Marcel Duchamp estimates, “If the shadow is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world, then the three-dimensional world as we know it is the projection of the four-dimensional universe.” This aphorism accompanies Steven Sebring’s gorgeous Revolution, capturing the essence of the ambitious exhibition. The artist allows us glimpses into the fourth dimension using a 4D camera rig, which is able to capture small increments of time from every angle. Thus, we get to see every moment of every movement made by a dancing Coco Rocha, playing on a gigantic screen. Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase receives modern treatment in Sebring’s Nude Descending the Stairs print. Introducing the revolutionary device to the masses, Revolution was on display for two days only, May 21st – 23rd at the 69th Regiment Armory.
This morning, the Whitney Museum held the press preview for its new exhibition, Hopper Drawing. The insightful retrospective features the inspiration, research, and sketches that preceeded some of Edward Hopper’s most iconic works. It succeeds in engaging modern audiences in the creative processes of one of the most prolific painters of the twentieth century, reestablishing his importance in American art. Hopper Drawing is showing through October 6, 2013.
On May 2003, Dia Art Foundation opened Dia:Beacon on the coast of the Hudson River. Ten years later, the Foundation hosted it's annual Spring Benefit on Dia:Beacon's 10th Anniversary. We were pleased to attend the event yesterday as they honored artist, Robert Irwin. After the celebratory luncheon, we were able to view a new presentation of works by Alighiero e Boetti and a live reading of On Kawara's multi-volume work, One Million Years, both at Dia:Beacon for the first time. Other guests that attended included artists such as Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla, David Diao, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Whitman and Marian Zazeela.
Kairos, the title of this year’s art and design show within the Red Bull Music Academy, is the Ancient Greek concept of qualitative time. Denser than chronos – time understood in simple, fixed measurements -- kairos recognizes that contained within those measurable increments are immeasurable possibilities. Acknowledging that life occurs somewhere between both dimensions, both definitions of time, curator Ken Farmer presents a collection of visual ruminations on the New York of now. Encompassing presentations that range from the celebratory to the mundane, the show reminds us to be constantly, purposefully present as our own clocks move time along. Kairos showed May 14th and 15th, helping to commemorate the Academy’s 15th year.
Frieze New York, the second edition of the annual international contemporary art fair sponsored by Deutsche Bank, was held this weekend (May 10-13) at Randall’s Island Park. The fair, which showcases artwork from 180+ leading worldwide contemporary art galleries, featured artists such as B. Wurtz, Barbara Kruger, Danh Vo, Gillian Wearing, Jenny Holzer, Ryan McGinley and Sol LeWitt.
This morning, we attended the PULSE New York Private Preview Brunch at The Metropolitan Pavilion. PULSE, held annually in both New York and Miami, is considered a leading US contemporary art fair that provides a distinctive platform for various galleries to exhibit both emerging and well-established artists. PULSE will be running through Sunday, May 12th.
One of the most notable features of DSM-V, currently on display at the historic Farley Post Office on 8th Avenue and 31st, is the show space. In a wing that has been closed off for decades and formerly housed the infirm and incarcerated, works by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, and Andy Warhol drudge up dark matter from the depths of the human psyche. The show’s title appropriates the abbreviated title of the American Psychiatric Association’s "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders." Although the works are dissimilar in form, the audience can easily follow the emotional and psychological thread binding, say, Borna Samaak’s endless hallucinogenic video and Betty Thompson’s close-up coital painting. Art Critic David Rimanelli and Vito Schnabel present a show with works that wail at the viewer, forcing her to connect with her secret pathologies, her innermost complexes and desires. DSM-V is showing through June 4, 2013.
Yesterday evening, we were excited to have Miles Aldridge sign our copy of “I Only Want You to Love Me,” the book accompanying his retrospective of the same name showing at Steven Kasher Gallery. The book and retrospective feature the British photographer’s signature satirical, pop-inspired photos of women seemingly trapped in their beautiful bodies, clothes, jewelry, and homes. Described by the gallery as “Stepford Wives on acid,” I Only Want You to Love Me will be on view through June 8, 2013.
Yesterday evening, we had the opportunity to attend Lucien Smith’s latest showing, A Clean Sweep, at Suzanne Geiss Company in SoHo. Looking at the array of freestanding brooms that Smith collected from the streets of New York, one cannot help but recall the broom legions in Disney’s Fantasia that had minds and plans of their own. In this setting, the brooms -- positioned as though they would any minute begin sweeping the shiny white gallery floors -- reference the swift gentrification that occurred during former mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s time in office. Surrounding them on the gallery’s white walls were newspaper pages from this past April featuring art, sports, wine reviews; a possible reference to the values exalted by the class that moved in. Another room displayed a collection of Polaroids featuring New York staples like water gushing in the streets, park entrance signs, and fire hydrants, grouped in nines. Shown in glass cases, the perfectly aligned photos are a collection of the things that make this city special. A Clean Sweep is on display through June 22nd, 2013.
The route to Valerie Snobeck’s Bushwick studio is scenic. We ventured up a cement ramp, and passed a white Hummer, the entrance to a shoulder pad factory, some large sculptures, and two old-school porn posters before arriving at her studio door. Inside, the bright white walls starkly contrast the clutter outside. It nearly feels like an extra room for storage. Much like Snobeck’s work, however, once you learn her process, the important connections are illuminated between the seemingly random wood beams leaning against the drywall and peeled laminate on a table. They can then be understood as realizations of her philosophical meditations on the world around us.
As she peeled laminate from upholstery fabric for an upcoming piece, we discussed her fascination with the relationship between the Great Recession and the Great Depression. Her ongoing contemplation of this subject continues to show up throughout her work and across multiple exhibitions. For her current project with Catherine Sullivan, the two mined an anthropologist’s vast collection of restaurant menus from around the world and connected them with American economic boom periods to thought-provoking result. For another, Snobeck makes historical references using ornate Depression-era glass plates, recalling a time when the American economy was so starved that supermarkets gave away the ornaments as buying incentives. As manifested in her work, the thoughtful artist appears less interested in making concrete comparisons between the two eras than she is in reflecting on our obsessive need to make them in the first place.
Valerie Snobeck’s work is explorative. When I ask her to discuss the genesis of her pieces, she describes an initial desire to “deal with” a particular material or object she finds striking. She meticulously examines the primary and secondary uses for that object, along with its historical value, and in doing so begins a meta-conversation about it. The relationships between the objects and materials in her work, then, are transcendent. By exposing and comparing objects’ transcendental qualities, she pieces together subtle, intelligent exhibitions that encourage us to engage more deeply with our world.
Valerie Snobeck will be showing at Frieze Art Fair in collaboration with Catherine Sullivan. Look for her at the Galerie Catherine Bastide booth, C26.