Paul Henry Ramirez, Image via The L Magazine
I’m all for wheelchair accessible galleries, but the long slanted ramps at places like White Box seem more like left overs from the previous industrial space than a slope designed to facilitate entry. This week’s review at the L Magazine details their aesthetic effects on exhibitions. I’ve posted a portion of the piece below, but as always, click through to read the full piece.
I've decided that ramps constitute art's slow death when placed inside a gallery. The presence of these inclined planes generally indicate quite a few problems, not the least of which are awkwardly divided exhibition space and decreased hanging area.
Having fewer places for artists to put their work on a wall tends not to be a good thing, but interiors without the proper feng shui ultimately prove much more problematic. Take Paul Henry Ramirez's latest exhibition, “Chunk”, at Caren Golden: an average show, but almost impossible to evaluate as such because you can't get enough distance from the work. Not that Ramirez's paintings offer much for a viewer to contemplate — his abstracted playing card-esque iconography offers only mild satisfaction by way of soft curves meeting sharp corners — but had the gallery not been split in two by a ramp and storage space, this formal pairing might have carried the work further.
By contrast, Ward Davenny's cloud photographs at Mary Ryan Gallery look passable in the newly renovated, ramp-removed space Team used to occupy, a real feat considering the gimmicky storm-chasing aspect of the work. Coincidentally, Team's profile has risen considerably since leaving its ramped space behind. I'm not about to draw any connections between the financial success of a gallery and a slope in the floor, but I will note that strong architectural presentation at least puts forth an accomplished image.
To read the full piece click here.