Posts Tagged ‘Saul Steinberg’

East Village Eye

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

“It wasn’t until I went to these alternative spaces where I met other artists who also felt like outcasts — and most of them were women and people of color — that I found a community.” -Anton van Dalen talks with Hyperallergic in a great interview about art, mentorship, the East Village, and pigeons.

www.mgprojekt.ru – nice projects.
Image via Hyperallergic

Image via Hyperallergic

Fight or Flight

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

New Works and the Avenue A Cut-Out Theatre is Anton van Dalen’s first show with P.P.O.W and his first solo exhibition in eight years.

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Anton van Dalen at PPOW Gallery

A forty-year resident of the East Village, Anton van Dalen is a neighborhood icon. For decades, his work has documented and depicted the problems of his dynamic neighborhood and its looming surroundings, from junkie dystopia to bank-branch mall. Along with making art, he breeds white pigeons from his Avenue A rooftop and reportedly kept roosters in his home.  And he assisted Saul Steinberg, secretly, for thirty years.  His paintings commingle these influences: several of these East Village views are from up high and employ the “graphic clarity” that van Dalen has described of Steinberg: “the idea of drawing with a single line, no shading, etc.”

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Sunrise in the East Village: “Self-Portrait with Pigeon Coop Looking South,” 2014

 

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Sunset in the East Village: “Self-Portrait with Pigeon Coop Looking North,” 2014

New Works is a series of paintings that feature the new East Village, fully “cleaned up” and luxury-class.  Van Dalen selects the polarized colors of sunrise and sunset, perhaps to coordinate with his diurnal pigeon schedule.  Van Dalen’s street scenes look flattened and blocky, like colorful dioramas or stage sets, offering a noncommittal interpretation that might be an adaptation to a changing neighborhood.  Instead of realism, Van Dalen expresses his vision of the East Village in a naive, though skillful, painting style based in drawing and rich in geometries, figuration, and perspective: just short of cartoonish Canaletto.

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“Avenue A, Day/Night,” 2008-2011

 

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The burdens we carry: details of Anton van Dalen paintings

 

The colorful naïvete relents in Avenue A Cut-Out Theatre, the set for his one-man puppet show, which he has previously performed at MoMA and the New York Historical Society.  Here, Van Dalen stages violent clashes with police in riot gear.  Could this be his telling of the brutal repression, usually invisible, that paves the way for a more user-friendly East Village?  Driving out the undesirables?

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Anton van Dalen in “East Village U.S.A.”

 

If so, then we can look for skepticism in Van Dalen’s vision of Alphabet City coexistence.  Answers might await when he performs at PPOW next weekend. For now, check out this great interview at Interview with Martha Wilson.

The Birth of Quill

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Your "Peace" in the Show: Joe Flood with Keith Mayerson

Curated by artists’ artist Keith Mayerson, the neo-NeoIntegrity (or post-NeoIntegrity) migrates from Chelsea to SoHo, where, 15-20 years ago, it would have been in the capitol of the art world.  The first incarnation at Derek Eller Gallery in 2007 felt like the Justice League Satellite, a zero-gravity chamber of unimpeachable art that surely anticipated Reporta Smith’s recent summoning for “art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand.”  And this show does, too.

Inside the gallery at MoCCA (the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art), the show seems as far from Chelsea as Narnia, Gotham City, or Krypton, despite the presence of the Chelsea canonized Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Ellen Berkenblitt, Carroll Dunham, and Peter Halley.  And has the Whitney been by to see the Ad Reinhardt collages?

Big balls in a square-paneled world: Keith Mayerson's shout-out

Visitors to NeoIntegrity: Comics Edition might recall recent “visitations” in Chelsea from this alien planet: Basil Wolverton at Gladstone Gallery (2009), R. Crumb at David Zwirner (now), Thomas Woodruff at P.P.O.W. (2008), David Shrigley at Anton Kern (2008) and many other shows of artists working in sequential imagery, grotesque countenance and figuration, and mostly pencil and ink.  Keith Mayerson’s own mini-retrospective and end-of-empire narrative Both Sides Now at Paul Kasmin Gallery (2009) shuttled back and forth between these worlds.

(l) MoCCA Chairwoman Ellen S. Abramowitz, youngsters, MoCCA Director Karl Erickson

Generously funded by School of Visual Arts, a longtime fount of cartooning and illustration talent, Keith’s massive project includes over 200 artists and four or five times as many drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos.  Hot!  The tiny gallery is packed from floor to ceiling, and you really have to watch your step, too.

Krazy Kats: (l-r) Artists Michael Magnan and TM Davy, muse Liam O'Malley, and artist Scott Hug

The bifocals crowd might struggle with the abundance of 10-pt handwritten text extruded throughout the paneled pages, and there is enough black-and-white action to make any newspaper’s editorial page see red.  But that just means that it’s even more of a knockout to see full-color from chromo sapiens such as Dana Schutz, David Sandlin, and John Wesley.  An “Adults Only” section designed by artist TM Davy includes grown-up material ranging from suggestive homoeroticism and explicit T&A to downright  obscenity – more, please!  Here, you’ll find a really beautiful and moody package from James Siena and a multivalent Shel Silverstein that gazes inward, outward, and downward, all at once.

Gold-Medal winning illustrator Yuko Shimizu, SVA MFA '03

More pictures to come after the rain subsides, but the photos today are from the opening reception last week.

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough