Posts Tagged ‘Openings’
Unfortunately for the frighteningly stagnant LA art scene most of the great shows of the last few years have been by non-LA artists. Luckily for LA, we get a regular stream of good shows by non-LA artists to keep us happy. The most recent of said exhibitions is by LA-born, but NYC-based painter KEHINDE WILEY whose new collection of figurative masterworks “The World Stage: Brazil” opened this weekend to a packed house at Culver City art hotspot ROBERTS & TILTON GALLERY. Choosing his subjects for this series from the notorious favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Wiley asked each to assume the pose of a local sculptural work on display in the city as a means of interpreting the country’s storied colonial history through the images of some of its most vibrant modern inhabitants. The results, as always with KW, were staggering and this new collection of grandiose portraits is exactly the shot in the arm the Southland needs to help kickoff the 2009 gallery season with a fresh breath of colorful optimism. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
While the Chinese modern art market of recent years with its fast rising cult-of-personality art stars was ultimately born to fail—and with the recent economic meltdown, fail it has—the shining light of the red country’s art world continues to glow in the form of CAI GUO-QIANG. Drawing freely from ancient mythology, military history, Taoist cosmology, extraterrestrial observations, Maoist revolutionary tactics, Buddhist philosophy, gunpowder-related technology, Chinese medicine, and methods of terrorist violence, Cai’s art is a form of social energy, constantly mutable, linking what he refers to as “the seen and unseen worlds.” His newly unveiled retrospective, “I Want to Believe,” at the GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, Bilbao (the second stop on a global tour that began in 2008 at the Guggenheim NYC), presents the full spectrum of the artist’s protean, multimedia art in all its conceptual complexity.
Born in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, in 1957, Cai studied stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute. In the 1980s he emerged as a member of the burgeoning experimental art world of China’s postreform era. After moving to Japan in 1986, Cai tapped into a rich vein of international 20th-century art and critical thought. While living there, he mastered the use of gunpowder to create his signature gunpowder drawings and the related outdoor explosion events. These practices integrate science and art in a process of creative destruction and reflect Cai’s philosophy that conflict and transformation are interdependent conditions of life, and hence art. At once intuitive and analytical, his gunpowder drawings and explosion events are intrepid, conceptual, site specific, ephemeral, time based, and interactive—performance art with a new matrix of cultural meaning.
Cai has lived in New York since 1995. While increasing his participation in the global art system of biennials, public celebrations, and museum exhibitions around the world, Cai’s social projects engage local communities to produce art events in remote, nonart sites like military bunkers, a socialist utopianism influenced by Cai’s experience growing up in Mao’s Red China and during the Cultural Revolution of 1966–76. His recent work has expanded to include large-scale installations, allegorical and sculptural, that recuperate signs and symbols of Chinese culture and expose the dialectics of local history and globalization.
Designed by the artist as a site-specific installation, the Guggenheim’s exhibition presents art as a process that unfolds in time and space, dealing with ideas of transformation, expenditure of materials, and connectivity. The structure of Cai’s art forms are inherently unstable, but his social idealism characterizes all change, however violent, as carrying the seeds of positive creation. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
With the most inspirational name in the art world, AL MORAN‘s vanguard O.H.W.O.W. GALLERY is bringing serious heat to the Miami art scene. Celebrating the lengthy interconnectedness of the tropical city with sister metropolis NYC, their current exhibition, “Better History” takes a look at Manhattan’s storied art legacy, presenting the next generation of youngbloods alongside some legendary veterans in a wide array of media. Guest curated by New York’s NICK POE and the SEVEN ELEVEN GALLERY, the show’s exhaustive roster is a knockout, and includes Tim Barber, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Sebastian Black, Max Bode, Scott Campbell, Eneas Capalbo, Sarah Charlesworth, Francesco Clemente, Billy Copley, Patricia Cronin, Lance De Los Reyes, India Donaldson, Lena Dunham, Judith Hudson, Fab 5 Freddy, Francesco Galetto, India Donaldson, Alex Kalman, Maira Kalman, Tibor Kalman, Mel Kendrick, Victor Kerlow, Barney Kulock, Eva Lewitt, Judith Linhares, Troy Lumpkin, Alex Massouras, Michael McClard, Thomas McDonnell, Harry McNally, Casey Neistat, Van Neistat, Deniz Ozuygur, Peter Passuntino, Grear Patterson, Paolo Pelosini, Nick Poe, Nico Ponce De Leon Dios, Paula Poons, Steve Powers, Alex Rickard, Alexis Rockman, Theo Rosenblum, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Kenny Scharf, Laurie Simmons, Gordon Stevenson, Billly Sullivan, Jon Waite and Robert Waltzer. On view through April 11, the show should be considered required viewing for sunbathing art lovers in need of a downtown fix. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Art-starved Midwesterners don’t get many chances to indulge their optic nerves but Supertouch buddy CHERYL DUNN‘s compellingly-titled new show of photographs “Spit & Peanut Shells: American Pictures” at Cincinnati, Ohio’s COUNTRY CLUB GALLERY is just such an extravagance. Known for her unflinching eye and affinity for street-level imagery ranging from portraits of her downtown artist friends to visual slices of everyday Americana in all its innate weirdness, Cheryl’s body of work offers a fascinating glimpse of urban life. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Perpetually one of our favorite young artists, Japanese painter TOMOO GOKITA never ceases to amaze with his unique and fluidly executed monotone visions. Moving effortlessly between pure abstract and his more recognizable hybrid figurative style, Gokita has created a beautiful body of solemn new work for his enthusiastically titled “Champion Carnival” show at NYC’s top-notch ATM GALLERY. Notoriously tight-lipped about his aesthetics and their meaning, the artist as always manages to maintain an air of unfettered mystery about his ghostly works by shunning self-reverent manifestos and self-penned dissertations, choosing instead to observe one of the modern world’s most underrated virtues: silence. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Graphic artist turned fine art phenom RYAN McGINNESS unleashed his latest campaign of visual shock and awe at DEITCH PROJECTS last week with the opening of his epic (and refreshingly straightforwardly-titled) “Works” exhibition. Timed to coincide with the release of his retrospective Rizolli book of the same name, the show finds the young artist in peak form working in an array of different media from his trademark heavily layered silk-screened icon paintings to fluid graphic sculptures in a dazzling spectrum of color and fluid form. Of course the opening was a who’s who of NYC’s downtown hipster elite and with pieces moving at a quick pace it seems that good art indeed beats a dead economy every time. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Another artist undeterred by the recent downturn in the art market at this year’s annual ARMORY art fair was Supertouch homegirl CAMILLE ROSE GARCIA, whose solo “Ambien Somnambulants” show of new paintings and drawings was a major crowd pleaser at JONATHAN LEVINE‘s eponymous booth at SCOPE. While her goth girl aesthetic tendencies can sometimes be perceived as a downer, this year, her spooky cobwebs and Snow White-gone-wrong dreamscapes seemed impossibly cheery. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Japanese art sensation (he’s bigger than Murakami in his native land) YOSHITOMO NARA brought some much-needed heat to NYC last week with his eponymous new show of paintings, drawings and large-scale constructions at MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY. Forming the centerpiece of the exhibition is a pair of large “Smurf houses” that double as mini art studios that were executed in conjunction with installation artists GRAF, who, together with Nara form the collective YNG (Yoshitomo Nara + Graf). Constructed from reclaimed wood, the forms of the two immense sculptures recall stylized tannenbaums, with their roof shingling evoking exaggerated tree needles. Small cutout windows and hanging lights punctuate the sculptures, providing them with the feel of a house or some surreal abode. The structures are hollow and present interiors replete with drawings and paintings all created in the artist’s hand, and with a multitude of stuffed animals from fans selected by the artist. Though Nara has previously exhibited these types of moveable spaces before, the dwellings in this exhibition have a quieted sentiment to them. Each object within feels carefully considered in its placement. The frenzy of personal effects including photographs, CDs and beer cans, all evoking the turmoil and inspiration in the artist studio, has been removed. Instead the stillness of the structures, with their looming spires, presents a protective shell to the interiors. Though possible to peer into the structures and glimpse their holdings, they cannot be entered and the viewer must be content to remain on the exterior. The paintings, rendered on both canvas and wooden billboards, depict lone portraits of dreamy-eyed figures. Pencil and colored pencil drawings on found envelopes and discarded papers similarly parse the psychological landscape of their subjects. A dedicated rock fanatic Nara’s opening included live performances by Japanese bands by OORUTAICHI and M.A.G.O., proving that normally stuffy Gotham art openings can indeed rock and or roll. Nara is yet another artist participating in the “Stages” charity art show to benefit LANCE ARMSTRONG‘s anti-cancer LIVESTRONG foundation during his run in this year’s Tour de France. Keep an eye on ST for more details coming soon. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More
The undisputed master of Sci-Fi abstract psychedelia, San Francisco-based painter MARS-1 (aka: Mario Martinez) continues to amaze with a new series of kaleidoscopic paintings and bronze sculptures in his new “Nuclear Mystic” show that just opened at Chelsea art hotspot JONATHAN LEVINE GALLERY. Perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of Martinez’ work is the painstaking detail that goes into each painting anchoring his seemingly abstract compositions with a seemingly incongruous dose of meticulous rendering. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Superhuman painting talent ERIC WHITE brought his unique brand of cinematic surrealism to the sunny climes of Barcelona where his solo show of new work “Eclecticismo: Virtud o Defecto?” (Eclecticism: Virtue or Defect?) opened alongside a concurrent exhibition by art buddy Gomez Bueno at IGUAPOP GALLERY last weekend. Consisting of seven brand new 24″ x 24″ paintings (save for a lone 36″ x 36″ exception) and two recent large scale pieces, the majority of the show is divided between White’s recent “windows” theme and his unique “photo negative” painting effect whereby the Michigan native painstakingly renders portraits in a film negative colorshceme that translate to perfectly accurate color versions when viewed as inversions. The unusual imagery is a true testament to Mr White’s rendering prowess considering that the accuracy of his color positives is never tested until the last brushstroke on the negative has been laid (see below for an example). HAVE A LOOK: Read More