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November 4, 2006

{     A Midseason look at New York Art Shows.     } the first wave of European art fairs mostly cycled through and the Miami Art Fairs quickly approaching here's a glance at some of what's good in the New York gallery scene midseason 2006.

Nick Cave "Soundsuits" Jack Shainman Gallery

No, not Nick Cave the Aussie alt-crooner. This Nick Cave is a Chicago based artist who's Soundsuits channel so many influences it's hard to know where to beginning. There are a number of tremendously amazing approaches to full body costumery here that are as bizarre as they are tribally fashion saavy. If only we could put one on, dance a jig and raise the freak flag for great art and unbridled imagination.

Ken Price Matthew Marks Gallery

Ceramics? Who gives a shit about ceramics? You should. This show of colorful blobs on stark pedestals is weird and enthralling. The neat little drawings of volcanic activity in the back room make the show. Without their echoes of what's going on in the front we're just looking at polished turds.

Psychoideology: Spirituality, Politics and Identity in search of a new paradigm. Roebling Hall

Spotty group show with some real treats. Gina Triplett's Disney and Sue Williams sampled work is raw fun as are the poured paint works of Adam Scott.

Lordan Bunch Schroeder Romero

These female portraits taken from tombstones are painted tightly on Ouija Boards or simply as small paintings with delicate blue grids peeking through the layers of media. In both cases they are as eerie as they are starkly minimalist. This is a fitting, tongue in cheek look at spiritualism and graveyard portraiture during the acquiescence of the sun this season of Samhain.

Peter Saul Leo Koenig

These paintings are ugly, gaudy and so terrible you have to love them. It's great to see this Hairy Who stalwart still rocking out. A great relationship is happening between this and the Ken Price show at Matthew Marks.

Wayne White Clementine Gallery

Typographic dementia splurts over banal landscapes on the walls. A cut out word installation echoes the Hollywood sign on the floor. Good fun for the literate.

Chris Gilmour Freight and Volume

It's a show with a life size replica of a car made of corrugated cardboard!!! For god's sake this is amazing!!!!! The guitars made of the same stuff FUCKING RULE too!!!! So accurate and detailed!!! Wow... Ahem...Sorry, I just totally had a craftsmanship-loving geek out there.

Violet Hopkins "Entoptically Yours" Foxy Production

Large, mostly black canvases have vignettes of demonic cave innards sulking out of the middle, eerie and almost palpably moist.

Sean Ward "New 65 Inch Paintings and Then Some" Rare Gallery

This show is a deadpan hodgepodge of peculiar banalities that collectively liberate a tornado of question marks.

Anton Henning "Cranberry Juice, Virus, and Band-Aid" Zach Feuer Gallery

A stylish cluster fuck of weak Picasso rip-offs that are painfully bad. This show is guaranteed to fuck with your sense of right and wrong. I hated it so much I loved it.

Nicola Verlato "O.Z. Paintings" Stephan Stux Gallery

Dorothy we're not in Chelsea anymore.

Steve Mumford "The War in Iraq" Postmasters

Our man in Iraq turns in an impressive group of his recollections of this century's Vietnam. Want to get a glimpse of what it's like to be in a war zone? See this show. "Duel" blew my mind and still haunts me. "The Battle of Baquba" is pretty great too. I walked out choked up.

Lisa Yuskavage "New Work" David Zwirner

Yuskavage returns, sans Boesky, with a fresh set of sugary fantasies. They hearken to her earlier work's unsullied poetry in that soft, indulgent, 100% Grrrrl power fashion only she can pull off in the realm of high art. Perspicaciously installed in David Zwirner's mega-space, this is the best example of less is more I have seen in some time. Despite being derivative of Frazetta's painterly vision her chops are as out of this world as ever. If you can make it uptown she has smaller versions, studies and drawings on display at Zwirner and Wirth.

Christopher Adams "Dangerous Beauty" Ricco Maresca

Normally a dead scene of shit painting and mediocre nothing-lings, Ricco Maresca bats one over the fences with these Totally Metal allusions to plant life.

Isabel Samaras and Randall Sellers at Jonathan Levine Gallery

Samaras offers a solid group of kitsch-tastic portraits that lean toward the macabre without getting grotesque. Kudos on the frame choice for "Femina in Fabula (The Woman in the Tale)" The way the aged whiteness of it interacts with the reds in the hood reveals a strikingly apt formal choice. The disembodied hand paintings are good, clean, Adam's-Family-in-the-magic-shop fun.

Sellers gives us a microscopic look at the imaginative landscape from an emo-boy's perspective. Ask for a magnifying glass from the receptionist. It's the only way to appreciate these tiny marvels.

Fred Tomaselli "New Works" James Cohan Gallery

From a distance these new pieces by New York's Shaman/Craft-King look like they've lost their kick compared to earlier retina rockers. But look closer and you'll see all the amazing old photo-collage-layered-with-pills-in-resin wonderousness you could ask for. This observation brings to bear the strength of the smaller works both conceptually and aesthetically.

Next stop Miami. Look out.

By Aaron in Art, Reviews

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