Postcards from London

July 1, 2014

L1000344I jumped the pond for a few days and tackled as many exhibitions as my jet-lagged brain would allow. There’s really much too much to see in London in three days but I gave it a valiant effort. The highlight of my trip was Bridget Riley The Stripe Paintings 1961-2014 at David Zwirner, the Henri Matisse Cut Out exhibition at the Tate Modern, Adrian Ghenie’s Darwin Room at Pace London, early Jim Hodges at Stephen Friedman, and BANKSY at Sotheby’s. And I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the lovely little Mayfair shops and pubs and enjoying all of the old-world charm London has to offer. Including a few pints of Guinness.

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The Magical Worlds of Tara Donovan and Sterling Ruby

June 19, 2014

If you want to feel as Alice did when she fell down the rabbit hole, experience the installations of Tara Donovan and Sterling Ruby. Both artists create larger-than-life works, of all media, that allow you to momentarily escape this world and enter another.

Tara Donovan hypnotizes you by the sheer scale of her work. For her sculptures, she takes a simple, everyday, material – pencil, button, styrofoam cup, tape – and then multiplies the quantity by, like, a million. With the abundance she stacks and compiles until the accumulation of identical objects is transformed into something biomorphic.

These materials aren’t so much disguised by her process, but combined in a way that allows their simpleness to guide the structure’s formation. For her current exhibition at Pace Gallery, Donovan has two installations: one, a mountainous range of stalagmites made entirely of 3×5″ index cards, and the other a shimmery anemone of clear plastic rods.  Up close you can definitely tell you’re looking at stacks of index cards (the likes of which I still have leftover from school) but from afar they meld together into a giant topography of forms that grew out of Donovan’s studio floor. The clear acrylic rods remind me of those things that come in new shoes to keep their shape. A pretty boring widget, really. But once amassed into these orbs, they come alive as sparkling organisms that appear to expand and contract in the gallery.
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Spring into Chelsea

April 18, 2014

photo 1-4Perhaps it was the warm sunny weather and the reintroduction of color into my New York world, but on a recent stroll through Chelsea galleries I couldn’t help but notice all the vibrant large-scale paintings on view. If they were Rorschach tests I’d probably see palm trees and sailboats. They emanated warmth. In all seriousness, I saw alluring new works by artists who engage with painting by layering various materials and methods. While these four are not the first to mix ingenuity with painting, they are a strong bunch to keep on your radar. Here’s a highlight:

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