Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Armory Show 2010

[Joao Pedro Vale, "Of the Monstrous & Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales (I)," (2009)]

[Kristine Roepstorff, "Exercise Within the Frame (Including the Summer of Discontent)" (from the series, It's Not the Eye of the Needle That Changed, 2007)].

[William Daniels, "Vase of Flowers with Pocket Watch (1)," (2005)]

[Leonardo Drew, "Number 33.a" (rust, shoes, 1999).

[Eva Lundsager, "Hermit Style" (2006)]

[Pablo Bronstein, "Two Architectural Studies in the Style of Jean Jacques Lequeu" (2005).]

[Polly Morgan, "Still Birth (Blue)," (2009).]

[Martin Jacobson, drawing (2009).]

[Andrew Sendor, "Alejandro Celestino, Artist Unknown, 2013, human beings & mixed media, dimensions variable, Soliloquoy, Ana Libitina, 2012, video projection, 107 minutes (detail)" (2009).]

[Kristof Kintera, "I see, I see, I see," (2009) a talking, animatronic raven-man sitting on a branch above the viewer's head.]

[Jorma Puranen,"Shadows, Reflections and All That Sort of Thing, #42" (2008).]

Yesterday we delved and dallied at The Armory Show, one of the largest contemporary art shows in the world (click here for more.) In a delightfully confusing way, The Armory Show is held not at The Armory but at Piers 92 and 94 on the Hudson, while The Armory holds a similar show sponsored by the Art Dealers Association of America. Elsewhere in Manhattan, some dozen other venues are hosting contemporary art shows this week as well. A feast beyond reckoning...

Reproduced above are some of the artists who caught our eye, with notes below (in some cases the image above is of a piece we saw at the show yesterday, in others-- unable to find an image from the show-- we have posted an image that most closely resembles what we saw).

Generally speaking:

* The Europeans seemed more inventive and adventurous than the Americans.

* The children reject their parents (abstraction was little in evidence), reach back to their grandparents (much here in the spirit of Dada and Surrealism).

* The naked female body was everywhere on display-- the male nude, um, not so much. Why is that?

* Prominent: mixed media, collage and assemblage, woven and stitched objects, textural detail, lots of attention to surface and color (shiny, shiny, bright, bright), less to form and composition.

* Perhaps the most striking image was Marina Abramovic's "The Kitchen II: Homage to Saint Therese" (2009). Click here to see (scroll to the fifth image in the series).

* Also arresting was a very large (digitally manipulated?) photograph by Vanessa Beecroft of marble-white female nudes in a somber-grey medieval cathedral. We cannot locate that image but click here for a sense of Beecroft's work.

*Jennifer Steinkamp's "Orbit 2" is a mesmerizing digital piece, with a mass of leaves and branches in constant motion, swirling, emerging. It is Tolkien's Lothlorien come to life. Click here to play the video.

Click here for more on Roepstorff, and here for more on Vale.

Daniels appeals strongly to the neo-antiquarian in us: he re-envisions works by the Old Masters, first re-creating an iconic painting as a torn paper maquette, then painting an image of the maquette, in painstaking detail. Fractalish homage... Click here for more.

Drew's vision is subtle, powerful, elusive. The canary tries to alight, but cannot; the lobster seeks to seize, but cannot. Click here for more.

Lundsager (one of the few abstractionists) had several powerful paintings-- what is our word for "that which draws you in, into which you fall and fold yourself"? Writing about the Lundsager above (which was not at the show, but is a good proxy), Stephanie Buhmann wrote in The Brooklyn Rail (July-August, 2006): "...this soil is far from infertile, and various mysterious structures made of dotted lines and curvilinear swirls have begun to populate the scenery. As they thrive, so might our trust in the eternal cycle of life, which proves that even a lava field will at some point serve as a breeding ground for new life forms."

Bronstein creates mythical pasts for real buildings: "His palette encompasses a myriad of styles: from the mannered baroque of Turin to the classical architecture of 18th-century France, from early 20th-century Modernism to Postmodernism... Adopting the guise of the architect, architectural historian, and the user of buildings, Bronstein reveals what might be described as the veneer of architecture." [quote from The Metropolitan Museum website-- for more, click here, then scroll down to mid-page.]

See more of Morgan's work here.

Jacobson about his work: "My work is based on the curiosity and fascination of that which is beyond my understanding and experience. I try to see and read the phenomena and objects that come in my way. I search for provisional recipes or methods, which can articulate and activate something in me or in somebody else. I search for the combinations for the locked parts of my consciousness. Some objects and phenomena remind me of the inadequacy of my senses and my state of awoken sleep..." For more, click here.

Click here for more by Sendor.

Click here and here for more on Kintera.

Puranen on his approach: " ' While photographing painted portraits I thought that what I was doing was in fact like knocking on the frame of a painting and asking "Is anyone there?" or saying "Wake up, I know you're there.' " For more, see Galerie Anhava's site here

No comments: