Apple Sculpture By Claude LaLanne Photogpraphed at Paul Kasmin Gallery By Gail in January 2019
They say that celebrity deaths come in threes. This past week we said goodbye to playwright Terrence McNally, legendary Drummer Bill Rieflin and, on a local scale, NYC Gallerist and Photographer Paul Kasmin, whose renowned Chelsea galleries have provided Worleygig.com with amazing content for more than a decade. Having celebrated his 60th birthday in February, Kasmin was just one year older than me. Mark Ryden, Nir Hod, Will Ryman, Ian Davenport, Erik Parker, Ron Arad, Designer Mattia Bonetti, husband and wife artist team Les Lalannes, and Photographer David La Chapelle are just few of the eye-opening talents I was introduced to at various Kasmin Gallery shows. Geoffrey I had so many good times there.
Getty Sheep Station By Francois Lalanne, September 2013
What follows is the gallery’s official statement on Paul’s passing:
It is with great sadness that we must give news of the loss of Paul Kasmin (1960–2020). Paul passed away early this morning, March 23, after a long period of illness.
Opening his first New York gallery in 1989, Paul devoted himself to a life celebrating art and artists. Those of us who have worked with Paul learned from his extraordinary eye for talent, his delight in the work of the artists he loved, and his rare sense of openness and generosity.
Paul took great pleasure in overseeing all aspects of the gallery until the very end, and it was his sincere wish, and in his plans, that his vision for Kasmin continue as ambitiously as ever.
In the last few years, Paul continued his lifelong passion for photography with renewed enthusiasm. Taking pictures of his family, friends, and the gallery artists and staff, he built a collective portrait of his artistic community. We invite you to view these works on our website, reflecting on the enormous contribution that Paul made to the arts during his lifetime.
Selections from Paul Kasmin’s photography portfolio can be viewed now via the Kasmin Gallery website at This Link. Thank you for all the great art, Paul, and Rest in Peace.
Claude Lalanne (born 1924) is a French designer known for her eccentric works, which are often animal themed. She also worked with her late husband, Francois-Xavier Lalannne (1927–2008), under the name Les Lalannes.
Claude Lalanne’s gilt-bronze Banquette Crocodile is one of the designer’s most sought-after pieces, the realism of its reptiles coming as a result of a trip to the Paris zoo in 1972. It seems the designer had envisioned the creation of such a piece for quite some time but was in need of an actual crocodile upon which to base it.
Banquette, Rear View
As the story goes, Lalanne decided to put in a request to the city’s zookeepers for the remains of a crocodile, should one happen to expire of old age when nature took its course. And so a crocodile did pass away and, shortly thereafter, Lalanne went to collect her specimen in the company of fellow artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
Installation view with Claude LaLanne-designed Mirror and Candle Holders
Since then, the highly textured crocodile motif has taken shape in a number of her works, ranging from chandeliers to tables and chairs as well as the bench, which was designed in 2006, and cast in 2007 in an edition of eight with four artist’s proofs. Most of these pieces have been sold at auction at Christie’s and Sotheby’s for anywhere from $500,000 to $1 Million each.
Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 509 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC, Where You Can See This Bench and Other Works By Les Lalannes on Exhibit Through March 9th, 2019.
Dessert Counter By Mark Ryden (All Photos By Gail)
Good timing: it is a thing. Because we neglected to pay close attention to the unorthodox start time of the recent opening reception for Mark Ryden’s The Art of Whipped Cream exhibit at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, we arrived four minutes before they locked the doors behind us, and had to do a mad dash through the gallery to snap some photos for this post before they gave us the bum’s rush.
Marky Ryden Fans Are Much Cooler Than You Are
The upside to our extreme tardiness is that gallery was nearly empty, and we were able to secure many decent, people-free photos! Winning!
The Art of Whipped Cream features drawings, sketches and paintings created for the production of American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream. A concurrent exhibition of Ryden’s work for the ballet is running at Gallery Met, located at the Metropolitan Opera House, through July 8th, 2017.
Please enjoy our photos from the show!
Cotton Candy Curtain
Whipped Cream Drop
Princess Praline and Her Entourage
Princess Praline, Detail
Church Tree Scrim
Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream will be on view through July 21st, 2017 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street,in the Chelsea Gallery District.
American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream will be Performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, NYC, Through July 8th, 2017.
Meeting, 2016, Scale Diorama By Roxy Paine (All Photos By Gail)
Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently hosting Farewell Transmission, a two-venue exhibition of recent sculpture by Roxy Paine, for the artist’s first major New York solo exhibition in three years and the first of his sculpture with Paul Kasmin.
Over the past 25 years, Paine’s sculptures ruminate upon the clash of the human and the natural worlds, and the warring of chaos and control that result from humanity’s attempts to manage the process. Farewell Transmission presents two distinct series, Dioramas and Dendroids; each express the artist’s anxieties about the human impact on our habitat and the mechanized tools that seek to impose order and control, often to disordered and unpredictable ends.
In his Dioramas, Paine adopts and adapts a format familiar within the natural history museum, but instead of employing human artifice to represent the natural world, Paine’s Dioramas use organic materials to represent quotidian environments where the fundamental states of the Homo Sapien can be observed. Rooted in the Greek language, diorama translates to “through that which is seen.” Paine’sDioramas are a device through which one can examine our own habitat, culture and society. Seemingly innocuous at first, each Diorama presents a room devoid of actual figures, yet charged with their psychological dilemmas.
Meeting (2016) is the artist’s most intimate in scale from the series, and implies through attentive details such as a ring of non-descript office chairs, the community space that hosts one of the variety twelve-step substance abuse programs.
Experiment, Installation View
Experiment (2015) the only diorama of an actual historical event, though one for which we have no photographs, depicts the setting of a 1950s-70s CIA surveillance program examining the effects of LSD.
Looking at this hallucinatory experience through another surveilling environment heightens the paranoid feelings of control, manipulation and misguided forensic observation. Personal associations and past encounters with these familiar spaces inevitably creep into the imagined scenes of the Diorama, collapsing the distance between the viewer and that which is on view.
In Desolation Row (2017) a remarkable new work, Paine synthesizes the tree silhouettes of the Dendroids, the simulation of the Dioramas and the expansiveness of his earlier Fields series to replicate nature in solitude and at its most poignant moment.
Returning to the motif of the tree, Paine presents them in Desolation Row as charred, barren, and destroyed. Positioned across a 13-ft table, Desolation Row is an unflinching portrayal of the infinite cycle of control and chaos reaching its devastating yet paradoxical conclusion where Paine leaves the question of renewal to be resolved.
Fusing organic forms, such as trees, flowers, and fungi with man-made structures and materials among which include stainless steel, epoxy, and polymer, Paine invents, distorts, surprises and confounds our perception of the natural and inorganic and the real and artificial.
The new Dendroids, Paine’s first iteration in over 5 years of his iconic stainless steel sculptures, further expand upon this multifaceted, yet imperfect, transformation of the industrial into the natural, with even more daring grafting, beguiling engineering, and wild experimentation.
In the new works, tree trunks, branches and roots intertwine with lungs and hearts, or with electricity poles and debris and detritus.
Ground Fault (2016) poetically melds a tree’s roots and trunk with two transformers that are used to circulate electromagnetic energy. Paine’s Dendroids continue to reveal the intrinsic affinities and twisted connectivity of a tree’s form with other plant, human and man-made systems.
Roxy Paine: Farewell Transmission, will be on Exhibit Through July 1st, 2011 at Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Locations at293 and 297 Tenth Avenue, at 27th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
The Swiss-born designer Matia Bonetti is known for his irreverent, eye-grabbing, and (often) dazzlingly shiny functional objects. Bonetti enjoys playing with both organic and geometric forms rather than adhering to a consistent style. Created from Gold-plated bronze, cast aluminum, and rock crystal, the Liquid Gold Cabinetcombines the two aesthetics, the designer offers, “because it’s quite straight in line, but you have all these ripplings that are more informal. They could be called Baroque, with their guiding and the richness.”
Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery, NYC as part of the Indoor Outdoor Exhibit in 2013.
Liquid Gold Cabinet Shown Here with the Arctic Raft Side Table to the Left
Swiss designer Mattia Bonetti scores again with Lucky (2013), a stainless steel Di (get a second to make proper pair of dice) which measures 18.62″ H x 18.6″ W x 18.62″ D and can be used as a stool or side table. Available in an edition of 100.
Isn’t this piece fabulous? Swiss designer Mattia Bonetti created his Archetype Lamp (2013) to mimic a Head and Shoulders silhouette, and what a head turner it is. Fabricated in bronze and Murano glass in a limited edition of 8, plus 2 artist proofs.
Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC.
Archetype Lamp Shown Here atop the Scuba Console Table, with the Poppy Side Chair
Parisian born sculptress Claude Lalanne (b. 1924) did not come into her own until she was in her sixties. She and her husband, François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), were known as Les Lalannes as they both worked and exhibited together, she creating garden-inspired works to his slightly surreal animal sculptures.
This provocative cast bronze sculpture of a Cabbage with Chicken Feet, entitled Choupatte Moyen (2012) is part of the Impasse Ronsin group exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery on West 27th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently hosting Doubletake, an exhibition of new paintings by the British artist Ian Davenport. This is Davenport’s first solo show at the gallery since 2013’sColorfall.
Primavesi Magenta Purple
In Doubletake, Davenport explores the chromatic essence of historical masterpieces, the palette of many of the paintings being inspired by a canonical work. He has ranged widely through history for his sources, paying homage to paintings spanning from the 16th century to the 20th, creating a remarkable record of a painter’s taste and powerfully demonstrating how a great tradition of historical pictures can inform contemporary art.
His technique, driven by an enduring fascination with the materiality of paint and the process of painting, is similar in each. First, after studying the painting in depth and gaining an intuitive understanding of its colors and hues, he goes to work using his signature technique, which delivers elegant vertical lines cascading down the panels into rich puddles of color.
Their effect is both sublime, in their evocation of waterfalls, and subliminal, in their reminders of history. Referenced paintings include Van Gogh’s The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, View from the Chevet, (1890) pulling out the rich blues of the sky, the green and beige from the lawn and path, and the reds from the roof of the church.
Other works that have inspired him include Jan Brueghel the Elder’s Flowers In A Wooden Vessel, (1606), Mada Primavesi (1912) by Gustav Klimt, and The Marriage of the Virgin (1504) by the Italian Renaissance master Perugino.
Each time, Davenport uses the colors in the historical work as a reference point to initiate his own color sequences and explorations of movement, surface and light. In so doing, he questions how color gives shape to a picture, helping to structure the background and foreground in representational pictures, and produce rhythm and dynamism in abstract art.
Ian Davenport’s Doubletake will be on Exhibit Through October 22nd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Avenue (SW Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently hosting Deborah Kass: No Kidding, an exhibition of new mixed media paintings. Mounted on fields of primarily black and blue, Kass incorporates neon lights in her paintings for the first time, limiting her signature palette, to spell out puns and phrases bearing pop cultural references that provide a somber meditation on the troubling present, and uncertain future.
Black and Blue
Well Be Young Forever
No Kidding represents the artist’s fourth body of work that deals at the intersection of popular culture, contemporary art, art history, and politics. Like all of Kass’s most important series of the past 25 years, these works might be said to deploy what has been recently labeled citational modernism. But in stark contrast to its current practitioners, her work has consistently and articulately deconstructed the unspoken politics of modernism and reinvented it with urgent and contemporary political meaning. An extension of her feel good paintings for feel bad times, Kass’ most recent body of work sets a darker, tougher tone as she reflects on contemporary issues such as global warming, institutional racism, police brutality, gun violence, and attacks on women’s health, through the lens of minimalism and grief.
Just a Shot Away
Kass’ paintings often borrow their titles and puns from songs, such as, Just A Shot Away, 2014, which takes its name from the Rolling Stones’ 1969 song “Gimme Shelter,” that was written in response to the violence of that time. Consistently laden with ambiguity, this work, along with others in the series, references a range of current social, political, and environmental tipping points.
Happy Days,2014, a multi panel, black-colored painting, references the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s successful 1932 Presidential campaign. The song was re-recorded thirty years later by Barbra Streisand – historically one of Kass’ muses– giving it a new context for a different generation. Kass provides yet another reading, commenting on the fate of the New Deal and America’s relationship to happiness and hope. As the viewer sees their reflection in the mirror-like surface, they are reminded of their responsibility for the present state of affairs.
The Band Played On
In a separate room, Kass’ paintings The Band Played On and Prepare for Saints provide the coda for the show. In the spirit of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, they are made with non-traditional materials, and collectively with all the paintings in the exhibit, look at the present and the future with striking ambivalence.
Prepare for Saints #2
No Kidding By Deborah Kass will be on Exhibit Through January 23rd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.