“Philip Guston makes an Agnes Martin,” is a phrase that Dan Walsh has often used in interviews to describe his work. Initially this is a rather weird analogy, thinking of an aesthetic marriage of a politicized figurative painter (following on Guston’s reformation from Abstract-Expressionism) and a transcendent abstract painter, whose work is often confused with Minimalism. You really have to scratch your head about “Guston x Martin,” borrowing the botanical “x” to symbolize the intergradient of two species.
In a brief word piece titled, “The Eccentricities of an Artist,” published in 1977, Yun Hyong-keun described his life as one without any clear distinction between living and playing. When it occurs to me, I secure my canvas and paint. At other times, I just sit absentmindedly. . . . Painting is thus enjoyable work. But when paintings do not work out, it feels like death. . . . In any case, just as I continue to eat and live, I continue to paint.
Metallic lips and outstretched tongues poised to lick. Acrylic nails, mouths crammed full of pearl necklaces and makeup-clad eyes – these are the images that come to mind when I think of Marilyn Minter, who I first discovered while absent-mindedly stalking Miley Cyrus’ Instagram. A blurred portrait showed Miley in all her usual glory - Hollywood white teeth, tongue out, licking a foggy window dripping in condensation.
Matt Mullican has got them both: brains and brawn. If there were intellectual and athletic decathlons in contemporary art, Mullican would win handily. He has the genetic material, training, and discipline. Mullican is the son of artists Lee Mullican and Luchita Hurtado. His father’s work was shown earlier this year at James Cohan (New York). His mother’s work is currently on show at Park View (Los Angeles). Mullican’s brother, John, is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Few families have ”the right stuff” way this one does.
The smell of meat stock permeated all three floors of PS1. It was an unintended olfactory punch from the Kunsthalle’s in-house restaurant, M. Wells Dinette. Yet, the cloying, unctuous odor created an additional atmospheric in Mark Leckey's sensory assault. PS1 smelled like a fatty broth or stew in an English working man's café, which seemed sort of appropriate given Leckey’s self-described working class background.
When he was growing up in Colorado, Alex Dodge decided that, “if you want to make beautiful things, you have to make them yourself,” and turned to the visual arts. A connoisseur of digital art, his process involves him creating a virtual fabric and letting it drape over objects to describe their form. Over the course of his artistic development, Alex continues to ask himself, “how do you make something with a complexity and immediacy.” In response, his paintings resemble living, breathing objects.
“Help me,” reads a cool, white neon sign on the fourth floor of the New Museum, adjacent to Pipilotti Rist’s installation, 4th Floor to Mildness. It is a portent, an augury. It is visual representation, almost an echo, of a sound bite from Rist’s Selbstlos im Lavabad (Selfless In The Bath of Lava) (Bastard Version), (1994), which is in the museum’s stairwell gallery. Whether you go top down (recommended) or bottom up, this exhibition is vexing and often discomforting.
Diana Thater freely admits: “I couldn’t paint. So I decided I would do something I could do.” Monet was a favorite artist of Thater’s “because of the colors and images. People love Monet.” So while Thater chose not to paint using traditional media, she finesses it using electronic media along with natural and artificial light.
Cultural America in the 1950s and 1960s was unrepentantly white. Before I attended university in upstate New York, my exposure to Black Americans was primarily through a handful of television and movie personalities, athletes, and musicians like, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., Sidney Poitier, Ernie Banks, and Harry Belafonte. At college on the cusp of the 1970s there were only six Blacks in my freshman class of 800. The campus was mostly white.
Austin Lee is an American artist known for his playful, airbrushed acrylics. Introduced by mutual friends from London, we met at his studio in Long Island City, Queens near to MoMa PS1 and the Noguchi Museum. Combining technology and art, Austin describes himself as “a computer nerd as well as an artist,” and the proof was in his digital preparatory sketches. Austin thinks of his somewhat hallucinogenic artwork as sharing an isolated moment, keeping it alive and making it timeless.
“Work“ is the activity and “discipline” is the pervasive ethic in a diverse selection of seductive drawings, paintings, and sculpture that make up Kyle Thurman's current exhibition at Off Vendome. The works seem deliberately unrelated, reflecting a deeply conceptual – strongly Germanic – approach to art making, rare among the many one-medium, one-look artists. There is a unifying story here, nonetheless.
When asked about the title of his exhibition at Sotheby's New York headquarters, Hudson responded, "Sun city tanning is actually the tanning salon next to my studio in east London. When I Instagram, it always comes up as my location feed. But I thought it worked well for the title of the show in regard to ayahuasca being the drug of the "kale" age, and how churches and public buildings in urban cities..
Raised in California, the multifaceted photographer and painter Chase Hall now lives in the East Village, New York. Before moving to Manhattan to be surrounded by fellow artists, he worked in LA as an assistant on fashion shoots and did some commercial photography. Known for his work’s optimism and carefree aesthetic, Chase is all about the process, and believes we ought to see more of the effort behind even the most spontaneous works of art.
Hayal Pozanti is a Turkish artist based in Queens, New York. Upon our first meeting, I arrived at what looked like an abandoned warehouse and climbed the stairs to find corridors of individual artist studios. Reflecting her personal aesthetic, Hayal’s work space was clean and white, but also punctuated by bold splashes of colour. As we looked out across Manhattan, she talked about her roots in Istanbul, and how it compares to New York.
As a phrase, "In the Wake" means in the aftermath. Zoe Leonard’s exhibition is not just one thing, not one idea, not one emotion. It consists of single and sets of silver gelatin prints and sculptural installations. (Only the vibrant dye-transfer prints seen in "Analogue," which was last hung in 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art, are "absent" from this presentation.) While Leonard’s work is often called elegiac and nostalgic, "reflective" and “heartfelt” are more appropriate.
Heartbreak is at the root of Jorge Mayet’s latest exhibition Broken Landscape on view at Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York. Upon entrance the viewer is struck by a large upheaved tree, a hallmark of Mayet’s oeuvre and the repeated sculptural realization of this motif comprise his latest body of work. The uprooted trees fabricated from sponge, wire, papier-mâché, textiles and acrylics hang suspended in the gallery space creating an eerie hovering garden.
Tahnee Lonsdale is an LA-based, British painter known for her bold, eye-catching canvases. We found each other on Instagram and later met at the Victoria Miro gallery in East London to see the Yayoi Kusama retrospective before following up with an interview at De Buck Gallery, New York where her exhibition Pipe Dreams and Rabbit Holes has been met with critical acclaim. I fell for Tahnee's work, because of the subdued pastel palettes, her innovate use of negative space and of course its raw energy.
Richard Serra once said, “I consider space to be a material.” In the case of Dia:Beacon, the primarily Minimalist art collection né box factory, his words ring true. The expansive space located in the upstate New York township of Beacon does not overwhelm the artworks but instead enhances the viewer’s experience of being both with the works and within them. The broad hallways, high ceilings and labyrinthine layout allow visitors to quietly navigate their own route.
Over the past couple of years, Frieze New York has gained a reputation for being one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs with 202 galleries and 3 curated sections. Although Frieze has been running in Regent's Park, London since 2003, the New York version was only launched by Frieze Magazine in 2014. It's a testimony to the prestige upheld by the fair that New Yorkers..
The conceptual artist Lina Iris Viktor works between the real and imagined in her spaces across London, Geneva and New York. We met in her studio off Wall Street, which is somewhere between a laboratory and an ancient Egyptian tomb. Adhering to her strict palette of gold, blue, black and white, the interiors are sublime. As both a private gallery and studio, the white half of Atelier LVXIX is a homage...
The opening of Ryan McGinley’s new show “Winter” at Team gallery, New York on November 5th should of been one in which the audience viewed his icy works just minutes after feeling the icy winter winds winding themselves into their bones. This was however, not the case. New York this November has not yet required the Michelin man like suits and woolen stockings of Prairie children.
Ilk Yasha is an arts advocate, community builder, academic who hails from the great state of Virginia. We first met for tea at the Ace Hotel, New York in August and soon found that both our creative energy and social consciences were much aligned. Ilk engages arts audiences with his work at No Longer Empty; a contemporary arts organisation that revitalizes abandoned spaces. They create site-specific...
The Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street is home to the leading collection of contemporary and twentieth century art in the US. Designed by the architect Renzo Piano, its new building has been the talk of New York. It was first opened in Greenwich Village, before moving up to Museum Mile alongside the Metropolitan, Guggenheim and Frick.
Rejected from the blockbuster exhibitions due to December congestion, I was rather pleased with myself when I stumbled upon the Gary Winogrand retrospective at the Jeu de Paume, Paris. Most visitors would feel a sense of guilt in going to see an American retrospective when visiting Paris, but having near-exhausted all cultural possibilities when living in the city, I felt it was acceptable. Gary Winogrand (1928-84) was a street photographer who captured the vibrancy of post-war America in the mid-20th century...
Despite the gradual gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, its magic is still intact. This is the notorious neighbourhood where you can indulge the wildest fantasies of the secret hipster within you. As you emerge from the Bedford Ave. subway, there is a giant chalk circle across the corner labelled ‘kissing spot’, where you are supposed to embrace any passer by you fancy. It perfectly captures the friendly, eccentric ambience of Williamsburg.
To inspire those of you chasing the dream of a career in the arts, I will be interviewing some interesting characters to learn about their journey and see what makes them tick. I will be asking everyone the same sixteen questions so that you can easily contemplate the similarities and differences . To kick off proceedings I...
New York's famous network of Chelsea galleries host anything from high profile blockbuster exhibitions to provocative work from intriguing newcomers. Miraculously, they are all free, so it is such a joy to be able to wander around, liberated from the restraints of crippling entry fees in the vast, converted industrial spaces, which were bought up during the initial gentrification of the area.