Tag Archives: paintings

Modern Art Monday Presents: Sam Gilliam, Carousel State

carousel state photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Liberated from its stretcher, Carousel State (1968) explores the material and chromatic possibilities of canvas, a traditional painting support. Gilliam developed his unique approach in the 1960s while working with the Washington Color School, whose compositions emphasized the flatness of the picture plane. This is an early example of the artist’s signature ‘Drape Paintings,” made through a novel process of dripping, smearing, staining, and splashing paint onto raw canvas.

Colors often spread and merged as Gilliam pressed and folded the fabric. He has described this as a kind of equilibrium: “This liquidity of the colors is reinforced by the fluidity of the canvas.” The final step in the creation of Carousel State is its installation, suspended and extending into space.

carousel state detail photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

The Affordable Art Fair Returns for Spring 2021!

blush by greg creason photo by gail worley
Blush By Greg Creason, $1650 at Creason’s Fine Art Galleries  (All Photos By Gail)

A sure sign that the vaccine rollout is working — and Covid is finally on the wane —  was the in-person return of the semi-annual Affordable Art Fair, which arrived  at NYC’s Metropolitan Pavilion on May 20th for four fun days of art and socializing, at long last!

booth display emmanuel freemin gallery photo by gail worley
Art By Inkyeong Baek (Left, Center) and Ardan Ozmenoglu (Right) at Fremin Gallery, NYC

While the Fair has been restaged to allow for better traffic flow and social distancing –which means many of our favorite vendors were absent (Tag Fine Arts, you were missed) — there was still lots of cool art to see,  familiar faces and new exhibitors whose artworks we are excited to bring you in this post. Let’s take a look at the triumphant return of the Affordable Art Fair!

Continue reading The Affordable Art Fair Returns for Spring 2021!

Dress Up My Lindsay By Marika Thunder at Public Access Gallery

dress up my lindsay photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Long-haul New Yorker’s (and East Villagers like me, especially) constantly bemoan the fact that Manhattan is becoming increasingly gentrified. The innumerable local-business closures caused by the pandemic have only exacerbated the loss of historical identity in an area that was once arguably the coolest neighborhood in NYC.  When the legendary Rock & Roll boutique Trash & Vaudeville was forced to relocate from St. Mark’s Place after four decades in the same location, it really felt like nothing is sacred. It is a small conciliation then that a new contemporary art gallery, Public Access, opened this past September in the downstairs storefront  formerly occupied by Trash. I recently had the chance to check out the gallery’s current exhibit, a solo show of paintings by artist Marika Thunder entitled Dress Up My Lindsay. The series has an interesting autobiographical backstory for the painter.

dress up my lindsay photo by gail worley

Post Continues after The Jump! Continue reading Dress Up My Lindsay By Marika Thunder at Public Access Gallery

Modern Art Monday Presents: Paul Feeley, Formal Haut

Paul Feeley Formal Haut By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Paul Feeley (19101966) has often been associated with Color Field painters, but his most recognized works, largely made between 1962 and 1965, stand apart from those of his peers for their economy of color and spare compositions.  Formal Haut (1965), produced the year before Feeley’s death, features his signature forms, namely a single jack (inspired by the game of jacks) and repeated baluster shapes. Their convex and concave contours interlock in a symmetrical arrangement, centered within the square frame. The simple geometric design is highlighted by an equally uncomplicated palette, limited to just two contrasting colors on unprimed canvas.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting, On Through August 2nd, 2020 at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Toshinobu Onosato, Painting A

Toshinobu Onosato Painting A By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

In 1960, Toshinobu Onosato reevaluated his approach to the circle, a form that for much of the previous decade he had presented as monochromatic surfaces whose simplicity was emphasized by surrounding webs of intersecting lines.

Toshinobu Onosato Painting A Detail By Gail Worley
Painting A, Detail

According to the artist, dividing the circle through the “the piling up of color planes” allows for better understanding of the shape’s true dimensions. Born from a desire to capture brightness and harmony, works such as Painting A (196162) vibrate with energy that relates to — but remains separate from — the illusory effects sought by Op artists.

Toshinobu Onosato Painting A By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit The Fullness of Color: 1960’s Paintings at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Seven Deadly Sins By Paul Cadmus

Seven Deadly Since Series
All Photos By Gail

Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 – December 12, 1999) was an American artist, best known for his egg tempera paintings of gritty social interactions in urban settings. His paintings combine elements of eroticism and social critique in a style often called magic realism. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently reintroduced a series of his thematic paintings, The Seven Deadly Sins (1945 – 49), for exhibit in the museum’s Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries, and they are amazingly graphic works of surrealist horror art that are really something to see.

Lust
Lust (1945)

Pride
Pride (1945)

Between 1945 and 1949, Paul Cadmus turned his dexterous hand and fertile imagination to rendering the Seven Deadly Sins, a subject with biblical antecedents that artists (including Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder) have explored since the Middle Ages.

Envy
Envy (1947)

Anger
Anger (1947)

Cadmus’s interpretation extends his predilection for social satire to surreal extremes of excess, vulgarity and gore. Of the series, Cadmus explained, “I don’t appear as myself, but I am all of the Deadly Sins in a way, as you all are, too.

Avarice
Avarice (1947)

Sloth
Sloth (1947)

Gluttony
Gluttony (1949)

7 deadly sins cadmus photo by gail worley

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Kenny Scharf, Inner and Outer Space at Deitch Projects

Kenny Scharf Face Painting
All Photos By Gail

Whether you’re seeing his colorful works out on the street, or in the gallery, Kenny Scharf has one of the most instantly recognizable styles in the contemporary art world. Deitch Projects downtown is currently hosting Inner and Outer Space, an ambitious exhibit of Sharf’s newest works which features several distinct collections that provide evidence of Scharf’s enthusiasm for expanding his oeuvre, while staying true to the playful characteristics of his work that his fans love the most.

Deitch Projects Building Exterior

You can get a hint of what you’re in for before you even stop inside the gallery

Drip Faces

The faces are melting in Kenny Scharf’s new paintings. “Things are disintegrating,” says the artist. “I am reacting to our increasingly out-of-control situation.” Scharf’s work continues to be infused by his inexhaustible optimism and his sense of fun, but there has always been an engagement with profound issues beneath the façade. Ecology, the environment, and capitalist excess have long been central themes.

Drip Faces

Kenny Scharf’s work has always combined and contrasted the pop culture he absorbed growing up in Los Angeles with the important innovations in modern and contemporary art. His earlier work fused Dali and Disney. More recently, he has been in dialogue with Pollock and Abstract Expressionism. In the new work, he merges his distinct style with color field and stain painting. “I like to connect with every movement in 20th-century art,” Scharf explains. “I make new hybrids, taking it all in and putting it in a blender.”

Inner and Outer Space Installation View

Drip Faces

Scharf is very enthusiastic about his new “sloppy style” that characterizes the major paintings in the exhibition. Rows of faces disintegrate into colorful drips reminiscent of both New York School painting and the serial imagery of minimal art. In these new works, Scharf is striving to create clear and simple forms that resonate with meaning. He feels liberated and excited, adding that “it is so much fun.”

Inner and Outer Space Installation View

Like his artistic colleagues from his early years in New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Scharf studied cartoons as a way to intensify figurative expression. He makes use of cartoon faces to express emotion with abstract power.

TV Bax Installation View

In the past, Kenny found many of the items integrated into his art in the garbage,and even today he still stops his car when he finds plastic toys and TV sets thrown away on the street. These discarded plastic objects have inspired the two other bodies of work featured in the show, one being TV Bax.

TV Bax Red and Green

The TV Bax are painted on the plastic backs of discarded television sets. Like the toys, the TV backs have a disconcerting anthropomorphic quality. Scharf wonders if their anonymous designers created these plastic covers, which are different for every model, to resemble a face.

TV Bax Red

TV Bax Red Detail
TV Bax, Detail

Scharf finds these thrown-away toys and TV backs to be poignant objects, resonant with emotion. “Each of these objects carries a story,” Scharf explains. He thinks about how people might have struggled and sacrificed to buy these toys and TVs, and about the intense relationship that children and families have with them. Scharf resurrects the lives of these inanimate objects in his work. He also notes that garbage keeps changing with technology. The backs of TV sets used to have large protruding “noses.” Now they are flatter and more similar to a canvas.

TV Bax Purple and Blue

TV Bax Sky with Clouds

Toy Assemblage

Another new collection, his Assemblage Vivant Tableaux Plastiques, inspired by the Nouveau Realistes, are constructed from his stock of recycled plastic toys. These wall sculptures, which mix assorted toy parts with Scharf’s whimsical animated faces, are my favorite items in the exhibit.

Toy Assemblage

Toy Assemblage Installation View
Installation View
Toy Assemblage

Toy Assemblage Detail
Assemblage Vivant Tableaux Plastiques, Detail

Toy Assemblage

Toy Assemblage

Since his childhood, Scharf has been fascinated by outer space. Space travel and the portrayal of infinite space have long been central themes. In his life and in his work, he tries to eliminate boundaries and borders. As he pursues his dialogue with the great painters of the New York School, he is increasingly preoccupied with the inner space of painting. His exploration of inner space creates a dynamic tension with his passion for outer space. With his characteristic exuberance and his moral voice, Scharf reformulates his unique combination of Pollock and Pop to create a vibrant new body of work.

Kenny Scharf Signage

Kenny Scharf’s Inner and Outer Space will be on Exhibit Through December 22nd, 2017 at Deitch Projects, Located at 18 Wooster Street (Just North of Canal) in NYC.

Kenny Scharf and Friend
Kenny Scharf and Friend at the Exhibit’s Opening Reception.

Inner and Outer Space Installation View