Wanna See Some Art?

by Art Fag City on December 8, 2005 Events

Or listen to someone talk about it an awful lot?

New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman will be at the New York Public Library on the 9th. I recommend going to see this lecture. Kimmelman is exactly what I like in an art reviewer. For one, you never need to have your own copy of Art Speak to figure out what the fuck he’s talking about. He writes plainly, and intelligently about art. Also, I like that his reviews are more descriptive than most. I suppose this sort of thing would seem like an obvious thing to either do or note, but it really is more defining than you would think. I always have a better understanding of the work he has written about, because he provides a written aesthetic reference and then refers to it constantly. It’s a beautiful formula.

Michael Kimmelman
THE DILEMMA OF THE NEW: Michael Kimmelman

Friday, December 9, 2005
7:00 PM
The New York Public Library Main Branch at 42nd and 5th.
Celeste Bartos Forum
$15 general admission and $10 library donors, seniors and students with valid identification

Ellen Altfest
Still Lives
Bellwether Gallery
134 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
December 8, 2005 – January 21, 2006

This opening happened yesterday, but the show will be up for a while. I have not yet seen her works in person, but Altfest at the very least has an impressive resume. Yale graduate, Skowhegan in 2002, awarded a study from the Mary Walsh Sharp Foundation studio, artist in residence Dorland Mountain Art Center, oh yeah, and she’s been written up in Art and Auction, the Times, Absolute Art…etc, etc, etc. I haven’t a clue what the work is about based on the press release. I mean obviously, the work and the title would suggest a reading of the life within still lifes, but David Humphrey has written something so poetic for Bellwether it’s impenetrable. Does this make sense to anyone?

“…Altfest’s work is an exercise of extreme and deliriously inefficient will seeking both accuracy and metaphor. Altfest looks at her motif then looks away to perform precise labors in the fading memory of that perception, over and over again. Everything must be touched into existence, part by part. In her painting of a tumbleweed, Altfest first immobilizes it in the corner of her studio and then renders it on the canvas. But our eye continuously tumbles through the weed’s tangled geodesics to find purchase in its many areas of perplexing coherence.”

If you can decode this, by all means, send me an email.

And finally, for those of you who feel like making a trek to see some abstract painting, boy do I have a treat for you!

New World Orders: Vision and Re-Vision
Abstract Paintings by: Jonathan Lasker, Thomas Nozkowski, Gary Stephan
Jasmine Justice, WES SHERMAN and Aaron Williams
Domo Gallery
447 Springfield Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
December 9, 2005 through January 28, 2006
Opening reception: December 9, 6 – 9 pm

Noticed much abstract painting in Chelsea recently? Me neither. Which isn’t to say there isn’t good stuff out there, it’s just not particularly fashionable right now. So, if you really dig abstract painting this is a show to go to. All of these artists make paintings that by all accounts should not work, and yet somehow they do. Nozkowski in particular works on medium scale canvases and integrates things like upside down rainbows and plaid in his work, which means there is no reason the work should be any good at all, and yet somehow it is… There is a pleasure of contradiction in all the work in this show that I like. Abstract painting such as this is largely understood as an intuitive process, so these works in theory should be no different. But I don’t get that sense from many of these works. They all seem too specific for that. Which I like. I can’t wrap my mind around the process, and that mystery, has a sweetness to it.

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