Tag Archive | Paintings

Shawn Thornton’s Pareidolia at Cue Art Foundation

Shawn Thornton Painting
All Photos By Gail

The first time I was exposed to the minutely-detailed and unconventionally psychedelic paintings of Philadelphia-based artist Shawn Thornton, I thought I was looking at paintings of vibrantly colorful circuit boards. It’s an easy misconception to make, I suspect. Thornton’s canvases are dense with the intersecting lines of diagram-like designs and irregular grids, which often contain images of birds, animals, people, or even the artist himself. While he’s shown extensively at the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery and Stephen Romano Gallery here in NYC — and Thornton’s work was also featured in an episode of HBO’s High Maintenance (which, as an aside, is a fantastically entertaining show) — but his unique artworks have a chance to gain greater exposure in the solo exhibit, Pareidolia, which includes works produced in a variety of media between 1995 and 2017, up now at Cue Art Foundation.

Shawn Thornton Painting

Since I have previously seen and written about an exhibit by artist Tahiti Pehrson which was also called Pareidolia, I know that the exhibit’s title refers to a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern where none actually exists. This is a very appropriate title for Thornton’s body of work, and especially this expanded collection, which showcases not only paintings but also includes found-object sculptures and video installations.

Toy and Found Object Sculpture

There are two large assemblage sculptures in Pareidolia which remind me very much of the work of artist Matthew Dutton, whose art is always so enigmatic and captivating; like something you’d see in a fever dream. I love that Thornton can transform a combination of vintage toys, furniture and ordinary household items, like a carousel clothespin hanger, into a fantasy device that appears to have some kind of practical function or purpose.

Toy Sculpture Detail
Detail from Above Sculpture

Elephant and Giraffe Installation View

This altar-like tableau, starring a whimsical plastic Elephant and Giraffe stuffed with tiny lights, also features antlers, tree branches, bells, padlocks, vinyl LP discs, and tiny living plants.

Elephant Close Up

Really great.

Mandolin and Painting

Serpents Egg in the Seat Of Consciousness
Serpents Egg in the Seat Of Consciousness

Many of the paintings, such as this one, feature self-portraits of Thornton hidden in the midst of other images. It turns out that Thornton’s own experiences with Pareidolia, which is evident in his hallucinatory artworks, was triggered by an undiagnosed brain tumor in his pineal gland, which he lived with for over a decade.

Installation View

The above collection of small-scale paintings directly reference the artist’s experience with surgery to remove the tumor.

Green Flame Hypnosis
Green Flame Hypnosis

It is not a coincidence that these paintings resemble maps of Thornton’s psyche.

A Fracture in the Golden Mean
A Fracture in the Golden Mean

Paintings like these can take Thornton over a year to complete, and there are no accidental brush strokes.

Lobotomy of the Ghost Mechanics - Scarab Timetable
Lobotomy of the Ghost Mechanics – Scarab Timetable

Brahmastra for a New Age (UFO / Time Machine)
Brahmastra for a New Age (UFO / Time Machine)

Thornton worked on the above canvas from 2010 to 2103.

Detail from Brahmastra for a New Age (UFO / Time Machine)

Take a look at the detail from just a couple of square inches of this painting! Unbelievable!

Shawm Thorntown Signage

Come and discover the world of Shawn Thornton now at Cue Art Foundation before the show closes!

Shaun Thornton’s Pareidolia will be on Exhibit Through May 24th, 2017 at Cue Art Foundation, Located at 137 West 25th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues) in NYC.

Black Pyramid Meditation
Black Pyramid Meditation

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Jonathan LeVine Gallery Presents Aron Wiesenfeld’s Unwind the Winding Path

Night Grove
Night Grove By Aron Wiesenfeld (All Photos By Gail)

The most rewarding art viewing experiences are those that present a simple visual that provokes so many narrative possibilities that it encourages the breadth of imaginative extrapolation generally considered to be accessible only through the most wildly imaginative novels. That’s the experience  I had while perusing Unwind the Winding Path, a series of new works by California-based artist Aron Wiesenfeld, up now at Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

The River
The River

Looking at this series of seemingly mundane, yet subtly disquieting images — a girl standing on the edge of a forest, two people in a canoe, a picnic — I kept thinking, is it really just about what I’m seeing on the canvas, or is there something just below the surface that I should be paying attention to?

Canoe
Canoe

In this way, the paintings in Unwind the Winding Path (the exhibit’s title comes directly from the poem Byzantium by W.B. Yeats) reminded me of illustrations inspired by a collection of short ghost / horror stories that I read when I was a teenager, called Lonesome Places by August Derleth. Specifically, they gave me an uneasy feeling I associate with one story in particular, The Lonesome Place, which gives the collection its title. That tale is about two little boys who have such vivid imaginations with regard to a desolate area which they consider to be haunted, that they literally conjure a living monster from their fears alone. And when you think about it, isn’t the most visceral horror about what goes on in our minds? Whether or not this is Wiesenfeld’s intention, he is on to something that is both deeply unsettling and attractive simultaneously.

Bunker
Bunker

A painting entitled Bunker appeared to creep out the majority of fans attending the opening reception. In Bunker, we see a young woman or girl, barelegged and wearing a summer dress despite the implied chill of grey skies, laying back stoically in tall grass adjacent to what looks like an overgrown Bunker structure. Is she dead? Has her body been dumped there? Or is she just resting? What exactly is going on in this picture? I like that there is no clear answer.

The Handmaid
The Handmaid

The Off Season
The Off Season

Installation View

Daughter
Daughter

Aron Wiesenfeld was present at the opening, and I made a point to introduce myself and engage him in a conversation about his amazing art and its mysterious allure. I  asked him about the painting above, Daughter, and he said that the woman is “growing out of the forest.” I like it. Aron was super nice and so was his wife. I told him about The Lonesome Place, and I am sure he has forgotten about it, but if he reads this post, maybe he will look it up.

Martin and Jonathan
Artist Martin Wittfooth Chats with Gallery Owner Jonathan LeVine at the Opening Reception

Signage

Aron Wiesenfeld’s Unwind the Winding Path will be on Exhibit Through December 17th, 2016, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Installation View

Jonathan LeVine Presents: Masakatsu Sashie, External Effect

Corner Pocket
Corner Pocket By Masakatsu Sashie (All Photos By Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting External Effect, a series of new works by Japanese artist Masakatsu Sashie. This is Sashie’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, and I somehow neglected to write about his first show, so I didn’t want to fail twice at sharing a series of artworks that is really special.

Installation View

In a body if work that will surely appeal to fans of dystopian sci-fi. Sashie’s hyperreal 0il paintings and sketches depict a post-apocalyptic world, or series of worlds. The bleak visions of a future that is also trapped in the past analyze the influence of technology on the circle of life. The level of detail in these paintings is extraordinary.

Invisible Rule
Invisible Rule

Modeled after Kanazawa, the town he was born and continues to reside in, Sashie’s landscapes resemble landfills – capsized by burning vehicles, antiquated technology and an overwhelming amount of man-made debris. Massive orb-shaped amalgams of industrially manufactured products are the focal point of every piece, hovering over desolate cityscapes, drawing attention to the paradox of the vastness of the universe yet the finite amount of space mankind has to exist.

Smoggy Memory
Smoggy Memory

Kanazawa is a small city in Japan that the artist describes as a miniature garden in which the obsolete and contemporary are fused due to its distance from an urban center.

Zero Sum (1 of 2)
Zero Sum (1 of 2)

Zero Sum (Detail)
Zero Sum (Detail)

Growing up within this isolation nurtured Sashie’s fascination with the notion of “the balanced aquarium,” a concept described by Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz in his book King Solomon’s Ring: New Light on Animal Ways (1949).

Corner Pocket Detail
Corner Pocket (Detail)

Lorenz describes an aquarium as a self-sustaining environment depending solely on the natural interactions between plants and other living organisms for survival. Once outside involvement occurs, balance is lost and disintegration immediately begins.

Oasis
Oasis

The artist considers Lorenz’s biological phenomenon as the epitome of the world we live in; struggling to maintain stability among the complexities and demands of modern living. Revolving around themes of consumerism, globalism and environmentalism, Masakatsu Sashie’s self-contained environments are an archive of the past and a prediction of our future.

Installation View

Masakatsu Sashie’s External Effect will be on Exhibit Through November 12th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 East 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Melt Into The Air Cool, Melt Into The Air Hot
Left: Melt Into The Air Cool, Tight: Melt Into The Air Hot

Allouche Gallery Presents Ron English, Guernica

Rock Band Guernica
Rock Band Guernica By Ron English (All Photos By Gail)

Allouche Gallery is currently hosting the first major exhibit in their beautiful new home in the Meatpacking District — and what a way kick things off!  Guernica features the debut of eighteen new paintings by contemporary Pop and street artist, Ron English.

Mythological Guernica
Mythological Guernica

The series, which took two years to complete, references the artist’s own narrative to Pablo Picasso’s renowned Guernica, painted in 1937. English utilizes the Guernica template to relay powerful messages about the endless cycles of creation and destruction through the use of his globally recognized imagery and iconography.

Flintstones Guernica
Flintstones Guernica

It is great fun to see how English — who is a genius at manipulating pop culture icons and tropes — fluidly riffs on Guernica to include  everything from The Flintstones to Star Wars to Guitar Hero.

Star Wars Guernica
Star Wars Guernica

Ron at the Opening
Ron English Talks with Fans at Last Week’s Opening Reception

Ron was present at the opening reception, and he is always very gracious when it comes to signing and taking photos with fans.

Baby Guernica
Baby Guernica

Fat Food Guernica
Fat Food Guernica

The painting above has the names of popular fast food or fast casual restaurants stenciled just under the images.

Kill All Lies Guernica
Kill All Lies Guernica

Seconds Before Impact Guernica
Seconds Before Impact Guernica

Guernica By Ron English will be on Exhibit Through October 19th, 2016 at  Allouche Gallery, Located at 82 Gansevoort Street (Across from the Whitney Museum) in New York City’s Meatpacking District.

Monotype Snoopy Vs Simpsons Guernica
Monotype Snoopy Vs Simpsons Guernica

Favorite Pink Artworks From the Affordable Art Fair, Fall 2016!

Julian Stanczak Early Brim
Julian Stanczak, Early Brim, Silkscreen on Plastic, $4675. Harris Stanton Gallery, Cleveland. (All Photos By Gail)

The fall edition of the Affordable Art Fair is going on right now at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the Flatiron District. We made a run through during Wednesday night’s Private View and found these fun Pink Artworks that will give you an idea of what you can find to bring home with you at this vibrant, priced-to-own fair!

Moonlight bt Arthit Pansuay
Moonlight By Arthit Pansuay, $3300. A Gallery, Hong Kong

Edie Nadlehaft BLTC
Edie Nadelhaft, BLTC: I ❤ U, $1400. Art Star Online.

Louise Marler Pink on Aperture
Louise Marler,  VokarcamERA – Pink on Aperture (Fuji C-Print Light Box), $1380. Bruce Lurie Gallery, Los Angeles.

Poodle By Ross Bonfanti
Poodle By Ross Bonfanti, $1400. Rebecca Hossack Online.

Damien Hirst Quisqualic Acid
Damien Hirst, Quisqualic Acid, $4550 (Signed and Numbered By the Artist). Manifold Editions, London, UK.

Matthew Lapenta Emoji Series

(Above and Below) Matthew Lapenta, Emoji Series, $7500 each. Axiom Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

Matthew Lapenta Emoji Series

A Glittering Moment
A Glittering Moment By Yu Na Kang, $730. Sia Gallery, NYC.

Melissa Tseng Blushed
Melissa Tseng, Blushed (Encaustic on Panel), $760.

Victor Spinelli Circus Circus $1
 Victor Spinelli, Circus Circus $1, $2900. Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NYC.

Pink Bike By Sergio Garcia
Pink Bike By Sergio Garcia.  The Lawley Art Group, Dallas, TX.

Pink Camera at Bleach Box Gallery
Andy McKenzie, Candy. Bleach Box Gallery, London, UK.

The Affordable Art Fair Runs Through Sunday, October 2nd at the Metropolitan Pavilion, Located at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan. More Information, such as Hours and Admission Charges, is available at This Link!

AAF Signage

Art By Chad Wys at The Joseph Gross Gallery

Sculpture by Chad Wys

All Photos By Gail

Multidisciplinary artist, Chad Wys has some really fantastic work in  Not The Sum of Its Parts, Just The Parts, up now at the Joseph Gross Gallery. The two person show (which also includes works by Jesse Draxler) examines the variables of abstraction, conceptualism, and mark­making. In this exhibit, Wys rips apart and questions the use of traditional arts materials, rediscovering and reevaluating the limits of the surface.

Sculpture by Chad Wys

Painting by Chad Wys

The title of the show is a reactionary statement against the Aristotelian philosophy that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Rather, the title attempts to highlight, in a multi­layered approach, that each part is essential, individual, unique, and not­ to­ be overlooked in its contribution to the “whole.” Both artists utilize this principle in their practice.

Paintings by Chad Wys

Chad Wys is interested in manipulating found objects – the more in a state of depreciation, the better – he adds new life, meaning and function to existing materials and products, adding to the object’s history and its journey. Throughout his work he has maintained a longstanding fascination with the ideals of conceptualism. Informed by Dadaism and minimalism as well as post­modernist philosophy, Wys’ work examines visuality, from images and objects to decorations and art, and how the reproduction of these materials influence our visual experience.

Painting by Chad Wys

Not The Sum Of Its Parts, Just The Parts, Featuring the Works of  Chad Wys, will be on Exhibit Through October 1st, 2016 at Joseph Gross Gallery, Located at 548 W 28th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Paintings by Chad Wys

Stuart Davis, In Full Swing at The Whitney Museum

Report From Rockport
Report From Rockport By Stuart Davis (All Photos By Gail)

Although he passed away when I was only three years old, Stuart Davis is an America painter whose works I’ve completely fallen in love with through seeing them in the permanent collections of The Met, MOMA and The Whitney – the latter of which is currently hosting a career retrospective of Davis’ paintings entitled In Full Swing, which is just mind blowing.

Installation View

If you are a Davis fan, this exhibit is a must-see. If you’re not yet familiar with his work, now is the time to get yourself an education.

Super Table
Super Table

Stuart Davis (1892–1964) was one of the preeminent figures of American modernism. With a long career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the postwar era, he brought a distinctively American accent to international modernism.

Odol 1924
Odol, 1924

Faced with the choice between realism and pure abstraction early in his career, Davis invented a vocabulary that harnessed the grammar of abstraction to the speed and simultaneity of modern America. By merging the bold, hard-edged style of advertising with the conventions of European avant-garde painting, he created an art endowed with the vitality and dynamic rhythms that he saw as uniquely modern and American. In the process, he achieved a rare synthesis: an art that is resolutely abstract, yet at the same time exudes the spirit of popular culture.

Place Pasdeloup
Place Pasdeloup

The exhibition is unusual in its focus on Davis’ mature career and on his working method of using preexisting motifs as springboards for new compositions. From 1939 on, he rarely painted a work that did not make reference, however hidden, to one or more of his earlier compositions. Such “appropriation” is a distinctive aspect of his mature art.

Installation View

This presentation is the first major exhibition to consistently hang Davis‘ later works side by side with the earlier ones that inspired them. With approximately one hundred works, from his paintings of consumer products in the early 1920s to the work left on his easel at his death in 1964, the exhibition highlights Davis’ unique ability to transform the chaos of everyday life into a structured yet spontaneous order that communicates the wonder and joy that can be derived from the color and spatial relationships of everyday things.

Rue Lipp
Rue Lipp

In Full Swing is divided into five sections covering various periods of Davis‘ career: Product Still Lifes 1921–25, Egg Beaters 1927–28, Paris, New York and Gloucester, The 1930s, The 1940s, The 1950s, and Late Work. The beginning of each section includes engaging biographical information detailing what was going on with Davis at that time, so you will learn a lot about him as a man as well as an artist, and you will be drawn deeply into his unique world.

Installation View

After the Frank Stella retrospective from 2015, this is my favorite exhibit at The Whitney’s new location so far.

Landscape with Clay Pipe
Landscape with Clay Pipe

New York Mural
New York Mural

For Internal Use Only
For Internal Use Only

Something on the 8 Ball
Something on the 8 Ball

The Paris Bit
The Paris Bit

Fin 1962 - 64
Fin, 1962 – 64

Stuart Davis suffered from heart problems and high blood pressure for decades. On June 23, 1964, after watching a French film on television that ended with word “Fin”– which means “The End” — he added the word to the painting on his easel before going to bed. That night, he had a stroke and died in the ambulance on the way to New York’s Roosevelt Hospital. He was 71 years old.

Package Deal
Package Deal

Stuart Davis In Full Swing will Be on Exhibit Through September 25th, 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Located 99 Gansevoort Street in Manhattans Meatpacking District. Get More Information on the Exhibit By Visiting This Link!

Stuart Davis Signage