Nick Theobald: With Honey From The Rock at Richard Taittinger Gallery

There is a particular sensation that comes with rain. Time slows and one’s tactile appreciation of touch, sound and smell is heightened. One luxuriates in that sensation as the perception of time slows with the elongated drumming pause that accompanies the steady fall of liquid from the sky. I felt that sense of suspension while viewing Nick Theobald’s almost reverential solo at Richard Taittinger Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The works present in the gallery slow one’s sense of time and bathe the viewer in their tranquil, organic materiality like rain.


More information about Nick Theobald and Richard Taittinger Gallery can be found on their websites below. With Honey From The Rock runs through December 12th. Richard Taittinger Gallery , 154 Ludlow Street, New York, NY.



















William Perehudoff at Berry Campbell Gallery


I really enjoyed being introduced to William Perehudoff’s beautiful works on display at Berry Campbell Gallery in Chelsea. Perehudoff, a Canadian artist who died in 2013, was one of Canada’s foremost abstract colorfield painters. You can find more information on Perehudoff’s work on the Berry Campbell website and there’s also an interesting interview with the artist on youtube.!1090






between a place and candy: new works in pattern + repetition + motif


David Poppie, Wandering Stars II, 2013, Colored Pencils on Panel

Courtesy Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York

Great work lingers, and the works that were a part of between a place and candy: new works in pattern + repetition + motif, organized by Norte Maar and curated by Jason Andrews at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery, were no exception. They lingered. And they are still lingering 4 months later. The exhibition ran in New York from March 16 – June 12, 2015, and I had the great pleasure of seeing it in June before it closed. I had meant to write about the work right away but life got in the way and this post kept being put off, but the lingering power of the work haunted me. I am still struck, months later, by how immediate the work is, even in the photographs. The works still have a confident, visceral impact; Look at me and remember.


There is a curious power to pattern and repetition. Many of the works in between a place and candy felt to me like emotional maps. Through the repetition of color, shape and line the works guide the viewer to look deeper, closer, both within the depths of the visual confines of the frame and also within the depths of the viewers own internal emotional memory. Through shape, delicate line, color, form and material substance the artists whose works comprised this exhibition reminded the viewer of the power of form, the resonate heft of replication and the guiding influence of line, both colored and not. These visual forces compel us to linger, to ponder, to wonder and to reflect. There is great power in that.


David Poppie, Wandering Stars II (Detail)


Robert Zakanitch, Hanging Gardens Series (By the Seal), 2011/12, Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper, 96 x 60 inches

Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York


Robert Zakanitch, Hanging Gardens Series (By the Seal) Detail


Lori Ellison, Untitled 2010, Gouache on wood panel

Courtesy McKenzie Fine Art


Lori Ellison, Untitled 2012, 2013, 2008 & 2010 & Bedford Boogie Woogie Blue 2010, Gouache on wood panel

Courtesy McKenzie Fine Art, New York


Leslie Kerby, The Contained World, 2015, Oil on Cardboard


Leslie Kerby, The Contained World (Detail)


Mary Judge, Bacio, 2015, Flasche on Linen on Panel, 25 x 25 inches


Jessica Weiss, Queen for a Day, 2014, Silkscreen, collage and acrylic on canvas, 70 inches x 68 inches


Jessica Weiss, Queen for a Day (Detail)


Colin Thomson, Medium, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 58 x 52 inches

Courtesy of Outlet Fine Art, Brooklyn


Margaret Lanzetta, Air Chrysalis, 2014, Oil and acrylic on canvas


Samantha Bittman, Untitled (2004 – 009), 2004, Acrylic on Handwoven Textile, 25 x 20 inches

Courtesy of Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago and Outlet Fine Art, Brooklyn


Libby Hartie, Untitled #21 (Arrow), 2015 Graphite Collage on Paper Mounted on Panel, 45 x 90 inches

Seeing Differently


Joan Miró, Man and Woman in Front of Pile of Excrement, 1935, Oil on Copper, 23 x 32cm

Great work can open your eyes, and Joan Miró’s Man and Woman in Front of Pile of Excrement opened mine to modern art. I first saw the painting in Scotland in 1980 when I was 14 years old. I remember laying eyes on it and feeling the room shift. Artistically, this small painting on copper was tantamount to a new pair of glasses. It was the visual equivalent of someone smacking me on the face and saying, “Snap out of it!” or my first great kiss. I engaged the world differently after experiencing it. I saw myself in the world differently.

 I was visiting my Scottish Grandmother at the time, and she was horrified at my fascination with this work. I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was like looking into my own reflection, at times beautiful, subversive, rude, familiar and yet grotesque. It encapsulated the way I felt at 14.

I know now that the painting was one of twelve “Wild Paintings” that were Miró’s response to the tragedy of the Spanish Civil war. I knew none of that then. I just knew that this picture moved me. I left changed on exiting the gallery after seeing it.

I saw the painting again just recently while visiting the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. I turned a corner and there it was, suddenly, like a treasured mentor I hadn’t seen in decades and I wept. 36 years had passed since I had first seen that painting but I could still feel the way it moved me when I first looked upon it. Like opening a box of long lost journals it reminded me of the power of freshly seeing. The sensation of blinking until the world comes into focus. The power of looking.

My world, indeed the entire world, is much different now than it was almost 4 decades ago. But the power of seeing never changes, and looking, really looking can change the way we see.

Donald Martiny: Gestures at Madison Gallery

In a world that is more and more removed and isolated, where finding contact and gesture and movement, both abstract and emotional, is increasingly difficult, Donald Martiny’s expressively lyrical solo, Gestures, at Madison Gallery in La Jolla, California is refreshingly immediate.


Alanic, 2014, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 55 x 44 inches

One is instantly struck by the work’s visceral movement and vibrant color. But it would be too easy to reduce these forms to simply a discussion of color and flow. These enlarged brushlike strokes, formed from polymer and saturated pigment, are visual poems. They are the painterly equivalent of a verbal haiku, deceptively lean, but on reflection as complex and inevitable as breath. The simplified structure allows the viewer to look deeper. The swaths of undulating paint, dotted with glimpses of hidden color and seemingly random trace gesture, draw us closer, enticing us with their history. And the sensual , almost liquid quality of the forms woos us, like the touch of someones hand on bare skin, light but electric, the movement fleeting but the sensation enduring. The touch simple in form but resonant in understanding. That sensation is rare in this world of detachment. But as these paintings attest, and as has been said many times, “the simplest gesture is the most profound.” It is indeed.


Left: Togoyo, 2014, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 68 x 43 inches

Right: Kore, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 59 x 44 inches


Togoyo, 2014, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 68 x 43 inches


Kore, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 59 x 44 inches


From left: Kott, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 88 x 5 inches

Ofo, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum. 77 x 3 inches

Weyto, 2014 Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum. 91 x 46 inches


Weyto, 2014 Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum. 91 x 46 inches


Ngbee, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum. 44 x 90 inches


Laua, 2015, Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum, 76 x 77 inches

Ben Quilty “Straight White Male” at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong

Ben Quilty’s solo “Straight White Male” at Pearl Lam Galleries was the highlight of a day spent gallery hopping in Hong Kong. The canvases are a mixture of portrait and landscapes, but what sets them apart and what appealed to me was the muscular application of paint and the fashion with which it is applied and manipulated. The work has a freedom and coiled psychosis that is both beautiful and nightmarish. Many of the works use a technique that borrows from mono printing where the canvas is literally printed with the mirror image of it’s other half. By folding the canvas in two and printing it, Quilty references and exploits the ink blot tests created by Rorschach in the 19th century. The works are both test and test subject, blurring the line for the viewer between what is perceived and what is experienced.
















Maria Lassnig at MOMA PS1

Maria Lassnig’s recent retrospective at MOMA PS1 was one of the most beautifully honest and strangely grotesque showings of work I have seen in some time. I saw the exhibition in July during a trip to NY and I can still feel the work.


Maria Lassnig Kopf (Head) Oil on Fiberboard, 1956

Maria worked in relative obscurity and became known to a larger audience later in her life. She died just recently in May in Vienna at the age of 94. The work in the exhibition is marked by a distinct palette and a muscular, expressive, raw and often off putting energy. The exhibition and much of Maria’s studio practice was devoted to the self-portrait. The impulse behind her works came from what she described as “body awareness”, a surrealist take on painting guided by one’s mental perception of oneself . Laceratingly honest, and self-reflective in ways that would make one blanch, these works positively vibrate.

For more information regarding Maria and her work check out the MOMA PS1 website and the website of Hauser & Wirth. There’s also an overview of her career in her New York Times Obituary written by Randy Kennedy.


Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt/Abstrakter Kopf (Self-Portrait/Abstract Head) Oil on Canvas, 1956


Maria Lassnig Kopfheit (Headness) Oil on Fiberboard, 1956- 57


Maria Lassnig Zwei Formen übereinander/Schwarze Flächenteilung (Two Forms Superimposed/Black Surface Distribution)                  

Oil on Jute, 1952


Maria Lassnig Ungeteilte Form (Undivided Form) Oil on Jute, 1952 – 53


Maria Lassnig, Both works:  Ohne Titel (Untitled) Oil on Canvas, 1960


Ohne Titel (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Left: Woman Laokoon (Woman Laocoön) Oil on Canvas, 1976

Right: Dreifaches Selbstporträt (New Self) Oil, Charcoal on Canvas, 1970 – 72


Woman Laokoon (Detail)


Dreifaches Selbstporträt (New Self) Oil, Charcoal on Canvas, 1970 – 72


Dreifaches Selbstporträt (Detail)


Dreifaches Selbstporträt (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt unter Plastik (Self-Portrait Under Plastic) Oil on Canvas, 1972


Maria Lassnig Selbstporträt hit Maulkorb (Self-Portrait with Muzzle) Oil on Canvas, 1973


Maria Lassnig Left: Das Innere nacho auBen (Inside Out) Oil on Canvas, 1992

Right: Selbstporträt hit Nervenlinien (Self-Portrait with Nervous Lines) Oil on Canvas, 1996


Das Innere nacho auBen (Detail)


Das Innere nacho auBen (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Ohne Titel (Untitled) Oil on Canvas, 2002


Ohne Titel (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Ich trage die Verantwortung (I Bear Responsibility) Oil on Canvas, 1981


Ich trage die Verantwortung (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Dame hit Hirn (Lady with Brain) Oil on Canvas, Undated


Dame hit Hirn (Detail)


Maria Lassnig Eiserne Jungfrau und fleischige Jungfrau (Iron Virgin and Fleshy Virgin) Oil on Canvas, 2004


Eiserne Jungfrau und fleischige Jungfrau (Detail)

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