Tag Archive | Word Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: Deborah Kass, OY YO

OY YO
Photos By Gail

Since the 1980s, Deborah Kass has riffed on modern artworks by famous white men to reflect her experience as a Jewish lesbian. Here, Kass remakes Robert Indiana’s LOVE (itself a coded homage to queer male desire) with the twinned words Oy (a Yiddish exclamation of alarm or bother) and Yo.

OY YO

The artist considers herself to be a “total, absolute, 100 percent provincial New Yorker.” This work uses the city’s culturally specific, yet universal lingo to communicate the collective pride and exasperation of living here. Originally conceived as a monumental sculpture, it was installed for limited time in Brooklyn Bridge Park. OY/YO (2017) became an instant New York icon and photo op for tourists and residents of al backgrounds, for whom the pluralist spirit of the double-sided interjection resonated deeply

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Bruce Nauman, Human Nature / Life Death

Human Nature / Life Death
All Photos By Gail

Bruce Nauman’s neon sculpture, Human Nature / Life Death (1983) is a circle of words corresponding to the defining contradictions of human existence — life and death, love and hate, pleasure and pain — are trisected by the words “Animal,” “Human” and “Nature.”

Human Nature / Life Death

Human Nature

Animal Nature

In the aggregate, the words form a colorful, illuminated peace symbol. Human Nature / Life Death is anything but serene or amicable, however, and not only because of its content. As the words flash and darken erratically, Nauman’s neon devolves into a jumble of disjointed signs that break the continuity of the composition and jerk the eye across the wall.

Human Nature / Life Death

Photographed in The Met Breuer in Manhattan.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Made in China (Pink) By Sui Jianguo

Made in China Pink
Photos By Gail

Available in a signed, limited edition of 120 pieces, Made in China (Pink) by Chinese artist Sui Jiango was photographed in the Taglialatella Galleries on Tenth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Made in China Pink

Matthew Sleeth, Rules to Live By at Claire Oliver Gallery

It Was All a Dream
All Photos By Gail

Claire Oliver Gallery is currently hosting Rules to Live By, new works from Australian artist Matthew Sleeth. This is Sleeth’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

Installation View 2

In Rules to Live By, Sleeth seeks to draw attention to how signs program us to behave in a prescribed manner. By adopting their form and aesthetic while misappropriating their ideology, the artist has constructed a series of sculptural works that question the dogma of a politically correct society.

The Revolution

With this new body of work, the artist suggests we delve beyond superficiality for a deeper meaning in life. The texts featured in these works are sourced from a combination of found, combined, appropriated or completely invented signs or instructions.

You Can Do Anything

Rules to Live By builds directly from Sleeth’s pivotal 2011 installation, The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization (And Other Obvious Metaphors), which was also exhibited at Claire Oliver. The Rise and Fall encompased a 120 foot, three-ton concrete and plywood sculpture, representing a freeway system arcing through space (and rising from knee height to over 12 feet in the air) with a road surface populated with various signs, images and objects. Inspired by the public response to the messages portrayed in that installation, Sleeth choose to expand on the irony of the impact mass media has on the population at large.

Guns Dont Kill People

Sleeth explains, “Over many years, I have explored concepts of ‘algorithmic control’ in my work. I have been particularly interested in signs as a cultural iconography; I am both seduced by their elegance and uneasy with their Orwellian effectiveness.”

Happiness Equals Expectation Over Achievement

“These roadmaps of sorts are the rules we live by; they are the software that controls the way we negotiate our environment. I have long been fascinated by these sets of instructions that hold such sway over us. Why is it so difficult to ignore a sign?”

You Get the Art You Deserve

The contested behaviors being negotiated in each sign are either encouraged or discouraged by the assumptions embedded or coded in the text. Many of the conventions explored in these works depend on a range of cultural assumptions in order to function. Part of the rationale of this project is to make these assumptions visible through the process of pattern recognition within and between the insignias.

Will My Children, This City

The images in Rules We Live By appropriate the formal qualities and exacting methods of fabrication of their cultural referents. The viewer is meant to recognize the codes of persuasion being used in each work and how these refer to the social contexts from which they are drawn.

Nobody Really Cares

Owl
Matthew Sleeth Signage

Matthew Sleeth’s Rules to Live By will be on Exhibit Through December 3rd, 2016 at Claire Oliver Gallery, Located at 513 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

I Want A Pony

Installation View

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Wayne White, I’m Having a Dialogue With The Universe, And You’re Just Sitting There at Joshua Liner Gallery

F.U. MONEY
F.U. MONEY By Wayne White (All Photos and Video By Gail)

Joshua Liner Gallery is currently hosting its second major solo exhibition of work from Los Angeles based artist Wayne White, entitled I’m Having a Dialogue With The Universe, And You’re Just Sitting There. This exhibition is White’s most ambitious project to date with the Gallery, featuring all aspects of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice: including kinetic sculptures, murals, work on paper, a wallpaper installation, and White’s signature Word Paintings on vintage offset lithographs.

HAD IT GOIN ON BUT LOST IT THEN GOT IT BACK THEN FUCKED UP AND LOST IT
HAD IT GOIN ON BUT LOST IT THEN GOT IT BACK THEN FUCKED UP AND LOST IT

From puppeteer, to painter, illustrator, sculptor, wordsmith —and even typographic artist —the enormous breadth of White’s creative output is part of a career spanning over 35 years. For this body of work, the artist deconstructs themes surrounding vanity, hubris, and the inflated egos of artists, as he explains, “I’m drawn to the humor of vanity. The title of the show is an artist’s private, nasty thoughts about how he or she is superior to the public and is so worthy of praise and attention. It’s my way of popping bubbles and kicking pedestals.”

THOSE GUYS ARE PUSSIES
THOSE GUYS ARE PUSSIES

Humor in particular is among the strongest touchstones of White’s work, explored throughout the entirety of his practice, and most discernibly in his word painting series — painted, often with profane epithets, on vintage offset lithographs of kitschy landscapes. Cleverly wry phrases such as “THOSE GUYS ARE PUSSIES,” and “HAD IT GOIN ON BUT LOST IT THEN GOT IT BACK THEN FUCKED UP AND LOST IT,” interrupt the scenery, often integrated within the formal compositions of the offset prints.

I'M GONNA PLAY LIKE YOU DIDN SAY THAT

White pays special attention to the structure of each letterform in the word paintings, creating dynamic optical interactions.   This arrangement of forms requires careful reading, as letters transform from clearly legible words into objects with vanishing points and buoyancy. In contrast to recent word paintings from White, these new works revisit an earlier style from the artist that evokes strong influences of Surrealism. Meanwhile, F.U. MONEY elicits Dadaist influences with its mixing of letterforms and unorthodox punctuation, superimposed on a Parisian scene at dusk. Adding to the Surrealist undertones, and echoing the walls of Peggy Guggenheim’s art collection, the installation of the works will extend from the gallery walls, held upright by oversized plywood hands.

Covered Wagon

Other works engage with the artist’s nostalgia for his youth, and Southern heritage. In Covered Wagon, White paints a pre-industrial American carriage, spiraling into the center of a found lithograph, while a series of works on paper explore various commercial signage from mid-century America.

Waynetopia

White’s most recent collaborative work — a wallpaper installation with Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper — is also installed in the Gallery. Entitled Waynetopia, the wallpaper design is adapted from a mural in the artist’s dining room at his home in Los Angeles. Inspired by 19th century French scenic wallpaper, the design features a fantastical landscape with tropical foliage, mountains, majestic skies, and White’s trademark painted words.

Youre Just Agreeing With Me
You’re Just Agreeing With Me So I’ll Shut Up

Here’s a video of one of White’s Kitchen Word Sculptures.

FUCKIT
FUCKIT

Instagrat
Instagrat

 

Wayne White’s  I’m Having a Dialogue With The Universe, And You’re Just Sitting There will be on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2016 at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at West 28th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

FUCK THAT
FUCKTHAT

Wayne White Installation View

“Don’t Call Me Baby” Mural

Don't Call Me Baby
Photo By Gail

I wish I had gotten to this mural before the D-Bag taggers did. Don’t Call Me Baby by Baron Von Fancy is part of #TheNewAllen murals project on the store fronts along Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. You can see many of them if you take the M15 Bus route south of Houston Street!

NOTE: Since this photo was taken, the mural has been repainted with identical text, but with different florescent colors highlighting each word.