Saturday, 23 May 2015


So New York - so much in such a short time - lots of walking between so many shows and then there are so many excellent pieces within the shows - but heres a few choice highlights of what i would recommend...
The triennial at New contemporary art museum - lisa tan - waves, oliver laric - transition, casey jane ellison - its so important to seem wonderful, antonie catala - distant feel, geumhyung jeong - fitness guide. The whole show is fairly challenging with artists tackling some big subjects of the day in very personal ways. 
The American museum of folk art has a show that celebrates the very individual world of very individual people - highlights - jean loubressanes - miniature carved stones, marie lieb's - floor textile pieces, gustav mesmer's flying machines, giuseppe versino's clothing monument. fernando oreste nannetti's statement - i am an astronautic mining engineer in the mental system says it all.
The new Whitney at the bottom of the high line is a bit of a dogs dinner of a design with lots of narrow passages that gum up with visitors and messy walkways all over its many roofs (which face the wrong way!) but the work inside is really good examples of American art - the show created from the collection had some excellent pieces candy jernigan's - found dope, hans haacke - shapolskyetal, luis camnitzer's - the value of art, carl andre's - essayonsculptureforcgossen, paul pfeifer - fragment of a crucifixion, glen ligon's - insular neon america but it was really good to be with matthew barneys cadillac piece without the crowds!!!!
Moma is always excellent - lots of old favourites and as ever its great to just be in the same room as rothko, pollock and beuys (i so love the vitrines) but i spent a lot of time with gordon matta clark's bingo - just fabulous - the two main shows  were okayish - Yoko Ono was a great overview, Bjork was a little like a great promo, although the new video/sound piece was very amazing with lots of references back to earlier work where she connects with landscape. The smaller exhibition Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection was composed of people exploring the darker aspects of our world the contemplative and stark Alfredo Jaar’s landmark project Lament of the Images is so bleak - the contemplative yet oppressive space he created, contextualised by the initial text is a must for every thinking person - its a pity everybody is in the pop art area taking selfies and saying my 5 year old can do this!!!
The Museum of Art and Design has an excellent show focusing on the role of women in the arts and design world called pathmakers. The weaving was particularly beautiful and expertly presented, as ever with great lighting The work of Annie Albers was stunning and the work of the jewellery designer Janna Syvanoja was splendid. 
A day in the galleries around Chelsea is always special - the experience is a bit like the best degree show ever as you move from one space to another - if what your looking at doesn't grab you - you just move on. I went to around 20 shows in between breakfast and lunch at the stunningly beautiful empire diner on the corner of 22nd and10th http://empire-diner.comsome work that has stayed with me......
Ellsworth Kelly at Matthew Marks has a number of stunning large scale structured paintings that only just have the hand of the maker visible. Pretzel Gallery has deeply researched site connected with many hidden and meanings work by Keith Edimer - the recreation of hybrid flowers created for the first lady life cast in dental algenan bbbbbb on pink Tennessee marble arranged to mirror a painting by Martin Johnson Heade were extraordinary. Christopher Wool's large layered text pieces are complimented by tangled sculptural pieces at Luring Augustine. The narrative constructions of Nina Beier's crushed clothes are initially dull but the creases are all talk. More stories made by rivane nauenschwander in a show titled the fever, the sewing box and a ghost at the Tanya Bonakdar gallery had a hole in the wall from which the smell of sump oil extrudes. Mike Weiss Gallery has very clever wooden constructions by Michael Zelehoski that you have to remake in your brain as they are all flat but look 3D. Angela Bullock's light boxes at Mary Boone were really beautiful illuminating the huge space. Ming Wong's four malay stories in the show your bright future at Tina Kim gallery recreates and then deconstructs an imaginary film. Carlos Estrada-Vega's riot of coloured blocks at Margaret thatcher projects was fun. The text piece money is no object by Ricci Albenda at Andrew Kreps Gallery made me think and it's still doing that - the gramma is messing with me. I love Erin Sherreff's work especially the prints in box frames but here the huge cyanotypes along with the looped video were the highlights at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Alberto De Michele's hazy blurred film of a group of thieves titled the wolves was very dark and intriguing at Andrew Kreps Gallery. Michael Heizer at the Gagosian has the huge metal 'text like' pieces but there were also two totally insane rock pieces that were built into the walls - so huge that I just stood and laughed at the bizarreness of them. David Zwirner's two spaces has the oddness and slightly oppressive work of Yayoi Kusama in one where you get to obliterate the inside of a small shed! But the other space has my true highlight of the whole trip Richard Serra. The work Equal was mesmerising - consisting of 8 huge/ginormous cubes that fill the space. four balanced on four, their oppressive 'bigness' fills the brain - you know this is the important element of the work whilst the patina of the core-ten tricks you into being interesting or important even it might be but you mustn't get involved in this frivolous activity - balance, weight, space, form and loss are the focus here. The process of their making is overwhelming, I left feeling elated and at one with both New York in general and the world I live in.
Meanwhile I have lots of follow up searching to undertake after my morning at SURTEXT - walking through three football pitched sized rooms of a trade fair that celebrates the dark arts of surface design, materials, textile design, contemporary furniture companies and stationary. The stands whose work caught my eye were Fredricks & Mae who make darts and arrows, the watermarked paper created by Norrbe, paper punk's folded animals, jhj design's of photographically woven socks, the lighting at tokiotokio and the acoustic wall covering by Anne Kyyro Quinn's.