Blame CanadaSeptember 14th, 2009
During back-to-school season, most galleries open marquee solo shows with their flagship, hot, or new artists. Among the new, Davis Rhodes has his first solo show at Team Gallery, Tom Burr his first at Bortolami, Vincent Fecteau at Matthew Marks, and Dasha Shishkin at Zach Feuer.
Some artvarks attend every opening on big opening nights, like those last week. Obsessive, they check listings at Artcards. Next, they plan an itinerary like a chess match. Sequence galleries by location. Check to see whether any openings end later than others. Which galleries dim the lights at 8 on the dot? Which welcome lingering scenesters for an extra hour? Some lucky ducks, or those in the right company, make the afterparty, though open bars and lavish dinners are history.
I prefer to focus on shows of friends. And maybe other artists of special interest. And CANADA! At CANADA, friendly smiles and shabby chic fill the room. And that’s just the art. The people are unusually amiable, low-key, and freewheeling. No heels, blazers, hair gel, attitude. It’s not a scene. It’s a culture!
CANADA opens an unassuming group show of artists with legit exhibition history, covering several generations (Dona Nelson, Chris Martin, Otis Nelson) and demographics, from sort-of outsider (Otis Houston, Jr.) to total insider (Agathe Snow). The paintings and sculptures are messy, bumpy, juicy, festive, and…mercurial? In a good way.
A nice guy named Tony gave me the low-down on Otis Houston, Jr and pointed me to the helpful blog/archive that he maintains for Otis.
Katherine Bernhardt (in vintage, velour shoulder pads) and Liz Markus shared Swatch watch memories. Andy Coolquitt told Michael Mahalchick and Benjamin Tischer about his installation at Moss, the fancy SoHo design store. The venerable Chris Martin glowed about his friend, painter Mamie Tinkler. Matt Greene shared studio updates and Anne Eastman described her adventurous flights to Europe: intercontinental, incontinent, incredible! Dear Airlines, please carry an emergency stash of baby diapers! -Love, Anne
CANADA openings also have the prettiest girls:
Chris Martin obviously knows this.
Matt Greene obviously knows this.
But don’t take their word for it!