Posts Tagged ‘Sam Gordon’

Lotta NADA

Friday, May 15th, 2015

NADA New York 2015, the fourth edition of this fair, is up this weekend at Basketball City. Staged by nonprofit group New Art Dealers Alliance, NADA showcases new art from around the globe, with an emphasis on emerging artists.

This year’s fair will feature NADA Presents, a program of interdisciplinary performances and events. Composer Jay Israelson kicked things off with his Tachyon Path, followed by Contemporary Fashion, with Cheryl Donegan, Richard Haines, and NADA x PAOM. Curated by Sam Gordon, Contemporary Fashion was a collaborative fashion show presentation that included a selection of new and recent NADA x PAOM collaborations from Sarah Braman, Bjorn Copeland, Daniel Heidkamp, and Amy Yao. The pieces, each an edition of 50, will be available to purchase at the NADA Shop and online at


Artists modeling in “Contemporary Fashion”


In addition to these events, Aeromoto of Mexico City and Wendy’s Subway of Brooklyn will present A+WS, a collaboratively curated library and reading room​ designed by Tyler Polich and Hannah Wilentz​, Artist Melissa Brown will host Eyes in the Sky Hold ‘Em, a poker scheme that enables NADA visitors to assist cheatin’ poker players in a game off site.  For more of the NADA schedule, visit the NADA website.

Here are some highlights from NADA New York 2015:

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Hybrid States

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Andrew Edlin Gallery features two simultaneous shows, or two related shows, or a show with a prologue.  However you parse PURPLE STATES and Cafe Dancer Pop Up, remember to consider the source.  Sam Gordon, the curator, has explored in his own art the slippery space between art objects and their surroundings.  So it follows that his curated projects would have similarly porous boundaries.


Sam Gordon, “Cafe Dancer (Collage), No. 2”, 2014

That is, his tromp l’oeil paintings, exhibited at Feature in 2012, dissolved hierarchies between painting materials, such paint and canvas, and personal artifacts, like clothing remnants, studio sweepings, hair, and used matches.  Likewise, these shows at Edlin stitch themselves to each other and carry along the social artifacts supporting them. Moreover, these shows take on the “insider-outsider” binary, employing it to reconsider each category and to synthesize hybrid results.


Gone Fishin’ at Edlin Gallery

The “insider” part comes from Cafe Dancer Pop Up, for which Sam Gordon collaborates with artists/dancers Jessie Gold and Elizabeth Hart.  Together, they dress up the gallery’s reception area into a Cafe Dancer “satellite” titled Gone Fishin’, which is inspired by Gold’s and Hart’s real-life Cafe Dancer at 96 Orchard Street, a reliable site for performances and exhibitions, and a partner of the NADA art fair.  (See?  Deep inside.)  Works by artists from the Cafe Dancer scene line the long corridor of the gallery, especially artists with significant exposure that includes solo shows, art fairs, and/or residencies.  Some exceptions are Arley Marks and Monique Mouton, artists whose work I haven’t seen, but will follow.


PURPLE STATES at Andrew Edlin Gallery

The “outsider” part is PURPLE STATES. A serigraph print by Sister Corita Kent literally points visitors “One Way” from the corridor to the main gallery space, where new and older art fuel each other.  Dense zoning and bold layering open up the breadth and potency of individual works.  We see how insider art often shares phylogenetic traits with outsider art, each occasionally passing as the other, and how insider art might be excused of the obsessive and pathological myths of outsider art.  Lest we forget.  Otherwise, a viewer can at least appreciate being steeped among art made by skilled artists who engage with their work through materials just as much as through concept.


Paul Chan and Henry Darger

Paul Chan’s crisp matrix of girls with penises pairs up with super-outsider Henry Darger’s Flamingo Abbieannian Girlscouts and reminds us that well-established artists like Chan can be indebted to (and just as freaky as) outsiders like Darger, for whom girls weren’t always female.  Elisabeth Kley’s ceramic cage alone would strike me as complex and crafty, but Howard Finster’s apocalypse diorama turns it into a cage or disaster-bound vessel, while her ink filigree scroll maps out as spiraling missiles or black flowers from heaven.  Tenuous landscape unites Brian Adam Douglas’ A Quietus with the hallucinatory facescape watercolor by Agatha Wojciechowsky.


A cosmic target icon made of thread and paint by Tony Cox accompanies a provocative naturalist motif by Forrest Bess, a “visionary” (which means “outsider”) recently resurrected for the 2012 Whitney Biennial, who earned six shows with Betty Parsons Gallery, the leading AbEx gallery, a historical fact that “demonstrates the extent to which this outsider was also very much an insider.”  Next to it, the guitar-shaped icon by Guo Fengyi reminds me of Bess’ self-administered genital modification, the documents of which he unsuccessfully attempted to exhibit alongside his paintings at Betty Parsons.


Josh Blackwell’s embroidered plastic bags reanimate remnants, a meaningful process especially next to a pistachio shell painting by Lucky De Bellevue, who is also in the Dancer show, and who pairs well with Thornton Dial.  And the Morton Bartlett bare-legged doll photos, combined with Gina Beavers’ sculptural hand paintings, could spawn a new show about animism (or spanking).  Almost everything in this show is worth mentioning, and the connections are as fluid as observation allows.  But the mystic launch happens in a symmetrical shrine ensemble that includes Brion Gysin, Steve DiBenedetto, Emery Blagdon, Richard Tuttle, an anonymous artist’s Tantric paintings, and drawings from the Korwa people of Uttar Pradesh.  In this corner of the show, automatic writing, ritual, and asceticism join forces with itinerancy and travel – of the body, mind, and soul.

Weld Done

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Check out How Things Are Made, curated by Sam Gordon, at Spot Welders.  Spot Welders is a busy post-production studio in a new space designed by 1100 Architects with custom furniture by Roy McMakin.  Sam Gordon is a busy artist with shows currently up at Feature, Inc and Printed Matter, as well as a curated performance series at NADA NYC called Contemporary Dancing.


How Things are Made, Alpha at Spot Welders

How Things Are Made examines “the processes artists use to make their work and how that may reflect meaning into the results,” according to Sam, whose recent work has combined layered fabrics, clothing remnants, and studio sweepings in abstract paintings.  The exhibition will unfold in three parts, a point that uncovers the “facture” of a curated show, alongside the entries in that show.

Guyton/Walker and Magic Flying Carpets of the Berber Kingdom of Morocco at Spot Welders

How Things Are Made, Alpha includes Katherine Bernhardt, Lucky DeBellevue, Daphne Fitzpatrick, Jake Ewert, Mariah Robertson, William Kentridge, Magic Flying Carpets of the Berber Kingdom of Morocco, Boro Textiles (courtesy of Sri Threads), Guyton/Walker (courtesy of Maharam Digital Projects), Stuart Sherman & Takeshi Murata (courtesy of EAI).


Magic Flying Carpets of the Berber Kingdom of Morocco

Jake Ewert’s painted pizzas are a highlight, as are Daphne Fitzpatrick’s photos and her 3D-printed pipe miniature.  Katherine Bernhardt’s paintings interact beautifully with the Moroccan carpets arranged throughout the studio.  And Stuart Sherman’s diagrammatic performances on video embody the theme of the show.  But everything in this show is terrific and I’m seeking an internship at Spot Welders so I can see Lucky DeBellevue’s dreamcatcher in daylight, every day.

Katherine Bernhardt at Spot Welders

Lucky DeBellevue and Jake Ewert at Spot Welders

A key precedent to the show is Peter Kubelka’s infamous beer commercial, described this way:

“In 1957, Peter Kubelka was hired to make a short commercial for Scwechater beer. The beer company undoubtedly thought they were commissioning a film that would help them sell their beers; Kubelka had other ideas. He shot his film with a camera that did not even have a viewer, simply pointing it in the general direction of the action. He then took many months to edit his footage, while the company fumed and demanded a finished product. Finally he submitted a film, 90 seconds long, that featured extremely rapid cutting between images of dimly visible people drinking beer and of the froth of beer seen in a fully abstract pattern.”

Daphne Fitzpatrick at Spot Welders

A Pop Up “Souk” and opportunity to tour the exhibition takes place Friday, May 10th, 3-6pm at Spot Welders, 44 East 32nd Street, 5th Floor.

All of the above images are by Steven Probert!