Tag Archive | Mike Weiss Gallery

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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Objects and Everyday Goods at Mike Weiss Gallery

Adam Parker Smith Installation View
Installation View: Sculptures by Adam Parker Smith (All Photos By Gail)

One of our favorite Chelsea venues, the Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently hosting a group show called Objects and Everyday Goods, which features new works by artists that we were first introduced to at Mike Weiss — such as Cameron Gray and Tom Fruin — both of whom make art that is just insane, as well as some new favorites and a few artists we’ve not seen before. It’s fun to discover new art at Mike Weiss Gallery! Let’s take a peak at this eclectic show!

Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and 1
Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and Break Time 1

If you know the work of Tom Fruin you will instantly recognize these pieces as his. Fruin creates colorful “stained glass” mosaic structures — such as his famous Watertowers — out of panels that look like the above. He is a genius. This exhibit also has examples of Fruin’s Drug Bag Quilts series and other metal work.

Tom Fruin Break Time 3
Break Time 3

Adam Parker Smith Ex
Adam Parker Smith, Ex

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, sculptor Adam Parker Smith has created a very narrative series of his crazy, mixed media structures that include everyday objects like small festive cakes, floral wreaths and  balloons. This one, seriously, I just love it. LOVE IT!

Bold as Love
Bold as Love

You might recognize Parker Smith’s very visually engaging works from when we last saw him on the Bowery as part of the Not a Painting group show at The Hole. It is good to see him in a nice place like Mike Weiss!

Hit or Miss
Hit or Miss

Any art that includes Cake, I automatically dig it. Cake Art!

Installation View 2
(Far Right) Michael Zelehoski, Incomplete Cube Series, (Center Foreground) Liao Yibai, Zhulong Dragon, (Rear Background) Cameron Gray, Must Have for Summer

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Are you wondering if Liao Yibai’s sculpture of an oversize bike chain, Zhulong Dragon is the BFD of the show? Yes, yes it is. It’s amazing.

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Big, Shiny, Beautiful.

Cameron Gray Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall
Cameron Gray, Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall

Last time we saw Cameron Gray, he had transformed the Mike Weiss Gallery into a fully immersive, psychedelic acid trip/fun house with his fantastic Gymnasty exhibit, which we went to about six times. That was lots of fun. Who knew Cameron could make realist paintings like these, which I think must be inspired by ready-to-wear fashion catalogs. Really nice.

Cameron Gray Denim Done Right
Cameron Gray, Denim Done Right

Bes sure to add a day-brightening stop at Mike Weiss Gallery to your next Saturday art crawl!

Objects and Everyday Goods will be on Exhibit Through March 26th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Objects and Everyday Goods Signage

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents Stefanie Gutheil’s The Home of Mr. Peeps

Elephant Circus
All Photos By Gail

Mike Weiss Gallery is currently hosting Stefanie Gutheil’s fourth exhibition with the gallery, The Home of Mr. Peeps and it is all kinds of crazy fun. For this show, the Berlin-based artist has delved deep into the recesses of her imagination – back where horned beasts, laser beams, onesies, a brass marching band, phonographs, multi-talented chickens, the original stooge named Krampus and a giant pink elephant all reside – and emerged with a phantasmagoric stable of characters à la a secularized and hallucinatory version of Noah’s Arc. With this herd of misfit creatures, Gutheil has left normality at the door and transformed the gallery into a sanctuary of the bizarre – a surreal, utopic landscape of chromatic and psychological vibrancy.

Asian Cat

With all their quirks and foibles in plain sight, the artist’s fantastical creatures appear to us as friends and intimates. In fact, it is precisely because of the alluring, almost childlike honesty inherent in the figures unabashed eccentricities that connection with the works is nearly inevitable. Yet there is more to these characters than their carnivalesque appearance; in each, Gutheil has instilled an emotional gravity that seems both personally derived and universally comprehensible.

Animal Onesies

Sometimes the sentiment is uplifting – for example in A Walk in the Forest, where we find two cronies strutting with emoticon-worthy smiles strewn across their faces.  Other times, the mood isn’t always so chummy.  In Safe Bet, it is impossible to say with certainty whether the winged yet dense-looking humanoid is falling down or flying upward, if it has walked the plank by force or leapt from the diving board by choice.

Aardvarks

In their peculiar features and with their hearts on their sleeves, Gutheil’s oddballs all emit a vaguely familiar sense of the folkloric, as if the artist unraveled them from traditional fables and stitched together her own.  The horned, anthropomorphic, anti-Santa Claus fictional beast of German-Austrian descent named Krampus, for example, seems to make an appearance in multiple works. Instead of a facsimile representation, though, Gutheil has flipped the idea of Krampus on its head­ – in one work it walks a man-carrying pig and in another it nonchalantly strolls through the forest with a friend – by stripping it of its menace and making it comical.

Shadow

Yet in her fairytales, Gutheil has not set a narrative.  Instead, she provides all the raw, jumbled materials – the characters, the costumes, the emotions, and the stage – and leaves us to imagine our own farfetched tales, whether somberly retrospective or curiously, whimsically, and optimistically infantile.

Pig

Stefanie Gutheil’s  The Home of Mr. Peeps will be on Exhibit Through January 30th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Gallery View

Signage

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

Jerry Kearns and Nora York Present Diva’s Song at Mike Weiss Gallery

Diva's Song Signage
All Photos By Gail

You have just one more week to visit the Mike Weiss Gallery in time to check out Diva’s Song, the second show by Jerry Kearns at the gallery, and the first in collaboration with singer/performer Nora York. The exhibition features eight acrylic wall paintings of larger-than-life size characters as high as eight feet, seemingly out of a comic book, with thought bubbles that form a coherent yet ambiguous narrative.

My Heart Was Blind

Merging his own “psychological pop” aesthetic with York’s rendition of “Vissi d’arte” from Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, Kearns and York have reimagined the aria, isolating it from the operatic masterpiece and widening its narrative scope to encompass all the intrigue, drama, and emotional weight of a full length story. Without the restraints of a canvas edge, the gallery becomes transformed into a democratized space – a stage where viewer and art, and reality and metaphor, play equally important roles.

Oh Why

The show begins with a theater banner that introduces the title character “Diva” as well as her gun-wielding cowboy boyfriend “Sugar” (or painter, if we’re following from Tosca). The cinematic effect continues from here into three “shots” of the lone diva. Thought bubbles like, “Oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, does this burden lay so heavy on my mind? Oh why, oh why, oh why?” take us into a vulnerable moment of existential anxiety, as if the distant future became suddenly, alarmingly immediate.

All My Life

The searching, introspective tone of the first room comes to boiling point in the main gallery space, visually evoking an operatic crescendo with a stark increase in scale. Two monumental close-ups – one of a tearing and/or perspiring victim and the other of a strong, enraged agent – create an emotional and psychological battleground that ultimately turns violent.

Sugar and The Devil

In the ensuing clash of good versus evil, Jesus and his crown of thorns are disconcertingly absent. Instead, we find Sugar, on his back and with a bandage around his head, in a fracas with the devil, whose own head, curiously, is the only realistically-rendered in the show. Unlike Puccini’s Tosca, the exhibition’s narrative outcome is ultimately uncertain. Definitely, however, the knife-wielding diva, in a stance reminiscent of Judith with the head of Holofernes, is the one in control.

Infused with Kearns’ archetypal cowboys, bad guys, and damsels, Diva’s Song inherits traits from the Spaghetti Western as well the opera. But perhaps the lineage can’t be so neatly partitioned. Throughout their careers, Kearns and York have had a seemingly compulsive attraction to montage, brazenly pairing the head of Jesus with the body of the cowboy (in Kearns’ paintings), or cleverly sampling the chord structures of Puccini with Pop melodic overlays (in York’s songs). While in both cases these amalgamations may initially seem discordant, their underlying foundations always reveal their harmonies. Diva’s Song operates in that same vein, translating various modes of representation – opera, film, and comic book illustration – into a single cohesive exhibition of wall painting.

The End

Jerry Kearns and Nora York are a married couple who live and work in New York City.

Jerry Kearns and Nora York’s Diva’s Song Will be on Exhibit Through Saturday, August 22nd, 2104 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents: Marc Séguin I Love America and America Loves Me

Self Portrait
“Elvis is King.” Self Portrait by Marc Séguin. (All Photos By Gail)

One of our favorite venues for contemporary art, Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently featuring new works by painter Marc Séguin in an exhibit entitled I Love America and America Loves Me. Séguin’s mostly large scale canvases examine and poke fun at viral media phenomena and celebrity culture that Americans seem to be obsessed with. It isn’t always pretty, but it is always provocative. Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the show!

Andy Warhol Snowman
Andy

Andy Warhol is a Snowman.

My Art Dealer
My Art Dealer

Just Married
Just Married

Séguin sure didn’t waste any time portraying 80 year old convicted murderer Charles Manson with his fiance /new wife Afton “Star” Burton, who is 25. Séguin‘s painting is based on a photograph of the happy couple found at This Link.

Project Love
Project Love

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

What’s interesting to note about this portrait of Edward Snowden is that, when I looked at it along with an artist friend who came to the show with me, we both knew what he was famous for (leaking NSA secrets) but neither of us could remember his name, despite the fact that he was all over the media for most of last and the previous year.

Fuck Sharks

This one is called Fuck Sharks. I love it.

Fuck Sharks
Detail from Fuck Sharks

I laughed for fifteen minutes when I saw the above! Hilarious!

Marc Séguin’s I Love America and America Loves Me will be on Exhibit Through March 7th, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Marc Seguin Signage

Yes, It Exists: Venus De Milo Aquarium

Venus De Milo Aquarium
All Photos By Gail

The Venus De Milo Aquarium was created by California-based artist Cameron Grey for his very fun exhibit, Gymnasty, at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery District. See it through January 3rd, 2015!

Venus De Milo Aquarium Detail