Tag Archive | Paul Kasmin Gallery

Ian Davenport, Doubletake at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Ian Davenport Installation View 2
All Photos By Gail

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’s Colorfall.

Primavesi Magenta Purple
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.

Splat Paintings

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.

Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Yellow

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.

Ian Davenport Signage

Ian Davenport Installation View 1


Deborah Kass, No Kidding at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Good Times Installation View
All Photos By Gail

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
Black and Blue

Blue #2
Blue #2

Well Be Young Forever
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
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.

Installation View

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
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
Prepare for Saints #2

Good Times
Good Times

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.

D Kass Signage

Erik Parker, Undertow, at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Installation View
All Photos By Gail

When everyone else was waiting on line to get into the Mark Ryden exhibit across the street, I was in the newest addition to the Paul Kasmin Gallery empire taking photos of Eric Parker’s latest show (and third solo-exhibition with the gallery), which had opened the previous night. Because timing is everything.

Talking Point
Talking Point, 2015

Talking Point Detail
Talking Point, Detail (Above and Below)

Talking Point Detail

Erik Parker’s Undertow is an exhibition of new paintings which represent a confluence of ideas and styles explored in previous bodies of work including the Maps, Heads, Landscapes and Hieroglyphics. Parker’s iconic, highly-saturated palette and intricate compositions are amplified by collage and airbrush techniques that create a balance of density and open space.

Taste Maker
Taste Maker, 2015

Undertow offers insight into the evolution of Parker’s work over the last two decades. Here, the artist continues to critically chart the world’s current political, social, and economic landscapes with compositions brimming with references to media, popular culture, music, and art history. Synthesizing multiple elements from his myriad styles into new dynamic compositions, the artist works at breaking down the metanarratives of late modernist painting while simultaneously digesting the pictorial chatter of scrolling feeds of social media.

Offshore, 2015

Highlighted in the exhibition are Parker’s new shaped canvases with which he develops the narrative possibilities of form. In Offshore the support structure of the canvas takes the shape of binocular lenses, framing the action as if seen from afar.

Offshore Detail
Offshore, Detail

Disconnected, 2015

Parker’s large-scale, two-part shaped canvas titled Disconnected, features a Pyramid representing the global elite. The pyramid is physically separated from the second canvas – literally leaving the rest of the picture, or perhaps, society behind.

Front Runner
Front Runner, 2015

Erik Parker’s Undertow will be on Exhibit Through January 23rd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 297 Tenth Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery. District.

Undertow Signage

I Went to Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron Exhibit, And it Was Really Crowded

Aurora With Crowd
All Photos By Gail

Mark Ryden’s much-anticipated new exhibit, Dodecahedron, opened last Thursday at Paul Kasmin Gallery on 10th Avenue, and what a happening it was! A line of hardcore fans began snaking down the block 30 minutes before the doors even opened! Once we were let inside, promptly at 6 PM, it quickly became a mob scene and it was virtually impossible to get clear shots of any of the art, perhaps best exemplified by the photo above, where the epic, 12-foot high painting, Aurora, is obscured as high as 5 feet off the ground. It was evident that we would have to make a return trip for blogging purposes, which we did this weekend.

Dodecahedron Installation View

For this exhibition, Ryden created his first sculpture cast from bronze, entitled Self Portrait as a Dodecahedron. Measuring one meter in height, the work consists of twelve pentagonal panels that join together to form the show’s titular Dodecahedron. Each panel is individually cast and features images and motifs that have been prevalent throughout the artist’s oeuvre such as; the Tree, the Eye, the Fetus, the Bee, the Ammonite, and Abraham Lincoln.


Here are some shots of the Dodecahedron’s various faces.

Bee and Baby

Abe Lincoln


The gallery space in which the Dodecahedron sits also displays framed study drawings for many of the oil paintings in the exhibit, which are featured prominently in the front gallery.

Horned Baby

This one is my favorite. Ryden’s attention to detail is crazy great.

Dymaxion Principle
Dymaxion Principle

Rock Skirt
Rock Skirt

Girl Looking at Amoeba

The painting above is entitled Euglena, which refers not to the little girl, but to the single-cell, flagellate organism on the table. On closer inspection, you can see that it bears anthropomorphic characteristics.

Euglena Detail
Euglena Detail

Guts Dress

Anatomia, also realized as a porcelain sculpture.

Guts Dress Sculpture

Aurora Full

And now let’s take a closer look at the star of the show, Aurora. A true masterpiece, Aurora depicts a prepubescent girl, standing armpit-high in a still body of water, the surface of which cloaks a primeval undersea world, rife with Ryden’s signature symbolism, and many other cool things.


Look, it’s a little Manatee hiding among the coral.

Eyes Detail

Multiple Eyes and a Fetus.

Bee Detail

A Bee.

Primeval Sea Bed

Behold, the Primeval Sea Bed, complete with Trilobite, ancestor to the modern-day cockroach.

Aurora Frame Detail

Even the frame is a work of art.

Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron will be on Exhibit Through Jan 23rd, 2016  at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 10th Avenue (Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Dodecahedron Signage

Exhibit Poster

Frank Stella, Shape As Form at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Flin Flon 1970, Sinjerli III 1967
L: Flin Flon 1970, R: Sinjerli III, 1967 (All Photos By Gail)

You have just one more week to catch Frank Stella: Shape as Form, a solo exhibition of career-spanning works by the artist, on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery‘s Tenth Avenue space.The exhibition articulates Stella’s groundbreaking fusion between painting and sculpture.

The title of the exhibition is taken from Michael Fried’s essay published in ARTFORUM in November of 1966, which recognized the historic step Stella took with his Irregular Polygon paintings and “the very closeness of their relation to advanced sculpture.”

Beginning with the Protractor series of the 1960s through the Bali series of the early 2000s, Stella’s course between two and three dimensions has had a profound impact on generations of artists.

Sinjerli III 1967

The exhibition begins chronologically with Sinjerli III, 1967, a Protractor painting employing the compositional element Fans, which was one of three devices developed at this time (along with Interlaces and Rainbows). Though strictly two-dimensional in structure, Sinjerli can be visually interpreted as being either recessive or protruding, optically challenging the limitations of the flat surface.

Flin Flon 1970

The same is true in Flin Flon, 1970, from the series of the same name, in which Stella uses a layered series of “interlaces” to create architectural reference points and illusionistic depth.  These works are evident of Stella’s systematic approach to creating variations of paintings according to pre-determined criteria, which grew in complexity with every passing series.

Eskimo Curlew
Eskimo Curlew

Stella’s evolution into the third dimension — from the visual realm to the physical — would progress rapidly through the 1970s and 1980s in the form of the series Exotic Birds, represented in the exhibition by Eskimo Curlew, 1977, and the Circuits, seen here in Mosport 4.75X, 1982.


La Scienza della Fiacca
La Scienza della Fiacca

From 19841987, Stella’s hybridization of painting and sculpture would reach a dramatic crescendo in the Cones and Pillars series. Included in this exhibition is La Scienza della Fiacca 3.5X, 1984, a masterwork that was illustrated in the monograph from the artist’s 1987 mid-career retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, NY and last exhibited at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 1989.

Stella Wall Sculpture

In the Cones and Pillars, the fundamental physical constructs of what traditionally constituted a painting had been expanded, effectively broadening the definition of the medium.

Frank Stella, Shape As Form will be on Exhibit Through October 10th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located on the Southwest Corner of 27th Street and Tenth Avenue in the Chelse Gallery District.


Frank Stella Signage

Metal Wall Sculpture

Will Ryman, Two Rooms at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Will Ryman Situation Room
The Situation Room (All Photos By Gail)

What we like best about artist Will Ryman is the fact that all of his projects look completely different to each other. Whether it is sculptures of Giant Roses, a big Bird made of nails, or a Golden scale replica of the Log Cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born, it is always fun to see what he is going to do next.

Right now, Paul Kasmin Gallery’s West 27th Street space is hosting Two Rooms, a solo exhibition featuring two of Ryman’s new sculptural installations.  The Situation Room (2012–2014) is a life-size installation based on the iconic photograph that captured members of the Obama administration and U.S. military leaders watching in real time the Navy SEAL raid on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Among those gathered in the White House Situation Room were President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Developed over the course of three years, the sculpture is composed of crushed black coal as a reference to industrial development and as a means to redact the specificity of the photograph, reducing the tableau to its elemental components. The Situation Room is a contemplation on war, power, propaganda, industrialization, and political theater. In its reductive monumentality, Ryman’s appropriation of the photograph becomes an anonymous fossilization of the timelessness of war.

Will Ryman Classroom

Classroom presents 12 figures from the same cast, each made of a different natural resource or composite essential to various cultures and economies including cadmium, titanium, salt, iron, oil, chrome, copper, wood, and gold.

Wax Student

Arranged in four rows of three, the figures evoke traditional classroom settings, interchangeable workers in a factory’s assembly line, or soldiers in military formation.

Iron and Gold Student

Their youthful appearance references the practice of child labor so widespread in many countries. Corporations in developed countries often refer to their employees as their greatest “natural resource,” and in one interpretation of the installation, Ryman extends the metaphor to an inexorable conclusion: workers are a material to be mined and exploited in the service of industry. They are, to the extent possible, mechanized.

Red and Silver Student

Will Ryman’s Two Rooms will be on Exhibit Through Oct 17th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Copper Student

Frank Stella, Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values

Frank Stella
Photo By Gail

Yeah, I know it’s freezing ass cold in New York right now and nobody wants to go outside, but if you can force yourself to make it all the way to Tenth Avenue and 27th Street, you can see this gorgeous work of art by Frank Stella, entitled Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, (1978) which is part of Paul Kasmin Gallery’s current group exhibit at this location, entitled, The New York School, 1969: Henry Geldzahler at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Kasmin exhibit features many of the original works from the 1971 Met exhibit, New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 – 1970 including Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Joseph Cornell, Mark di Suvero, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hoffmann, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenberg, Jules Olitski, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.

The exhibit will be on display through March 14th, 2015. Surely, it will have warmed up a bit before then.