After an art intensive trip to New York, Jen Coster shares her experiences at The Drawing Center, Team Gallery, Tomorrow Gallery, Preston Gallery, Canada, Nicelle Beauchene, Marlborough Broome Street, Callicoon Fine Arts, Bodega, Lisa Cooley, and Laurel Gitlen.
Thread Lines at The Drawing Center, NY
A thoughtful and intimate group exhibit brings together textile artists of several generations to explore the craft and gesture of the line in various fiber mediums. Ranging from technical (Robert Otto Epstein and Ellen Lesperance both plot textile patterns onto paper, emphasizing the composition, labor, and intention of the craft- that a sweater is made from one person’s labor for another to wear), playful (a highlight of the show were Sheila Hick’s minims, small experimental looms the size of a notebook, where ideas are sketched and tested with irregular lines and found materials),performative (Anne Wilson’s performance piece sets up a loom structure using the gallery’s columns, referencing the history of the building’s original tenant, the Positive Motion Loom Company, and emphasizing the essential, mundane, and communal aspects of weaving), and installation (Monica Bengoa incorporates small hand embroidered hoops into a sprawling and stunning wall drawing of a traditional still life scene), the show is anything but traditional.
It was refreshing to see a group show in New York (or really anywhere) with a healthy representation of women artists. (Of the ten galleries I stopped into next, only 3 showed work by females, which is more than the statistic that only 13% of this season’s ny gallery shows are by women.)
Cory Angel at Team Gallery (right next door)
Archangel’s installation distorts found Celebrity photos with the dated java applet effect “lake,” using flatscreens hung on their sides, exposed and tangled wires, and a plush red carpet. Full explanation of Archangel’s use of technology and cultural mashup (and cleaner pictures) at http://www.teamgal.com/
Brad Troemel at Tomorrow Gallery
Troemel’s ant farms are made from the same gel medium that is used in NASA’s ant based zero-gravity experiments. The colored gel fills cleanly crafted plexiglass vitrines, and the ants are supposedly in a race to build, with three charities representing the “winning” farm receiving a percentage from sales of the farms. Discussion of labor ethics and blog ready art at http://dismagazine.com/
Marco Rios at Simon Preston Gallery
From the press release: “At least once a week I’m asked: what do you do? This is after it’s been established that I’m an artist. I always quickly answer: I do everything but painting.” http://simonprestongallery.
Jason Fox at CANADA
From the press release “The paintings seem to ask: George Harrison, Dee Dee Ramone, and Barak Obama walk into a bar… Dylan, sitting by himself in the corner, answers: are you my dog? They recall seventh grade prophets covering the back of social studies textbooks and filing Maximum Rock n’ Roll scene reports while waiting for the subway and the wall. They insist on total freedom.” https://www.canadanewyork.
Jennifer Paige Cohen at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery
The artist casts plaster and stucco onto found clothing over parts of her own body and her close friends, creating abstract intimate gestural moments. http://nicellebeauchene.com/
Alan Belcher at Marlborough Broome Street
from the press release: “Like the sneakers, these paintings are manufactured in China” or “Belcher’s critical-Pop paintings point out the ways in which the art world now so closely mirrors the fixation on brand performance, irrational exuberance and manufactured scarcity, and how outside forces can conspire to either create or destroy value within the system.” http://marlboroughchelsea.com/
Sadie Benning at Callicoon Fine Arts
These large scale paintings are made of composite board that is cut out, sanded, painted, and reassembled creating tactile and approachable patterns. More plush carpet.
Press release: “In this new group of sculptures, cast glow-in-the-dark corndogs and fragments of cast silver jack-o-lanterns dangle as bait in articulated hoops that hang from the walls of the gallery, and pods of helium-filled, Mylar dolphins chatter as they float overhead…. Mack makes a case for the subtle and less subtle ways that people, animals and maybe also viewers are conditioned or trained to speak, to play, or to believe.”
Press release: “Coolquitt has garnered international recognition for his use of sculpture as a means to highlight how humans relate to each other and to the spaces around them, how architecture, objects, and environment interact to manipulate space and dictate experience. Coolquitt specializes in the creation of objects and environments composed of urban flotsam and other peoples’ junk.” http://www.lisa-cooley.com/
Author Jennifer Coster is an artist living in Baltimore. In 2012 she received an MFA from MICA and founded the publication Print/Collect.