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.

http://www.pearllam.com/city/hong-kong/

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Steven Baris at DM Contemporary

Another highlight on my recent gallery rounds in New York was the terrific exhibition from Steven Baris at DM Contemporary.

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Steven Baris (from left) Geometries of Flow E6 Geometries of Flow E4

I became familiar with Steven’s work through Facebook, but photographs did not prepare me for the subtleties of the work. They are strong striking compositions, yes, but it was the trace marks that drew me in. The works with their vibrant color feel very alive, but the ghostly  marks in the paint speaks of other histories. The great blocks of color allude to a type of abstract landscape. They seem like vast lonely plains of color with deserted buildings, and yet the trace marks ground the paintings in the human somehow. The marks give the works a past even though they are most certainly grounded in a graphic present. I am particularly in love with the framed Oil on Mylar works. We are still taking about Geometries of Flow D13. I was unable to take a good picture of it because of the sunlight spilling from an adjacent window, but that particular work on Mylar stood out. You can see that piece and learn more about Steven’s work on the DM Contemporary website and on Steven’s site as well.

http://www.dmcontemporary.com/index.html

http://www.stevenbaris.com

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Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E4, 2014, Oil on Canvas, 50″ x 50″

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Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E4 (Detail)

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Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E6 ,2014, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 48″

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Steven Baris (From left) Geometries of Flow D10 & Geometries of Flow E5

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Steven Baris Geometries of Flow D10, 2013, Oil on Mylar, 31″ x 31″ Framed

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Steven Baris (From left) Geometries of Flow D12 & Geometries of Flow D11

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Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E3, 2013, 79″ x 79″ 

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2014

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The element of surprise is a rare commodity these days, but Art Los Angeles Contemporary always hold surprise and this year was no exception. The sun was out and rainbows were shining on a pot of art fair gold in Santa Monica.

Simon Evans

Simon Evans, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York

http://www.jackhanley.com

Art Los Angeles Contemporary takes place every February at the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica airport in Santa Monica, California. The show has a much more contemporary vibe than the more staid and at times weezingly grey LA Art Show. ALAC presents 70 established and emerging galleries from around the world. Each year I am introduced to new galleries and artists at this fair and its easy relaxed vibe is consistently punctuated with moments of  visual “wow” and a few moments of dumbfounded “what the *@$#”. Both are good things.

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Obtaining information at ALAC is a mixed bag. I like to get to the fair early in the day and as a result some galleries are unattended and in others the gallerist may be busy or shockingly aloof. Wallcards are present at some booths and at others non-existent so it can be difficult to gather information about the work itself. I have included as much text as possible with the images that follow. In most instances I was able to include the name of the artist and the gallery. I have included materials, dimensions, date and some background information or links to more background information in cases where I was able to engage the gallerists directly and ask about the work.

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Alex Hubbard, Standard (OSLO)

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Alex Hubbard (detail)

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Aaron Garber-Maikovska, Standard (OSLO)

http://www.standardoslo.no/en/home

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Despina Stokou, Bad Curating, 2013
oil, spray paint, marker, oil crayon, charcoal, pastel chalk, collage on canvas
98.4375″ x 78.75″, Derek Eller Gallery, New York

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Despina Stokou, Bad Curating (detail), Derek Eller Gallery, New York

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Despina Stokou, Ruin Art (red), 2013
oil, spray paint, marker, oil crayon, charcoal, pastel chalk, collage on canvas
98.4375″ x 78.75″, Derek Eller Gallery, New York

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Despina Stokou, Ruin Art (red), (detail) , Derek Eller Gallery, New York

http://derekeller.com/index.html

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Kendell Carter, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

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Kendell Carter (detail)

http://moniquemeloche.com

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Shezad Dawood, MGH 09, Acrylic on vintage textile, 2013, Paradise Row, London, UK

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Shezad Dawood, MGH 09 (detail)

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Shezad Dawood, MGH 07, Acrylic on vintage textile, 2013

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Shezad Dawood, MGH 07 (detail)

http://www.paradiserow.com/artists/31-Shezad-Dawood/overview/

There was, as the above and some of the following images attest, lots of great work. One of the themes percolating this year were works that were, in small or not so small ways, decaying or in some cases, partially erased. The following work was not a particular favorite of mine, but it does indicate  one of the present structural themes at the fair. Some of the works literally looked like they were falling apart, and the conservator in my head was taking note of the delicate state of much of the work and especially the fugitive nature of the materials themselves. The ephemeral nature of things and it’s translation into materials, process and the object itself is a story I am seeing from a lot of artists these days. Myself included.

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JPW3 (J. Patrick Walsh 3)  Night Gallery, Los Angeles

I’m pretty sure the above painting is wax based. The gallerist wasn’t terribly forthcoming with information on this artist. There are links below to the gallery’s website and an interesting interview with J. Patrick Walsh 3.

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JPW3 (detail)

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JPW3, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, California

http://www.nightgallery.ca

http://doeasyart.com/artists/studio-visit-and-interview-patrick-j-walsh-iii-los-angeles/

Robert Davis’ works were some of the more striking pieces to utilize not so common painting materials. Many of his organic yet strangely modern linen canvases were colored with rabbit skin glue or coffee.

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Robert Davis, Picture of Silence, Rabbit skin glue and oil stick on linen, 2013, 72″ x 48″

Bill Brady/KC, Kansas City, Missouri

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Robert Davis, Picture of Silence (detail)

http://www.billbradykc.com

https://artsy.net/artwork/robert-davis-picture-of-silence

There were also many works that were striking in their pared down simplicity.

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Dan Bayles, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California

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Dan Bayles, Strip Study, Photo and acrylic on panel, 2013, 20″ x 16″

François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California

http://ghebaly.com

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Alain Biltereyst, Untitled, 2013, Acrylic on plywood

Jack Hanley Gallery, New York

http://www.jackhanley.com

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John Houck, Creased archival pigment prints, On Stellar Rays Gallery, New York

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John Houck

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John Houck

http://onstellarrays.com/artists/john-houck/

http://www.johnhouck.com/work/history-of

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Imi Knoebel

From left to right, An Meine Grüne Seite C12-5, An Meine Grüne Seite B 12-8, last work same artist but unidentified.

All works Acrylic on aluminum, acrylic on plastic-coated paper and aluminum shelf

Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne, Germany

http://www.christianlethert.com

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Lisa Williamson, Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles, California

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Lisa Williamson, Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles, California

http://www.tifsigfrids.com

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Ry Rocklen, Dilation Disco, Crewel embroidery, copper and nickel plating, 2013, 17.5″ x 14.5″

Thomas Soloman Gallery, Los Angeles, California

http://www.thomassolomongallery.com

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Juan Capistran, Nothing Everything, Archival Pigment Print

Thomas Soloman Gallery, Los Angeles, California

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York Chang, Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California

http://www.greene-exhibitions.com/Winners_Main.php

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York Chang (detail)

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York Chang (detail)

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Jennifer Nocon, Wool felt and ceramic, Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York, New York

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Jennifer Nocon (detail)

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Jennifer Nocon (detail)

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Mike Pratt, Terracotta Olive, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK

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Mike Pratt, Terracotta Olive (detail)

This last image takes a bit of explaining. When I walked into the booth I saw the plastic jug on the floor and took a photo of it. The friend that I was with had some doubt about the jug being art. I said I thought it was because the placement was so deliberate. When the gallerist returned to the booth we asked, and yes, the jug was indeed a work. It was created by the artist Sean Raspet. Sean often creates sensory environments with signature scents and this jug was one of them. When the gallerist opened the jug I leaned down to smell it. Honestly I couldn’t smell much, but I liked the idea behind the work. Ideas were the highlight of this years ALAC. There were some great conversations about the works themselves and in most instances the conversations illuminated the works in ways that were unanticipated. Another eye-opener from a fair that never lacks for surprises.

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From left Josh Kolbo & Sean Raspet, Société, Berlin, Germany

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Sean Raspet (detail)

http://www.societeberlin.com

“TO BE A LADY” at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore

When I first saw the title for this exhibition I was put off. I’m not fond of the word “Lady”, and honestly, in the art world, when used to refer to an artist the term makes my stomach churn. “Lady” carries many subtle and not so subtle cultural signals, but the first thing that springs to mind is politeness and gentility which is, in the mind of this artist, death to the exploratory impulse. Great work is most certainly not polite. So, I was relieved to learn from the press materials that the title of the exhibition was meant to be a provocation of sorts. Still not in love with the moniker, but in this context it makes sense as a linguistic counterpoint to what is so obviously not a ladylike grouping of artists and work. It is simply strong work and the thread that happens to bind the work together is that it happened to be created by some of the greatest visual voices of the 20th century both past and present.

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To Be a Lady was organized by Sundaram Tagore Gallery in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based non-profit Norte Maar. A previous iteration of the exhibition was presented in New York in 2012 at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery in collaboration with 1285 Avenue of the Americas and Jones Lang LaSalle. Both the current and 2012 versions of the exhibition were curated by Jason Andrew.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has two galleries in New York, and one each in Hong Kong and Singapore. The Singapore gallery is in a gallery district called Gillman Barracks, which is an old regiment barracks that has been converted into a collection of contemporary art galleries in the heart of Singapore.

http://gillmanbarracks.com

The photos that follow are some of my favorite works that were included in the exhibition. There was also an exquisite Helen Frankenthaler, but unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph it.

For more information about the exhibition please consult the websites of Sundaram Tagore Gallery and also the website of Norte Maar.

http://www.sundaramtagore.com

http://nortemaar.org

Image

Janice Biala

Red Still Life, 1957

Oil on Canvas, 35″ x 46″, Estate of Janice Biala, courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York

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Installation View

From left, Janice Biala, Hermine Ford, Elizabeth Murray, Jane Lee, Lynda Benglis, Ruth Asawa, Viola Frey and

Ghada Amer

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Foreground:

Lynda Benglis

Beatrice, 1979

Chicken wire, plaster, gesso and gold leaf 39″ x 19″ x 9″ Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

Background:

Dorothea Rockburne

Copal #14, 1977

Kraft Paper, copal oil varnish, Prismacolor pencil #3, 3M 415 tape 39″ x 29″

Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter Gallery, New York

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Hermine Ford

Bird Music, 2012

Oil paint, ink, watercolor, gouache, pencil and colored pencil on canvas on shaped wood panel 87″ x 38 3/4″ x 3/4″

Courtesy of the artist and Norte Maar

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Hermine Ford Bird Music (Detail)

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Yin Xiuzhen

Body Temperature No. 6, 2010

Clothes, aluminum plate 85.8″ x 25.4″ x 3.9″ Courtesy of the artist and Pace Beijing

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Yin Xiuzhen Body Temperature No. 6 (Detail)

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Ruth Asawa

Plane Tree #16, 1960

Green ink on coated paper 19″ x 25″ Courtesy Amy Wolf Fine Art and Elrick-Manley Fine Art, New York

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Foreground:

Ruth Asawa

Background:

Jane Lee

The Jane Lee piece had been taken off the wall for a small repair. It is meant to be wall mounted.

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Jane Lee

Juju, 2013

Fry acrylic paint, acrylic heavy gel on fiberglass base canvas 110″ diameter

Courtesy of Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Jane Lee Juju (Detail)

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Jane Lee Juju (Detail)

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Pat Steir

Painting with red and gold in the center, 2012

Oil on canvas 60″ x 50″ Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

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Kristen Jensen

Untitled, 2012

Unglazed porcelain and white oak 31″ x 15″ 19″ Courtesy of the artist and Norte Maar

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Grace Hartigan

Pomegranate, 1961-62

Oil on canvas 62 3/4″ x 50″ Private collection, New York

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Visible from left: Nancy Grossman, Vanessa German, Shirin Neshat, Dorothea Rockburne, Judith Murray and Niki de Saint Phalle

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Niki de Saint Phalle

Study for sculpture Tyrannosaurus Rex, c. 1963

Marker, ink, pencil on paper 14.2″ x 19.3″ Virginia Dwan Collection, New York, courtesy Norte Maar

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Niki de Saint Phalle Study for sculpture Tyrannosaurus Rex (Detail)

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Judith Murray

Elements, 2011

Oil on linen 36″ x 40″ Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Shirley Goldfarb

Orage, 1955

Oil on canvas 51″ x 76 3/4″

Shirley Goldfarb Estate, courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery, New York

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Shirley Goldfarb Orage (Detail)

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Shirley Goldfarb Orage (Detail)

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