Entries Tagged as 'New York City'

Michael Landy at Alexander and Bonin

March 5th, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, New York City



Michael Landy: H2NY is a pseudo-documentation of the mad-scientist Jean Tinguely’s big hurrah at the Museum of Modern Art in 1960, Homage to New York, a machine which was supposed to self-destruct but didn’t quite finish the job, instead spitting fire and wild jerks of movement until firemen put it out.

Landy, with a gifted illustrator’s touch, makes loving drawings of the machine in all its permutations. Full of detail and charm, each drawing is a hip surrealist throwback into the winking-eyed vintage postmodernism of Tinguely’s aesthetic. Adding to the Museum of Jurassic Technology-like artful reframing of history, remnants of Tinguely’s machine sit primly in the center of the room as if to say, this happened and kiddo, you missed the show.

Michael Landy: H2NY
Alexander and Bonin
Tuesday, February 20 – Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pia Fries at CRG Gallery

March 2nd, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, New York City

Pia Fries, Loschaug, installation overview

A decadent painter in both concept and form, Pia Fries takes her interest in a 17th century female naturalist and turns it into lush, contemporary work with a hidden narrative element. Maria Sibylla Merian made watercolor observations of plant and animal life in South Africa in the late 1600s, and Fries has taken elements of Merian’s work and collaged them into a skeletal framework for her sumptuous abstractions. Heavy globs and streaks of paint obstruct and frame the representations of flora and fauna, looking as much like magnified elements of nature as the detailed partial renderings. The visual beauty of the work is undeniable, and the historical narrative is one that lingers long after the images have dissolved in memory. The exhibition closes tomorrow.

Pia Fries
CRG Gallery
Feb 2 – Mar 3

Darren Almond at Matthew Marks

February 28th, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, New York City

Darren Almond, Mono Chrono Pneumatic Red, 2007

It’s hard to tell from the above image, but at first encounter, it’s difficult to tell what exactly this huge sculpture does. Clearly, it does something: the back side is all gears and elaborate mechanisms. While you stand there trying to parse out the function (of course you don’t actually read any written information about it — what’s the fun of that?), a whirring-click alerts you to movement and you see a flap on the front flip down or up and it occurs to you: it’s been about a minute since you started looking.

So you step back, and back further, and when you get as far back as you can, the huge pixels organize themselves into the kind of numbers on an old-school alarm clock. It’s a 24-hour clock, of course, so there’s that to assimilate. The whole thing is a shiny red, with hints of yellow, white and blue. It’s 12 feet tall.

It’s all at once a manifestation of the doomsday clock, the hugeness of a blinking alarm first thing in the morning, a screaming reminder of the remainder of time you’ve got left to live. It’s also a reference to the military rigidity of railway time, the on-the-dot punctuality of a communist society, which is fitting for Almond’s 3-channel video projection in the next room, In the Between, which focuses on the highest railway in the world, opened by the Chinese government to connect China and Tibet.

Darren Almond
Matthew Marks Gallery
Feb 17 – April 14

Isa Genzken at David Zwirner

February 26th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Artists, New York City

Isa Genzken, Untitled, 2006

Isa Genzken, Untitled, 2006, installation overview

One of the more engaging sculpture shows we saw in Chelsea, Isa Genzken: New Work is at once playful and sober-minded. While the wall work captures more of my aesthetic interest, the series of modified wheelchairs (each is an individual work, not one large installation), is haunting in its implications.

David Zwirner seems to always be a worthwhile stop. Toba Khedoori‘s paintings are clever and lovely, and Francis Alÿs‘s intensive project, SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC is meaty as well as visually compelling.

Isa Genzken: New Work
David Zwirner
Feb 15-Mar 17

Pipilotti Rist at MoMA

February 23rd, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, New York City



Of all the art we saw in New York last week, my favorite work was Pipilotti Rist’s Ever Is Over All (1997). MoMA’s description is excellent:

Rist’s imagery has several foundations, and invites just as many interpretations. Culled from resources as rich and varied as fairy tales, feminism, contemporary culture, and her own imagination, the artist’s color-saturated, kaleidoscopic projections are a sophisticated visual amalgam of wit, humor, and irony.

Ever Is Over All is a video installation comprising two sharply contrasting projections on adjacent walls accompanied by a melancholic melody. On the right is a large field of bright-red long-stemmed flowers, filmed in close-up with a roving camera. On the left, filmed in medium- and long-shot, is a smiling young woman in a blue dress and red shoes. Walking toward the viewer in slow motion along a car-lined sidewalk, she suddenly raises what appears to be one of the blooms seen in the projection to the right, and, in a burst of inexplicable violence, uses it to smash the window of a parked vehicle. As she moves down the sidewalk and shatters another car window, a policewoman approaches from behind and offers a friendly salute in passing. The anarchic young woman gleefully carries on breaking windows.

Fiction-versus-reality is an important theme for Rist, in whose work an odd combination of nightmare and magic prevails over the logic of common sense. In Ever Is Over All, the artist juxtaposes the field and its flowers with her magically powerful wand, and transposes acts of aggression and annihilation into benevolent and creative ones.

Jonas Mekas at PS1

February 20th, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, New York City

John Kennedy Jr. tells a secret to Anthony Radziwill, his cousin, 1971 (From He stands in a desert counting the seconds of his life), Jonas Mekas, [source]

If I had the luxury of spending an entire day in one of the exhibitions we saw when we were in New York, it would be the Jonas Mekas show at PS1. The compelling exhibition strategy of walls lined with monitors that simultaneously play his films, along with film stills, and a multi-channel installation of the Four Quartets: (The Destruction Quartet; The Education of Sebastian, or Egypt Regained; Farewell to SoHo; and Martin Scorsese: An American Filmmaker at Work) and The Sixties Quartet (Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol, Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas, To John and Yoko with Love, and This Side of Paradise) works beautifully with the content of his work — fragments of the daily and the minutia of friendships, family, and everyday life. A show that features “the godfather of avant-garde cinema” could have easily detoured into a celebratory mess, but in the sensitive hands of guest curator Phong Bui, what comes across is the cumulative power of his humble and attentive body of work, framed by his own joyous manifesto.

In the times when everybody wants to succeed and sell, I want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily failure to pursue the invisible, the personal, things that bring no money and no bread and make no contemporary history — art history or any other history.

I am for art which we do for each other as friends, for ourselves. -Jonas Mekas, from his manifesto of cinema

Jonas Mekas: The Beauty of Friends Being Together Quartet
at PS1, February 11 – April 16, 2007

New York, Day 1

February 16th, 2007 · No Comments · New York City, Writing


Murray and I are in New York for the conference. Yesterday, I spent the day seeing art with my friend Alison Owen. We hit the Whitney Altria’s Burgeoning Geometries show (good), the National Academy and High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975 (good), and then spent a lovely lunch and late afternoon at PS1 (great, especially the Vik Muniz show). We were there in time for sunset, but unfortunately, the door to James Turrell’s roof piece was frozen shut.

Phoebe Washburn, Minor In-House Brain Storm, 2006

Diana Cooper, Emerger, 2006

New York Trip: On the Train to Beacon

August 10th, 2005 · 3 Comments · New York City


One of the highlights of my recent trip to New York was our day-trip to Dia:Beacon, about two hours north of Manhattan on the Hudson River. The trip up serves as the perfect context for Dia, which is full of quiet, contemplative minimalist works. It’s soothing to be on an air-conditioned train traveling along the breathtaking river, eyes drifting out the window over the land of Thomas Cole, Washington Irving, passing West Point and Bannerman Castle. You step off the train quieted, awed, and ready to encounter work that perfectly complements your mood.

Here’s a quicktime movie of our train ride.

The Next Arena at the New York Fringe Festival

July 5th, 2005 · 1 Comment · New York City, Writing

If you’re interested in good, challenging theater in Los Angeles, then you should know about The Next Arena, a year-old non-profit theater company run by some friends of ours. This Thursday, they are putting on a fundraiser to send a one-man show to the New York Fringe Festival.

The Next Arena presents a Fundraising Benefit Performance of the Award-Winning Play

Not Dead Yet
Winner! – “Best One Act Playwriting” at 26th Annual LA Weekly Theater Awards

Thursday July 7th, 2005
6:30pm – Light Refreshments and Silent Auction (including signed Sofia Coppola dvds)
8:00pm – Performance

Salter Family Theater @ Beverly Hills High School – 241 Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills 90212
(Free Parking on campus across from the Theater)

* All Ticket are $20 DONATION *
To reserve your tickets, Call 323-660-4189

This is a one-night only performance. Don’t miss the last chance to see the show that is headed to the NY Fringe Festival!!

*All proceeds go towards The Next Arena’s upcoming 2006 season*