Art Fag City’s 2011 September Preview: Gallery Edition

by Art Fag City on September 6, 2011 · 8 comments Preview

Gallery openings in Chelsea, the Lower East Side and Brooklyn begin this week

Who’s looking forward to sweating profusely this week at a bunch of crowded openings? I know I am! The question is, at which openings shall we sweat? I polled the AFC staff to come up with a few targets for the month. These are the results.

September 1st:

Magic Hand, ArtblogArtblog Group Show, 508 West 26th Street, 11th Fl. Opened September 1st. Through September 17th.

Magic Hand is the third to last installment of the ArtblogArtblog summer series at Ross Bleckner's Chelsea studio.  Joshua Abelow, the organizer of seven guest-curated group shows, is curating work by six artists: Ross Bleckner, Jonathan Allmaier, Ben Berlow, Cheryl Donegan, Joanne Greenbaum, and Ella Kruglyanskaya. Based on what we’ve seen from this group and ArtblogArtblog, we can hope for a good ol’ painting show to close the series. — Whitney Kimball


September 6th:

Peter Funch, "Two to Tango," from Babel Tales

Peter Funch, Babel Tales, V1 Pop-Up Gallery, 558 West 21st Street. Opening reception: Tuesday, September 6th, 5-10 PM.  Through October 8th.

Peter Funch’s Babel Tales series, a culmination of five years photographing in New York, will be on view at a temporary space for Copenhagen’s V1Gallery.  In keeping with his previous work, panoramic, billboard-like arrangements show crowds whose reactions and movements are synced.  Sometimes the similarities are funny, as in a bovine, yawning crowd, and others dystopic, as in a stampede of singular, black umbrellas. Mostly, they warrant a second look.  — Whitney Kimball


September 7:

Lisa Kirk, "Backyard Adversaries", New York Electronic Arts Festival

Lisa Kirk, If You See Something”¦, Invisible-Exports, 14A Orchard Street. Opening reception: Wednesday, September 7th, 6 – 8 PM.  Through October 18th.

Lisa Kirk's 2009 solo show House of Cards at Invisible Exports received positive reviews from ArtForum, Frieze, ArtInfo, and well it should have; her complete transformation of the gallery into a real estate office complete with actors peddling a time share shanty in the Brooklyn Navy Yard was nothing less than incredible. This year, Kirk's work takes a slightly different form; “If you see something…” is a work of video disassemblage in which the artist presents a randomly-generated four channel video program depicting four children improvising a game of war — also displayed at the center of her site-specific installation “Backyard Adversaries” screening concurrently at Governor's Island through September 25th. — Paddy Johnson

Ian Pedigo, "At Least One Person Was Killed," 2009

Ian Pedigo, Dawn Goes by Round the Neck, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 54 Ludlow Street. Opening reception: Wednesday, September 7th, 6-8PM. Through October 16th.

Ian Pedigo is to have another solo show at the Klaus Von Nichtsaggend Gallery.  Pedigo's reductive assemblage, combined with Klaus's track record for scrupulously meditative shows, promises a savory experience. — Whitney Kimball


September 8th:

Lee Bae, Untitled, 2000 Charcoal and elastic string

Lee BaeThe Conceptual Formalist, Nicholas Robinson Gallery, 535 West 20th Street. Opening reception: Thursday, September 8th, 6-8 PM.  Through October 22nd.

Those who don't like monochrome art or formalism might as well skip this exhibition. Lee Bae is a leading member of the Korean Monochrome movement, and deeply entrenched in formalist art making. Neither is particularly in vogue right now, but that's also the reason to see the show; that which forces a viewer to examine current contemporary art biases is usually a positive force.
Anyway, since Nicholas Robinson is low on images for this show, we'll just take it in good faith that curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented did their usual and put together a smart exhibition. Bae falls outside the curatorial team's focus on Middle Eastern art, but having talked extensively with the collaborative this spring, it's clear their knowledge of art in both the international and New York scene is deep. — Paddy Johnson

Jennie C. JonesAbsorb / Diffuse, The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street. Opening reception: Thursday, September 8th, 6 – 8 PM.  Through October 29th.

From the Low is a sound score in three movements and a digital “re-composition” created from appropriated samples described in the press release as 'dark notes' and 'deep chords'. Also on display will be a series of “Acoustic Paintings” made with soundproofing materials (also known as absorbers and diffusers). Jones’s work has been of particular interest to AFC since she participated in the The Sound of Art DJ battle record last year, and we predict a good show. Curated by Matthew Lyons. — Paddy Johnson

Marina Abramovic performing "The Artist is Present" at MoMA, 2010

The Pleasure of Slowness, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, 535 West 25th Street. Opening reception: Thursday, September 8th, 6-8 PM.  Through October 8th.

“Why has the pleasure of slowness disappeared?” is the question addressed by the upcoming group show at Bertrand Delacroix. The Pleasure of Slowness includes an impressive cast: Marina Abramovíc, Walead Beshty, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Joseph Cornell, Quisqueya Henriquez, Nancy Hwang, Nikki Lee, Wangechi Mutu, Elaine Tin Nyo, Roxy Paine, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Miho Suzuki.  Most appealing about this list is its breadth: one would expect slowness that is airy, humorous, tender, or excruciating. — Whitney Kimball


September 9th:

Manfred Mohr, P-708/AA1, 2000 endura chrome, canvas, vinyl

Manfred Mohr, 1964-2011: Réflexions sur une esthétique programée, bitforms gallery, 529 West 20th St., 2nd Fl. Opening reception: Friday, September 9th, 6-8:30 PM.  Through October 15th.

recent AFC commenter noted that digital art can, at times, be dominated by a “first post” mentality. If so, meet our king: Mohr's been using computers to make algorithmic art for the past forty years, and has a decent claim to putting the “digital” in “digital art”. Of course, being first breeds a certain kind of focus: he’s spent years working on the aesthetic ramifications of 6-dimensional hypercubes, which is way less cool than it sounds. The present exhibition has an added interest because of Cory Arcangel’s Pro Tools, at the Whitney through the 11th; Arcangel’s use of plotters for one room of works underwhelmed most people we talked to, but was clearly indebted to Mohr. — Will Brand

Jennifer Dalton, detail from "What Does an Important Person Look Like?," 2011

Jennifer Dalton, Cool Guys Like You, Winkelman Gallery, 621 West 27th Street. Opening reception: Friday, September 9th, 6-8 PM. Through October 15th.

Jennifer Dalton's Cool Guys Like You asks why there aren't more women interviewed by supposedly even-keeled reporters. Dalton addresses her favorite reporters “Bill, Brian, Charlie, Jon, Leonard, Rachel, Stephen, and Terry,” who, she claims, collectively interview only 17.5 to 34% women. “WTF?”  she asks. Then, in true Dalton style, she charts a scale from “idiot” to “asshole.” — Whitney Kimball


September 14th:

Installation view of Pamela Rosenkranz's "The most important Body of Water is Yours", 2010, at Karma International (Zurich)

Pamela Rosenkranz and Nicholas Gambaroff, This Is Not My Color / The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster Street. Opening reception: Wednesday, September 14th, 6-8 PM. Through October 30th.

We picked Gambaroff's anti-collage excavations into layered newspaper as a highlight of this year's Independent Art Fair, but they represent only a tiny part of his thoroughly postmedium practice; this might be a good chance to catch up on the rest. Rosenkranz is largely unknown to AFC’s staff, but she’s shown throughout Europe and readers may remember her two-week, two-work mini-show back in April at Miguel Abreu. Her current body of work focus on fleshtone liquids and smears of dull acrylic on future-fabrics like Spandex and… whatever the hell space blankets are made out of (space?). For both artists, this will be the most substantial New York exhibition of their work to date; it’s more than deserved. — Will Brand

September 15th:

Video stills from "I Love Your Work," 2011, Jonathan Harris

Social Media Show, The Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street. Opening reception: September 15th, 6-8 PM.  Through October 15th.

We’re suspicious: this could easily be a cheap publicity grab to capitalize on the current popularity of social media, and some of the names are a little too trendy – Talking Heads singer David Byrne, performer and recent Modern Painters cover model Miranda July, and current New Media Hero Aram Bartholl are all included. I'm guessing this show will be a stinker for the pretty simple reason that almost none of the work actually employs social media; I'm listing it regardless, because the title at least indicates a topic I'm interested in. I'll reserve my thoughts on the individual works until after the show has launched, and leave readers with the following description of the first work described in the press release: A series of picture frames that shuffle images drawn from the Internet of politicians arguing.

Participating artists include: Christopher Baker, Aram Bartholl, David Byrne, Jonathan Harris, Robert Heinecken, Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher, Sep Kamvar and Penelope Umbrico — Paddy Johnson


September 16th:

Tamara Zahaykevich, studio view August 2011

Tamara Zahaykevich, Hey Harmonica!, Kansas Gallery, 59 Franklin Street. Opening reception: September 16th, 6-9 PM. Through October 29th.

We predict Kansas has many a great show in its future. Launched this summer by former Sue Scott gallery director Steven Stewart, Tamara Zahaykevich gets the honor of the gallery’s first solo show. Some readers may remember Zahaykevich from her 2003 solo show back at Bellwether, for which she produced a series of playful wall-mounted and freestanding sculptures made of foam board. These days her work has become a little less careful, assembled mostly from cast of paper-related materials including found paper, Styrofoam, and of course foam core. It's all new work, so it's hard to know what we'll see, but I predict positive results. Zahaykevich has a strong track record and so does her gallerist.  — Paddy Johnson

Richard Aldrich, Homage to Daan van Golden, 2011 Enamel silkscreen on dibond panel

Richard AldrichOnce I Was, Bortolami Gallery, 520 West 20th Street. Opening reception: September 15th, 6-8 PM.  Through October 29th.

Back in 2009, Forrest Nash of Contemporary Art Daily wrote a great comparison of Charline von Heyl and Richard Aldrich. It's worth the full read, but I've excerpted a passage below I think exhibits a particularly astute grasp of the painter's practice:

“Aldrich's show for Bortolami in New York is guided by an air of off-handedness and a preoccupation with the formal. He is a tinkerer here, tweaking the conventions of painting and his own sensibility in order to arrive at new-feeling objects. We get the sense that Aldrich is thinking about art, about painting, about the visual, and he seems to be translating an attitude towards them into his work.”

I assume we'll see more of this kind of work next week when the show opens. I'm looking forward to it. — Paddy Johnson


Tom September 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

In regard to your first listing, I think it’s curious that you haven’t picked up on something odd here. As a recent press release for the space reveals, it appears that the organizer’s own work will be in 2 of the shows put on at this “new temporary space” (as he will be in the next one). Not to mention that the donor of the space (Ross Bleckner) is also in his show, listed here. Is this an altruistic exhibition program or an Abelow press junket?  

Anonymous September 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I don’t see a problem here. It’s an effort to build a larger artist network, one, both Abelow and Bleckner to some extent are part of. Sure it’s a little guache to include yourself in these shows, but I think the rules are different when what we’re looking at is essentially a donated private space temporarily made public. They can do what they want with it and well they should. 

Tom September 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Sure but I’m not I’m asking about rules, more taste. Actually by your rational, there are no rules. I guess that’s fine if your stomach can handle it. I wonder what others think.

Anonymous September 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

No. By my rationale, the owners of private spaces can run them as they see fit. Josh secured the space, so yeah, he’s in a few of the shows. So what? This isn’t a space run as a commercial or non-profit business. It’s a short term artist project in which the terms of success are less about the quality of any individual show and more about participating in a growing community of artists. IMO, there’s something to be gained from that. 

Tom September 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Just curious why my previous comment isn’t posted? Is this not a forum for discussion? If you ever get the chance, please post something about your comment section preferences here. I’m finding it hard to get through with what I think are productive comments. Thanks.

Anonymous September 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Hi Tom,

Sometimes I don’t check my email while I’m working on other posts or if I go out for lunch. If you want your comments approved faster you can always provide your full name and you’ll be added to the whitelist. You can keep your handle anonymous and do this btw. 

TS Elliot September 13, 2011 at 11:38 am

as you just said, it is gauche. But it reflects more on the egos of artists Bleckner and Abelow than the group show itself

Jerald Blackstock September 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Having curated a bunch of shows and some I included my work and some I didn’t, was due to whether my work fit within the curatorial statement or not. I will be totally self serving and take advantage of my hard work, often volunteer, and get my practice which includes curatorial and image making out there. The general public doesn’t seem to knock on my door, I have to seem to find a strategy to find them. I imagine those I didn’t include in the shows would find my very effective strategy to be gauche or not depending on their taste. Their likes and dislikes talk about them, not me. 

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