Bart Michiels, Thermopylae 480BC, Kolonnos Hill. Image via Foley Gallery
ArtReview.com has asked us to blog for them every Monday for the next month, a responsibility we’ve gladly accepted. Unfortunately, as per usual, I managed to take a large number of photographs at the Thursday night Chelsea openings, almost all of them being unusable for one reason or another, so sorry for that. We do however have a small discussion on a few of the shows we saw that evening on artreview.com’s new site. A teaser below.
Will there ever be a time when Chelsea elevators become usable during opening night receptions? This question came to mind at around 6 pm last Thursday as I entered the 547 West 27th street building and found myself in the unusual position of being able to get on the lift. A fluke to be sure — the lines forming behind me even as I entered: a crowd of 20 people just as uncool myself, nerdily showing up at the precise opening reception time.
While arriving early has the distinct advantage of elevator availability, fully stoked wine supplies and coat rack space, none of this numbs the senses to the array of bad art populating the fifth floor galleries. Foley Gallery probably had the best selection of work I saw in the building that night, featuring Tiffany Dow’s decorative biomorphic drawings and Bart Michiels’ banal photographic landscapes of old Mediterranean battlefields. Michiels' shots of the now beautiful terrain boasted good printing quality, but suffer from a rather remedial intellectual investigation. After all, the idea that we view images differently knowing their historical background was popularized 36 years ago in John Berger’s 1972 famous television series and book Ways of Seeing. Michiels doesn’t bring anything new or even that interesting to the table with this series.
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