Alvin Loving (1935 – 2005) 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.
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.
Untitled (To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard) 1972 – 1975 (All Photos By Gail)
Dan Flavin (April 1, 1933 – November 29, 1996) was an American minimalist artist famous for creating gorgeous sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. David Zwirner Gallery which represents Flavin’s estate, is currently hosting an exhibition of the artist’s significant Corner, Barrier and Corridor works from the late 1960s and early 1970s at its West 20th Street in New York. This is a must-see exhibit.
The exhibition at David Zwirner examines how Flavin established and redefined space through light constructions in three formats that were at the core of his practice. The artist’s “corner,” “barrier” and “corridor” works explicitly implicate their surrounding architecture while physically mediating the viewers’ experience and perception of space.
Above and Below: Untitled (to Sonja), 1969
Among the works on view will be a notable two-part Barrier in yellow and green dedicated to his wife, Untitled (to Sonja), 1969, which was first shown as Flavin’s contribution to the significant group exhibition Spaces at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1969-70.
Flavin’s installation comprised rectangular units of colored fluorescent tubes that formed two interior barriers that begin in the corners of the entrance wall and extend to the far end of the room, altering space with colored light and physically modifying the visitors’ experience of the room. This will be the first time it has been shown since the MoMA exhibition.
Also in the exhibition is a rare barrier that shines white fluorescent light into an empty room while rendering it inaccessible: Untitled (to Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein on not seeing anyone in the room), 1968. This piece was first shown at the Dwan Gallery, New York, in 1968 and has not been exhibited since 1970. The work’s title makes reference to a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein entitled I Can See The Whole Room!…And There’s Nobody in It!
A Corridor in Yellow and Pink fluorescent light from 1972-75, Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), will also be presented. The work divides an architectural passageway into two mutually inaccessible, obstructed fields of color and light, playing on the viewers’ cognitive and physical perception of distinctly colored, opposite ends of the same space.
The show will also feature a room devoted to a sequence of four related corner constructions dedicated to the artist Barnett Newman: Untitled (to Barnett Newman) one-four, 1971, which highlight the four corners of the room by serially investigating the same rectangular form in different configurations of yellow, red, and blue fluorescent light. These works have not been on view in the United States since their first presentation in Flavin’s 1971 solo exhibition at the Dwan Gallery, New York.
Another work in the exhibition features the artist’s less-known use of circular light fixtures: Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, from 1972, succinctly illuminates the corners of a given space in its wall-mounted triangular construction of warm white circular lamps.
Dan Flavin, Corners, Barriers and Corridors will be on Exhibit Through October 24th, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Here’s a cool photo I took of sculptor Christian Haub’s Float for Vence, (2014, Cast Acrylic Sheet, 36 x 36 x 3 1/2 inches ), on display at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts located at 529 West 20th, Suite 6W, in the Chelsea Gallery District. This lovely piece can be yours for the asking price of $10,000.
Painted Mirror By Martin Durazo (All Photos By Gail)
Altered States at C24 Gallery is an exhibition featuring the work of two Los Angeles based artists, Martin Durazo and Ryan Perez. The title of the exhibition refers to creating an altered state of reality through a narrative visualized by light, line, dimension and color. As you can see, these artists deal specifically with each of these qualities in their respective paintings.
Martin Durazo paints on both canvases and mirrors using fluorescent colors and bold brush strokes. The artist explains, “I find it fascinating that these colors are in vogue fashion-wise. I also feel that they have a relationship to punk and new wave music of the ‘70s and ‘80s, my coming–of-age years.” Mine too, Martin!
Here’s another painted Mirror. I really like this one.
Durazo’s use of neon paint and metallic suggests both a hyper reality and black light illumination. Transcendental in nature, the works presented in Altered States are a part of a continuing body of work that explores the spiritual aspects of lurid and elicit behavior. The visual result is colorful and instantly attractive – it’s audacious and at times flashy, yet always loaded with complex symbolism and stratified references.
I met the lady pictured above at the opening reception on September 11th, and her dress reminded me so much of the colors in Martin Durazo’s paintings that I asked if she would pose with them. Also, I was a teeny, tiny bit drunk.
Above is partial installation shot a selection of Ryan Perez’s works that you see as soon as you enter the gallery. His work integrates computer generated and hand painted elements in artist frames, which are configured to trick the eye of the viewer, merging the real and digital world.
In describing his work, Perez writes, “As an image-maker, I can’t help but contemplate how the majority of the visual world we experience is constructed through a series of identity systems via graphic design…” Interesting, and so true!
I really enjoyed this exhibit, and the people at C24 are always very nice, so I recommend you add Altered States to your list of shows to check out over the next few weeks.
Altered States Runs Through October 25th, 2014 at C24 Gallery, Located at 514 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Pace Prints is currently hosting Ryan McGinness: Figure Drawings, the artist’s second exhibition at the gallery. I can’t say I’m sorry that I missed the opening reception, because how could you possibly get good photos of these works in a gallery full of people?
Figure Drawings is a continuation of the McGinness’s Women series, which he started working on in 2010. Drawing directly from nude models, he approaches these drawings in the same manner in which he creates his signature undulating and layered icons.
McGinness begins with sketches, and refines those drawings down into their basic and most essential forms. In the Women series, the artist simultaneously embraces the inherent sensuality of his models through their graceful lines and gentle curves, while allowing his iconic drawings to be less about the individual woman and more about presentations of universal womanhood.
Entwining the cool glow of various neon lights with his women, composed of flat shapes à la Matisse, the works are at once signage, symbol, and live interaction. With neon, there is no real substitute to seeing these electric drawings in person as photographs cannot fully capture the colorful hazed effect on the figure. This sexy emitted light glows on the entire exhibition, giving a spectacle buzz to the full body of works.
Also included in the exhibition are a series of new fluorescent silkscreened Women Parts, porcelain-baked enamel on steel panels, halftoned models on linen, and mirror polished stainless steel works with etched figures—which resonate with the neon lights, layering images in reflection.
Definitely check this one out while you can.
Ryan McGinness Figure Drawings will be on Exhibit through June 7th, 2014 at Pace Prints, Located at 521 Westr 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District
Does This Teddy Bear Remind You Of Anything? (All Photos By Gail)
If you pay attention to global pop culture, then you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Harajuku style and Kawaii (Cuteness) culture, where the adorable has an undercurrent of rebellious edge. For just a short time you can immerse yourself in a kind of Cuteness Overload at Tokyo-based Artist and Fashion Designer Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion (Seventh Nightmare) installation, through March 29thonly at Kianga Ellis Projects. Geoffrey and I paid the space a visit yesterday and it was positively disorienting.
Detail of Walls and Ceiling
According to the Artist’s statement, Masuda has, “created this work as if I was writing my own autobiography.” The small room (about 150 SF), covered on all sides with the collage of multicolored material speaks to his different reflections on “the various mortal sins I have committed, or to which I have fallen prey, through my life thus far.”
The only props in the room besides the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling ocean of multicolored brick-a-brack is a twin size bed, which evokes the feeling that you are entering child’s fantasy bedroom.
Since the space is so small, it gets crowded with, say, more that five people in the gallery at one time, especially of you are trying to get photos that show a good section of the space. But fortunately, people were being very courteous about waiting out in the hall of it got too crowded, since many visitors (including several Asian girls dressed in their full-0n Harajuku Babydoll Lolita fashions) wanted to get their photos taken against the colorful backgrounds. And who could blame them?
Details of Colorful Rebellion
You probably won’t see another exhibit quite like this again in your life, so if this seems like your thing, don’t waste any time in checking it out.
Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion is on Exhibit only through through March 29th at Kianga Ellis Projects, Located at 516 West 25th Street, Studio 306B (when you get to the Third Floor Landing, walk through the door marked “3” and the exhibit is down the hall on the right) in the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
I’ve written about street-turned-fine artist Aakash Nihalani previously on The Gig, when one of his geometric neon sculptures was a featured Pink Thing of The Day.
Aakash currently has an exhibit at Jonathan LeVine Gallery called Portal, which showcases over two dozen of his bright fluorescent, geometric paintings and sculptures. This exhibit is a must see!
What I love about this show is that the work has a wide range of appeal, to art lovers and also people who don’t have much experience with art, because the shapes, which vary subtly from piece to piece, are so enchanting and the colors so bold.
Aakash is also a really nice and down to earth guy. We met him at the opening reception this past Saturday and he was happy to pose for photos and sign cards – very cool. I will be looking forward to seeing his work in future shows, and on the streets.
Portal By Aakash Nihalani will be on Exhibit through February 9th, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, NYC.