heikemoras

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423 articles written by heikemoras

Josef Albers looms large in Julian Stanczak’s work. The late Polish artist, who escaped the horrors of the Soviet Gulag and ended up in Albers’ class at Yale University, took to geometric abstraction with a passion that rivalled his teacher’s. Eventually, Stanczak ventured beyond the rigid square format of his master and started to explore more complex color relationships within parallel lines, waves, and grids. Stanczak’s was a master of nuance – some of his best works contain a myriad of shades eliciting the most personal emotional responses and that decidedly humanize his paintings, like an old friend you know well. Lines, shapes, colors, and materials “should know about each other,” Albers once famously said, “they should pay attention to each other.” Just as friends should. At Mitchell-Innes & Nash through July 14.

There are only a few works on view in Ceal Floyer’s elegant new exhibition at 303 gallery but they nevertheless bag a real punch. Floyer toys with simple objects, changing their innate perception into something vexing. A typical small desk balance ball meant to relieve stress is knotted up into a discombobulated mess – the stress relief withheld for the viewer. A row of dominos set up to be knocked over in to a cascading elegance is unsatisfactorily set up too close – the yearning for action denied. Try to reach the back gallery and find your way blocked by a menacing saw blade cutting a hole through the floor – a hint of caution, perhaps, for an overly eager collector. Floyer’s best work is her video “Plughole”, prominently projected onto the back wall of the gallery. A stream of water is precisely repositioned to fill each hole of an ordinary drain but the water does not comply and emerges back through the other holes – a cunning reminder of irritating people, things, thoughts and feelings that just don’t want to go away. At 303 gallery through July 14.

A delightful show that traces Betty Parsons’ artistic trajectory from the 1920s through 1981 is currently on view at Alexander Gray gallery. The survey is divided into five parts “Becoming an Artist”, “The World as Inspiration”, “Embracing Abstraction”, “Rendering the Invisible Presence” and “Assemblages” and shows Parsons incredible mastery of a variety of styles and media as well as her tremendous savviness as a colorist. Parsons’ embrace abstraction emerged from a desire to capture feelings and mood in the natural world and morphed into soft biomorphic abstractions during the 1970s that remained her most enduring legacy. Here is “Bird in a Boat” from 1971. At Alexander Gray through July 14.

Restless, unconventional and marked by impulsive stylistic shifts, the oeuvre of the late Belgian artist Philippe Vandenberg defies characterization yet is revered precicely for its inability to tick a particular formal or aesthetic box. The thin loose thread that runs through his countless experimentations, U-turns and impulsive about-faces illustrates Vandenberg’s immense indignation at urgent social concerns and exposes a fierce passion for literature, art history and language. The last years of Vandenberg’s artistic output were marked by intense investigations into the intersections of language, text and color that produced multi-layered and rich drawings, paintings and book projects and are now part of a titillating exhibition curated by the director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, Anthony Huberman. Particularly compelling are Vandenberg’s word play drawings that manage to simultaneously fuse symbolism, language and text into brilliant abstract compositions. At Hauser & Wirth through July 28.

Tomorrow is the last day to see the intoxicatingly silly dance extravaganza “Whipped Cream” produced by Alexei Ratmansky and performed by the stellar American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House. With a re-discovered score by Richard Strauss and a fantastical set design by Mark Ryden, the ballet centers around a young boy with an irresistible sweet tooth. For those who are missing the show, there is still a chance to see Ryden’s dazzling drawings, sketches and paintings which he created in preparation for the sugary dance. In Charlie-and-the Chocolate-Factory meets Wayne Thiebaud, Ryden overindulges on pink pralines, tiered vanilla cakes and candy-colored confections, plunging the viewer into a meticulously illustrated fantasy world of pink ballerinas, wizards and kitschy sugar-coated fairy tales. At Paul Kasmin Gallery through July 21.

 

 [The genital organs] aren’t scandalous. Quite the opposite. I put them in my pictures because I want to be even more of a realist than I am. There’re still lifes. They’re like whispered suggestions I get from my mouth, but in my paintings I’ve often wanted to camouflage the mouth. The mouth, now that’s real desire. – Carol Rama.  At the New Museum through September 10.

Los Angeles-based painter and musician Llyn Foulkes’ diverse painting practice ranges from landscapes, mixed media assemblages to layering in relief. Bitingly sarcastic and gleefully anti-establishment, Foulkes likes to take on the grand pillars of corporate greed, the superficiality of the art world, and the wholesomeness of Disney. Foulkes’ macabre bloody head portraits barely contain his anger. Politicians, businessmen, Hollywood agents are shown with smashed-in faces, the gruesome bloody mess obliterating their identity. A carefully curated selection of Foulkes’ disparate oeuvre is currently on view at David Zwirner through June 24.

It’s a tricky thing when an artist involves his family in the art making process. Is it artistic nepotism? The cementing of a dynasty? For the late Swiss conceptual artist, Dieter Roth, having his family working alongside him seemed as natural as picking up a paint brush. Roth’s studio was not only a place of personal artistic expression and intense experimentation but also a sort of family business where Roth’s son, Björn, worked closely with his father and eventually his grandsons Oddur and Einar joined in as well. The output of this most unusual family collaboration is currently on view at Hauser & Wirth. There is a sprawling re-installation of Roth’s studio space complete with paintings by Björn; Roth’s seminal artist’s books, “Flacher Abfall/Flat Waste” a sprawling installation of over 600 binder’s that hold the family’s garbage and finally, for those viewers in need of some sustenance, there is the “Roth Bar” a recreation of a bar made by Roth of salvaged materials that serve such hipster food as Vegan sunchoke soup and cruelty free lattes. At Hauser & Wirth through July 29.

 ‘Fear and Loathing in American Suburbia’ has long been the topic of Eric Fischl’s figurative painting practice. Once considered the wellspring of the American Dream, the nation’s suburbs have provided Fischl with a stream of psychologically charged material of dysfunction and despair. Skarstedt is currently showing a series of new paintings by Fischl that painfully hold a mirror to what ails America. All set around a swimming pool, the quintessential gateway into middle class, Fischl claws at the veneer of decorum, respectability and success to expose a society saturated with consumer goods but devoid of humanity. In “Late America”, a boy draped in an American flag regards a despairing nude white male while immigrant gardeners dispassionately go about their business. A bleak analogy for the present and a decidedly pessimistic outlook for the next generation. At Skarstedt through June 24.

The nine paintings by Ellsworth Kelly, completed shortly before his death in 2015 and currently on view at Matthew Marks Gallery, are a posthumous gift to all fans of Minimalism. Rigorously controlled and flawlessly executed, the works are a tour de force that show the dynamic relationships between shape, form and color; depth and density, weight and balance. Hovering between sculpture and painting, they are exemplary studies of the malleability of color and perception. At Matthew Marks through June 24.

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