Friday, July 30, 2010

Leslie Thornton in "The Comfort of Strangers" @ PS1

You know you've been meaning all summer to get out to the Warm Up parties on Saturdays at PS1 (give me a few years to start calling it PS1MoMA, ok?? I'm stuck in my ways...and besides, if their URL is still, clearly I'm not the only one hesitant to embrace the new, longer, absolutely-rolls-off-the-tongue [not!] moniker) ...

...but it's been too fuh-reeeeeaking HOT to bounce your way through a sweaty throng of hipsters.

Well, this weekend, the weather is supposed to be absolutely perfect! And if that weren't enough, it's the truly awesome Cecilia Alemani's turn up to bat for their ongoing Rotating Gallery series. From PS1[MoMA]'s website:

The Comfort of Strangers, opening at MoMA PS1 on July 31, is the third iteration of MoMA PS1’s Rotating Gallery series. Rotating Gallery, a series of five-week installations that are presented in conjunction with quinquennial exhibition Greater New York, showcases the practices of four under-recognized New York-based curators: Olivia Shao, Kate Fowle, Cecilia Alemani, and Clarissa Dalrymple.

Organized by Cecilia Alemani, The Comfort of Strangers brings together work from the 1970s and 1980s, combining figuration with abstraction, monumentality with fragility, and reluctance with exuberance. Borrowing its title from a novel by British author Ian McEwan, The Comfort of Strangers imagines unusual connections between different art works and art worlds, reminding museum visitors that New York is a stratified and complex landscape. Works by four artists living and working in New York comprise the exhibition.

Executed in the 1970s as an evolution of his early expressionist canvases, Jack Whitten’s large-scale paintings reveal hidden geometrical shapes that emerge from an abstract surface. Realized by layering different strata of acrylic paint, which is then treated with a large squeegee, these works freeze the artist’s physical gestures into molecular forms that preserve a lyrical aura.

The portraits of 94-year-old Sylvia Sleigh depict friends and acquaintances of the artist in everyday poses, sitting on chairs, standing in the garden or caught in pensive moments. Reinterpreting traditional portraiture through a saturated palette of flowery colors, Sleigh turns common people into icons of a remote, devoted veneration.

Judith Bernestein’s large-scale charcoal drawings from the mid-1970s intertwine controversial imagery with a political slant. With harsh strokes and aggressive signs, the artist combines mechanics and sexuality to compose intricate diagrams of our desires. The mysterious presences in her piece Five Vertical Panels stand as silent witnesses guarding the exhibition.

Leslie Thornton’s lifetime epic Peggy and Fred in Hell, which she started in the mid-Eighties and has only recently finished, is an otherworldly account of the life of two children as told through their imaginary adventures and unsettling adult behaviors. Pervaded by an eerie atmosphere, Peggy and Fred in Hell animates the exhibition with a surreal sound track.

If you missed Leslie Thornton's groundbreaking and simply sublime film "Peggy and Fred in Hell" when it was screened in our gallery this past Spring, here's your chance to catch it again. And then come boogie your butt off in the PS1 courtyard with the rest of us club kid wanna-bes.

Labels: gallery artists exhibitions, ps1


Blogger Joel K Smock said...

Mr. Winkleman,

Indeed, the PS1 website is accurate when it points out that "New York is a stratified and complex landscape." Luckily, for everyone involved, there are many other people who also seem to think in the same way. Now we can be most thankful that such observations are not exclusive.

Joel K Smock

7/31/2010 06:16:00 PM  

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