September 27, 2005

Makoto Fujimura at Sara Tecchia Gallery


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Makoto Fujimura and I sit down for an interview/dialog about his painting. Makoto's work reclaim's Japanese 15th century aesthetics from Western Modernist practice in the same way that Jean-Michel Basquiat reclaimed African iconography from the Western canon. But Fujimura goes a bit farther presenting a new synthesis of Japanese and Western painting. One can look at the paintings of Ad Rheinhardt and more recently the Support/Surface painters, Marcia Haifif and Olivier Mosset and trace a lineage of shared concerns.

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September 25, 2005

Utopias and Media Identities


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The group show at Andrew Kreps gallery is quirky and very young. The best piece is multicolored cloth crammed in between 2 ceiling beams. This harkens back to cloth pieces done by Tina Girouard in the late '70's. The must see shows are Joel Sternfeld's photo's of Utpoian communities at Luhring Augustine Gallery and Candice Breitz at Sonnabend. Also good is Omer Fast at Postmasters Gallery. Rob liked the show at Yvonne Lambert in which the entire gallery floor was covered in rough poured concrete with a lone footprint like Neil armstrong's boot on the moon. The Utopian communites by Sternfeld are very poignant. Perhaps it's time for a re-reading of The Utopian Function of Art and Literature by Ernst Bloch. Speaking of Utopian, The Upgrade at Eyebeam is picking up quite a bit of steam since me and Rob were first in it. Yael Kanarek along with Liz Slagus from Eyebeam has fashioned an international network of Upgrades that transport the Utopian function to the digital age. Candice Breitz at Sonnabend looks at media and mediated identity. She asks people to sing Michael Jackson or Madonna songs. The installations are a stunning tour de force.

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September 15, 2005

A Moveable Feast-Corporate Chow Down



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Rob and I delve into world of corporate "functions" courtesy of the New Yorker magazine. This one is a group of top New York chefs preparing small dishes. Rob took to this like a duck to water. Seems he has an affinity for the high life. How come the art world doesn't do this? Here's the list of chefs; Tony Esnault for Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Dante Bocuzzi at Aureole (my personal favorite) , Gary Robins at the Biltmore Room, Aaron Sanchez at Centrico (fancy pork tacos), Dan Silverman at Lever House, Marc Aumont at the Modern (MoMA), Rob Kaufelt from Murray's Cheese, Tom Valenti at Ouest (Rob liked the Panna Cotta, Johan Svensson at Riingo, Brad Steelman at the River Cafe (Wild Boar & toasted marshmallow), Stanley Wong at the Spice Market, Josh Grinker at Stone Park Cafe, Floyd Cardoz at Tabla, Emily Issac at Union Square Cafe. Best dessert goes to the Pistachio mouse cake from The Modern.

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September 09, 2005

Shock'N' Awe - Chelsea openings

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The art season starts with a lot of galleries first-out-of-the-gate openings. Not much shock and a little awe. Maybe more like awe shucks with David Ellis at Jessica Murray. Orlan looks good at Stefan Stux. I'd say she's doing a battle with Picasso using the African mask motif of the "Demoiselles D'Avignon." Didn't go to the Gordon Matta-Clark show at White Columns but then again I was there when he originally did the work. Rob says that when you see cartoon inspired art the market is either about to expand or about to crash. My observation is that the art market is tied to the real estate market. After people buy their new condos they need to "decorate." Noah Baen's piece at Art Gotham (547 w.27) was fun but you needed to know how it got there. He collected all the plants that were growing out of the cracks in sidewalks and vacant lots in Chelsea. A latter day Robert Smithson with no hubris. Philip-Lorca Dicorcia has big cibachromes of exotic pole dancers. Noah's comment was it harkens back to the Beaux Arts tradition of the last turn of the century. His comment was nice I said it catered to CEO's who hang out in "gentlemen's clubs." Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner is cartoony-cute. the plush and furry Saskwatch sculpture were kinda funny but the whole thing is Canadienne "lite weight." Paul Brach's show at Flomenhaft (547 w.27th) of hand painted Op Art is refreshingly good. He's a 2nd generation AbEx. These guys were on the wane when I blew into town in the early seventies. If I were investing in Art I'd buy these cause their undervalued.

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