Tag Archive | word art

Natascha Sadr Haghighian, I Can’t Work Like This

I Can't Work Like This
All Photos By Gail

West German artist Natascha Sadr Haghighian (b. 1968)  investigates modes of perception and the politics of representation in an expansive conceptual practice that includes performance, writing, video, installation and online projects. She is particularly interested in the consumption of visual art – a field the artist identifies as a reflection of its wider socioeconomic context. I can’t work like this (2007) was conceived in response to a gallery’s invitation to feature her work as the sole exhibition in a commercial art fair booth; the piece was intended to mount a tacit assault on a strolling audience of potential buyers.

I Can't Work Like This

The work withdraws the traditional art object, at least metaphorically, and leaves only the most ubiquitous tools for art installation, including discarded hammers, a common symbol for labor. The effect is one of a casual abandonment, as though the artist simply walked away, though whether in defeat or triumph is open to interpretation. A sharp one-liner, I can’t work like this functions as an expression of the artist’s frustration at the pressures and parameters of her creative output.

Hammer and Nails

Photographed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City as part of the Storylines Exhibit in 2015.

“At Long Last…” 207th Street Subway Stop

At Long Last
Photo By Gail

Northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights at 207th Street/ Inwood: Here, the A Train begins its 31 mile journey from NYC through Brooklyn to either Lefferts Boulevard or Far Rockaway in Queens. This is where we spotted this distinctive artwork, specifically designed for the station. On the opposite side of this corridor you’ll find a complimentary message, “At the Start…” Both murals’ mirror mosaic text were created from silk screened silver tiles in 1999 by artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville. Beautiful.

Elizabeth Dee Gallery Presents: John Giorno, Space Forgets You

Prefer Crying in a Limo
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

I think I can safely say that every single time I’ve stumbled across a cool exhibit at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, located just off 11th Avenue on 20th Street, it’s not only because I’m on my way to a gallery located a bit further east, but because I recognize a piece of art in the window as one I’ve seen at Frieze Art Fair. This indicates that the artists they represent are truly memorable, because Frieze is massive. My point being, I stopped in to Elizabeth Dee on Saturday because I recognized the artwork of John Giorno, who creates text-based paintings of bold, thought provoking slogans originally sourced from poetry that the artist has written, or lines that never made it into a final poem. It’s amazing to see that, at age 79, John Giorno continues to create works that speak so poignantly to a contemporary audience.

God is Man Made

In this series, entitled Space Forgets You, Giorno presents his paintings in three different styles: in vibrant, rainbow-hued paints, as pastel water colors, and earth-toned graphite drawings. Although many of the sayings are repeated over the various groups, the method by which each was created definitely affects ones perception of the message.

Pastel Room

One gallery room is dedicated to the water colors.

Beige Room

Another displays all of the smaller, graphite drawings.

Bad News

My favorites in this series are the rainbow colored paintings. This one I’ve seen at Frieze, but done with black paint on a white canvas.

Thanx 4 Nothing

It always gives me great satisfaction to use this phrase, for some reason.

Party for the Gods

This one is great. It should be on a T-Shirt.

Life is a Killer

So true.

John Giorno’s Space Forgets You will be on Exhibit Through May 9th, 2015, at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, Located at 545 West 20th Street at Eleventh Avenue (West Side Highway), in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Modern Art Monday Presents: René Magritte, The Palace of Curtains III

The Palace of Curtains III
Photo By Gail

The Palace of Curtains, III (1928) is one in a series of paintings by René Magritte that explores the resonances between words and images. Two polygons with nearly identical profiles lean against a wood-paneled wall. Each shape frames a depiction of sky, one with a painted representation, the other with language (the French word ciel, meaning sky).

Magritte was fond of unexpected pairings between interior and exterior scenes, as with the patch of blue sky against the finite backdrop of the wall. Placing words in absurd or unexpected contexts, Magritte challenged the conventional use of language. Though the use of text in his word-picture pairings may seem incongruous, the artist viewed all language as arbitrary: “An image is not so wedded to its name,” he said , “that one cannot find another which suits it better.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

The Lord’s Prayer Sculpture

Lords Prayer Sculpture
Photo By Gail

This unique and graceful sculpture contains all of the text of The Lord’s Prayer. Photographed in the courtyard of the Transfiguration Church on Mott Street in ChinaTown, NYC.

REBEL Street Mural

Rebel Street Mural
Photo By Gail

Photographed by me on West 26th Street Between 10th and 11th Avenues in the Chelsea Gallery District!

A$AP (Safety Exit) By Siu Lan Ko

A$AP Sign
A$AP (Safety Exit), 2010; LED Lightbox, Aluminum Frame, Glass Panel, LED Lights, Still Screen
Edition of Eight (Photo By Gail)

Our friends from Petersen Parts have mentioned an avid customer of theirs, Chinese artist Siu Lan Ko makes objects, public works, performances, videos and installations. Words and slogans as readymades are at the center of her art process. Living in both China and Canada, she enjoys wordplay and actions which reflect the misunderstandings and contradictions that result from different coexisting cultures, languages and social systems, stemming from her China East versus China West cultural experiences. Her performances, installations, objects and Public Works utilized the possibilities created by the impossibility of translation, and embrace the poetic limitations of speech.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Neon Drugs Sign

Jack Pierson Drugs (Pink and Orange)
Photo By Gail

Jack Pierson, Drugs (Pink and Orange), 2000. Neon and Transformer. Photographed at the Leila Heller Gallery on West 57th Street, NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: I Shop Therefore I Am By Barbara Kruger

I Shop Therefore I Am By Barbara Kruger
Photographed By Gail at the Mary Boone Gallery on 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District

Commentary Below is Excerpted from Smithsonian Mag Dot Com‘s Barbara Kruger’s Artwork Speaks Truth to Power:

Even if you don’t know the name Barbara Kruger, you’ve probably seen her work in art galleries, on magazine covers or in giant installations that cover walls, billboards, buildings, buses, trains and tram lines all over the world. Kruger takes images from the mass media and pastes words over them, big, bold extracts of text — aphorisms, questions, slogans. Short machine-gun bursts of words that when isolated, and framed by Kruger’s gaze, linger in your mind, forcing you to think twice, thrice about clichés and catchphrases, introducing ironies into cultural idioms and the conventional wisdom they embed in our brains.

I Shop Therefore I Am, (1987), one of Kruger’s most famous works, makes a pointed critique of our consumer culture. Read more about the life and work of Barbara Kruger at the link above.

Wayne White’s Invisible Ruler at Joshua Liner Gallery

Asshole
All Photos By Gail (Click On Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

The fall gallery season kicked off in a huge way on the evening of September 11th, with dozens of opening receptions competing for attention and the streets of the Chelsea Gallery District packed like Sixth Avenue during the annual Village Halloween Parade as art lovers scrambled to make it to as many shows as possible. It was a blast! Our first stop of the evening was one of our favorite spots, Joshua Liner Gallery, for Invisible Ruler, featuring new works by Wayne White, an exhibit which did not disappoint!

Wayne White has had an extensive career as an artist and art director. A three-time Emmy Award winner for his production design on Pee-wee’s Playhouse, White is also noted for his music videos for Peter Gabriel and The Smashing Pumpkins. And, as you will see by the works in this fun exhibit, he is an accomplished Sculptor, Puppeteer, Painter and Illustrator.

Wayne White Word Art Display Wall

For Invisible Ruler, Liner’s large front gallery is dominated by an exhibit of White’s signature Word Paintings. For this series, White paints bold slogans, phrases or single words over mundane, bucolic landscapes and vintage offset lithographs to create a startling and thought provoking contrast of images.

I Started a Joke
Favorite Bee Gees’ Song

Blo Jo

I believe with this one, your mind might fill in a couple of seemingly “missing” letters. These Word Paintings are lots of fun.

Wayne White Cubist Watercolors

There is also a selection of the artist’s Cubist-style watercolor drawings, which he created during his residency at the Rauschenberg FoundationJoshua Liner did nice job of painting the gallery wall to match the style of these works.

Wayne White Cowboy

Wayne White Blue Watercolors

These two, above are especially beautiful

Wayne White Giant Puppets

The Oh Wow moment arrives when you unexpectedly come upon this pair of 15-foot, hand cut kinetic sculptures (tucked away in the rear gallery space) that White has named The Louvin Brothers — giant cardboard puppets based on American country music duo Ira and Charlie Louvin. This installation was the most impressive piece of art I saw in the entire two-hour course of the evening’s art crawl, and it definitely elevates Invisible Ruler to the status of a Must-See show.

It was nice to meet Wayne White in person at the gallery that evening; he is super cool. Thanks for the great art, Wayne!

Wayne White’s Invisible Ruler will be on Exhibit through October 11th, 2104, at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at 540 West 28th Street, NYC. Gallery Hours are Tuesday — Saturday, 11:00 AM — 6:00 PM.