Thursday, April 09, 2009

Artist(s) of the Week 04/09/09 (Pressed-for-Time Version)

As I suspected would, on occasion, be the case, I've been a bit too busy this week to organize permission to post images to offer a full-fledged "Artist of the Week," but that doesn't mean we can't still talk about art. In no particular order, here are four links to exhibitions up or opening this week in Chelsea by artists whose work has left a lingering impression on me.

Pablo Picasso (Gagosian Gallery, West 21st Street): Say what you will about the enigmatic man, Mr. Gagosian puts many museums to shame with the exhibitions he organizes. This world-class assembly of 1960-70's work by the Spanish master, curated by his biographer John Richardson, is a most generous gift to the art community and the city during these troubled time. This isn't my favorite period of Picasso's work (he was reportedly cranking the work out with an eye toward providing for his heirs and it's hard to separate that from the weaknesses of some of the peices), but as gallery viewing experiences go, this one is light years ahead.

Venske & Spänle (Margaret Thatcher Projects, West 25th Street): The sexy, playful, impossible-to-believe-they're-marble sculptures of Venske & Spänle delight me each time I see them. Cutting across the expectations of this classic medium, these pieces flow and bulge and ooze in ways that make you think that if this is, anything is possible. Don't miss their new animations that underscore the wonder of these works even more.

Dana Schutz (Zach Feuer, West 24th Street): Dana was an artist of the week back in 2005 where I noted I'm a big fan of the work. In her latest exhibition she proves to me again she's an important artist of her generation with some eye-opening innovations/statements about painting that I haven't been able to stop thinking about (even though I found the show just a bit more uneven than I was expecting). Just about everyone I've talked to about the show says Chess or Guitar Girl is their favorite. Chess is perhaps one of the most thought-provoking paintings I've seen in a long time.

William Powhida (Schroeder Romero, West 27th Street): Opening tomorrow night (with a slew of great shows all along the street, including that of our own Jennifer Dalton and including a joint Dalton-Powhida project space installation [more on that tomorrow]), Bill Powhida blends the the damned funniest narratives with most blistering critique of the contemporary art world you'll find anywhere. I've had a sneak peek at this exhibition, and I can tell you the man is pulling no punches. A stunningly insightful observer of how absurd this insular sub-culture we call the "art world" is, Powhida's painting in this show seems to have come up a nice notch as well. Don't miss it!

Labels: Artist of the Week


Blogger Mark said...

I thought the Schultz show was a little uneven also, as it should be, but as always blown away buy her absurdity, she's a wonderful observer, Group Massage, Blind Foot Massage :)), Car and Driver!!! Great stuff.

4/09/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Mark, I'm of the opinion that the good ones are very good and not so good ones are pretty bad. Car and Driver being best of all I'd say.
Stumbling across the Picasso show a couple weeks ago was indeed a unexpected treat.

4/09/2009 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Never been to Thatcher or Shroeder, been 2 times at Zach Feuer and decided the gallery wasn't for me, and I evitate Gagosian unless it's an artist I really like (too self-important a gallery, even with guards. Very annoying atmosphere. The opposite of cool.).

Cedric Casp

4/09/2009 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Wow! I confused Zach Feuer with another gallery! Feuer is the old LFL. I keep thinking of them as LFL.

So sorry, there is nothing wrong with LFL, and I have been there multiple times.

My fave artist of their is Phoebe.

I won't mention the name of that
other gallery I find boring.

And by the way, I'm not saying Gagosian isn't cool (don't know him), but what I mean about his spaces is that they are filled with people who "have jobs"
and not much passion. The only glimpse of passion I ever felt was talking to a curator (or guess writer?) at a vernissage (I hate vernissages, don't ask me what I was doing there).

Cedric Casp

4/09/2009 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Chess..Hmmm...People being eaten by the Langoliers.

Or by that blob in the 4 Minutes video by Madonna.

Timespace-bending? Maybe.

Colorful? Definitely

Cedric C

4/09/2009 11:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed - I'm wondering why you thought Schutz' "Chess" was "perhaps one of the most thought-provoking paintings [you've] seen in a long time?" I'm not being contrary; it wasn't my favorite, and I'm just wondering what I missed that you saw.

4/10/2009 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Let me guess:

He's a fan of David Hockney, Marcel Duchamp(s), Matthew Ritchie
and the fauvist painters.

This was the icecream mix of all that.


(I'm not the biggest fan of painting, but the last painting show that had a similar banging effect on me was Al Held. Kehinde Wiley was eye-catchig too.)

4/11/2009 12:19:00 PM  

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