (2014). Image by Lehmann Maupin.

opens tomorrow, Thurs, 6-8p:

Big Girl Now
 Klara Kristalova
 
Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie St., NYC

With each sculpture, Kristalova builds an imaginative narrative around common emotions and everyday situations, turning to a diversity of influences that include music, memory and current events,  literature, myths and fairytales.  Her slightly unsettling hand-painted figures—often hybrids of human, animal, insect or plant forms—communicate a tension but also a balance between states of being or transformation. The idea of transformation, particularly the age of adolescence as a time of both physical and psychological change, has been a recurring theme in Kristalova’s work. In Big Girl Now, Kristalova presents a group of portraits of women rooted in a more established period of the life cycle, suggesting that the transformation of youth does not cease once one is “grown up”.

pictured: Sneak peek of Kristalova’s during installation. This image features “Keyhole Woman,” (2013), “Young Girl Growing,” (2013) and “Twins,” (2014). Image by Lehmann Maupin.

just opened:“Fabricated Revisions” Megan Whitmarsh MULHERIN + POLLARD Gallery, 187 Chrystie St., NYCWorking predominantly with textiles, Megan Whitmarsh uses hand-stitched embroidery to fabricate replicas of personal and cultural ephemera. Although she also creates comic books, paintings, drawings, and stop animation, Whitmarsh is best known for her hand-embroidered canvases and soft sculptures, which make reference to both contemporary pop culture and the 1970s and ’80s eras of her childhood. “The artists I find compelling are mostly women and I decided to pay tribute to this personal fact. Many of these works are from a fictionalized past. From 1970-1980, Artforum devoted 5 of it’s 99 covers to women artists.” – Megan Whitmarsh, 2013

just opened:

Fabricated Revisions
 Megan Whitmarsh
 
MULHERIN + POLLARD Gallery, 187 Chrystie St., NYC

Working predominantly with textiles, Megan Whitmarsh uses hand-stitched embroidery to fabricate replicas of personal and cultural ephemera. Although she also creates comic books, paintings, drawings, and stop animation, Whitmarsh is best known for her hand-embroidered canvases and soft sculptures, which make reference to both contemporary pop culture and the 1970s and ’80s eras of her childhood. “The artists I find compelling are mostly women and I decided to pay tribute to this personal fact. Many of these works are from a fictionalized past. From 1970-1980, Artforum devoted 5 of it’s 99 covers to women artists.” – Megan Whitmarsh, 2013