Any weekday that I walk south on Wall Street towards Water Street to catch a bus home, I pass by this otherwise unremarkable Dollar Sign-Shaped Bike Rack, which not everyone knows was designed by Talking Heads frontman, Fine Artist and Avid Bicyclist David Byrne. Until some time last year (I didn’t pay attention to exactly when this changed) there was an inverted paper coffee up — which no one would stop long enough to remove –covering the upward end of the ‘S’ shape. The cup was there for about two years: I swear I am not even exaggerating that point.
The Wall Street Dollar Sign is one of nine custom Bike Racks created by Byrne in 2008, whose shapes pay homage to specific NYC neighborhoods. You can read more about them at This Link.
Rose Painting Near Van Gogh’s Grave By Julian Schnabel (All Photos By Gail)
Confession: Julian Schnabel is not an artist whose work I particularly admire. To me, his stuff almost always seems uninspired, phoned in, and, well, just plain ugly. I do not think that I am alone in that opinion. Schnabel’s latest exhibit, New Plate Paintings, which is his first solo show at Pace Gallery since leaving Gagosian, is a collection of nearly-identical variations on a theme: paintings depicting pink roses on a bed of greenery, which is notable for being painted on a relief of broken dishes mounted on the canvas.
Inspired by the roses growing in the cemetery near Vincent Van Gogh’s grave in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, these works are have the same title, Rose Painting Near Van Gogh’s Grave, with an identifying roman number added. Well, it beats the laziness of calling each piece “Untitled.”
There is no denying that the works look pretty, but painting a floral still life on broken dishes, so that the jagged, pointy bits can stand in for leaves, is the kind of idea that would be considered wildly clever if you were participating in a high school art show, or local crafts fair. Is that really all he’s got in the wheelhouse?
Maybe its the physical scale of each piece that qualifies them as impressive, but justifying a $900,000 price tag on piece of comparatively unintesting art just because your name is Julian Schnabel seems a bit contemptuous. Plus, Schnabel has been doing the plate paintings for almost three decades already. Yawn city.
Andy Warhol once said that, “Art is what you can get away with.” This is still a valid sentiment.
New Plate Paintings By Julian Schnabel will be on Exhibit Through March 25th, 2017 at Pace Gallery, Located at 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District
When I was a small child, growing up in southern California, my parents used to take the family on camping vacations to Yosemite National Park. I probably went there four or five times up to the age of 8 or so. While these vacations are many decades in the past for me now, my very vivid memories of the park and its many tall and fragrant redwood trees, crystal clear shallow streams, majestic mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and other uniquely beautiful natural sights and smells stay with me to this day. Yosemite is breathtaking.
British artist David Hockney must feel similarly, because he has created a new series of vivid iPad drawings featuring the wild landscape of Yosemite that you can see and enjoy now at Pace Gallery in Chelsea. When I stood in front of these uncomplicated yet profoundly compelling drawings, I felt like I was back in the park again. Everything looked so familiar to me.
You can almost smell the trees.
Happy Little Trees.
From the late 1800s through most of the 1960s, Yosemite used to have a summertime evening ritual in the park called the Firefall, where visitors could gather to watch a ball of fire get tossed off the side of the one of the mountains, Glacier Point: like a waterfall, only with fire. They stopped doing it because of the danger of a forest fire, and because it got too popular and folks were trampling the meadows to try and see it. It was pretty cool to experience in person though. I’ll never forget it.
David Hockney’s The Yosemite Suite will be on Exhibit Through June 18th, 2016 at PACE, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Study For Aten Reign By James Turrell (All Photos and Video By Gail)
Why do people go apeshit over James Turell’s colored light installations? Because they can. At least that is my excuse. Happily, Pace Gallery is currently hosting 67 68 69 — a two-venue exhibition of Turrell’s landmark light projections from the late 1960s. Yay!
67 68 69 is the first exhibition in more than a decade to focus exclusively on Turrell’s first light works. The exhibition includes a selection of early light works, and a ton of schematic drawings by Turrell from the late 1960s, highlighting the artist’s investigation of color, light, perception and space.
Above, please enjoy a video that I took, also featuring a special appearance by Geoffrey, in the room with the Green Light Thing.
Here is some backstory on the genesis of these works from Pace Gallery’s website:
Upon moving into a vacated hotel in Santa Monica in 1966, James Turrell began experimenting with high-intensity projectors, using them to modulate space and the eyes’ perception of it. The result of these endeavors was his corner projections, the artist’s first significant works using light as a medium to create the appearance of free-floating, three-dimensional objects suspended in the corners of a room.
I need to still make a visit to Pace on 57th Street to see the rest of these, because one of those is light sculptures is Pink.
James Turrell 67 68 69 will be on Exhibit Through June 17th, 2016 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District (where all of these photos were taken) and at 32 East 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
While I’m a bit “Late to the Ball, Cinderella” in getting these photos up — as the exhibit closed on April 23rd — I can’t resist sharing the amazing works of artist Tim Hawkinson. I first became aware of Hawkinson last summer, when my friend Evelyn raved about him to me in conversation, and since then he has become one of my favorite contemporary artists — particularly for his inventive and humorous kinetic sculptures. Pace Gallery recently hosted a very fun and eclectic retrospective of Tim Hawkinson’s work called Counterclockwise. For the work pictured above, Bikini (1993, reworked in 2014), Hawkinson wove electrical cords into this familiar object of clothing. Like other sculptures in this series (began in 1991, which also includes socks, shorts and a bra) Bikini maintains the original function of the extension chord; in this case, it powers Signature, the sculpture directly adjacent to it.
Please enjoy my favorite photos from the show!
Signature (1993) translates a sense of Hawkinson’s own being into a machine, giving life to a combination of working parts that continuously pens the artist’s signature onto slips of paper. Signature also records the passage of time, as endorsed sheets pile onto the gallery floor.
Signature, Detail Above and Below
One of my favorite pieces in Counterclockwise is this gigantic Maori Mask, Koruru (2009), created from found objects from his home, such as soda bottles, egg cartons, pill bottles, foil, and vinyl. I love how it looks like some kind of gargantuan, mutant collage of car tail lights.
Recalling bio-morphic forms, or cellular structures, the loops and swirls in Petrie (1999) were created by attaching pens and pencils to a modified drill head. Beginning at the center of the paper, the image developed outwards, with continuous adjustments to the speed of the drill, causing variations in the ink and graphite marks. Hawkinson describes the process as “expanding though accretion, or as in the growth of a crystal.”
Installation View with Laocoon (2004, Foreground)
Orrery, the title referring to a mechanical model of the solar system, or of just the sun, earth, and moon, used to represent their relative positions and motions, is a sculpture which employs the circle as its main motif, and a symbol of time. The spinning wheel remains in constant motion, while a woman at a spinning wheel twists her head all the way around in circles. The rug is made of twelve concentric rings; each ring a photograph of a bicycle tire track made in the sand. Heavy.
World Clock, 2012
What looks like a rusty medicine cabinet housing typical toiletries and personal grooming objects is actually a timepiece called World Clock, which tracks global time zones with innocuous items like rotating pills in a bottle for Paris, or nail clippers for Sydney.
World Clock, Detail Skinned Knee, 2009
Hawkinson’s six-foot tall sculpture of a disembodied skinned knee takes everyday objects and positions them in new contexts, shifting scale to create a morbid close up of bloodied flesh. Characteristic of the artist’s practice of reinventing materials, the frayed denim is rendered using blankets and strands from a mop head, with painted resin used as an analogue for skin.
Skinned Knee, Detail
If this post and photos have piqued your interest, you can learn more about Tim Hawkinson’s career and work at This Link!
All Photos taken at Pace Gallery on West 24th Street as par of the Counterclockwise Exhibit, Which has Now Closed.
This also looks like a huge Roaster Pan, amiright?
Artist Chuck Close is renowned for his highly inventive investigations into how we process information. Celebrated internationally, Close uses the absolute minimum amount of information necessary to render likenesses. In the new works for his sixteenth exhibition with Pace, entitled Red Yellow Blue , Close continues his involvement with the grid as an organizing device, creating full-color paintings out of only cyan, magenta, and yellow pigments, and layering colors in singular brushstrokes; applying multiple thin washes of red, yellow and blue paint in each cell of the grid, until they accumulate into extravagant full-color images.
Although the works represent a new direction for Close, they are also a revival and reconsideration of processes he first used in the 1970s when he first restricted his palette to three colors, coaxing different saturations of paint and hue into photorealist portraits; however, this time the color has no relationship to reality.
The earliest works in the exhibition — portraits of Cindy Sherman and Cecily Brown — reveal the beginnings of this process, leaving the painting’s development visible.
When viewed up close, the portrayed subjects disintegrate into grids of color evocative of Paul Klee’s Magic Square paintings. These works attest to a heightened interest in the effects of color and suggest a new way of challenging the processes through which his portraits are constructed. It allows the arrtist to create distinct works from the same image through different saturations and juxtapositions of hue.
Chuck Close: Red Yellow Blue will be on Exhibit Through October 17th, 2015 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Artist Tim Hawkinson explores the fourth dimension with his 2007 Gimbled Klein Basket, which creates an analog rendering of an impossible object. With a porous, gridded bamboo structure, Hawkins then recreated the Klein Bottle and suspended it from the ceiling like a Calder mobile, envisioning an object which is at once knowable, and of another dimension. This video was created at the Pace Gallery on W. 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, as part of the Eureka exhibit, which has now closed.
While Lucas Samaras’s Doorway is billed as a “Mirrored Room,” it isn’t actually a room that you can enter, as you can, say, a Mirrored Room installation by Yayoi Kusama. It is really more of, well, a Doorway: a Mirrored Cube inside of a Mirrored Shell that is open on the front and back ends, to allow view through. When I viewed this work at Pace Gallery on the final day of its exhibition, the open ends were roped off to prevent anyone from touching, walking on or accessing the work close up. Bummer.
In this shot you can see the outline of the cube clearly. Unfortunately, if there is even one other person in the gallery they are going be in the shot.
This a reflection of the cube against the interior of the passageway. You can imagine that if you were able to get inside there you could snap some pretty crazy selfies. But, sadly no.
Doorway is one of a series of Mirrorred Rooms created by Samaras between 1966 and 2007.
Photographed At Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
The People, 27 Flag Grid By Fred Wilson, 2010 (All Photos By Gail)
It’s funny how I am always ‘just discovering’ artists that have been around for decades, and then once I see their work, I start seeing it all over. It happens all the time. For example, I was just vacationing in Boston last month and paid a visit to that city’s really fantastic Museum of Fine Arts, which everybody should visit. In the contemporary art wing at the MFA, I became enchanted with this work by Fred Wilson called Lago’s Mirror, which is a huge, ornate wall mirror made up of layers of black glass. It was so totally my thing and I stared at it for about ten minutes. Art!
So, it was very fortuitous that I ran into a couple of my neighbors during my September 11th Art Crawl and they raved about an exhibit that wasn’t even on my list for the evening “over at Pace” – which they insisted I absolutely had to check out. This exhibit turned out to be Fred Wilson’s Sculptures, Paintings and Installations 2004 – 2014 — a fantastic retrospective to see in Pace’s cavernous 25th Street space. Also: free wine!
Black Glass Drips Sculpture
Here’s a little background from the exhibit’s Press Release. Since the beginning of his career, Fred Wilson has created a diverse range of work that challenges assumptions of history, culture and race. Pace’s exhibit features works from the past ten years, including several that have never been exhibited. A catalogue featuring an essay by Doro Globus accompanies the exhibition and also gives further insight to the work and its deeper meaning. I’m going to include some of that essay here because I think it adds value for anyone who is going to see this exhibit maybe not knowing anything about Wilson up front.
As Globus writes, “Wilson’s appropriation is wide-reaching. Simultaneously working with the decorative arts and national symbols, he breaks down the supposed structures in place and offers up an alternative view of nearly everything he touches. He even treats the seemingly simplest forms – a mirror or a flag – in the same manner as an entire museum collection; clearly showing the relevance and import of his work outside such institutions.”
Please enjoy some of my photos from the show!
This exhibition features Wilson’s complete Flag Series, which has never been exhibited in its entirety. His newest work featuring Flag images, Black Birds (above) and Black All Stars (Below) isolate bird and star iconography from the flag of Africa another “black identified” countries, rendering these symbols onto a canvas surface exactly where they would be positioned on their respective flags.
Black All Stars
In Don’t, Wilson superimposes various flags from our nation’s history on top of one another. Clearly visible are the phrases “Don’t Tread on Me” from the Gadsen flag, the X from the Confederate flag, the horizontal band from the Black Liberation flag and the Stars and Stripes from the American flag. I love the 3-D look of this painting!
M (2010) One of Four Vertical Groupings of 8 Flags Featured in This Exhibit
There are also two new black venetian glass mirrors in the exhibit, which were definitely the talking points of the evening. Go see this exhibit to find out what these mirrors are all about!
I learned a a lot about Fred Wilson at the Pace exhibit and I like his work even better now. Fred Wilson!
Fred Wilson’s Sculptures, Paintings and Installations 2004 – 2014 will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
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.)
Lobbed Shape (2013)
Detail from Above Sculpture
Alternate Gallery Shot of the Work from the First Photo in This Post
Zig Zag Square (2013)
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!
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 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.