Tag Archive | Sculpture

Tom Fruin’s Color Study at Mike Weiss Gallery

Tom Fruin Water Tower
Watertower By Tom Fruin (All Photos By Gail)

Oh, what fun it was to discover one of Tom Fruin’s  Watertower sculptures inside an art gallery instead of out in DUMBO or somewhere off the BQE! As it turns out, Fruin’s current exhibit, Color Study, over at Mike Weiss Gallery marks the very first time that the artist’s architecturally-scaled public works have been shown in a gallery context. Super fun!

Tom Fruin Water Tower Detail
Watertower Close Up

The Watertower is constructed from found scrap metal and colored Plexiglas in a patchwork design that also incorporates facsimiles of cigar bands and the word “Ecstasy” repeated at intervals across it’s colorful and endlessly captivating surface, which is illuminated from the tower’s interior.

Tom Fruin Water Tower Ecstasy Detail

Tom Fruin Cigar Band Wall Scultpture

The wall sculpture above (of which there are several on display at Mike Weiss) will give you an idea of the grid that Fruin builds on for his colored Plexiglas creations. Check out the one below:

Tom Fruin Wall Quilt

This patchwork of colors relates not only to the surface of the Watertower but also to Fruin’s earlier project series, Drug-Bag Quilts, in which the artist used found drug bags, stitched together with thread, to create quilt-like wall hangings. Talk about an interesting way to upcycle!

Tom Fruin Lanterns

Color Study also includes a set of Swings with Cigar Band Seats which are suspended from the gallery’s ceiling (not shown) and the above lanterns, one electric and one powered by a small fuel tank.

Stained Glass Flame Sculpture

And last but not least, Fruin has created this illuminated-from-within, Stained Glass replica of what looks to me like the cluster of flame from Lady Liberty’s torch. Astounding.

Stained Glass Flame Detail
Stained Glass Flame Detail

Color Study presents enchanting and unique artworks the likes of which you aren’t going to see anywhere else in the Chelsea Gallery District, so don’t let yourself miss this one!

Tom Fruin’s Color Study will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Tom Fruin Color Study Signage

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Alessandro Gallo’s Strani Incontri at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Lizard in a Suit
The Man Who Sold the World by Alessandro Gallo (All Photos By Gail)

You only have a few more days to check out Strani Incontri, an exhibition of new works by Italian artist Alessando Gallo over at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. This is Gallo’s first exhibit at LeVine, but his work will probably look very familiarly if you know the art of Mike Leavitt, who also shows at LeVine.

Strani Encontri Room View
The Beginning of a Great Adventure (Foreground, Right)

Gallo merges elements of the real world to create a surreal one teeming with the possibility of strani incontri, or strange encounters. His hybrid sculptures embody human behavioral patterns and physical attributes from the neck down while unseemly animal heads mock the human disposition and comically question our relationship with the natural world.

Bird Busking
She Belongs to Me

Jakob Mountain Goat with Beer
Jakob

Gallo’s artistic process is deeply rooted in realism and he begins by photographing a model from all angles. He then uses those photographs, as well as images from his sizeable archive of animal wildlife books, as references while sculpting.

Snake with an iPad
Scripta Elegans

The mutant species Gallo creates are then placed in typical human circumstances, such as riding the subway or checking their tablet on a park bench, and are so accurately crafted that their presence is unsettling yet familiar.

Strani Encontri Birds in Bed
Come Fly With Me

Themes of loneliness, isolation and boredom are abundant in Gallo’s work due to the inclusion of an animal presence in the mundane minutia of urban life. Every culture has associations between animals and emotions, which are evident in adages such as ‘happy as a clam’ or ‘stubborn as a mule’, and Gallo views his sculptures as psychological portraits relating to these emotional states.

Swing Ducks on Swings
Swing

Regardless of their distortion, Gallo’s characters exemplifying human nature by humorously embodying our values and vices.

Vulture in the Garbage
Turkey Vulture

Alessandro Gallo’s Strani Incontri will be on Exhibit until October 4th at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 W 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Toad in Superman T
I Feel Good

Strani Incontri Signage

Casey Kaplan Gallery Presents: I Went to School With Someone Called Jonathon Monk

A Copy of Deflated Sculpture No 1
A Copy of Deflated Sculpture No 1 By Jonathan Monk (All Photos By Gail)

When it comes to my taste in Contemporary art, two things that always draw me in are clever appropriation and subversive absurdity. I just love that shit. And that is part of the reason I had such a good time at this exhibit called I Went to School with Someone Called Jonathon Monk, which is over at the Casey Kaplan Gallery. You should check it out.

For this extremely fun and cerebrally stimulating exhibit, artist Jonathan Monk (whose first name is intentionally misspelled in the exhibit’s title) interprets significant biographical events in his own life by filtering his art projects through the works of artists that have influenced him. Or something like that. According to the Press Release, Monk’s work “is a continuing engagement with notions of authorship and identity, as he recasts iconic works of art with a consistent and incisive humor.” Take a look at the above photo, for example.

In the gallery’s front room, you’ll see the above pictured work entitled A Copy Of Deflated Sculpture No. 1, which any art fan can tell immediately is a knock off of an iconic, Jeff Koons Inflatable. What you might not know is that the sculpture is “a facsimile of Monk’s subtly deflated copy of Jeff Koon’s iconic inflatable bunny, exhibited in his 2009 exhibition with the gallery, The Inflated Deflated.” Does your brain hurt yet? Mine does.

Here are additional works we enjoyed!

Miniature Paul McCartney in a Santa Suit

Together Again But Always Alone (2014) is a miniature statue of Paul McCartney dressed in a paint-smeared Santa suit, which references artist Paul McCarthy’s 1999 performance piece, Tokyo Santa. So genius.

Dichroic Glass with Model

Figurative Sandwich (2014) features two Black and White prints (Vintage foundation garment ads) on either side of a sheet of Radiant Plexiglas, which possibly references the works of Dan Graham.

Rainbow Painted VW Hood

You’ll Never See My Face In Kansas City (2007) Enamel Paint on Volkswagen Type I Beetle Hood.

From One State To Another

From One State To Another (Sewn Together To Make A Whole) (2014), Souvenir scarves from every American state sewn together in the shape of the country, a reference to the embroidered maps of the late Alighiero Boetti.

Skull

Mistakes Have Been Made (2014), Marble Sculpture of Child’s Skull-Shaped Eraser.

Pennies on the Wall

From the Year I was Born Until the Year I Left America (2014), 31 C-prints mounted on Medium Density Fiberboard.

Art On Fire

Three Part Piece (Untitled Wood Destroyed). Taking a lost, early wooden sculpture by American minimalist Carl Andre as its starting point, Monk displays the work in three variations – a charred replica, a photograph of its original condition, as well as video documentation of the work burning (seen in the photo above).

Worleygig.com Highly Recommends This Exhibit!

I Went to School With Someone Called Jonathon Monk will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Casey Kaplan Gallery, located at 525 West 21st Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Jonathan Monk Signage

Head of Medusa by Arnold Böcklin

Head of Medusa By Arnold Bocklin
Head of Medusa: Papier Mache and Plaster. Open Mouthed Head with Coppery Locks and Snakes Issuing from Domed Black Medallion with Molded and Gilt Rim. (All Photos By Gail)

Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) created this realistic sculpture of the Head of Medusa around 1894. This piece is on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, which I visited in August of this year. Below you can see a photo of the wall against which it hangs and get an idea of how it is displayed. They do a nice job of staging everything at the MFA, that is for sure.

MFA

Modern Art Monday Presents: Silver Livres By Bruce Nauman

Silver Livres
Photo by Gail

Bruce Nauman (born December 6, 1941) is a contemporary American artist, whose practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. His bold red and green neon tubing sculpture, Silver Livres (1974) — the livre being a former currency of France — is currently on long-term loan to the Museum of Modern Art from it owners, Ealan and Melinda Wingate.

Nir Hod’s Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future, at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Nir Hod Once Everything Triptych
I Want Always to Be Remembered in Your Heart, By Nir Hod (All Photos By Gail)

Israel-born artist Nir Hod’s current exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery manages to be both visually beautiful and subtly political — a combination that this painter/sculptor does very well.

Nir Hod Oil Pump Snow Globe Sculpture

Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future features Hod’s monumental sculptural work of the same name, a snow globe containing a moving scale model of a pumpjack encased in oil and swirling “snow” comprised of gold-colored flakes, a reflection of the immense wealth generated by the oil trade.

Nir Hod Oil Pump Sculpture Close Up
Detail

Hod’s globe encompasses an idealized, isolated landscape of oil extraction in which production and consumption can peacefully coexist. When I was growing up in California in the 1960s and ’70s, these oil pumps were all over the place, so this piece inspired a great feeling of nostalgia for me.

Nir Hod Once Everything

Characteristic of Hod’s work is a dark glamour that is both alluring and menacing, exemplified in his three new series of paintings. In I Want Always to be Remembered in Your Heart, smoldering flames are superimposed on delicate flowers, alluding to the paradoxical coexistence of beauty and destruction.

Nir Hod All We Wish For

Through a chroming process he transforms matte canvases into reflective, mirrored surfaces in the series All We Wish For, Let it Be and The Back Room.

Nir Hod All We Wish For

In All We Wish For, Let it Be, the artist renders ethereal clouds and shattered glass, alluding to a cycle of destruction and rebirth.

Nir Hod The Back Room

The Back Room presents contrasting black and white scratches upon chrome surfaces emanating light. Both works underline the artist’s pursuit of the sublime as a place of pleasurable fear and forbidden desire.

Nir Hod The Back Room

The Worley Gig Highly Recommends This Exhibit.

Nir Hod’s Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future will be on Exhibit Through October 25th at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Nir Hod Exhibit Signage

Modern Art Monday Presents: John Chamberlain, Dorkdorf

John Chamberlain Dorkdorf
All Photos By Gail

I didn’t get turned on to the unique sculptural style of John Chamberlain until his Spring 2012 Retrospective at The Guggenheim, at which point Chamberlain had only recently passed away. Chamberlain was best known for his dynamic sculptures created with scrap metal from salvaged cars, which are held in many public collections.

John Chamberlain Dorkdorf 2

This piece, Dorkdorf (1988) is made from painted and chrome-plated steel and is very representative of his style. At this time this photo was taken (July 2014) it was on exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, though the piece is privately owned, so there is no telling how long it will remain on public view.

John Chamberlain was considered to be a master of creative re-use and he continues to inspire many artists to use found metal in their art. He died at his home in Manhattan on December 20th, 2011 at the age of 84.