Posts Tagged ‘Mary Heilmann’

SVA Armory Hey

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

At a glance, a few SVA faces at the Armory Show, which opened today:

SVA alumnus Lane Twitchell at Edward Nahem Fine Art

SVA Faculty member Mary Heilmann (on the wall) at 303 Gallery

SVA alumnus Robert Melee at Andrew Kreps Gallery

SVA alumna Phoebe Washburn at Zach Feuer Gallery

ding ding

Lipstick and a Pig

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Nate Lowman/Karla Black reads like a battle of the sexes.  Is it a lover’s quarrel?  Not really, because it feels too general.  Karla Black’s installation asserts its femininity – hear it roar.  Nate Lowman seems to be coming to terms with outmoded male rage.  No more misogyny, misanthropy, and misfiring.
Karla Black blankets the cold gallery floor with solvent femininity, without veering toward the Maternal.  Platonic Solids includes powder paint and cosmetics material, parted in some places to reveal whimsical drawings of geometric shapes, both flat and dimensional.  Its unprotected edges appear to be vulnerable, though the bright pigment is formidable enough to establish boundaries.
Above this scatter sculpture is …. a staggered grid of painted paper.  The contiguous body hangs limply and bears sheets individually  painted and undelicately bound together.  Most sheets seem to have passively drifted through pastel-colored fog, but a few pop out in bright red.  Is there a periodicity to these?  They appear random, but women artists using intermittent reds makes me think of menstruation.  “I don’t trust nothin’ that bleeds for seven days and don’t die.”  Speaking of, the whole piece is brutally, traumatically penetrated by a structural steel beam, which pins the piece like a butterfly specimen.
Meanwhile, Nate Lowman dances around Karla Black’s territory, melodramatically bidding “Happy Trails” to the priapic monopoly of art history, most specifically in High Modernism.  In “Anger Management Trilogy #2,” he revises Willem de Kooning’s violent Marilyn Monroe with a pathetic, infantile gesture too weak to even fill the canvas – like throwing a shoe down a hallway.  Next to it is “Snowman,” alkyd on canvas, whose subject pessimistically – but accurately – shares his fate via a caption that would make Gillian Wearing curdle.  To remind the viewer that the image is only a frozen moment in parabolic dissolution might correspond to the analytic interpretation that a Pollock is a record of gravity – or at least, “action.”  And his untimely death?
The sculpture “Broken Zip” fits perfectly into the show, foiling the steel probe overhead with a disintegrating erection that refers to Barnett Newman “zip” paintings, as well as his great “Broken Obelisk.”  A row of vintage gas pump veneers, rusted and decrepit, reminds me of Edward Hopper imagery, and maybe takes on the provincial heritage of American art history, now buried by globalization and the looming peak oil armageddon.  The trompe l’oeil in the middle chromatically coordinates with Black’s green.
Finally, his “For JJ” (like vah-jay-jay?) consummates in the back hallway with her “Division Isn’t,” which would collapse like a fainting wife and crumble to the floor, were it not suspended by tiny strings.  If the steel probe overhead is any indication, we’re seeing the result of a Lowman’s barbaric insertion, a crime whose only clue is a newspaper clipping about middle-aged riflemen.  Notably, the testicles are turned backward: for most men, the left hangs lower.  That is not the case here, so we must assume that we are sneaking a peek from behind.

... and in this corner ...
... and in this corner ...

Karla Black/Nate Lowman reads like a battle of the sexes.  Is it a lover’s quarrel?  Not really, because it feels too general.  Karla Black’s installation asserts its femininity – hear it roar.  Nate Lowman seems to be coming to terms with outmoded male rage.  No more misogyny, misanthropy, and misfiring.

The Scottish Karla Black blankets the cold gallery floor with solvent femininity, without veering toward The Maternal.  Platonic Solids includes powder paint and cosmetics material, parted in some places to reveal whimsical drawings of geometric shapes, both flat and dimensional.  Its passive expanse and unprotected edges appear to be vulnerable, though the bright pigment is formidable enough to establish boundaries and ward off trespassers.

No doubt, her work has feminine qualities.  Can that claim be derogatory?  What about “girly?”  But thank heavens for girls!  Can’t live without ’em.

The girly nature, and the pastel palette, remind me of Lily van der Stokker’s murals and installations.  Her lowercase cursive text and cartoony, buoyant fields of color are distinctly preteen feminine.

Lily van der Stokker
Lily van der Stokker

Above this scatter sculpture is Don’t Detach, Adapt, a staggered grid of painted paper.  The contiguous body hangs limply and bears sheets individually  painted and undelicately bound together.  Most sheets seem to have passively drifted through pastel-colored fog, but a few pop out in bright red.  Is there a periodicity to these?  They appear random, but women artists using intermittent reds makes me think of menstruation.  “I don’t trust nothin’ that bleeds for seven days and don’t die.”  Speaking of, the whole piece is brutally, traumatically penetrated by a structural steel beam, which gores the piece like a pin through a butterfly specimen.

Mary Heilmann, Rosebud, 1983
Mary Heilmann, Rosebud, 1983

Meanwhile, Nate Lowman dances around Karla Black’s territory, melodramatically bidding “Happy Trails” to the priapic monopoly of art history, most specifically in High Modernism.

Versus
Lipstick on a Pig

In Anger Management Trilogy #2, he revises Willem de Kooning’s violent Marilyn Monroe with a pathetic, infantile gesture too weak to even fill the canvas – like throwing a shoe down a hallway.  Next to it is Snowman, alkyd on canvas, whose subject pessimistically – but accurately – shares his fate via a caption that would make Gillian Wearing curdle.  To remind the viewer that the image is only a frozen moment in parabolic dissolution might correspond to the analytic interpretation that a Pollock is a record of gravity – or at least, “action.”  And his untimely death?

After Gillian Wearing
After Gillian Wearing

The lean Broken Zip fits perfectly into the show, foiling the steel probe overhead with a disintegrating erection that refers to Barnett Newman “zip” paintings, as well as his great Broken Obelisk.  A row of vintage gas pump veneers, rusted and decrepit, reminds me of Edward Hopper imagery, and maybe takes on the provincial heritage of American art history, now buried by globalization and the looming peak oil armageddon.  The trompe l’oeil in the middle chromatically coordinates with Black’s green.

Oh, snap!
Oh, snap!

Green with (penis) envy
Green with envy

Finally, his For JJ (like vah-jay-jay?) consummates in the back hallway with her Division Isn’t, which would collapse like a fainting wife and crumble to the floor, were it not suspended by tiny strings.  If the steel probe overhead is any indication, we’re seeing the result of a Lowman’s barbaric insertion, a crime whose only clue is a newspaper clipping about middle-aged riflemen.

Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls, 1960
Or is it the other "JJ?" (Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls, 1960)

Notably, the testicles are turned backward: for most men, the left hangs lower.  That is not the case here, so we must assume that we are sneaking a peek from behind.  They are also blue: coitus interruptus among us!

Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am
Wham Bam, thank you, Ma'am.  Ma'am?

I guess that’s why they call it the blues?

His and Urs

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
The talk of the town – in the WSJ, the New Yorker, New York Magazine – is Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist takes on the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704024904574475312171391366.html
The mouthpiece of the show – and organizer – is Massimiliano Gioni, Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus.”  The show originated from “Jet Set Lady,” the 2005 solo show of Urs Fischer at the Trussardi Foundation, where Massimiliano Gioni is artistic director, alongside Laura Hoptman, a Trussardi advisory board member by night, Senior Curator at the New Museum by day.
The main attraction is A technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel, ” according the the New Mu.  It includes about 50 shiny stainless steel boxes bearing silkscreen prints on all visible sides.  It’s an assortment of objects depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x y and z.
The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless and the prints masterfully applied.   There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers juggled the images, which demand vertical and horizontal orientations.  Moreover, how did the photographers shoot, scan, and splice these dimension-defying captures?  It’s especially excited in the photos of photos, such as the Installing the heavy cubes required wizardry, too: preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures.  So they unsheathed them from their crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?
Meanwhile, the monumental molten crags on the third floor reveal seams where the component pieces conjoined.  Why would a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer permit this?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are more than surface, even if that battered surface fascinatingly reports the thumb impressions that shaped it in its fetal stages.

Dearth 'vator
Dearth 'vator

Opening today is the new hotness, Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist has his way with the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.

The showman, mouthpiece, and organizer is Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus,” Massimiliano Gioni, 35, older than Jesus.  The show originated when Gioni and Fischer erected Jet Set Lady, Fischer’s seminal 2005 solo show at the Trussardi Foundation, where Gioni is artistic director, and where Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator at the New Museum, is a Trussardi advisory board member.

This is a good time for Gavin Brown.  Fischer is the second artist from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise to have a solo show at the New Museum.  Brownian Jonathan Horowitz just concluded And/Or at P.S.1 and his soul- and gallery-mate, Rob Pruitt, is hosting the First Annual Art Awards this week at the Guggenheim.

P.S. Wish “good luck” to SVA alumni “and/or” faculty who are nominees: Elizabeth Peyton, Mary Heilmann, and Jerry Saltz.

Urs Fischer at New Museum
Urs Fischer at New Museum

The main attraction ($$$) of Marguerite de Ponty (a pseudonym used by Mallarmé when writing on fashion) is “a technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel,” according the the New Mu. Sounds pretty MACHO for an institution founded by feminist Marcia Tucker.

Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007
Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007

It includes about 50 splendid stainless steel boxes, silkscreened on all visible sides with photos of an assortment of objects, depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x through z.  Despite the roid-rage marketing, the installation invokes non-Hulk Hogans: Guyton/Walker + John McCracken + Warhol + maybe Cady Noland in a good mood.  -And Robert Morris cubes, Judd boxing, Picasso cubism, Duchamp readymade, Dutch still life. With flat images adhered to flat, reflective boxes that all share axes, it’s a vista without perspective – no transverse lines, like drawing with an Etch-a-Sketch.

Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha
Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha

Only 40 visitors are allowed in at once, but it’s worth the wait in line, because population control is to labyrinths what rent control is to apartments: you feel good about staying for a long time.

The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless.  There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers, in Austria, juggled the tumbling vertical and horizontal orientations.  Does this site help us? The effect is especially exciting in the photos of photos, such as the giant Ashanti, who looks real from the front, but surprises us as a cardboard cutout.  Look closer, and the cardboard’s crumbled corners and scored surfaces revolt against the surgical, sterile surfaces.

Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer
Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer

Preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures, so they unsheathed them from crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?  If you see Hendrik Gerrits, who oversaw the installation, you should ask him.  He looked really relieved last night.

His and Urs
Sincerely Urs

In contrast to the rigid order below them, the monumental molten crags on the third floor are all accident.  Yet they reveal seams where the component aluminum sections conjoined.  Wouldn’t that bother a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are ugly on the inside, too – even if we want to stay with the fascinating thumb impressions on the surface.

Now that's what I call ART
Now that's what I call ART

That’s right, foxy; I’m talking to YOU!

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough

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