When I was a small child, growing up in southern California, my parents used to take the family on camping vacations to Yosemite National Park. I probably went there four or five times up to the age of 8 or so. While these vacations are many decades in the past for me now, my very vivid memories of the park and its many tall and fragrant redwood trees, crystal clear shallow streams, majestic mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and other uniquely beautiful natural sights and smells stay with me to this day. Yosemite is breathtaking.
British artist David Hockney must feel similarly, because he has created a new series of vivid iPad drawings featuring the wild landscape of Yosemite that you can see and enjoy now at Pace Gallery in Chelsea. When I stood in front of these uncomplicated yet profoundly compelling drawings, I felt like I was back in the park again. Everything looked so familiar to me.
You can almost smell the trees.
Happy Little Trees.
From the late 1800s through most of the 1960s, Yosemite used to have a summertime evening ritual in the park called the Firefall, where visitors could gather to watch a ball of fire get tossed off the side of the one of the mountains, Glacier Point: like a waterfall, only with fire. They stopped doing it because of the danger of a forest fire, and because it got too popular and folks were trampling the meadows to try and see it. It was pretty cool to experience in person though. I’ll never forget it.
David Hockney’s The Yosemite Suite will be on Exhibit Through June 18th, 2016 at PACE, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Matthew Marks Gallery is currently hosting a retrospective of thirty-four Drawings from the estate of Ken Price, most on view for the first time. If you are not familiar with the work of the late ceramic artist and printmaker, this exhibit is an excellent introduction.
Untitled (Geometric Cup and Interior)
“I’ve been drawing since I can remember,” Price has said. “I think sculptors learn to draw so that they can see what they’ve been visualizing.” His earliest works on paper explore forms and colors for his abstract sculptures, as seen in the Specimen drawings of the early 1960s. Price also drew impossible objects, like cups with a leaping frog or a cavorting nude for a handle. In his drawings of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the imaginary spaces inhabited by these objects became more fully realized.
Price’s drawings provide a counterpoint to his sculptures while imagining a world they might inhabit. Two Sofas (1991), for example, shows an imaginary domestic interior with a view of anonymous downtown high-rises. A semi-fictional Los Angeles appears in several drawings, complete with clogged freeways and palm-studded skylines.
Nature became the dominant force in the drawings from the early 2000s, which feature erupting volcanoes and turbulent seas inspired by Price’s trips to Hawaii. After his 2002 move to Taos, New Mexico, Price focused more on the high-desert scenery of rocky outcroppings, dramatic sunsets, and isolated trailer homes.
Figurine Cup (Study for Silkscreen)
He also began depicting his sculptural forms in nature, re-imagining them as monumental figures in the primordial landscape. The effect is both comic and mysterious, like his sculptures themselves — embodying, in the words of Lucy Lippard, “a beautiful and rather horrible strangeness that appeals to both the mind and the senses.”
Ken Price passed away in 2012 at the age of 77.
Ken Price, Drawings will be on Exhibit Through June 25th, at Matthew Marks Gallery, Located at 2016 523 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Flowers, Photos, Artwork and Gifts from Fans and Mourners Stretch Eight Feet Deep in Front of David Bowie’s Former Home in Downtown NYC (All Photos By Gail)
I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I haven’t really felt centered since I heard the news of David Bowie’s death when I woke up at 6:00 AM on Monday morning. No matter how many bittersweet memories of seeing Bowie in concert back-in-the-day, or engaging personal accounts of ways in which David Bowie profoundly impacted countless lives that I read in my FaceBook news feed — and, trust me, the verbal tributes haven’t stopped coming — this news just doesn’t seem like it could be real. It’s almost like I need to ‘see the body,’ so to speak, for it to really sink in. Because I thought David Bowie was going to live forever. Didn’t we all?
I like to think of myself as being respectful of other’s personal space but, despite being somewhat mortified at the thought of exploiting David Bowie’s death in any way, or getting in his family’s face when they just want their privacy, the more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled to just go to his house; to make my own pilgrimage to visit the memorial shrine that fans have built over the two short days since he passed, which is growing in front of the building where David Bowie lived with his wife Iman and daughter Lexi. I didn’t know exactly where the building was, but I know downtown pretty well and I recognized a fairly distinctive landmark from seeing many on-the-scene TV reports, so I was able to figure out where to go.
“Let’s Dance” Graffiti Adds a Bit of Levity to an Otherwise Reverent Shrine Site
A light mist was falling as I walked uptown from the subway station, and the air had that still crispness, indicating that it could just start snowing at any minute. I hoped it would not start snowing just yet. And then I saw the crowd.
My photos are not great because I forgot to turn on my flash for some of them, and also I was trying not to step on, or in front of, anyone else who wanted to get pictures of this very beautiful tribute of love for a man whose music touched almost everyone I know. The collection of beautiful, fragrant flowers, personal David Bowie artwork, toys, gifts, and a small collection of Jesus Candles, is surrounded by metal police barricades, but if you have something you want to add to the shrine, the police will let you walk around and lay it where you feel it should rest. Everyone was very, very cool and respectful.
Up front: The cover story from Tuesday’s issue of AM New York, a free morning daily, generally available as you enter or exit the subway.
There is so much artwork left by fans, and I can’t even imagine what has already been covered and buried deep under flowers and mementos.
Here’s a sentiment we all wish were true.
I wonder who left that little Teddy Bear, and if it held any special message meant for David.
Bowie’s music played unobtrusively as I stood and took in this scene, and I could hear people sniffling, but a reprieve from the wracked sobbing that I imagine we have all been doing a bit of. It was very peaceful. I think David would have really loved to see such an outpouring of adoration from his fans.
I wish everyone who loved, and now mourns David tonight could see how beautiful this place is, and feel how much love went into creating it. I didn’t want to intrude on his family’s grief, but I almost felt like I had to go so I could represent for those who are not able to be near this energy.
God Speed You David Bowie. We will Miss You Forever.
Figures Left to Right: TakuspeFAD Jersey, TakuspeFAD, and Takuspe B-Girl Down Jacket by Taku Obata (All Photos By Gail)
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Bust a Move, a series of new works by Japanese artist Taku Obata, in his debut solo exhibition in the United States. Bust a Move features Obata’s dynamic wooden sculptures, drawings and lithographs of b-boys, or break-dancers, with a distinctly interpreted fashion style. A b-boy himself, the artist has a precise understanding concerning the forms of the human body and how they move, creating works that are bursting with the kinetic energy found in this urban dance form.
The life-size (and larger!) sculptures in Bust a Move are captured in freeze stances, poses that complete every breakdance battle, and are adorned in brightly-colored jumpsuits with accessories sampled from the old-school b-boy style. Surreally elongated hats, glasses and gloves create the illusion of movement, in contrast with the stagnant demeanor of Obata’s subjects. The works have a dominating presence and by portraying modern dance through the ancient technique of Japanese wood-carving, the artist effectively merges popular culture with his cultural roots.
Obata fully immerses viewers in the environment of this subculture through his 3-D works, with the goal of enhancing our awareness and physical senses. In his own words, “I am not simply creating a b-boy, but I aim to create an atmosphere, a cool space with a certain strange and interesting tension.”
LeVine is also displaying a collection of Obata’s drawings of b-boys in action, wearing bright, neon colored outfits.
Taku Obata’s Bust a Move will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Don’t think for one second that I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that Anton Kern Gallery painted its walls Pepto Bismol Pink for its current exhibit of Andy Warhol Drawings. Because I did.
Andy Warhol: 1950s Drawings brings together 150 never before seen works on paper from the late 1940s through 1960. They show Warhol as a skilled draftsman and great experimenter. Using ink and graphite, he investigated the possibilities of the hand-drawn line, and in the course of this developed his characteristic blotted-line technique, which involved tracing projected photographic images onto paper and blotting the inked figures to create variations on a theme. This exhibition reveals a lesser-known side of Warhol and provides unique insight into the foundation of Pop Art.
Love is a Pie
If you only know Warhol through his most popular works such as the mass produced, silk screened Celebrity Portraits and Campbell’s Soup Cans, this exhibit will really show you where the artist came from and reveal how truly talented he was. I mean, the guy could draw a face.
This one reminds me of John Lennon.
You can see by the above photo that every wall is covered with drawings, so you could spend well over an hour here just looking at each one and finding your favorites.
I like this Peacock.
This one looks like Morrissey to me.
This one is so great.
The group of drawings currently on view was discovered in the flat files at the Andy Warhol Foundation’s warehouse space in 2011-2012, and marks the third exhibition by the American artist at the Anton Kern Gallery. Very highly recommended.
Andy Warhol 1950s Drawings will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014 at Anton Kern gallery, Located at 532 West 20th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District.
Adam Green used to be part of the “Anti-Folk” duo known as Moldy Peaches, a “Band” whose music was just not that good. Just being honest here. But I can’t hate on Adam Green for his responsibility in making Moldy Peaches a thing, because the guy is just too cool and hilarious to not be crazy about. As a visual and performance artist, Green strikes that perfect balance of being serious without taking himself seriously. His current exhibit, Hot Chicks by Adam Green & Friends is lots of fun. Here are some photos from the show, accompanied by my insightful commentary.
Right off the bat, I have to give Adam credit for making a lot of drawings for the show.
Two Hot Chicks
The first part of Hot Chicks is comprised of Adam’s interpretations of women, or specifically: juvenile, cubist-inspired “figure” drawings with lots of boobs and weenies in them. The weenies make me think there may be some dudes involved also, but I guess that is open to the viewer’s interpretation. Maybe they are not Weenies but just very long thin Boobs: Discuss.
This one reminds me of Princess Leia.
I love that he changed it up by throwing in this sculpture, while maintaining the cohesive feel of the show as a theme.
This one I believe shows the strong influence of Picasso or Mondrian in Adam’s distinctive style.
That looks like a Peen to me, but maybe it is a leg or arm. Please excuse the unintended image of the gallery’s fluorescent strip lights as they reflect off the glass. How gritty.
The second part of the show features fun works by some of Adam’s friends. I am a little bit jealous that he has such cool friends that can at least pretend to make art.
Here is a Hot Chick from bona fide artist Todd James, whose work is pretty rad. This was probably my favorite piece in the entire show.
Collage Art By Macaulay Culkin
Big Bird as a sort of Dominatrix, By Johnny T. Yerington (AKA Adam Green)
Art By Har Mar Superstar
Art By Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development
Worleygig’com gives this exhibit Two Boobs Up.
Hot Chicks By Adam Green And Friends will be on Exhibit through January 31st, 2014 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at 2nd Street), NYC. Visit The Hole NYC for Gallery Hours and More Information.
Malaysian artist Cheeming Boey draws intricate and detailed artworks on the exterior of various coffee cups using only a black marker. I especially love this set he did of various characters from Breaking Bad. See more of Boey’s fun art at his daily webcomic I Am Boey.
Pace Gallery is currently hosting its first exhibition of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, who joined the gallery in 2011. The exhibition features new paintings, bronze sculptures and works on paper.
I liked his paintings more than the large bronze sculptures. Here are couple of my favorites from Friday night’s opening reception.
This one really resonated with me, as I’m sure it does for many people.
I like this one as well because the girl could be dead or she could be just sleeping. Probably sleeping.
The Yoshitomo Nara Exhibit will run through Jun 29th, 2013 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 25th Street, NYC in the Chelsea Gallery District. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
In celebration of what would have been John Lennon’s 71st Birthday this coming Sunday, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, in association with Bag One Arts will present Gimme Some Truth, a four-day exhibit of John’s original art work in a pop-up gallery space downtown.
On view will be nearly 100 limited edition drawings and song lyrics that John created from 1964 to 1980 – including a never-before seen piece titled On Cloud Nine. My guess is it’s going to be similar to the exhibit of John’s work that I saw in October of 2008. All artwork is for sale with proceeds benefiting City Meals-on-Wheels. A $2 donation at the door also goes to support the programs of this organization, which provides hot meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers. So, head down to Soho this weekend (remember, Monday is a holiday for most) to remember John, see some art and help feed some hungry people!
Gimme Some Truth: The Artwork of John Lennon is on Exhibit at 76 Wooster Street (Between Spring and Broome), Soho, New York City. Hours are as Follows:
Friday October 7th: 12 Noon – 9 PM
Saturday October 8th: 11 AM – 7 PM
Sunday October 9th: 11 AM – 6 PM (John’s birthday)
Monday October 10th: 11 AM – 6PM