Thursday, April 12, 2007

Heart-Shaped Box

OK. Agenda fueled by love. Here we go. Hopefully every month.

Alexander Gray Associates
Jo Baer, April 4th - May 12th 2007
In his review of Cary Leibowitz's show last month, Jerry Saltz said of Alexander Gray Associates, "Whether it's a noble cause or a survival strategy, this gallery's stated mission is to 'focus on mid-career artists who emerged in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.'" I don't know. I vote for all of the above. A deep well too seldomly drawn from, a little integrity, and good health . . . sounds like a good foundation for a gallery to me.

The less I tell you about the Jo Baer show, the better. (No pun intended.) Neither abstract or minimalist, these paintings offer a new twist on the afterimage, and they will crush you. Look, and look hard. You'll find the skeleton key to these works in the white edges that frame them.

Little Cakes
Closed for the month, but Christopher Martin's SHAPESHIFTERS opens April 20th. Thrilling little gallery in Alphabet City. Nobody knows how to exploit a small space for the good of the art like the Cakes crew. Last month the gallery showed Cristina Toro's engrossing paintings in two consecutive installations. Two months ago, Oliver Halsman Rosenberg mounted some of the paintings in his show on a big wheel that the viewer turned by pedaling an exercise bike. What's not to love about that?

Corey McCorkle, opens April 14.
In all ways, this gallery is in a category by itself. I love the confidence of Michelle Maccarone's eye. I love the new space. And I love the refusenik attitude towards Chelsea. A few years ago I was talking to a friend about Marian Goodman's gallery on 57th street. She said, "Goodman doesn't need Chelsea." I feel the same way about Maccarone.

Image lifted from Saatchi

I wandered into the new space on the last day of the Christian Jankowski's disorienting, challenging, and surprisingly touching show, Super Classical. What does it mean to be ignored and seen at the same time?

When I went to see the Jankowski the floor of one of the rooms was lined with Corey McCorkle photographs waiting to be hanged for his show that opens Saturday. Um. Yeah. Kind of beautiful. And kind of lonely. Actually, I hope that the gallery doesn't hang the photos on the wall but leaves them as I saw them: leaning against the wall in various stages of being unwrapped. That would augment the theme of the work. Again, what does it mean to be ignored and seen at the same time?

Outrageous Look, MARCH 17 - APRIL 22, 2007
Gavin Green, March 17-April 22

Love this gallery. Love this gallery. Love this gallery. Either last year or the year before they received the Village Voice's "Most Consistently Interesting Gallery" tag. True, but so much more. They're fearless when it comes to beauty. That's not an easy row to hoe these days, and they do it with aplomb.

I finally saw Gavin Green's stunning show at Outrageous Look Tuesday night. Hard to believe it's his first solo show. The colors in the above painting, Now, are almost impossible. (Click on the image for a serious closeup.) It's the first piece I saw when I entered the gallery. I had a visceral reaction to it, smack dab between nausea and lust, tipping slightly towards the latter. The Voice review references Barnett Newman and Carl Andre, but I'd also add Richard Tuttle to the list. Pay attention to what happens outside the object. Whatever you do, get out to see this show. Sunday is your last chance.

Venetia Kapernekas
Margo Victor, March 22-April 28
Venetia Kapernekas seems to have a special gift for showing artists with whom I should be familiar, but I'm not. They then proceed to kick my ass. Turning on a dime the gallery will shift from exploding plastic inevitable one month to exquisite the next. Not a problem, because it's always good. Very, very good.

Up now is Margo Victor's utterly delightful Space Oddity, which I went off about here. Martin liked this one as well.


Oliver said...

Thanks for the shout out!

Heart As Arena said...

Thanks for the workout! Seriously. I loved that show, and it's warm glow.

Oliver said...

I'm off to Tokyo soonish for a couple of kooky kolaborative projects...

Engagement is the new black. Glad you got to take a spin on that last one!