Friday, May 08, 2009

William Powhida (with a cameo by Jennifer Dalton) in the New York Times

For someone recently released from a Thai jail (under circumstances that may or may not have included a State Department promise that he would never return to that Southeastern nation), Mr. Powhida gets a rather respectable review in today's New York Times. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Holland Cotter provides a response that's pretty damn funny in its own right:
‘The Writing Is on the Wall’
637 West 27th Street
Through May 16

William Powhida, art world vigilante, virtuoso draftsman, compulsive calligrapher, fantasist autobiographer and recently self-announced gallery owner and art dealer, has a semi-solo show at Schroeder-Romero well worth catching.

As in the past, Mr. Powhida, who lives and works in Brooklyn, provides an updated rogues’ gallery of New York art world celebrities in a salon-style display of dozens of deft graphite portraits based on Internet photos of openings, parties, galas, etc. Wall of fame? Wall of shame? He refrains from comment. But art speaks for itself, or so we’ve been told, and you can make of these tawdry-looking types what you will.

The rest of the main gallery is given over to a first-person, handwritten account by a William Powhida who may or may not be the artist (the gallery’s news release addresses the confusion), about a stint in a Thai jail where the writer undergoes chemical detoxification, among other indignities. The report makes for sorry reading, though the technical skill and stamina that must have gone into producing it are awesome.

This leaves the artist’s role as co-director of a start-up gallery to reckon with. (His partner in the enterprise is Jennifer Dalton, an artist who has an excellent solo show next door at Winkleman Gallery, through Saturday.) The new space, currently housed at Schroeder-Romero, is called SchroRoWinkleFeuerBooneWildenRosenGosian Gallery, and exists a few years in the future, after the Chelsea art world as we know it has been wiped from the planet by bad economics, low morale, shifts in fashion and public indifference to the latest tweak of a tweak called “new work.”

Looking exceedingly D.I.Y., the gallery insists that it will have its debut with a group show called “Art-Pocalypto 2012” featuring only crummy digital prints of “real art” in unlimited editions, available for preposterous prices.

Ambitiously, Mr. Powhida and Ms. Dalton will also be exhibiting their stable of artists — basically anyone who walks in the door — at ArtBaselMiamiDocumentaSiteSantaFeWhitneyBiennialeVeneziaNadaPulseScope the same year. It all sounds a bit iffy, I know, but it’s a plan. So if you’re still hanging tight with art three years hence, be there. HOLLAND COTTER
Congrats to Bill (and Jen)!

Also, don't miss James Kalm's opening reception piece on their shows:

Labels: press


Blogger Sean Capone said...

William's 'Post Boom Odds' was about the best thing at the BAM auction..

5/08/2009 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cotter is really hoping for the end of the current art market. It's almost like he didn't even review the work, just used Powhida as an illustration for his own fantasy.

5/08/2009 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Powhida has ever curated a show, but I would love to see what kind of work he finds important enough to represent and bring more attention to. I'm not aware of many other artist who are brazen enough to risk their careers to poke fun at the riduculousness of the art world structure. Art for the people man- Powhida is a bit like a Beuys in his lack of concern for the status quo.

5/09/2009 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

As everyone knows, the most important thing when starting a new gallery is coming up w/ the right name. SchroRoWinkleFeuerBooneWildenRosenGosian Gallery is definitely a winner. Good luck Bill and Jen!

5/11/2009 07:37:00 PM  

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