Posts Tagged ‘Eleven Rivington’

Love in the Time of Robots

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Adam Shecter‘s third solo show at Eleven Rivington is an ambitious, animated, science-fiction video called New Year.  The 26-minute, three-channel, panorama spans the entire gallery wall and features hand-drawn and 3D animation, digital video, an original soundtrack by the artist, and voice-over narration by actor Sean Maher.  A handsome chapbook accompanies the show.


Adam Shecter poster at Eleven Rivington, 195 Chrystie Street

Capitalizing on the drama of its sprawling aspect ratio, New Year comprises scrolling, layered panels of moving images, almost like comic book pages unfurling, or like a parade of monitors on top of projections.  Shecter created New Year using Adobe Flash, After Effects, and Premiere – and miniature sets he built and filmed with animation assistance from SVA alum Jae Il Son.

As the images drift from end to end of the projection, I felt my eyes leap from panel to panel, settling on strong images, such as faces, or irresistible effects like flashing colors.  New Year plays with attention, and along with Shecter’s dynamic washes of acid colors and flickering lights, this suggests that sensory perception is an interest of New Year, in addition to memory.  That interest in perception might drive the recurring references to characters seeing and objects being seen.

New Year comprises three stories in one: a gay, married couple, A. and J.; an astronaut, Icarus, whose only interpersonal communication occurs via radio; and two stray dogs exploring a city’s highways.  The metropolis setting offers flashes of recognizable New York City storefronts, street signs, and newspaper racks, but the city of New Year seems to exist in a semi-apocalyptic future: “The entire city is surrounded by water,” reads the script. “Its bays, lakes, and ponds all end in the ocean.”   More importantly, the city exists in the minds of its characters more than on a plot of land; its coordinates are within neurons of memory and marks of habit, instead of points on a map.

The script of New Year encompasses Asimovian notions of robot-human coexistence, such as visiting your “favorite” robot, or watching the robot parade. It also captures atmospheres of Philip K. Dick, as in: “He knows which advertisements are being projected by the light spilling into his cockpit. His spotlight looks like a solid cone in the evening haze.”  But Hayao Miyazaki, rather than Syd Mead, haunts the animated imagery, and the variety of visual styles is as panoramic as the projection itself.

The relationship of A. and J. feels tempered and domestic, driven less by hot impulse and lust, and more by collaboration, familiarity, and empathy: “J. engraves a mark on the back of the watch every July. When J. gave it to A., he said the back represented their past, the front, their present and future.”  The stray dogs, on the other hand, enjoy playful liberty within a hierarchy quickly established.  Meanwhile, Icarus, our lonely astronaut, seems eager for a mate.  Here… am I sitting in my tin can, far above the world…

Pablo Honey

Monday, July 28th, 2014

SVA Summer Residencies alum Pablo Jansana is included in the summer group show at Eleven Rivington, always a go-to space for smart exhibitions.  Art in America describes Jansana’s work as “crisply geometric“.  Indeed, his sculptures are savvy and sharp (in both senses); aluminum slats slice through mysterious, fragmented photographic substrates.  Nearby, dry drips line the edges of his big, black diptych, which seems to stretch like a tar-covered tent over a stake.  (Pushing from beneath it must be the ghost of Steven Parrino.)  Especially when combined with Letha Wilson’s photographic sculptures, one can see welcoming context for Jansana’s work, beginning with artists like John Baldessari, Matthew Brandt, and Marlo Pascual.


SVA Residencies alum Pablo Jansana at Eleven Rivington


SVA Residencies alum Pablo Jansana at Eleven Rivington

Tears Fall

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Jackie Saccoccio’s fourth solo show with Eleven Rivington features large-scale paintings on view at both gallery locations. Driven by gravity and drips, Saccoccio’s paintings relate to her recent shows in New York City and abroad, through which she has pursued the possibility of painting portraiture without image.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Concave)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Concave)", 2014

At 195 Chrystie Street, six towering paintings reach from floor to ceiling. If they are portraits, then they seem like full-body portraits. We learn that they can be grouped into pairs.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Convex)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Convex)", 2014

“Profile-type pictures,” these pairs include Profile (Roy II, Concave) and Profile 3 (Roy II, Convex), Profile (GT Concave) and Profile (GT Convex), and Profile (Echo) and Profile (Narcissus). Respectively, they refer to features of Chuck Close’s Roy II (1994), Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni (1488), and two characters from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


Above all, these feel like portraits of painting itself, rather than paintings of people or paintings of paintings of people. Though painting has many faces, it often does pose itself in these viscous, gestural, and labored manners.  And if it’s true that “You should be able to look at any good painting from several sides,” as Ed Ruscha is said to have said, then these paintings’ rotations above gravity (the drips drip to all compass points) seem to defy head-on-shoulders portraiture, unless tears drip up.

P.S. If you are interested in Italian portraits from the 1480s, be sure to catch Michael Joaquin Grey’s In Between Simonetta animation at Leila Heller Gallery!

Flickering and Constant

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

T.M. Davy’s second solo exhibition at Eleven Rivington, Candela, continues a series of oil paintings scaled and composed for intimacy.  Smaller than letters written home, the paintings seize upon the candlelight that has illuminated Davy’s recent portraits of friends and family members.  T.M.’s hard, gem-like flame yields haunting visitations, sensual textures, molten contrasts, and coruscating color chords that shatter the monochrome fantasy.  This candle flame simulates the photosensitive ocular interface that orients the individual to others, and it is the unifying entry point among the series.

TM Davy, "Candela (Dad's Painting)," 2013

Candela includes portraits of artist friends, such as Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Scott Hug, and a painting of a work on paper by Melissa Brown.  They also include meaningful surfaces, such as the polished sheen of an acoustic guitar, a backdrop of one of his father’s seascape paintings, and a glass that shimmers in fractal subdivision, as irrefutable as Uccello’s chalice.  Finally, T.M.’s index brings us evocative materials, such as lace given to him by a great aunt, and the orchids, oxalis, and cactus plants that populate his Brooklyn loft.  Contemplating this imagery, a viewer might ponder about cohabitation, family, friendship, origins, and heritage – the concentric layers of the self, expanded.

TM Davy, "Candela (Man with Pipe)," 2013

For example, one special subject appears several times in Candela.  This is Liam, Davy’s husband of two years and mate of more than a decade.  In one of these paintings, Liam looks back at the viewer.  If two souls become one in marriage, then by the rules of psychological catoptrics, Liam is looking back at himself.  But one eye is occluded by the candle.  Is this painting about the eye that unifies the couple?  Or is one eye reserved for autonomy, for the inner layers of the person yet to be discovered?  Meanwhile, the couple’s non-human domestic companion, a housecat named Wyeth, cranes her neck outward; the tufts of her mane bloom like an Elizabethan ruff.  It’s a dignifying meditation on a friend, more than a portrait of a pet.  Does this inclusive embrace extend to the plants, which share the artist’s air?  And the textiles he paints?  Why not, if their fabrics convey the memories of the people whose hands have smoothed them?

TM Davy, "Candela (Wyeth)," 2013



TM Davy, "Candela (Honey's Lace)," 2013

Of textiles, Davy devotes one linen to a gray seascape painted by his father, a well-established mural painter whose tutelage brought T.M. to the present.  Here, T.M. literally depicts “his background,” whereby his father’s output includes landscape paintings and an exceptionally gifted son.

Finally, there are the harmonious “values” that might organize the thoughts of the people woven through T.M. Davy.  First, the glass goblet, like a compound spectroscope, refracts a single candle into its twinkling ROYGBIV array, a spectrum that brings painters under the same tent as cosmologists.  Likewise, the guitar strings embody the Newtonian color spectrum, approximately, and thereby summon Walter Pater’s proposal that “All art constantly aspires to the condition of music.”  Or there’s the wisdom that the painter (and violinist) Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres imparted to his students:

“If I could make musicians of you all, you would thereby profit as painters.  Everything in nature is harmony: a little too much, or else too little, disturbs the scale and makes a false note.  One must reach the point of singing true with the pencil or with brush quite as much as with the voice; rightness of forms is like rightness of sounds.”

TM Davy, "Candela (Blue-Grey Glass)," 2013

In other words, Candela offers the possibility that color alchemy or chord intuition attunes an individual to nature, including familial and social bonds.  Or maybe it emphasizes ways the elemental forces of color and music span generations, just like language and agriculture.  -But is one guitar string missing? Why that one?  Is this missing link a lapse, or is it a promise?

TM Davy, "Candela (Guitar)," 2013

UPDATE: T.M. Davy is also in the group show, “Totally Gay for Sports,” curated by Paul Brainard, at The Lodge Gallery, and he’ll host a book signing at Eleven Rivington on Sunday, January 5th, 5-7pm.  For a profile of T.M. Davy, read this:


Friday, November 5th, 2010

Chris Caccamise, Neon Lights After Artschwager, 2009