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:

photo 2
Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 10.06.59 PM

Kevin Appel Installation view

Kevin Appel @ Ameringer McEnery Yohe: While these recall the canvases of other art stars like David Salle, and Christopher Wool, Appel maintains originality and vibrancy and holds your attention. To achieve a seemingly multi-dimensional plane, he first mechanically prints a photograph onto the canvas, then applies the bands of paint on top. An LA-born guy, Appel’s art is inspired by the city’s imperfect yet uniquely layered urban landscape.

photo 1-4

The Beverly Hilton wallpaper

The Beverly Hilton wallpaper

Lauren Silva @ ZieherSmith: A large canvas by Silva caught my eye when I peeked into the gallery’s office. Initially, this painting recalled the iconic palm tree wallpaper at the Beverly Hilton, but maybe that’s just my excitement for the California-like weather… Although difficult to tell via my iPhone photo, her paintings are richly layered, vacillating between flat swathes of color and thickly textured patches of paint. She also has smaller-scale paintings and works on paper available at relatively affordable prices – for now. Oh, and the best part? She’s only 26!

photo 5-3photo 4-2

Jeff Elrod has been a personal favorite since I had the pleasure of working with him on a show called Flower Thief in Dallas in 2010. Fast forward to 2014 and he just closed a sell-out exhibition with Luhring Augustine titled Rabbit Ears. In the last four years his paintings have evolved to include digital printing, allowing for added depth and variation of his typical process. Elrod makes drawings on his computer, which he then projects onto his studio wall and uses to map out the canvas. He tapes off the drawn line and paints over. When the tape is peeled, line becomes background and color becomes foreground. Some works are hand painted and monochrome, while others incorporate spray paint to give the canvas a cooler-than-you aesthetic that makes you want it all the more.

photo 3-2

Thrush Holmes @ Mike Weiss Gallery: Holmes’ exhibition MORE was an awesomely messy mash-up of paint, graffiti, and neon. His paintings were arranged in disorderly order, resembling a studio more so than a Chelsea gallery. The canvas pictured is, I’m guessing, balanced atop industrial spray paint cans(?) while others in the show were just leaning against the wall. Also installed: a cowhide rug and a chainsaw stuck in a tree trunk. I half-expected the artist to be there, hanging out with margaritas. Alas, this show has closed but the gallery’s Martin Wickström’s exhibition, now on view, is on my must-see list!



Leave a Comment

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie