Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary Boone Always Booming

Right: Trio of Richard Tuttles.

Left: Mary Heilman in front of Malcolm Morley painting "Goalie".

On Saturday Sept. 12, downtown Mary Boone featured a group show, titled in honor of one of her gallerists Ron Warren . The show was a celebration of her venerable 80's artists--Peter Halley, Julian Schnabel, etc--, as well as her more recent stable of artists--Luis Gispert, Hillary Harkness, Chie Fueki. The opening was sprinkled with appearances by Hillary Harkness, Barbara Kruger, and Francesco Clemente.
Mary Heilman
, wearing a backpack that looked just like one of her paintings, requested to pose "in front of my friend Malcolm [Morley]", and MB artist Chie Fueki showed off her black and white and read all over ensemble.

Right: Mary Boone artist Chie Fueki.

Left: Baby posing thoughtfully in front of Barbara Kruger's "Untitled" (All Seeing/All Knowing).

Below: Pink-coiffed dog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Thursday!

The first Thursday after Labor Day always brings giddy excitement, and this year was no different, despite fears of a mass gallery exodus. Chelsea's streets were packed with all kinds of art-gawkers, and several stretch limos reassured the sweaty brows of many a dealer. Marquee names like Maya Lin didn't hurt either. Filling the main space of Pace, her mound of wood chunks was unfortunately far too reminiscent of Tara Donovan, Phoebe Washburn, and too many others to stand out, however her squished-in topographical mountains in the backroom at least brought some scale confusion, as she conspicuously wedged among them, looming like the architectural goddess that she is.
Right: Maya Lin speaking with ArtForum's Knight Landesmann.

At Zach Feuer, Dasha Shishkin's rich paintings filled the space with golden tones, and a more relaxed version of her anatomically twisted and detailed figurative work. As an added bonus, she placed on the list of Feuer artists who unabashedly show the gory nature of childbirth, i.e. Dana Schutz and Danica Phelps.

Right: Dasha Shishkin at her opening.

At Galerie Lelong, a wild woman of indeterminate provenance pranced through the show of all-white work by Jaume Plensa. We commend her attention to detail, pattern, and color, as an all-black outfit of short skirt, stacked platform heels, and slinky top seemed all the rage, perhaps due to the overlapping of Fashion Week.
Left: at Galerie Lelong.

Speaking of Fashion week, Thursday ended with an outpouring of long legs and fabulous get-ups at the Juergen Teller opening at James Cohan. While in his photos the actress Charlotte Rampling languidly posed nude at the Louvre, I much prefer the clothed models in Teller's commercial work for Marc Jacobs.
Still, his opening did not disappoint, chock full of celebs and fashionistas, and even one Jeanne-Moreau-channeling ingenue photographing said celebs/fashionistas.

Right: John Currin and Rachel Feinstein peering at Juergen Teller photo.

Left: Louis Vuitton at James Cohan.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back to School in Art-land

Still recovering from Burning Man, I dusted off, got my hair did, and managed only a few shows on Wednesday, the traditional back-to-school day. On the Lower East Side, Franklin Evans opened the fall season at Sue Scott Gallery.

With pieces of tape forming a transparent room within the gallery, bubble-wrapped mounds squishing underneath one's feet, and pattern blossoming everywhere, Evans's show would have been the perfect summer feat: color, fun, and playfulness.
Thank god we grown-ups can still appreciate these elements come fall.

Left: The artist behind his colored pieces of tape.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Object Is/Is Not Art

Just came back from Burning Man, and being a newbie I didn't have high expectations for anything other than people's fashions. Still, as a friend asked at 1 a.m. at the playa, "But is it art?" Specifically, we were looking at a miraculously wavering dotted line of blue lights, creating a gigantic wavering cursive across the night sky. Up close, it turned out a series of balloons had a teenie LED attached, and anyone could grab any of the line, and pull or gather it, making their own gigantic drawing that could best be appreciated from half a mile away. My sarcastic answer was that the balloon-lights would have to be about Death, or any other Topic, to be Art. But why all the capitals? Really, could the utter simplicity and mystery of the blue dotted line, and its status as an unambiguously participatory event, not be enough? If I had glimpsed it one night from afar, walking through Central Park, or perhaps if it was situated in front of the Biennial and well-coiffed UESiders had the chance to pull the balloons down Fifth Avenue, would it switch from a lower-case to an upper-case A?
Back at the playa, that great chunk of desert in which Burning Man happily played, the line of balloons brought six of us together, made us cross the darkness while guessing at how big the blue lights actually were, and what pulled them--the wind? Human hands? A machine? Those moments of wonder, along with the actual moment of discovery, capped by one of us giddily running into the darkness while pulling a chunk of the "drawing", created its own particular Art, and I am happy to report that as opposed to most of the summer shows in Chelsea, it stuck in my mind far longer.