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

just opened:Johan Van Mullem C24 Gallery, 514 W24th St., NYCBelgian artist Johan Van Mullem’s oeuvre is characterized almost entirely by portraiture. Rather than portraying a physical similitude, his works feature surreal depictions of the subjects’ innate desires and feelings. Van Mullem finds beauty in human experience; in the lines that develop with age; and the depth of eyes that have seen something they will never forget. Above all, Van Mullem’s concern is with artistic technique and individual emotion.

just opened:

Johan Van Mullem
 
C24 Gallery, 514 W24th St., NYC

Belgian artist Johan Van Mullem’s oeuvre is characterized almost entirely by portraiture. Rather than portraying a physical similitude, his works feature surreal depictions of the subjects’ innate desires and feelings. Van Mullem finds beauty in human experience; in the lines that develop with age; and the depth of eyes that have seen something they will never forget. Above all, Van Mullem’s concern is with artistic technique and individual emotion.

nycARTscene Interview: Noah Becker

Noah Becker is a NYC-based oil painter, a jazz saxophonist, the founding editor of Whitehot Magazine and a contributing writer for numerous publications (Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art, the Huffington Post).

Becker’s recent paintings are currently on view at The Lodge Gallery, a solo exhibition of his portraiture and collage-like reconsiderations of art history.

nycARTscene contributor Gabriel Sands leads us in conversation with the artist:

GS: How have you been influenced by other prominent New York City artists who came before you? Whom specifically?
 
NB: I was influenced by Warhol, Basquiat, Jackson Pollock and many others.  
 
GS: How has your relationship to and perception of portraiture changed as a result of your own work?
 
NB: Making unknown people or making famous people becomes an issue. I try and do as few famous people as possible… I’m painting mostly unknowns but that might change.
 
GS: You are also a musician. What is the interplay between your music and your visual art, if any?
 
NB: I’m a saxophonist. There are shapes and feelings in music and shapes and vibrations in painting. It’s coming from a source that transcends the human world. I’m not sure that they have an interaction except for the fact that I do it and it comes from my consciousness. The world is mysterious and we really don’t know everything yet.
 
GS: Can you tell us about the idea of mass production in culture and art? What does that mean to you?
 
NB: Mass production is something Warhol was doing with his Factory and now people like Jeff Koons and Kehinde Wiley are doing it. Supply and demand is the issue here. I’m not sure how much work an artist needs to make…  Vermeer made only about 35 paintings I think…  How many do you need to be a famous artist?
 
GS: On Twitter, you recently tweeted an offer to paint people’s portraits. Tell us why you did this.
 
NB: Twitter is an interesting thing because you can test the social and creative dynamic. I Tweeted that because I’m interested in the challenge of painting someone I don’t know. It’s also a way of dealing with the current situation with the online world in an experimental way. For example I offer people Skype studio visits where I link to them and they give me a one hour tour of their studio. I’ve been invited to studios all over the world via Skype.

Noah Becker: http://noahbeckerart.com/

The Lodge Gallery: www.thelodgegallery.com 131 Chrystie St., NYC

RecommendedOpens Tonight, Thurs, Nov 7, 7-9p:NOAH BECKERThe Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC (bt Delancey & Broome)solo exhibition of Becker’s portraiture and collage-like reconsiderations of art history. “The source material for my recent portraits are photos of hair models from the 1960s and 70s. These hair models display a stillness, blank expression and lack of action. The backgrounds of these paintings show a single mode of color. The minimized action and repetition found in the work of Samuel Beckett has been instructive to me in this sense. Artists such as Frank Stella and his peers found Beckett influential during their rebellion against late period abstract expressionism. My work shows a kind of mood that engages with similar ideas and rebellions.” - Noah Becker

Recommended
Opens Tonight, Thurs, Nov 7, 7-9p:

NOAH BECKER

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

solo exhibition of Becker’s portraiture and collage-like reconsiderations of art history.

“The source material for my recent portraits are photos of hair models from the 1960s and 70s. These hair models display a stillness, blank expression and lack of action. The backgrounds of these paintings show a single mode of color. The minimized action and repetition found in the work of Samuel Beckett has been instructive to me in this sense. Artists such as Frank Stella and his peers found Beckett influential during their rebellion against late period abstract expressionism. My work shows a kind of mood that engages with similar ideas and rebellions.”
- Noah Becker

Recently Opened:“Props For Memory” Joseph Beuys, Paul P., Amanda Ross-HoINVISIBLE-EXPORTS, 14A Orchard St., NYC (bt Hester and Canal)The work of the three artists presented here addresses the problem of time raised by the failures of memory—the false promise of total recall and the failure of even the most savantish memory, or the deepest archive, to truly preserve. The two living artists, Paris-based painter Paul P. and Los Angeles multimedia artist Amanda Ross-Ho, each present portraits of moments otherwise destined to be forgotten, portraits that encode a kind of ambivalence about the project of remembering or preserving itself—snapshots of moments clouded by indeterminancy, vagueness, fantasy, and flux. Beuys, whose Economic Value work is included as a kind of forebear, addresses the problem in a more innocent way—by assembling a Potemkin grocery store, filled with bygone products he remembered keenly from his own postwar childhood, as a kind of record, of his own inner life as a pre-teen commodity fetishist, understandable only to him and, therefore, doomed to decay. - thru Oct 21

Recently Opened:

Props For Memory
 Joseph Beuys, Paul P., Amanda Ross-Ho

INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, 14A Orchard St., NYC (bt Hester and Canal)

The work of the three artists presented here addresses the problem of time raised by the failures of memory—the false promise of total recall and the failure of even the most savantish memory, or the deepest archive, to truly preserve. The two living artists, Paris-based painter Paul P. and Los Angeles multimedia artist Amanda Ross-Ho, each present portraits of moments otherwise destined to be forgotten, portraits that encode a kind of ambivalence about the project of remembering or preserving itself—snapshots of moments clouded by indeterminancy, vagueness, fantasy, and flux. Beuys, whose Economic Value work is included as a kind of forebear, addresses the problem in a more innocent way—by assembling a Potemkin grocery store, filled with bygone products he remembered keenly from his own postwar childhood, as a kind of record, of his own inner life as a pre-teen commodity fetishist, understandable only to him and, therefore, doomed to decay. - thru Oct 21

Continues thru Sept 23:

Edouard Vuillard: “A Painter and His Muses" 1890-1940

The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., NYC (@ 92nd St.)
Admission $7.50+, Saturdays Free, Closed Wednesdays

Featuring some fifty key artworks in various media, this exhibition offers a fresh view of the French artist Edouard Vuillard’s career, from the vanguard 1890s to the urbane domesticity of the lesser-known late portraits. The presentation focuses on the inspiration provided by friends and patrons whose support became inseparable from the artist’s achievement.

Opens June 7, 6-9p: “Portrait of a Generation”The Hole, 312 Bowery St., NYCThe Hole will present “a kind of yearbook for New York City in 2012…over 100 artists who make up the art scene here will pair up and exchange portraits with each other. This massive exhibition will serve to give image to a community of people, both renowned and emerging, who are dedicated to making artworks. The works will be hung salon-style on our walls of Gallery 1 and 2, and include painted, drawn and photographic portraits.” - thru Aug 10photo: iStock

Opens June 7, 6-9p:

Portrait of a Generation

The Hole, 312 Bowery St., NYC

The Hole will present “a kind of yearbook for New York City in 2012…over 100 artists who make up the art scene here will pair up and exchange portraits with each other. This massive exhibition will serve to give image to a community of people, both renowned and emerging, who are dedicated to making artworks. The works will be hung salon-style on our walls of Gallery 1 and 2, and include painted, drawn and photographic portraits.” - thru Aug 10

photo: iStock

Just Opened:

The Malingerers
 Nicole Wittenberg

Freight+Volume, 530 W24th St., NYC

In an age of sound bites sandwiched by social media excess and information overload, Nicole Wittenberg’s paintings are a refreshing antidote. Distilled down to their essentials, Wittenberg’s work - whether her “Skype” portraits, her architectural interiors, or her landscapes – offers up a complicated contemporary universe reduced to a skeletal framework. Its elegant brevity is not dissimilar to symphonic variations on a theme: one frame, presented in a multitude of ways, a sure and pared-down message conveyed as directly and with as much brevity as possible. - June 30

Opens Thursday, Feb 23, 6-8p: Piet van den Boog”Bruised and Battered”Mike Weiss Gallery, 520 W24th St., NYCDutch artist Piet van den Boog pushes the limits of portraiture by directly confronting emotion head-on by way of large-scale paintings of faces. Oil and acrylic paint make up the flesh tones and fine facial details while abstract strokes in rust tones, cerulean blues and greens are chemically etched into the cold lead surfaces becoming a powerful metaphor for the internal scars we all possess.

Opens Thursday, Feb 23, 6-8p:

 Piet van den Boog
Bruised and Battered

Mike Weiss Gallery, 520 W24th St., NYC

Dutch artist Piet van den Boog pushes the limits of portraiture by directly confronting emotion head-on by way of large-scale paintings of faces. Oil and acrylic paint make up the flesh tones and fine facial details while abstract strokes in rust tones, cerulean blues and greens are chemically etched into the cold lead surfaces becoming a powerful metaphor for the internal scars we all possess.