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

opens Fri, May 23, 6-8p:

Geo Land
 Alain Biltereyst
 
Jack Hanley Gallery, 327 Broome St., NYC

Belgium-based painter Alain Biltereyst’s small works on plywood are concerned with everyday, contemporary life. The artist is inspired by geometric forms that he sees on a daily basis, such as logos on currency, advertising on the sides of trucks, and fences against a landscape. He strives to interpret this ‘Geo Land’ into works that are “as simple and poetic as possible.” Formal repetition and color choices reflect the artist’s background in graphic design and fascination with commercial and other urban signs, where the lines between culture and subculture are blurred. Beneath the hard edge geometry of each composition, lies a painterly gesture, implying a depth in the otherwise flat composition. - thru June 22

thru May 31:“Sometimes Comes the Mother, Sometimes the Wolf” Matt BahenMunch Gallery, 245 Broome St., NYCan exhibition of small and large scale oil paintings by Canadian painter, Matt Bahen, recognized for his human scale works on canvas addressing themes of loss and the question of how to carry on. His use of a thick and heavily applied impasto technique emphasizes the visceral quality of the delivery and subject.

thru May 31:

Sometimes Comes the Mother, Sometimes the Wolf
 Matt Bahen

Munch Gallery, 245 Broome St., NYC

an exhibition of small and large scale oil paintings by Canadian painter, Matt Bahen, recognized for his human scale works on canvas addressing themes of loss and the question of how to carry on. His use of a thick and heavily applied impasto technique emphasizes the visceral quality of the delivery and subject.

opens tomorrow, Fri, May 16, 7-9p:

MARGINS
 Frank Webster
 
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC (bt Delancey & Broome)

Webster’s paintings depict post-industrial landscapes drawing on the aesthetic traditions of minimalism and realism. Summoning a sense of apocalyptic abandonedness, Webster’s compositions pair high-rise buildings with similarly scaled trees, liken barbed-wire fences and electrical wires to the creeping vines that entwine them, and present an urban ecosystem curiously devoid of inhabitants. - thru June 1

opens tonight, Thurs, May 15, 6-8p:“Truppe Fledermaus & The Carnival at the End of the World” Kahn & Selesnick Yancey Richardson Gallery, 525 W22nd St., NYCUtilizing photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance, Kahn & Selesnick create robust mythic realities for each project, building imaginary, character-driven fictions from kernels of obscure historical truth. This exhibition follows a fictitious cabaret troupe – Truppe Fledermaus (Bat Troupe) – who travel the countryside staging absurd and inscrutable performances in abandoned landscapes for an audience of no one. The playful but dire message presented by the troupe is of impending ecological disaster, caused by rising waters and a warming planet, the immediate consequences of which include the extinction of the Bat, in this mythology a shamanistic figure representing both nature and humanity. In one sense, the entire cabaret troupe can be seen as a direct reflection of the artists themselves, both entities employing farce and black humor to engage utterly serious concerns. - thru July 3

opens tonight, Thurs, May 15, 6-8p:

Truppe Fledermaus & The Carnival at the End of the World
 Kahn & Selesnick
 
Yancey Richardson Gallery, 525 W22nd St., NYC

Utilizing photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance, Kahn & Selesnick create robust mythic realities for each project, building imaginary, character-driven fictions from kernels of obscure historical truth. This exhibition follows a fictitious cabaret troupe – Truppe Fledermaus (Bat Troupe) – who travel the countryside staging absurd and inscrutable performances in abandoned landscapes for an audience of no one. The playful but dire message presented by the troupe is of impending ecological disaster, caused by rising waters and a warming planet, the immediate consequences of which include the extinction of the Bat, in this mythology a shamanistic figure representing both nature and humanity. In one sense, the entire cabaret troupe can be seen as a direct reflection of the artists themselves, both entities employing farce and black humor to engage utterly serious concerns. - thru July 3

opens tonight, Thurs, May 15, 6-8p:“Rx for Viewing” Grant Foster / Jesse Wine Ana Cristea Gallery, 521 W26th St., NYCa two-person exhibition that brings together the work of London-based artists Grant Foster and Jesse Wine, artists that eschew the contemporary preference toward multi-media and mixed media works. Foster and Wine work unabashedly in one medium: painting and ceramics, respectively. The palpable humor of the works on view, alternatingly mischievous and dark, suggests ambivalence toward contemporary culture, its feigned invocations of morality and the cookie-cutter mentality of digital reproductions. But despite the tone of satire, the works are richly textured, executed delicately, and, ultimately, with a distinct tenderness toward their subject matter.- thru June 9

opens tonight, Thurs, May 15, 6-8p:

Rx for Viewing
 Grant Foster / Jesse Wine
 
Ana Cristea Gallery, 521 W26th St., NYC

a two-person exhibition that brings together the work of London-based artists Grant Foster and Jesse Wine, artists that eschew the contemporary preference toward multi-media and mixed media works. Foster and Wine work unabashedly in one medium: painting and ceramics, respectively. The palpable humor of the works on view, alternatingly mischievous and dark, suggests ambivalence toward contemporary culture, its feigned invocations of morality and the cookie-cutter mentality of digital reproductions. But despite the tone of satire, the works are richly textured, executed delicately, and, ultimately, with a distinct tenderness toward their subject matter.- thru June 9

just opened:

Watercolors
 Walton Ford

Paul Kasmin Gallery, 293 Tenth Ave., NYC

Ford continues to explore the visual and narrative scope of traditional natural history painting with his monumental watercolors, chronicling encounters between human culture and the natural world. Several pieces in this exhibition expand upon Ford’s longstanding practice of incorporating written marginalia in his work, and feature for the first time musings penned by the artist from the perspective of his animal subjects. - thru June 21

just opened:

The Invocation
 Gehard Demetz

Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W20th St., NYC

Demetz continues his exploration of contemporary issues through the traditional practice of woodcarving. With impeccable craftsmanship, Demetz builds figures and reliefs of children and rural, often religious, architectural forms. While his subjects often take the forms of adolescent or very young children who are at the precipice of self-realization, their grave expressions and powerful stances suggest something much less innocent than their ages might suggest. - thru May 31

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