Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 – 2002) might be best known for her brightly-colored sculptures of voluptuous, dancing women, which she called Les Nana, but she had a rich career that spanned a variety of mediums. In addition to painting, film-making, and illustration of children’s books, she created unique sculptural furniture, including a series incorporating figures of snakes or serpents, to which this wall Mirror (Le Miroir) and Black Armchair (Fauteuil Noir), both circa 1980, belong.
Gallerist Eric Allouche (Opera Gallery) has reopened his now eponymous gallery with a pop-up space on Wooster Street after leaving Opera/Allouche’s long-held previous address on Spring Street, where we attended many, many exhibits over the span of a few short years. The Wooster Street address is just temporary, until Allouche can find an ideal new home in which to showcase the works of his cache of represented contemporary pop artists, such as Ron English and FAILE. A low-key opening reception took place last Thursday and fans of the gallery were more than happy to have a destination to draw them in from the newly-arrived polar vortex holding adventure-seeking Manhattanites in its tight grip.
The current exhibit is a bit of a ‘warm up’ or re-boot, featuring both new and older works in Allouche’s collection. If you were fortunate enough to attend last summer’s FAILE exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, then the above collage will look familiar to you, as will the bright Neon sign in the gallery’s front window, which was included in the BAST/FAILE Arcade collaboration.
Also on display are the Japanese Manga-influenced works by Jessica Lichtenstein, including the title piece from her Afterglow exhibit seen previously at Gallery nine5.
Lichtenstein’s works are recognizable for the flocks of tiny naked ladies in her images; which, from a distance, can easily be mistaken for blossom clusters. Clever.
She has also this piece in the show, which is populated with hyper-sexualized, semi-clad females cavorting on WMDs. War is Hell.
Spanish artist Rafa Macarron has several of his mix-media large canvases in the show. His cartoonish drawings are lots of fun.
The gallery has a small rear space, where they managed to stage a surprising number of pieces, including these two glass/acrylic sculptures by Dustin Yellin.
And of course, the Holy Trinity of late, NYC-based pop artists, Warhol, Haring and Basquiat are all represented.
Allouche Gallery Pop-Up Space is Located at 148 Wooster Street, Between Price and Houston, in Soho, NYC. Permanent Location Coming Soon!
Geoffrey and I were trying to figure out why the address of 115 Spring Street sounded so familiar, and yet neither one of us could recall having been to the Allouche Gallery, which resides at that address, prior to the Paul Insect exhibit, the opening reception of which we attended on Saturday night. Once we walked in the door, however, we recognized the space as having formerly been the home of Opera Gallery — which, who even knew that it had closed? Obviously, not us. RIP Opera Gallery. I do not miss you that much.
I like Paul Insect’s work a lot. To bring up a reference from Pop Culture, his unique portraits remind me a lot of the costumes and make-up designed, worn and made infamous by the late Leigh Bowery.
And if you are going to reference another contemporary painter doing something similar, perhaps George Condo comes to mind as well, although I prefer Insect over Condo.
The exhibit’s press release simply states that “Paul Insect’s 2033, Original Works Created in 2014, features a series of striking new montage works on canvas and paper, projecting a world in which people want more, thrive to be the best and pretend to be who they are not.” I like that. Here are more of our favorites from the show.
This Diptych (above) and the trio (below) are a little bit different stylistically from the others.
This one has maybe a bit more of a collage feel to it. I love his use of bright colors.
This one reminds me of Me and Geoffrey when we go out looking at the Art.
Here is a bit more of an installation view. It really is a very nice space.
The Red in this is just remarkable, although it doesn’t translate in the photograph. It is one of my favorite pieces in the show for sure!
Go see this exhibit, because it is awesome.
Paul Insect, 2033 will be on Exhibit Through January 11th, 2015 at Allouche Gallery, Located at 115 Spring Street in Soho.
It’s not even June, but it already feels like the galleries are winding down for a summer of dormancy. Opera Gallery in Soho just launched a group show, Contemporary Masters, that contains a few interesing pieces but had a surprisingly low Wow Factor. Here are a few pieces that stood out for me.
It’s always fun to see a Warhol and a Haring. Their stuff never gets old to me.
French artist/sculptor Arman, perhaps best known for his deconstructed violins, has this awesome piece made with broken china suspended in plexiglass. Really gorgeous.
Sculptor David Mach has a few interesting works in the show, including two sculptures made from wire coat hangers. This towering Standing Gorilla is in the front window but I could not get a good shot of it from the street. It’s pretty cool though.
If you’ve been to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx then you’ve seen the seven gigantic replicas of the statue above, by Spanish artist Manolo Valdes, scattered about the grounds. The title translates to “Head with Silver Butterflies.” I like it.
When I think of Calder, I mostly assosciate his name with playful, minimalist mobiles. This painting by him is lovely.
Opera Gallery is Located at 115 Spring Street in Soho, New York, NY 10012.
While Late Confessions, the new exhibit by identical twin graffiti artists How & Nosm, opened over two weeks ago, it took that long for us to make it to the exhibit due to NYC’s recent streak of inclement weather and circumstances beyond our control. We must “confess,” however, that it was worth the wait, because this “must see” show is nothing short of fantastic!
We have previously seen single works by How & Nosm (the pseudonyms of Raoul and Davide Perré) in group shows at venues such as Opera Gallery in Soho, or on the ever-rotating Houston Street at Bowery Mural, but this is our first exposure to a show of multiple works by these fabulously talented brothers. We admit we had no clue that they were capable of such depth and diversity, and this exhibit, which includes a few incidences of site-specific installation, had us oohing an aahing as we moved excitedly from room to room.
Born in Germany and raised in Spain, the brothers reveal different parts of their past in the art that was produced for this exhibition. In addition to using their signature color palette of red, grey and black, the twins have pushed their own boundaries with massive canvases and installations that show how dynamic they can be.
In a small shrine-like room close to the front of the gallery, you’ll find a series of “art books” painted specifically for this show. This display brought on the show’s ‘Wow Factor’ immediately.
Down the hall and around another corner, you may feel like you’ve stumbled into Alice’s storybook Wonderland.
There is a new discovery every way you look.
The detail of these works is phenomenal.
In yet another room of the gallery, you’ll find a massive sculpture of a Fish surrounded by suspended umbrellas and other whimsical details that help to further whatever narrative you are making up in your head.
Although it is still very early in the year, How & Nosm’s Late Confessions will surely rank among our Top Ten Exhibits for 2013! See it while you can!
Late Confessions runs through February 23rd, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine’s Pop Up Space, located at 557 W 23rd Street, New York City.