Tag Archive | Art

Phil Hale, Life Wants to Live at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Life Wants to Live 7 and 11
Life Wants to Live 7 and 11 (All Photos By Gail)

I wasn’t surprised to learn that painter Phil Hale used to do illustrations for Stephen King books, because his paintings delicately embrace the dreamlike, foreboding essence of a horror novel. Simultaneously compelling and repellent, Hale creates imagined visual tableaus “derived from images appropriated from the internet and analogue archives.” The exhibit’s accompanying press release reveals that” this new series of paintings and drawings are an artifact of the instability and uncertainty that characterizes our era.”

Life Wants to Live  14

The paintings that make up Life Wants to Live — each eponymously titled with an added number — are creepy, frightening and also very beautiful, and you can see that Hale has great talent as a realist painter who knows how to put a twist on the familiar without treading into the realm of the surreal.

Life Wants to Live 2 and 3
Life Wants to Live 2 and 3

Using both form and abstraction, the works convey the struggle to process, reconcile and structure an overwhelming flood of imagery and data. His realignments and mash-ups of the human form are truncated, extruded and redirected, suggesting not only the impossibility of constructing a meaningful whole from available fragments but also the unreliability of any interpretation at all.

Life Wants to Live 13
Life Wants to Live 13

Hale’s work also reminds of of painter Brett Amory, another artist represented by the Levine gallery. Phil Hale is an American living and working in London. I am glad to have discovered his work through the LeVine Gallery.

Phil Hale’s Life Wants to Live will be on Exhibit Through March 21st, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

P1080003

Sebastian Wahl’s Psychedelic Gravy for the Receptive Mind at Joseph Gross Gallery

Sebastian Wahl 3 Mandalas
From Left, Kaleidoscope Vision (1 and 2) and Third Eye Vision, Collage Layered in Resin, 2014 (All Photos By Gail)

Because it is up for only one more week, you should make every effort to head to the Joseph Gross Gallery for Sebastian Wohl’s amazing solo exhibition, Psychedelic Gravy For the Receptive Mind.

Wahl is a Swedish artist now living in NYC who works with collage and lacquer in a manner similar to that of artist Fred Tomaselli, but on a much more cerebrally expansive scale. Geoffrey and I were fortunate to meet and chat briefly with Sebastian at the exhibit’s opening reception, back on February 12th, and when I mentioned how much his work reminded me of Tomaselli, he did confess to also being a fan, and offered that Tomaselli’s use of lacquer had been a tremendous influence on this new body of work.

Vahalla
Vahalla

To achieve his multidimensional effect, Wahl carefully places handmade papers and images between layers and layers of resin. The result is a collage time capsule with real shadows cast within each piece. “Collage is my medium, resin is just the gravy on top,” the artist states in the exhibits press release, adding that, “The mystical experience has always been a point of reference for my work so Psychedelic Gravy For the Receptive Mind seemed like a fitting title for the exhibition.”

Mandalla 4
Mandalla 4

Wahl’s goal is to trigger an awakening of imagination, spirituality and vision. In his work everything is balanced with the attention of a tightrope walker. This attention to balance transforms into symmetry and repetition in the three new circular works that he created for this exhibition. These three pieces are titled Kaleidoscope Vision (1 and 2) and Third Eye Vision (see the first photo in this post) and are loosely inspired by traditional Thangka painting.

The Conductress
The Conductress

Flying Lotus, VooDoo Chile, Kaliucifer
Juju Elves From Left: Flying Lotus, VooDoo Chile, Kaliucifer

Sebastian also created a new series of 7 small pieces that he refers to as the Juju Elves. The works are charged with positive energy and the intention of protecting their owner’s home.

Jimi Hendrix 4 and Jimi Hendrix 2
Jimi Hendrix 4 and Jimi Hendrix 3

He also did series of portraits of Jimi Hendrix, each one unique from the others.

Detail of Jimi Hendrix 2
Detail of Jimi Hendrix 3

12/21/12
12/21/12

Sebastian Wahl’s Psychedelic Gravy for the Receptive Mind will be on exhibit only through February 28th, at the Joseph Gross Gallery, Located at 548 W. 28th Street, Suite 243, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Mandalla 1
Mandalla 1

Detail of Mandalla 1
Detail of Mandalla 1

Sebastian Wahl Signage

Frank Stella, Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values

Frank Stella
Photo By Gail

Yeah, I know it’s freezing ass cold in New York right now and nobody wants to go outside, but if you can force yourself to make it all the way to Tenth Avenue and 27th Street, you can see this gorgeous work of art by Frank Stella, entitled Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, (1978) which is part of Paul Kasmin Gallery’s current group exhibit at this location, entitled, The New York School, 1969: Henry Geldzahler at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Kasmin exhibit features many of the original works from the 1971 Met exhibit, New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 – 1970 including Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Joseph Cornell, Mark di Suvero, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hoffmann, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenberg, Jules Olitski, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.

The exhibit will be on display through March 14th, 2015. Surely, it will have warmed up a bit before then.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Untitled (Night Train) By David Hammons

Night Train
Photos By Gail

This Sculpture / Installation, Untitled (Night Train) (1989) by African-American artist David Hammons had just been re-rotated into display from the permanent collection at MOMA when I visited earlier this month, and I think it’s really terrific.

David Hammons has risen to prominence while at the same time consciously ducking the attention of critics, galleries and museums, preferring to “do things in the street.” A recipient of both a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award and a Pric de Rome, Hammons places himself as an artist between Arte Povera and Marcel Duchamp. He makes his art from refuse and the detritus of African-American life: chicken wings, Thunderbird and Night Train bottles, clippings from dreadlocks, basketball hoops, etc. Hammons‘ deeply felt political views on race and cultural stereotypes give his witty and elegant sculptures, installations, and body prints an integrity that promises to keep the focus on his art rather than on his career.

David Hammons lives and works in NYC.

Night Train

Luke Achterberg, Made in the USA at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Sculpture By Luke Achterberg
All Photos By Gail

Another fun exhibit I saw recently is from abstract sculptor Luke Achterberg, who draws inspiration from two very specific American sub-cultures: urban graffiti and hot-rodding. Achterberg uses the combination of these two very particular aesthetics to create a new visual language.

Evolving and Cognate
Evolving (Sculpture on Pedestal), and Cognate (Sculpture on Wall)

Conceptually, these are bold, contemporary embellishments of structures unrelated to the contemporary additions of spray paint or automotive adornments that stylize and personalize their functional substrates. Aesthetically, his work is the dynamic link that bridges them together; an expressive look Achterberg refers to as “SuperSleek.”

Astir
Astir

The artist’s interest in hot-rodding stems from growing up with the welders and automotive customizers in his family; he is a certified welder himself. He uses his industrial skills and adds his own touch, which transforms raw steel and automotive paint into works of elegance and meaning.

Correlation
Correlation

He captures both the academic ideals of fine art and the technical aptitude that graffiti artists and custom automotive specialists develop outside of academia.

Rooted Custom
Rooted Custom

Achterberg’s work translates the emotional gesture that is seen in both of his muses. He employs curving forms with whiplash tendrils that animate the works and afford them an anthropomorphic nature, as if someone’s tag or custom paint job came to life. Each has a balance of line and form, color and pattern, and also the physical, structural balance of the heavy steel. And yet, the works give the impression of floating, almost dancing, across the wall.

Mackle
Mackle

Luke Achterberg’s Made in the USA will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts – NY, Located at 529 W 20th Street, Suite 6W, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Luke Achterberg Signage

Edie Nadelhaft, Generation X

Better Living Through Chemistry
Photos By Gail

Do you like art and, also, drugs? I sure do. Generation X by NY-based artist Edie Nadelhaft is comprised of 9 individual, over-sized glass capsule sculptures — each filled with colorful plastic balls and emblazoned with familiar Social Media acronyms and emoticons — which are part of the artist’s Better Living Thru Chemistry series. You can see more of Nadelhaft’s work from that series at This Link!

Photographed at Lyons Wier Gallery, 542 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011.

Best Friends For Life
Detail from Above Grouping

David Lyle’s Everyone’s a Critic at Lyons Wier Gallery

The Creative Process
David Lyle Lampoons the Works of Pop Artist Jeff Koons in The Creative Process (All Photos By Gail)

Lyons Wier Gallery is currently hosting Everyone’s A Critic, a new body of work by artist David Lyle. Working from found vintage and vernacular photographs, Lyle seamlessly composes works that harken back to 1950’s and 1960’s America – not as they were, but skewed and reimagined by the artist.

Next Item Up for Bid
Next Item Up for Bid

Lyle’s painstakingly reductive painting process is a very crucial element to the evolution of his final images. Each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. He begins his process by priming a panel with white gesso. Lyle then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, he renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.

The Forgery
The Forgery

In Everyone’s A Critic, we see how the artists’ methodology, combined with his acerbic wit, creates an altered reality rife with cynicism and bursting with humor. Lyle is impeccably faithful to the vintage photographs that inspire his work – until a point in which he instills a cultural reference so familiar, yet iconoclastic, as to leave the viewer wincing, laughing, or really thinking – often it is all three.

The Genius
The Genius

This series presents a wonderfully caustic commentary on the art world. Lyle, who is one part voyeur and one part participant, creates images that embrace much of what mystifies the public about the art world – art that is not made by the artists’ themselves, money as an end game, art-speak, etc.

The Masterpiece
The Masterpiece

David Lyle’s Everyone’s A Critic will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located at 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

The Dealer
The Dealer