Thoughts from my studio about artwork; new pieces as well as those things that have have remained hidden in my flat file...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Live from New York...Its Saturday Morning!

Ok, I know I'm really a bad comedian, ask my students. But anyway, the elevator is broken in my hotel and I am putting off dragging my luggage down 20 flights of stairs, so here I am.
Yesterday I walked over to the 529 building on W. 20th street in Chelsea and spent a couple of hours soaking things up, and here are some rough initial reactions to what caught my eye...

Diane Samuels at Kim Foster Gallery
"Mapping Sampsonia: Part II, Close Readings"

Diane Samuels has an intimate knowledge of the immediate area around her studio/home on Sampsonia, the inner city alley where her studio is located. The asphalt colored paper pulp castings loom over the viewer on gallery walls, forming intricate monochromatic topographical maps while small pebbles and chucks of asphalt pepper the surface. The irregular reliefs reveal themselves slowly to the viewer as it becomes understood that these are the negative casts pulled directly from the pock-marked alleyway that Samuels and many others trod every day.
The true delight that brought me back for a second look were the intricate ink drawings which mapped sections of the alley on a 1:4 scale. Each drawing is made up of over a quarter of a million small circles (yes, a quarter of a million) laid side by side, producing a mesmerizing surface on the buckled Abaca handmade paper. My words cannot do these justice. I immediately thought of Linn Meyers, partially because of the ink, partially because of the obsessive intricate repetition of a simple geometric element (Diane: circle, Linn: line), but I really don't think it is fair to compare them, other than to say, if you are drawn to one, you would enjoy the other. The exhibit is up until November 15.

Ron Janowich at Howard Scott Gallery
Ron Janowich has created a series of paintings that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The intoxicating paintings flirt with color that slowly fades in and out of the highly reflective surfaces as the rods and cones in your eye tire from staring. Slick surface is juxtaposed with texture that has been coated with a fat layer of oil (similar to my approach) to give and aquias effect. Intimate yet monolithic, these paintings buzz with energy, I almost couldn't leave the gallery. As you may be able to see (or not see) from the images, these paintings do not reproduce well, it is all about being right there with the work. (yeah, I know how that is).
This exhibit is up through November 8.

Ok - I need some breakfast and its almost time to check out and hit some more galleries. Hopefully later this weekend I will fill you in on my thoughts about the following shows:

Duston Spear at Sara Tecchia Roma New York
Jennifer Coates at Kinz, Tillou + Feigen

Today (saturday) and Tuesday are the last days to see the five great new paintings at the Pass Gallery in the fall group show - don't miss it.

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