Monday, July 28, 2014

Contemporary Art: Impressions From An Art Walk In Chelsea, New York City 2014

(Drivebycuriosity) - My wife and I are nouveau connoisseurs of contemporary art. Therefore we were very happy to join the annual Chelsea Art walk which happened last week (artwalk). On Thursday around 50 galleries opened their doors for the public; they showed their collections of contemporary paintings, sculptures, installations and offered receptions and panel discussions. Unfortunately the "Chelsea Art Walk" happened just from 5pm till 8pm. Therefore we had to pick just some pieces from the large cake.

We were impressed by Hauser & Wirth (hauserwirth). The prestigious international gallery, with home in Zürich (Switzerland), has 2 adresses in Manhattan: Uptown at 32 East 69th Street (Upper East Side) and dowtown at 511 West 18th Street (Chelsea). Last Thursday their Chelsea branch presented an exhibition of works by Sterling Rubin (including a panel discussion about the artist).

Above this paragraph you can see (from the top): SP272 (1) & SP272 (2) (Spray paint on synthetic canvas);  Hanging Figures (4838) (Fabric and fiber fill); BC (4845) A & BC (4845) B (Fabric, glue, paint, bleached canvas on panel).

                                                         Warzone Los Angeles?

Ruby owns s a huge studio in Los Angeles, which looks a bit like a warzone in Beirut, we were told. His online portraits resemble a bit Axel Rose, the frontman of Guns & Roses (wikipedia). He seems to be a rising star. According to the gallery`s prospect "Ruby`s art speak in a language inspired by sub-cultural phenomena ranging from graffiti, urban gangs, and prison systems, to craft and the history of quilt-making".

I missed provocations like Damon Hirst´s sharks in preserved in formaldehyde and Jeff Koon`s portraits of porn star Illona Staller. But anyway I like his work, especially the large wall filling paintings.

Above this paragraph: SP275 (1) & SP275 (2) (Spray paint on synthetic canvas); again SP272 (1) & SP272 (2; EXHM (4763 ) & EXHM (4764 ) & EXHM (4765 ).

Above you can see my favorite from this exhibition: Flag (4791) (Bleached and dyed canvas and elastic). I like especially the twister of colors which covers a whole wall.

                                                                    Logical Principle

We also were impressed by the RH Gallery of Contemporary Art on 437 West 16th Street New York (rhcontemporary). They offer an exhibition called "The Beauiful Changes" (through September 13, 2014).  The show spreads over four floors and contains paintings, photographs, works on paper and videos by more than a dozen of international artists.

Above this paragraph you can see "Untitled" by Koen Delaere (2014, Oil, spray paint and acrylic on canvas). According to the gallery´s prospect "paint ripples in corrugated surfaces as colors swirl within the thickly applied material".

The painting "Display Unit (centre) no. 1 by  Øystein Aasan (Oil on veneer) also caught my eyes. The artist, who lives and works in Berlin, uses the grid as an "organizational structure", says the gallery`s prospect. "To make his paintings, he first applies paint with a piece of cardboard onto square, diamond, and rectangular pieces of wood. He then lays down tape, paiting over and later removing it, creating a lattice of overlapping lines". Aasan´s paintings "are ways of working with a logical principle".

Above another painting by Øystein Aasan, called "OAA, Not Yet Titled (oil on veneer)

This study of a hazzy sommer morning in forrest looked at the first view almost like a photography. Actually it is a painting: "Untitled", by Niels Sievers, an artist who lives and works also in Berlin (oil and spray paint on canvas).

Sorry, I don´t exactly recall in which gallery I saw the painting above nor the name of the artist. All what I can say is that this work reminds me a bit of Picasso who enjoyed to portrait warped ladies.

                                                            A Mystery In The Fog

My favorite of Thursday´s art event is a painting by William Betts, called "Untitled, Swimming Pool XV" (Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 24 inches = 41 x 61 cm) at he gallery Margaret Thatcher Projects 539 West 23rd Street (thatcherprojects). I am fascinated how the pixels work together to create an image. From far we can see 2 people who might enjoy a bath in a pool.

When we come closer the picture falls apart and then we see just clusters of dots. The closer we come the less connections between the dots we can discover. Just the distance creates the impression.

Unfortunately my point-and-shoot camera doesn`t catch the pictures very acurately. The images you can see here are just proxies. You might go to the galleries by yourself and enjoy the works in the original. Enjoy.

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