From the outset of his singular career, designer Marc Newson has pursued parallel activities in limited and mass production of functional design objects. Revisiting his roots as a jeweler and silversmith in an exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, Newson explores increasingly rare decorative techniques at an unconventionally large, even unprecedented, scale.
Newson’s Cast Glass Chairs (2017), made in the Czech Republic, are continuous symmetrical forms comprised of two hollow quarter-spheres. The boldly colored upper halves rest on clear bases, which absorb some of the reflected hues in their clouded interiors, an effect that subtly changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point.
When You Just Get Tired of Waiting for that Final Person to Move Out Of Your Way
Photographed in the Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street, Chelsea Gallery District, NYC· The Chairs are on View in the Gallery as Part of a Larger Exhibition of Newson’s Limited-Edition Furniture and Artworks, Through February 20th, 2019.
The Gagosian Gallery chose an empty storefront at the the southeast corner or Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street for a Pop Up exhibit by Swiss artist Urs Fisher. The ad hoc gallery space contained exactly one work of art, a life-size Aluminum Rhinoceros entitled Things, whose form is adorned with an array of familiar, functional objects, ranging from a toilet to a handbag. The objects are either imbedded in the hide of the great beast, or they seem to float on its surface, as if attracted by a magnetic force. I went to check out Thingson the penultimate day of its exhibition, which happened to be after work on a Friday.
Here’s some background on Things, and its meaning, from the Gagosian website:
“Amid the bustle of midtown Manhattan, a rhinoceros can be glimpsed through tall, arched windows at street level. Various man-made objects — including a copy machine, a car door, a handbag, a vacuum cleaner, a shovel, and a table — seem to float right through the creature, as if released from Earth’s gravitational pull.
Carved out of aluminum, this barrage of incongruous items forms a single, continuous unit, anchored by the rhinoceros, which stands its ground. Produced at life size from a 3D scan of a taxidermy animal, its furrowed visage looms from a height of more than ten feet.
Things considers the ways that objects and forces — from plastic bottles and Wi-Fi signals to memories, history, and emotion — gather around and pass through our bodies as we move through the world, creating countless versions of reality that are specific to each of us.
Like the rhinoceros, we absorb all that comes into our vicinity, and in the process we ourselves undergo a constant, often undetectable metamorphosis. Existence itself is thus presented as an accumulation, a collective gathering of physical and metaphorical baggage.
In his use of traditional materials and current technologies, Urs Fischer’s art tests the boundaries of possibility and perception. He has used clay, steel, wax, bread, dirt, vegetables, and fruit, among other substances, often to extreme paradoxical visual effect, revealing a keen attunement to the infinite mutability of image and form. The vicissitudes of objecthood are further complicated when Fischer’s sculptures are installed outside of the typical white-walled gallery.
In a courtyard, a vacated bank, an open field, his extroverted works have acted as portals into the uncanny. Here, the portal opens right between Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. An extraordinary creature made up of ordinary parts, Things transports unsuspecting passersby, if just for a moment, into a world that is at once prehistoric, digital, and mysteriously uncharted.
Things was produced in a series of three identical pieces, and all three have been sold to private collectors.
Monet’s Water Lillies with Gazing Ball (All Photos by Gail)
Hey remember back in the spring of 2013, when Jeff Koons launched his magnificent Gazing Ball series? I sure do. Gazing Ball was a collection of stark white Greco-Roman statuary, augmented by assorted replicas of common objects such as a Mail Box or Snowman, each of which was enhanced with a bright blue mirrored globe, also known as a Gazing Ball. Trust me: it was Rad.
So, Gazing Ball is a Thing now. Koons revisited the concept when he created the artwork for Lady Gaga’s 2014 CD, ArtPop, and now he’s done it again with a massive show at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea appropriately titled Gazing Ball Paintings.
As the title implies, Gazing Ball Paintings are Koons’ copies of works by Famous Masters with a Gazing Ball attached to the front of each canvas.
As much as I am inclined to suggest that Koons “phoned it in” for this series, that is not to say that I didn’t totally love the work.
Because, just as the crappiest attraction at Disneyland is still lots of fun, Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons. He could go full-on Yoko Ono and I would still go see the show.
I should probably mention that photography using a “Professional Camera” — which is what the Gagosian staff call a point-and-shoot camera — is not allowed. You can only take photos of the art using a Smart Phone or, I am guessing, an iPad. Lame City.
Up Next: Gazing Ball with Food.
Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Paintings will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District. Jeff Koons!
A Section of the Greene Street Mural at Gagosian Gallery (All Photos By Gail)
In December 1983, Roy Lichtenstein created Greene Street Mural, an unprecedented, site-specific and temporary wall painting measuring 18′ × 96 1/2′ at Leo Castelli Gallery, located at 142 Greene Street. In accordance with Lichtenstein’s intention, the work was destroyed after the six-week show.
More than thirty years later, Gagosian Gallery presents to a new generation of viewers a full-scale painted replica of the original work, based on documentation from Lichtenstein’s studio and produced by sign painters under the supervision of his former studio assistant.
In conjunction with the showing of the Mural, Gagosian has also collected an impressive selection of Lichtenstein’s distinctive, primary color paintings, along with a set of pyramid sculptures which I’ve never seen before.
When I attended the opening reception a couple of weeks back, there were fairly strict guidelines in place as to which works in which rooms on which walls could be photographed, and which could not. So much so that I lost track and just decided to snap as many photos as possible until somebody tried to stop me.
Art Nazi Approaches
Because, seriously, it’s not like anyone at Gagosian is going to even see this post, let alone suddenly become an avid reader of this blog. So, who gives a shit.
Here are some of my favorite paintings from the show!
Aren’t these amazing? He was so talented.
The reclining head in the foreground reminds me of This. I doubt that is an accident.
Geoffrey and I had some time to kill after our wonderful day spent at MOMA, so we headed over to Rockefeller Center to check out the latest Jeff Koons public artwork: a giant flowering sculpture depicting half a of Rocking Horse Head and half of a Dinosaur Head called Split-Rocker. Koons did something similar back in 1992 with Puppy, now on permanent view at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
I took a bunch of photos of the sculpture from all angles so you can get an idea of how huge it is and how it looks up close as well as from far away
Here it is from the left Pony side.
Here it is from the right Dinosaur side, where the “Big Eye” is.
Close up of the front, at the sculpture’s base.
Flower Grid Detail.
Jeff Koons Split-Rocker will be On View 24 Hours a Day Through September 12th, 2014. That seems like a long time, but don’t wait too long because you don’t want to miss it!
Julian Schnabel’s paintings don’t do a lot for me, but if they give you a little stiffy then you should head over to the cavernous Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea to check out the exhibit entitled View of Dawn in the Tropics: Paintings, 1989–1990, featuring HUGE (and by huge I mean very large in size) Schnabel paintings that are being shown for the first time in 25 years.
Like I said, Schnabel’s paintings (which take up most of the gallery space) were kind of a yawnfest for me, but I was quite charmed by this group of colorful Sculptures displayed in a front room of the gallery, which are by the artist Franz West. They remind me of papier-mâché cartoon ducks.
This one looks like it’s waving Hello.
Franz West’s Sculptures will be on Exhibit through May 31st, 2014 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 555 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
A Saturday or Sunday in Manhattan usually means one thing: Geoffrey and I will be having an Urban Adventure. It does not matter if it is freezing cold outside and the sidewalks are still crusted with snow and ice. We will bundle up and venture out onto the streets of New York to discover fun new things to experience here in our fair city, because that is how we roll. Our agenda today involved hitting the Gagosian Gallery uptown (Madison Ave and 77th) to check out the latest Damien Hirst exhibit, End of an Era.
The Hirst exhibit includes a diverse collection of the controversial artist’s paintings, sculptures and installations, and covers three full floors – very cool stuff! After tripping out at the Gagosian we traveled just a few blocks down Madison to the Whitney Museum, where only two floors are currently open due to preparation being underway for their upcoming Biennial. They still had a fun and varied collection of modern artworks that are worth seeing, and admission (though free for us) is reduced to just $8.00 while the Biennial installation is in progress.
The highlight of the day for me though was Flooded McDonalds, 20-minute film now showing at Chelsea’s Peter Blum Gallery (526 West 29 Street). Flooded McDonald’s is a film work by the Copenhagen based radical art collective Superflex, in which a convincing life-size replica of the interior of a McDonald’s restaurant – empty of any customers or staff – gradually floods with water. Assorted furniture and a life size plastic statue of Ronald McDonald bobs in the rising waters while trays of food and drinks start to float around, electric signage short circuits and eventually the space becomes completely submerged. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, and definitely provides plenty of visual and cerebral fodder guaranteed to stimulate post-viewing conversation.
You can watch a 40 second clip of the film and see some cool production stills at this link, but if you can make it to the gallery to witness the splendor that is Flooded McDonalds in person on the big(ish) screen, it is so worth it. Also, on the way back down Tenth Avenue Patti Smith walked right by us, and Geoffrey managed to get a cool picture with her. Life is good.
Tomorrow we will celebrate not having dates on Valentine’s Day by sneaking into Mr Brainwash’s surprise show at a gallery somewhere in the Meat Packing District. Art!