Tag Archive | Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: On Near Sky

Homage to the Square
Photo By Gail

Following an influential career at The Bauhaus school in Wiemer, Germany (191933) Josef Albers fled the Nazi regime and emigrated to the United States, where he taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and then at Yale in Connecticut. Beginning in 1949 and continuing over the next twenty-five years, he created his celebrated Homage to the Square series, which is composed of more than a thousand works including paintings, drawings, prints, and tapestries. These works are based on a template of geometric abstraction, a mathematically determined format of several squares overlapping or nesting within one another. These works represent Alber’s experiments with theories of color and spatial relationships, which were informed by his studies of Mexican pyramids and pre-Colombian architectonic principles. Homage to the Square: On Near Sky was painted in 1963.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

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Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery Presents Dan Lam’s Delicious Monster

Dan Lam Delicious Monster
All Photos By Gail

While my back was turned, Spoke Art Gallery suddenly became Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery. I understand that this involved a simple name change, and that the gallery is being run by the same people, which is a relief, because Spoke/Hashimoto is walking distance from my apartment, and it always has pretty cool art! Example: their latest exhibit is Delicious Monster, a solo exhibition by Dallas-based artist Dan Lam, who is a lady. Delicious Monster is Dan’s fist solo exhibition at the gallery.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam is known for her biomorphic sculptures — which she often paints in vibrant, fluorescent colors — that appear to ooze and drip from the shelves on which they perch. These sculptures are made from quick-drying foam, and so they are deceptively light weight, despite appearing to be very heavy.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

For Delicious Monster, the artist continues to explore opposing themes of the beautiful and repulsive,  and how often these two different sentiments can come from within the same source. With this in mind, the new sculptures explore color and form while experimenting with new materials and layering processes.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam Delicious Monster Detail

To me, these layered sculptures recall exotic undersea coral, but Dan was actually inspired by the Monstera Deliciosa fruit, whose scientific name literally means ‘delicious monster.’ Resembling an ear of corn with a green exterior, this hexagon patterned fruit is sweet, delicious and tropical, yet it can cause severe throat and skin irritation if eaten before it has fully ripened.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Fascinated by the fruit’s tempting contradictions, the works in Delicious Monster explore this relatable concept: patience is often tested by temptation, and the excitement and desire to have an experience before the appropriate moment can often result in dangerous consequences. The sculptures above show examples of a series within the exhibit where these forms appear to be covered in beads or pearls. Dan creates the look by affixing “half beads” to the exterior of the form before paint is applied.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Exploring a variety of textures, from the shimmering iridescent to pointed spikes, Dan’s sculptures appear almost lifelike, as if they were living organisms from a psychedelic universe. Simultaneously alluring and unsettling, their textures, candy colored hues and organic shapes draw the viewer in, tempting you to touch them and enter their alternate universe.

Please enjoy a few more photos from the show:

Dan Lam Delicious Monster Installation View

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

The gallery installed a ‘Selfie-Wall,’ whose surface emulates the texture of one of Dan’s spiked forms. I was not present at the opening reception, but I can imagine that this wall was very popular!

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

She also created these miniature sculptures for the gallery’s reception desk Adorable.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam’s  Delicious Monster Will be on Exhibit Through Saturday, May 25th, 2019 at Hashimoto Contemporary New York (Formerly Spoke Art), Located at 210 Rivington Street (between Pitt & Ridge). Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Dan Lam Delicious Monster Installation View

Dan Lam Delicious Monster Installation View

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Dan Lam Delicious Monster

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Synchromy No. 3

Synchromy No 3
Photo By Gail

Although this abstract composition, Synchromy No. 3 (1917), bears many traces of European Cubism — angular shapes, fragmented forms, and multiple perspectives — it asserts the primacy of color as a key component of space and form. In 1912, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, together with the painter Morgan Russell, coined the term Synchromism to describe abstract compositions primarily concerned with the rhythmic use of color — a phenomenon they likened to a symphony’s use of sound. Synchromism was one of many diverse approaches to abstraction that flourished in the Americas and Europe on the 1910s, radically departing from traditional vocabularies of painting and sculpture

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Alejandro Puente, Untitled

Alejandro Puente Untitled
Photo By Gail

Alejandro Puente (19332013) was at the fore of a group of artists from La Plata, Argentina, who shared with American Minimalist and Conceptual artists of the 1960s a devotion to the rigorous exploration of systems of color and form. This composition reflects Puente’s preference for the primary colors as they appear unmixed on a color wheel. Arranged together, four equilateral triangles make up a single, larger triangle, with the three primary colors radiating out from an anchor in black. An even white strip runs along two sides of each triangle, suggesting a state of incompleteness while also creating the perimeter of overall composition. As this composite work suggests, the abstract vocabularies practiced by La Plata artists effectively abandoned traditional painting by embracing the shaped canvas, the support assuming its own identity in space as an object

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Derek Fordjourm, Half Mast

Half Mast Derek Fordjour
Photos By Gail

With Half Mast, Derek Fordjour debuts a new work that reflects on the current national reckoning with mass shootings, and the relentless threat of violence against Black and Brown bodies. A portrait of this divided moment in U.S. history, Half Mast presents law officers, students, and ordinary civilians in one compressed, shared space. Alongside teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials, some figures appear marked with targets while others have been reduced to silhouettes.

Fordjour’s image holds no one person or group responsible for the violence, even as it speaks to loss and abuse of power. Painted brightly in his signature graphic style, the work points to possibilities of a future civic movement or celebration. Derek Fordjour first made Half Mast as a painting; here, in his first solo museum exhibition, it is presented as a public art installation in the form of a large vinyl print, located outdoors at the intersection of Gansevoort and Washington Streets, across the street ands down one block from the Whitney Museum, and directly across from the end of the High Line.

Half Mast Derek Fordjour

Modern Art Monday Presents: Alvin Loving, Septehedron 34

Septehedron 34
Photo By Gail

Alvin Loving (19352005) once described geometric shape as “a sort of mundane form that could be very, very dull unless a great deal was done with it.” For him, however, geometry ultimately became an arena in which to develop a dramatic color sensibility. Juxtaposing neon-bright pigments, in Septehedron 34 (1970) he created the illusion that the painting’s forms recede or advance relative to one another.  At the same time, his use of geometric forms emphasized the flat surface of the canvas, from which a tension emerges between real and imagined space. Also notable for its visible brush stocks, Loving’s shaped canvas takes up the challenge of making all seven sides of a heptahedron visible at once.

In 1969, Alvin Loving became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum.

Septehedron 34

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, On View Through August 31st, 2019 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Pink Thing of The Day: Bathtub With Pink Water

Down Below
Photos By Gail

This old-fashioned Claw Foot Enamel Bathtub with Pink Water draining from it onto the floor is actually a sculpture called Down Below (2018), by the artist Sarah Lucas. The ‘water’ is made from rubber acrylic.

Photographed in the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC

Down Below