K8 Hardy’s work typically subverts common conceptions of fashion and consumerism, combining product close-ups, meticulous styling and staging. Her photographs and sculptures employee layering to confuse and undermine assumptions about class, economics, race and gender. She “teases out” the emotional meanings in everything – from clothes to figures in a landscape. “This blanket expression that you shouldn’t judge a person by their clothes is ridiculous to me,” she said. “Every article of clothing is so loaded with signifiers, I don’t know how you can help but make up stories about people and their desires based on what they wear.”
This Surrealist object was inspired by a conversation between Meret Oppenheim, (Swiss, 1913–1985) and artists Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar at a Paris cafe. Admiring Oppenheim’s fur-covered bracelet, Picasso remarked that one could cover anything with fur, to which she replied, “Even this cup and saucer.” Soon after, when asked by André Breton, Surrealism’s leader, to participate in the first Surrealist exhibition dedicated to objects, Oppenheim bought a teacup, saucer, and spoon at a department store and covered them with the fur of a Chinese gazelle. In so doing, she transformed genteel items traditionally associated with feminine decorum into sensuous, sexually punning tableware.
Fur-Covered Cup, Saucer and Spoon (1936) is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
In the Chelsea Gallery District, there is a huge advantage to having a street level, store front space, in that it attracts a lot of passers-by for whom the featured exhibit may not necessarily be on their radar. This past Saturday was not the first time that we have been drawn into the Magnan Metz Gallery based on a casual glance into the window. The tableau pictured above is what we saw as we walked west on 26th Street, the pull of which could not be resisted. Because, Bonfire in the Gallery.
In Big Brass/Light Opera, artist Amelia Biewald transforms the gallery space into an 18th century European parlor room, recreating the period’s lush opulence and sophistication.
However, the glamorous presentation is askew as the encapsulated scene has the tell-tale signs of a rogue stag run amok, a chaos ensuing as a result of a sparring within the space.
Amidst the knocked over furniture, wigs, and fans the now expired stag, Heavy Weather is suspended upside down having been brought to the ground by the weight of his own antlers, its presence within the room signifying a complete arrest of time.
Inspired by the visual intricacies found in historical masterpieces such as Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (1656), Biewald uses similar visual cues that allude to an outside viewer within the narrative forming a discord between perspectives.
Generating further tension are five vintage picture frames inlaid with mirrors and decorated with the heads of deer (Series Title: All of This and Nothing). Looking into the mirrors, the heads form a curious push and pull through the reciprocity of gazes. The scene is further stratified as the viewer establishes a context within the composition whilst moving about the mirrored space, becoming both the viewer and subject. Within these notions of perception the complete narrative exists in a plane somewhere in-between the multiple perspectives.
Big Brass / Light Opera is an amazing exhibit that I very highly recommend you try and see before it close in just over a week.
Amelia Biewald’s Big Brass/Light Opera will be on Exhibit through November 22nd at Magnan Metz Gallery, Located at 521 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Brazilian sculptor Saint Clair Cemin has returned to Paul Kasmin for his third solo show at the gallery. Myth and Math finds a familiarity with Cemin’s minimalist approach while also delivering something new and unexpected. Check out the piece below:
What a cool idea to set this bronze “Octopus” sculpture section against mirrored surfaces, where the fractional piece (1/8th of the imagined whole) can be made to look complete and 3-D with assistance from the reflections. Just genius.
Regarding the above piece, Love and Mathematics, Cemin explicitly combines the emotional and the rational, two seemingly contrasting concepts which he is able to jointly explore with his chosen artistic medium.
This one, Athina (2014) reminds me very much of an Umberto Boccione sculpture I saw at MOMA over the summer.
I don’t know why these sculptures remind me of expensive new foreign sports cars, but I think that should be considered a good thing.
Saint Clair Cemin’s Myth and Math will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2014 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Avenue (Corner of 27th Street), in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you missed the Jeff Koons Retrospective that just closed at the Whitney Museum this past weekend after a 3-plus month run, then you missed your chance to see this lovely piece of art up close and personal. Your bad! Like his famous Balloon Dog — the reflection of which is visible in the photo above — Moon (Light Pink) is one of Koons‘ mammoth steel sculptures with the hypnotic mirrored finish that make it so much fun to photograph, but impossible to get really clean shots due to its endlessly reflective surface! I think Moon looks like an oversized, inflatable button. Love this thing!
You know, I am such a sucker for anything that lights up, and I was utterly captivated by Chasing Rainbow, an LED sculpture on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The circuitry behind the lighting allows it to change color and patterns continuously, but of course I wanted to capture as much pink as possible!