Due to the fact that I’m leaving town tomorrow to install a show I curated for corporate America, I’m not going to have that much time to update AFC. As such, posting will be decidedly sparse around here until Tuesday.
Meanwhile, if you feel like ruminating on the latest Jeffrey Deitch quotable (the dealer is a pr machine) check out Looking Around’s recount of a lunch time panel discussion at the New York Public Library this past Monday. Blogger Richard Lacayo provides a great account of a forum Deitch shares with panelists Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan; and Roberta Smith, deputy art critic of the New York Times. There were a few enjoyable sentiments recounted, but for once in my life, I’m going to quote someone other than the ubiquitous dealer, opting instead for Looking Around’s summation of Smith’s take on the market, which “rains down money on a few very young artists, “a market-driven WPA.”” Lacayo continues his account saying, “She took the realist position, skeptical of the market but resigned to it. “The art market is just one more form of opinion, a gross, inarticulate form of opinion.””
Christopher Lowry Johnson (Left), Julie Evens (Right)
Images copyright Winkleman and Julie Saul Gallery respectively
And on that note, for those who’d rather discuss art James Wagner has a nice review of Christopher Lowry Johnson at Winkleman. I liked the paintings too, but find myself suspicious of their beauty. I don’t like paintings that too overtly look like something you should buy, and these works certainly walk that line even with their political content. Of course you don’t have to go far to find an example of art that actually crosses said line, as Julie Saul gallery has a number of cliche paintings by Julie Evans currently on display. In line with the problems of kitschy art, these works suffer from predictability and formulaic approach. Circles, patterning and floral shapes are to Julie Evans what the fan brush is to Bob Ross: a safe method of achieving a pleasing result. These elements too easily fall into pretty arrangements defined by the square format of the surface, turning beauty into something of a bore. Additionally, the work is easily the most girl centric I’ve seen in Chelsea this month, an attribute I’m very wary of as highly gendered art tends to indicate that the artist’s experimentation happens within a fairly narrowly defined field.
Note: Inexplicably scads of positive write-ups for Evans show abound on the web, including one from Ed Winkleman himself. The artist has a number of these links on her blog, though there are more out there than she’s listed.