Tag Archive | Sculptures

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

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Adrián Villar Rojas’ The Theater of Disappearance On The Roof of The Met

Theater of Dissappearance
All Photos By Gail

The cooler, more inclement weather that comes with Fall is slowly encroaching, which means that the annual Roof Garden exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is about to close. So, if you’ve not yet made a visit to see Adrián Villar Rojas’ fantastic installation, The Theater of Disappearance, you have until October 29th, 2017 to check out (weather permitting of course) this unique exhibit that strongly resembles the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a very fancy dinner party.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

For this site specific-installation, Argentian artist Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980) used the Museum itself as his subject material; drawing on objects in the collection and the history of collecting practices. To realize the extensive work, the artist immersed himself in The Met, and with its staff over many months, held conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians — 3-D scanning and imaging experts —  across every department, who all contributed to the realization of this installation. Conceived as a holistic environment, The Theater of Disappearance transfers the space of the Roof Garden into a performative diorama.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Sixteen black and white sculptures incorporate nearly one hundred detailed replicas of objects from The Met’s collection – selected from a wide variety of time periods and cultures, and reconfigured as amalgamations, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object — whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand — is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Architecture is folded into the fabric of the work. Villar Rojas’s intervention includes two radical new flooring systems – one checkerboard and the other a reflective metallic surface – as well as a redesigned bar, benches, new plantings, and an extended pergola overhead, creating dramatic setting that transforms the panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline into theatrical backdrops for the installation.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

The total effect of sculptures and environment is a dazzling, disorienting scene where all senses of the interpretive history associated with Museum objects has vanished, making way for and alternative history for art.

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

This project is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Street, The Met’s first head of digital imaging. Please enjoy more photos, which I shot during two separate visits this past summer!

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Dissappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Theater of Disappearance

Pink Thing of The Day: Les Pommes d’Adam By Franz West

Les Pommes d’Adam
All Photos By Gail

During my semi-annual weekend escape to the Berkshires, I was able to finally make a trip to Mass MoCA, where we accidentally discovered the Franz West group of sculptures known as Les Pommes d’Adam (Adam’s Apple), late in the day while we were trying to find our car. Being surprised by these sculptures definitely allowed us to end our thoroughly enjoyable visit on a very high note!

Les Pommes d’Adam

Les Pommes d’Adam is rough-hewn and made of basic materials: metal, epoxy, paint, and concrete. The four pink biomorphic totems, each standing at approximately 25 feet, are at once crude in shape, yet highly finished.

Les Pommes d’Adam

 Les Pommes d’Adam was, um, erected at Mass MoCA in April of 2014 after previously being installed in Paris, France, in close proximity to the Vendôme Column, on top of which stands a statue of Napoléon Bonaparte in Roman garb.

Les Pommes d’Adam

Les Pommes d’Adam

Paparazzi Dogs By Gillie and Marc, Greenwich Village NYC

Paparazzi Dogs
All Photos By Gail

We were having a divine Italian lunch at Olio e Piu when I glanced out the window and spotted — on the tiny traffic island wedged between the cross streets of Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, and Christopher Street, which is formally known as Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle — what looked liked a group of Dogs with Cameras (#dogswithcameras). Once we finished our delicious meal, we went outside to investigate. This is where we found the four Paparazzi Dogs.

Paparazzi Dogs with Jamie

The Paparazzi Dogs, by husband and wife team Gillie and Marc, have traveled from Australia to Greenwich Village, a place that hosts thousands of photo shoots each year. Gillie and Marc invite you to let the Paparazzi Dogs take your photo here, and become your own celebrity!

Mary and Jaimie and Paparazzi Dogs

Dog owners Jaimie and Mary show the Paparazzi Dogs some love!

Pap Dogs

The Paparazzi Dogs are brought to you by the NYC Department of Transportation and the Village Alliance. No Word on how long they’ll be on view so get your selfies now!

Paparrazi Dogs
Smile and Say Cheese!

Subway Art By Daniel Sinclair: Fast Track and Speedwheels

Daniel Sinclair Fast Track 1991
Fast Track, 1991 (All Photos By Gail)

Once each week, I have an appointment in the vicitiny of 45th Street and Madison Avenue. which gives me the opportunity to walk the length of the long passageway between the S shuttle to Times Square and 4, 5, and 6 lines, under Grand Central Terminal: an excellent shortcut I love to use to avoid excess time on the congested streets of this heavily foot-trafficked neighborhood.

Fast Track Detail
Fast Track, Detail

It is at either end of this passageway that you will find Dan Sinclair’s Fast Track and Speedwheels; two mixed-media wall-mounted assemblages crafted from bright metallic sections that include wavy aluminum sheets, steel wheels, brass disks, copper springs and wires. Fast Track, see in the two photos above, is installed closest to the S shuttle to Times Square platform, adjacent to the tracks.

Fast Track Detail
Fast Track, Detail (Above and Below)

Fast Track Detail

Speedwheels
Speedwheels

Mounted high overheard on the wall at the end of the passageway that’s closest to the 4, 5, and 6 lines, you will find the expansive Speedwheels installation. It’s a bit challenging to photograph in full, because there is a support beam about ten feet in front of it

Speedwheels By Daniel Sinclair
Speedwheels, Left Side Detail

The art-deco shapes and various turning wheels, spinning gears and pistons interpret the speed, energy and train travel imagery into this relief sculpture, and add to the aura of the location, below one of America’s premiere rail stations.

Speedwheels By Daniel Sinclair
Speedwheels, Right Side Detail

Sinclair explains, “I want my sculpture to make people think of the power of the engines that drive the trains, the speed and efficiency of them. The sculptures also reflect the architectural elements of Times Square and the Art Deco glamour of Radio City Music Hall.”

John McCracken at David Zwirner

Installation View
Installation View Left to Right: Galaxy, Rhythm, Flare. (All Photos By Gail )

Hey, do you enjoy the work of legendary minimalist artist John McCracken? I sure do. According to the obituary published in the New York Times when McCracken passed away in 2011 at the age of 76, “he was one of the few artists affiliated with the [Minimalist] movement who did not object to its name, and who made most of his work by hand: sanding and polishing his enamel, lacquer or resin surfaces until their colors achieved a flawless and reflective perfection.” Right now, David Zwirner Gallery, who has represented McCracken’s art for two decades, is hosting an exciting collection of the artist’s late career works, whose monochromatic, highly reflective surfaces are inspired in part by the West Coast’s car culture. Sigh. If you are in any way a fan, you will not want to miss this exhibit.

Flare, 2008
Flare, (2008)

The exhibition presents key examples from three discrete groups of work — leaning multi-part wall pieces, wall-mounted multi-part reliefs, and freestanding columns — that McCracken created outside of his iconic planks. On view are a selection of the artist’s Beam works, each comprising multiple tall narrow components that lean against the wall, first exhibited in his 2008 solo presentation at David Zwirner.

Installation View
Installation View: Space is on the far left

Song, 2008
Song

Some multi-part works, such as Space (2008), consist of a rhythmic combination of an array colors, here blue and green; while others like Song (2008) explore tonal, more subtle variations within a single color, in this case red. Still others are monochromatic.

Galaxy 2008
Galaxy (2008)

Rhythm, 2008
Rhythm, (2008)

Fire (Left) 2007
Left: Fire,  Right: Light

Titles are likewise employed as a pictorial metaphor in McCracken’s lesser-known wall reliefs, such as Fire (2007), created for documenta 12 in 2007, and Light (2004), which exist in the interstices of painting and sculpture.

Chord 2004

Above and Below: Chord (2004)

Chord 2004

Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou
Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou

In the front gallery you’ll find a grouping of four eight-foot tall freestanding columns, arranged in a configuration similar to the artist’s 2004 exhibition at the gallery, exploring the phenomenological relationship between work, viewer, and architecture through their outsized stature.

Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou

Reflection off of Wave, 2004
Reflection off of Siskiyou (1988)

Sculptures By John McCracken’s will be on Exhibit Through April 15th, 2017 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Signage

Light (Rear Wall)
Light (2004), Rear Wall

Iván Navarro’s Mute Parade at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Impenetrable Room
Impenetrable Room By Iván Navarro All Photos By Gail

Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Tenth Avenue space is currently hosting Mute Parade, an exhibit of light installations by  Chilean-born artist Iván Navarro, for his second solo show with the gallery. Mute Parade transforms multiple gallery rooms into a synesthetic environment continuing Navarro’s ongoing use of light, sound, and language to engage with issues of power, migration, and propaganda.

First Gallery Installation View

Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is faced with a series of new works by the artist including Tuning (2015), a pyramid of six towering drums.

Tuning

Navarro combines the drums with mirrors and the words High, Tone, Tune, Bass, Mute, and Deaf to create a visual representation idea of sound (or noise) while at the same time removing and negating the original function of the instruments. This is a way of “playing a song” without making any sound.

MEBE

None of What You Hear

Center Room Installation View

In the center of the adjacent room, there are two freestanding 6-foot diameter drums that incorporate neon, LED lights, mirrors, and electricity. Circular texts written in light repeat the words KickBack and KnockKnockKnock – giving the appearance of an endless loop. Throughout the exhibition, the new works employ silence and stillness to create an uncanny perception of sound and movement and to explore the relationship between seeing and hearing.

Impenetrable Room

In the last room gallery, the viewer enters a labyrinth of four 6 x 6 foot structures that together make up the Impenetrable Room (2016). This new body of work co-opts the materials and format of portable “road cases,” which are customarily used to transport and protect musical instruments. Refitting the cases with mirrors and neon light, Navarro transforms these static objects into deep spaces that appear to recede towards infinity.

Impenetrable Room

In this installation, undulating lines of green neon diagrammatically echo the propagation of sound waves through a medium. Silent and monolithic, these self-contained rooms resonate with unspoken narrative power.

Read You Loud Unclear

Black and white paper squares are scattered across the floors of both galleries. The words Read You and Loud Unclear, printed on opposite sides of the cards, call attention to the disjunction between the visual and auditory aspects of communication. Informed by the aesthetics and rhythms of military parades, the exhibition contemplates the juxtaposed feelings of celebration and intimidation that martial music is intended to create.

Tuning Alternate View

Iván Navarro’s Mute Parade will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, located at 293 Tenth Avenue (Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Impenetrable Room