Friday, December 25, 2015

Contemporary Art: Best Of New York`s Gallery Shows 2015

(Drivebycuriosity) - 2015 was a good year for the world of contemporary art. New York City, which has hundreds of art galleries, presented a flood of impressive art show. It was so much fun to discover different styles and ideas and I was impressed by the variety of concepts, styles and techniques. Many exhibtions were on the rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, which is getting more and more a strong contender to Chelsea.

Here are my favorites from New York´s gallery shows 2015, as usual a very subjective selection.

Some say there is a trend to figurative paintings. Maybe so, at least there were some shows with gorgeous figurative paintings. Above you can see works by Marchal Mithouard a.k.a Shaka seen @ Gallery Nine 5 in New York´s Soho district (24 Spring Street gallery). The show was called "Onde De Choc", meaning shock wave.

Marc Strauss (299 Grand Street marcstraus ) also had a fascinating show. They dispalyed works by Entang Wiharso, the first exhibiton of works by the Indonesian artist in New York.

The gallery Garis & Hahn & on Manhattan´s traditional Bowery (garis) presented "Time to Speak a Human Language" by William Buchina. The artist, who graduated in communications design in 2001, had over the course of his career collected materials from books, the web, and corners of attics. He arranged his collections to collages which he used as models for the paintings shown in this exhbition. The paintings, which are all called  "Time to Speak a Human Language" (with a distinguishing number) are mostly acrylic on canvas. You can see influences from surrealism and from pop art.


Lisa Yuskavage is considered as one of the most talented female visual artists of her generation (wikipedia). and known for her "sapphic dreamworlds" (observer). The gallery David Zwirner showed new works by Yuskavage @ their dependance on 533 West 19th Street in Chelsea  (through June 13, 2015 davidzwirner).

                                                         Empire Of The Senseless 

Gallery Friedman Benda (friedman) exhibited "Kathy Acker Empire of the Senseless". The title of the show refers to the Punk author Kathy Acker and her 1988 novel "Empire of the Senseless".  I chose Natalie Frank`s painting "Women in Interior" (2015, Oil on canvas) plus  another work by this artist - certainly not the usual chicken wings.

At Foley Gallery (59 Orchard foley)  I saw works by the German artist Simon Schubert: "Multa Nocte . Above this paragraph you can see his   "Untitled (Poe House  Balitmore)", (2015, Graphite on paper), followed by "Untitled (Poe House Boston)", (2015, Graphite on paper) 

It seems that portraits are still en vogue. Gallery Lesley Heller Workspace on Lower East Side (54 Orchard Street lesleyheller) had a focused group exhibition, called "Who, a look at contemporary portraiture". Above you can see "Patents, Garuda, and the Meltdown" by Rhonda Wall (Acrylic and collage on board) followed by Caroline Larsen`s "Self portrait After Matisse" (2014, Oil on canvas).

Jeffrey Deitch  (76 Grand Street ) had works by Cameron (through October 17 2015 deitch.): "Cinderella Of The Wastelands".

At a tiny place on New York`s Broome Street I found an interesting pop-up show organized by the Verse Collective.

                                                                  Pure Magic

But abstract paintings were still alive and kicking:

The gallery McKenzie Fine Art (55 Orchard mckenziefineart ) displayed works by Amy Myers. The exhibition is called "Spectral Bond, Light as Spiral".

Some paintings are pure magic. For instance the works by Eric Freeman I saw @ Launch F18 (94 Allen Street, launchf18). Like many contemporary artists. Freeman is experimenting with new techniques and material. As the gallery describes, "to add new depth to this body of work, he paints with a layered method of combining oil and "high tech pigments of the modern age."  Layer upon layer of medium creates a new textured surface from which light refracts, allowing the light to reverberate between each layer.  With this process and the tactile nature of Freeman's materials, illusion and 3D holographic images seem to form".

At Jane Lombard Gallery ( 518 West 19th Street  anelombard) I saw an exhibition of works by Sarah Dwyer, called "Sunk Under"

 Eleven Rivington (195 Christie Street 11rgallery) had an exhibition of works by Jackie Saccocccio called "Degree of Tilt". Their press release describes Saccocccio`s technique as "manipulating the alchemical qualities of liquid pools, via-a-vis tipping, dragging and shaking the large-scale works over one another".

The Chelsea  gallery Chambers Fine Art   (522 West 19th Street  chambers ) specializes in contemporary Chinese art. Above new works by Zhao Zhao, called "Constellations II" . The show is based on an experiment where guns where used to shoot on glass. The paintings (all oil on canvas) are painstaking reconstructions of what occurred when bullets penetrated glass.

Marc Strauss Gallery on 299 Grand Street had works by Hermann Nitsch, an ambitious artist with a wild history (artnews).- a survey of three decades of painting

Galery Richard  (121 Orchard Street galerierichard ) exhibited paintings by Joseph Nechvatal, called "Odyssey pandemOniom". The press release explained: "The centrality of his oeuvre revolves around computer-generated viruses that he created in C++ in collaboration with programmer Stephane Sikora. In his paintings, the computer virus surfaces as the active agent which manipulates and corrupts the information stored in the image (the host), decreasing its integrity. This corruption allows Nechvatal to use the virus as a painting implement; therefore it can be viewed as a constructive, creative process".

                                        The Beauty Of Raw Power

Even that I prefer paintings I spotted some sculptures I really enjoyed:

I am fascinated by Richard Serra and I indulge into his often massive works which display the sheer beauty of raw power. David Zwirner had a gorgeous Serra exhibition @ their Manhattan dependance on 537 West 20th Street (davidzwirner): "Equal" (2015). There you could see  8 identical blocks of forged weatherproof steel, each: 60 x 66 x 72 inches (152,4 x 167,6 x 182,9 cm). These cubes were installed in 4 stacks: 2 blocks each, each stack: 11 feet (3,4m) high.

Gallery Lehmann Maupin`s  (lehmannmaupin)  show "Future Seasons Past" dispalyed artworks  by LIU WEI (2013, books, wood, iron, and hardware).


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