Sunday, May 27, 2012

rock n roll on newtown lane

Harper's Books looking good; Jane Huntington's Reclaimed Bunny #2, (above), 2010, C-print

Open for the Stones V2
Harper's Books
curated by Kevin Teare

Kevin Teare, Child of the Moon, 2012, oil on mylar

Bravo Kevin Teare, curator extraordinaire of Open for the Stones V2 at Harper's Books in East Hampton. Teare, a veteran of both the music and art worlds, has orchestrated quite the round-up of artists-cum-musicians, or vice versa. 

Mike Solomon, Kick and Snare, 1992, Plasticine and powdered pigment

Above, perfection from Mike Solomon -- waxy imprints of form and function. The performative and the static. Very cool.

Teare seems to be one of those people that's living at least 4 or 5 lifetimes simultaneously. Large works on paper on view here seem to pulsate behind glass enclosures. The syncopation is divine. Like many of the artists here, he's also a successful recording artist.

From Stuart Sutcliffe's inky collage to Tara Israel's chilling Hank 3 images, Teare's compilation offers a glimpse into the double lives of some of our most heralded artist/musicians. Check out some of the works:

Steve Miller, Against Ideas, 2000, pigment dispersion and silkscreen on canvas

Don Christensen, Goose Step, 2012, acrylic on wooden step stool, wire

           Stuart Sutcliffe, Untitled Hamburg Series, #15, c. 1960-62                    Liz Markus, T: Art forum Ad (Clemente); B: Art forum A                                                                                                                                   Ad (Polke), both 2012, glitter and collage

If not for a life tragically cut short at just 22 years old, surely Stuart Sutcliffe would have developed into an artist among the pantheon of British greats.

Peter Dayton, Wipe Out, 2012

a group of us, Murdered to Keep Us Safe, 2012 and Bethany Fancher, Harlem

Bethany Fancher, Indie Rocker, 2009
Other wonderful works by Ron Nagle, Jameson Ellis and Pat Place are not to be missed.

Open for the Stones V2 will be on tour through 2012, stopping in New York City and then off to parts unknown. You can check it out at Harper's Books through June 25. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

black + white + black + white

Denise Kupferschmidt, Motifs
Halsey McKay

Denise Kupferschmidt's exhibition in the upstairs gallery at Halsey Mckay combines the clarity of minimalism with a sort of mythical -- even utopian -- vision. Her cast concrete sculptures employ a version of neo-De-Stijl, sharing in the structural simplicity of works by antecedents such as Georges Vantongerloo and Jean ArpHer drawings and paintings invite associations to early Warhol, Egyptian heiroglyphs, texting abbreviations, and other symbols, along with the crisp hybrid language that has become Kupferschmidt's oeuvre.

Her 3-D works, endowed with a dose of contemporary tongue-in-cheekiness, are clean and totemic, and they possess the kinds of surface intrigue and associative meanings that keep you looking and thinking and coming back to look again.

Denise Kupferschmidt, Motifs, is on view through May 29.

Monday, May 14, 2012

opening salvo, east hampton

detail: Glound 15, 2012, glue, wire, acrylic on canvas
Timothy Bergstrom, Glound 

New space, new art, new view at Halsey McKay, debuting with works by Chicago artist, Timothy Bergstrom and drawings, paintings and sculpture by Denise Kupferschmidt in the new and very awesome upper gallery (next post). 

Glound 4, 2011, glue, wire, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24"

Bergstrom's works are dense, dynamic and structural. They seem to straddle myriad lineages that bounce from Futurism to Constructivism to crystallography, setting up camp among an array of idioms the likes of Antoine Pevsner, the Brooklyn Bridge, communal spider webs and subversive knitting. Even the soft geometry of Ernesto Neto dovetails into a similar mosh pit of structural abstraction, movement and big thinking. Still, these works are all Bergstrom's own, staking claim to new territory within gesture and process.

Tantra Timbre, 2012, glue, wire, acrylic and pigment on canvas, 60 x 48"
The works on view here, ten in all, pit swirling voids against small convulsions that pulse across the canvas. As the artist's process accumulates, its evidence forms into ribs, ridges and starburst shapes. Bergstrom builds his paintings as much as he paints them, loading the surfaces with gossamer lines that burst open like fireworks or elaborate quasars.

Glound 5, 2011, glue, acryloid, wire, acrylic, pigment on canvas, 28 x 24"

In reality, the bones of this work are derived from the phonetics and tonal qualities of language. In the process of building, assembling and gluing the elements into from, Bergstrom's words are buried under pigment and glue. He calls the works, "Glounds" -- a pseudo term derived from combining "glue" and "sound," two elements that are integral to his creative process.

Glound 15, 2012, glue, wire, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48"

Don't miss Timothy Bergstrom, Glounds, on view through May 29 at Halsey McKay.

Next post: Denise Kupferschmidt, Motifs, also at Halsey McKay

Friday, May 4, 2012

forrest bess very best

Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
2012 Whitney Biennial

Forrest Bess (1911-1977) was a fisherman who lived much of his life in isolation on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Still, for twenty mid-century years, he exhibited his paintings at Betty Parsons in New York. But his wish to exhibit his medical works based on the unification of male and female sexuality alongside his paintings was not to be realized in his lifetime. 

Sculptor Robert Gober, who was invited to exhibit at the 2012 Whitney Biennial, chose to submit a curated exhibition that pays homage to Bess, to his wishes, and to a selection of his visionary paintings, journal entries and archival photographs. Where Parsons demurred, Gober's installation offers a breathtaking look at Bess's exhaustive writings on hermaphroditism, alchemy, mythology and mysticism as well as photo documentation of Bess's own self-surgical procedures that morphed him into something of a pseudo-hermaphrodite. 

In a Whitney Biennial mostly devoid of painting (notable exceptions, the stunning Nicole Eisenman installation and brilliant paintings by Andrew Masullo) this is one of the absolute highlights as well as an artistic and curatorial coup for Gober, whose wonderful 2009-10 exhibit, Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield won critical acclaim across the country.  

More thoughts and good links on the Whitney Biennial coming...