Blame Canada

September 14th, 2009

Artist Otis Nelson, Jr.
Artist Otis Houston, Jr.

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.

Boys to Men: (l-r) Justin Conner, Juan Olivares, Matt Keegan, Jack Pierson, Dan McCarthy, Brian Meola at Vincent Fecteau's Opening
Boys to Men: (l-r) Justin Conner, Juan Olivares, Matt Keegan, Jack Pierson, Dan McCarthy, Brian Meola at Vincent Fecteau's Opening

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!

CANADiAns
CANADiAns

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.

Artists Liz Markus (l) and Katherine Bernhardt (r) rockin the velour HOT
Artists Liz Markus (l) and Katherine Bernhardt (r) rockin the velour HOT

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.

Otis' overseer Tony Schultz
Otis' overseer Tony Schultz

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

SVA alum Dan Nadel = PictureBox
SVA alum Dan Nadel = PictureBox

CANADA openings also have the prettiest girls:

Chris Martin obviously knows this.

Matt Greene obviously knows this.

Artists Matt Greene and Trinie Dalton
Artists Matt Greene and Trinie Dalton

But don’t take their word for it!

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough
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