Tag Archive | Hyper Realist

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kay Kurt, Hallelujah

Hallelujah 1995 - 2016
Photo By Gail

Kay Kurt (b. 1944) is a New Realist painter of large-scale confections. Her candies lay the foundation of her compositions, structuring her canvases abstractly, and freeing her to meditate on content. As Richard Hamilton, Robert Watts and Claes Oldenburg also used candies as subject matter — and she often enlarges the scale tenfold, like a billboard — Kurt’s work became associated with Pop Art early on. The scale of the Pop Art movement opened Kurt’s eyes to the possibility of a new vision based on objects instead of landscape.

Typical candies featured in her body of work include Licorice, Bon Bons, Jordan Almonds, Jujubes and Gummi Bears. She chooses and collects these candies from various countries, being specifically interested in those of German origin, which reflect the values, attitudes, and cultures associated with the people who produce them. She does not used mediated or advertising images like the Pop Artists, nor photographs like the Photorealists. These paintings are developed through observation. Kurt prefers painting generic-looking candy, as the luxurious ones are too refined for her taste. The sole instance of exquisite candy in her oeuvre is a Godiva chocolate box painting that she made for a friend. Her choice of subject reflects her interest in mass production and consumer culture around the world.

Compulsive and exacting to an extreme, Kurt can take years to complete a canvas. As the 1980s progressed, Kurt gradually found herself excluded from the New York art world where she had found acclaim for over a decade. Although never giving up on her painting practice, she almost completely withdrew from the public eye and it was not until her inclusion in the 2010 traveling exhibition, Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968 presented at the Brooklyn Museum, that her work was re-introduced.

Hallelujah (1995-2016) is part of the exhibit Kay Kurt: For All Her Innocent Airs, She Knew Exactly Where She Was Going, on view through February 16th, 2017 at Albertz Benda Gallery, Located at 515 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

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Sleepwalker on The High Line

Sleepwalker
All Photos By Gail

On my way to a Press Preview at the Whitney Museum last week, I decided to take the scenic route; walking along the High Line from 14th Street to Gansevoort Street. Because why not. As I hit the top of the stairs, I was met with this somewhat disquieting vision.

Sleepwalker From The Rear

Yes, creepy! Of course, after a split second, I realized that I was looking at a statue, and not some random bald guy clad only in tight whities, stalking unsuspecting nature lovers in sub-40 degree weather. As it turns out, I had come upon Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker (2014), part of the Wanderlust series of public art installations along the west side’s elevated High Line Park. Very fun!

Sleepwalker Close Up

For Sleepwalker, Matelli presents a hyper-realistic painted bronze sculpture of a somnambulant man lost and adrift in the world, meandering about in a deep sleep, sometimes it may be cause by not being able to sleep, here are some natural cures for insomnia. An amusing take on the theme of walking, Matelli’s sculpture challenges preconceived ideas about traditional monumental portraiture, and questions the extent to which any one of us is ever fully aware of our surrounding.

Sleepwalker Selfie
“Wait, Let Me Put My Hat On Him…”

And based on what I observed in the five or so minutes I was hanging out, the number of degrading selfies that this poor sculpture is likely subject to on a daily basis is certainly limitless. Oy.

Sleepwalker

Sleepwalker will be on display on the High Line at 14th Street until March 31, 2017.

Sleepwalker
Brains…”

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