Tag Archive | Keith Sonnier

School’s Out Summer Group Exhibit at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series
Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series (All Photos By Gail)

School’s Out Bitches, and the Mike Weiss Gallery has a new group exhibition that captures summer’s sense of freedom – of playfully breaking from the ordinary and letting the imagination run wild. The show, which is, fittingly, also called School’s Out, includes works by gallery favorites like Deborah Brown, Thrush Holmes, Jerry Kearns, and Liao Yibai. We saw it on opening night, which ended up being the most crowded Thursday night in the Chelsea Gallery District that we have yet seen! It was just a crazy night, and lots of fun.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series

The only bummer of the evening is that I had forgotten my camera at home, and so was forced to shoot all photos with (gasp) an iPad — which is less than optimal when dealing with a very crowded gallery and very big pieces of art. A perfect example is the fact that I had to shoot this Thrush Holmes piece in multiple parts to really show it off without a bunch of people taking selfies in front of it getting in the way.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 1
Landscape Series, Continued

But I love Thrush Holmes’ work — and you should as well — so why not cut it up into as many detail shots as possible, is what I say. Yes, more Thrush Holmes!

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 3

The panels of Holme’s take on the tradtional landscape painting are realized in shimmering neon fixtures and crude oil stick, each work containing the rudimentary elements of landscape – foreground, background, and horizon.  His work reminds me of cross between Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 5

Deborah Brown, Erda
Deborah Brown, Erda

I only got one semi-usable shot of Deborah Brown’s blatantly Picasso-esque oil paintings, because of people and their damn smart phones, which they must look at while standing directly in front of the art.

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Jerry Kearns, The Big Dipper

Jerry Kearns is awesome and we’ve loved many of his previous exhibits at Mike Weiss. Here is what the Gallery says about the painting above, which I believe is called The Big Dipper:
Jerry Kearns’ multilayered “psychological pop” painting presents a panoramic view of modern culture with a very specific set of images. While the work seems ripe for a narrative interpretation, it is difficult to pinpoint if any relationships actually exist between each element. There is something disconcerting and dangerous about the Kearns’ entropic amalgam of characters – one in which square double-cheeseburgers, a levitating gun, and toucans play as prominent a role as the bikini-clad women and a joker-headed bodybuilder.” That’s right: Awesome.

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Jerry also painted these little hummingbirds, or whatever, on the walls around the gallery.

Liao Yibai, Panda Step, 2013
Liao Yibai, Panda Step

Liao Yibai’s intricately hand-welded stainless steel sculptures focus on the tangled social, political, and cultural state of modern-day China. Straddling a line between flippancy and seriousness, the dynamic figures merge the insider’s and outsider’s view — pandas and dragons tie together the artist’s own experience growing up in China and, at the same time, play with the Western (mis)conceptions of China he has experienced while living in the United States.

Liao Yibai, Wrong Food, 2013
Liao Yibai, Wrong Food

This is a pretty cool-looking sculpture of a snail. I wish I had gotten a better photo.

School’s Out! will be on Exhibit Through August 6th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Schools Out Signage

Thrush Holmes, Balcony
Thrush Holmes, Balcony

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Keith Sonnier, Portals at Maccarone Gallery

Circle Portal A
Circle Portal A By Keith Sonnier (All Photos By Gail)

Maccarone Gallery is currently hosting Portals, 14 new wall-mounted neon sculptures by artist Keith Sonnier. Sonnier’s by-now iconic work is emblematic of a generation of artists who sought to liberate the artistic encounter from the formal constraints of Modernism to produce a sensory and emotional experience that also extended beyond the Spartan affect of Minimalism. The category of post-Minimalism, however, does not adequately describe both the unique wit and visceral impact that Sonnier’s work displays.

Gothic Portal
Gothic Portal

In his latest series, Sonnier  take the orphic allegory of the portal and explores its many different historical manifestations. Whether the portal serves as an entrance or an exit, the plane itself is a threshold — a doorway that contains both birth and termination. Taking this metaphor to its logical end, the works in Portals can be thought of as doorways to various different periods in human design — whether it be the neoclassical extension of a line into space or Romanesque arcading, each work is a luminous referent to specific architectural pathways.

Palermo Portal
Palermo Portal

The artist also displays a perversely delightful humor with the libidinous allegory of the portal as human orifice. Neon phallic protrusions punctuate the joints of these architectural gates, playing at the double-entendre embedded in the show’s title. Sonnier challenges the two-dimensionality of neon sculpture through twisting spatial arcs and juts that demand that the viewer change his or her own perspective to deduce what components of the work are exiting or entering. This tension between penetration and accommodation gives each work a wry corporeal undertone that is simultaneously abstracted by architectural allusions. Sonnier evokes art, the body, and architectural history in this polysemous suite of neon works.

Palermo Portal Detail
Palermo Portal Detail

Here are a few of out favorite pieces from this fun show!

Wall Portal B
Wall Portal B

Installation View

Gallery View from the Opening Reception!

Wall Extension B
Foreground: Wall Extension B. Background: Helmut Portal

Gros Bec
Gros Bec

Above and below are, I think studies for Sonneir’s sculptures.

Dough Boy A and Wink
Dough Boy A and Wink

Portal Nave
Portal Nave

Circle Portal B
Circle Portal B

Portals by Keith Sonnier will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at Maccarone Gallery, Located at 630 Greenwich Street, NYC 10014.

Syracusa Portal
Syracusa Portal

Keith Sonnier Portals Poster

Thrush Holmes, Heavy Painting at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Homes Painting
All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy the artwork of painter/sculptor Thrush Holmes? I sure do. His giant canvases combine techniques that range from ‘no rules’ street art to bold, classic expressionism, occasionally being embellished with bright squiggles of neon light that remind me of Keith Sonnier. The result is always something fun and fresh, and instantly recognizable as his.

Flower Grid

Right now, Mike Weiss Gallery is hosting a new collection of Holmes’ large canvas works entitled, appropriately, Heavy Painting. Let’s take a look:

Abstract with Neon

This one would look good against any décor, I think. It has a very summery vibe.

Black Flowers Blue Background

This one is also extremely great.

Neon V

Live Band Jim Joe

There are also paintings  on which he has, for no obvious reason, written the name of tagger/artist Jim Joe, who once had an Exhibit at the Hole, back in January of 2014, that I did not care much for. Geoffrey and I had the chance to say Hi to Thrush at the opening reception a couple of weeks back and he is very cute and also pretty nice. Geoffrey asked him if he knew Jim Joe, or if he was Jim Joe, and I believe his answer to both questions was “no,” but I would not swear to it.

Band

What band does this remind you of? Discuss.

Black and White With Neon

I think this one is my favorite.

Big Flowers

Thrush Holmes, Heavy Painting will be on exhibit through October 17th, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District

Thrush Holmes Signage

Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery

Four Triangles and Pleather Form #1
Four Triangles and Pleather Form #1 By Susan Stainman (All Photos By Gail)

With her compelling use of bright, fluorescent colors and her mix of both hard (steel, plexiglass) and soft (fabric, felt, pleather, elastic) materials, artist Susan Stainman creates minimalist sculptures that maintain an original feel while hinting at other influences. In her new exhibit, Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Stainman reveals her work’s roots in late 20th Century American Art, Craft and Architecture along with her fondness for childlike creative impulses. It’s a fun show.

Three Triangles
Three Triangles

Existing in the realm that merges contemporary art with design (any of Stainman’s works would look great placed among the furnishings in a modern decor-filled home), pieces like Three Triangles, with its bright, reflective, angular surfaces recall the neon and glass works of Keith Sonnier.

Four Triangles Alternate View
Four Triangles, Alternate View

Stainman’s incorporation of sewn fabric may or may not be an homage to Louise Bourgeois, but it’s pleasing to imagine that reference, intentional or otherwise. Her desire to explore the texture and tactility of fabrics is certainly exciting.

Blue & Pink Barrel
Blue & Pink Barrel, Side View

Circular Plexiglass Group #2
Circular Plexiglass Group #2

This cluster of ruched fabric “bowls” fitted with bright plexiglass windows is a centerpiece of the A.I.R. show and reminded me very much of the sculptures of Charles Clary from his show at Nancy Margolis in January of this year.

Circular Plexiglass Group #2 Close Up

Circular Plexiglass Group #2, Close Up

Yellow ZigZag
Yellow ZigZag

Pleather Form #2
Pleather Form #2

Susan Stainman has participated in nearly a dozen group shows but Color All The Way Through is her first solo exhibit. It is worth the trip to DUMBO to check it out. Visit Susan’s website at This Link.

Susan Stainman Color All The Way Through Signage

Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through will be on Exhibit Through June 22nd, 2014 at A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street #228, DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Artists in Residency Signage

Keith Sonnier: Elysian Plain and Early Works at PACE Gallery

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain
All Photos By Gail

New Yorkers: Don’t let all of this snow trap you inside the house for too long, because you have just over week to see the latest exhibit by minimalist sculptor Keith Sonnier, up now at PACE Gallery on West 25th Street. Elysian Plain + Early Works presents 12 works in neon, featuring the first series that Sonnier created in his new studio in Bridgehampton over the past three years and others that go back to the late 60s and early 70s (in fact, a few of the neon and glass pieces in this show looked familiar from Sonnier’s exhibit, 68 – 70  at Mary Boone Gallery from early last year.)

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain
Lobbed Shape (2013)

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain
Detail from Above Sculpture

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain

Alternate Gallery Shot of the Work from the First Photo in This Post

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain
Zig Zag Square (2013)

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain
Neon Wrapping Incandescent (1969)

The piece above is the most beautiful mix of bright pink and baby blue neon, the vibrance which of course can never be fully captured or with point and shoot camera. That’s why you need to see these works in person!

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain

Keith Sonnier Painitngs

PACE’s rear gallery also features a large, primary colored geometric painting that takes up an entire wall and a few smaller, framed collage pieces from 2013 that could be studies for new Neon Works. Who knows!

Keith Sonnier Collage Triptych

Keith Sonnier Collage

Keith Sonnier Elysian Plain + Early Works will be on Exhibit Only Through February 22nd, 2014 at PACE Gallery, Located 510 West 25th Street New York NY 10001.

Sol Lewitt’s Horizontal Progressions at PACE Gallery

Sol Lewitt Horizontal Progressions Gallery Shot
All Photos By Gail

If you enjoy minimalism and looking at sculptures that resemble bare bones architectural scale models, then you will go apeshit over the current Sol Lewitt exhibit, Horizontal Progressions now at PACE Gallery.

Sol Lewitt Horizontal Progressions

Sol Lewitt Horizontal Progressions

Sol Lewitt Horizontal Progressions

They are what they are. Be sure to stop in to the adjacent gallery to see PACE’s new Keith Sonneir exhibit, which will make the trip to West 25th Street worthwhile.

Sol Lewitt’s Horizontal Progressions will be on Exhibit Through February 22nd, 2014 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.

Sol Lewitt Horizontal Progressions Signage

Nyehaus Presents Peter Alexander New Resin Works

Pink Signage for Peter Alexander Show
This Sign Says: Peter Alexander New Resin Works (All Photos By Gail, Click on any Image to Enlarge)

Nyehaus Gallery, located in a gorgeous restored brownstone on West 20th Street, has launched an exciting exhibition of new resin works by pioneering California-based Light and Space artist, Peter Alexander. This exhibit was a delightful companion piece to the Keith Sonnier exhibit I saw at Mary Boone last month, being all about minimalism, color and the interaction of light and art.

Red Square By Peter Alexander

Red and Green Perspective By Peter Alexander

Alexander described these works – in which fields of what initially appears to be one color vary in their gradation and degree of saturation – as being, “Like what water does on coastlines when you fly above it, that movement from saturated color to transparency where it fades and becomes part of the sand. I’m interested in addressing that moment with this work, when the whole piece becomes part of a greater thing, part of the air. It addresses the room it’s in. It wants to become a part of the room by disappearing into it.”

Pale Pink Square By Richard Alexander

Based on impressions I got from perusing Nyehaus’s Online Catalog of Alexander’s resin works (way worth checking out at that link, by the way), I was expecting a greater number of pieces in this exhibit. Sadly, there is only a fraction of the works on display throughout Nyehaus’s three floors of gallery space. Still, it is worth a trip for fans of color and minimalism.

What I love about Alexander’s work is how it challenges the viewer’s ways of seeing. In contrast to traditional paint on canvas, resin affords these works endless ability to play with the light of the rooms in which they are displayed. It’s challenging to capture the subtleties with a point and shoot camera, but very much in evidence when experiencing the artworks in person. I’ve tried to show the contrast in the shots below:

Blue Square Perspective By Peter Alexander

Blue Square Viewed from Hallway Outside Gallery

Blue Square By Peter Alexander

Blue Square Viewed from Close Up

Blue Square Detail By Peter Alexander

Blue Square Edge Detail

Beverages

Another fun and inviting aspect of any opening reception at Nyehaus is the fact that they always serve a selection of delicious Latin dishes, prepared fresh in the Nyehaus open kitchen. These days, many galleries have even cut back on serving wine at openings, so to have a full meal prepared for you is simply unheard of on the Chelsea gallery scene.

Pita and DipsServing food also boosts the social aspect of these gatherings, breaks down walls and brings people together. It’s such a great idea and so generous of Nyehaus.

Chicken Skewers

Latin Food

New Resin Works by Peter Alexander will be on Display at Nyehaus, located at 358 West 20th Street (just East of 9th Avenue) until April 20th, 2013. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Six Rod Array

Pink and Green Rod

Keith Sonnier 68-70 at Mary Boone Gallery, Chelsea

Keith Sonnier 68-70
All Photos By Gail

There is something so beautiful about the juxtaposition of neon tubing and glass panes. Geoffrey and I impulsively popped in to the Mary Boone Gallery on 24th Street last evening, on the way from Gagosian’s nearly overwhelming Basquiat retrospective to LeVine’s How & Nosm Pop Up on 23rd Street, and discovered an unexpected treat in Keith Sonnier’s 68-70 exhibit. The minimalism of this tiny show really served as an aesthetic palette cleanser between two rather busy exhibits.

Keith Sonnier 68-70

According to the Boone Gallery website, this exhibition of early works includes examples from Sonnier’s seminal and internationally acclaimed Ba-O-Ba and Neon Wrapping Incandescent Series. The works were all designed in Sonnier’s first New York studio to make use of the floor to wall relationship, as well as to utilize the reflective environment that working with neon and glass naturally creates.

Keith Sonnier 68-70

It’s interesting to note that Sonnier was playing with reflective properties as that very same challenge surfaced in trying to capture clean shots of these beautiful sculptures!

Keith Sonnier 68-70

Keith Sonnier 68-70 will be on exhibit through February 23rd, 2013 at Mary Boone Gallery – Chelsea, Located at 541 W. 24th Street, New York NY. Hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Keith Sonnier 68-70