Contributed by Sharon Butler / It’s the height of summer arts season in the Hudson Valley, and this is our most expansive Gallery Guide yet. On July 22-24, Upstate Art Weekend, featuring more than 100 exhibitions, extended gallery hours, and a slew of special events, adds a thick layer to the month’s already robust art programming. As a bonus, more than 50 artists will open their studios to the public. We are also pleased to see that SEPTEMBER Gallery will be reopening on July 23 at their new space in Kinderhook NY.
Spring had arrived in Chicago, but wouldn’t you know it, just as people were putting away their winter clothes a snowstorm hit. It pushed in hard from the plains, its wind snapping off tree limbs and flattening daffodils. The snow was supposed to go all day, so Bernard reluctantly left his car behind and took the Ashland bus to his gallery on Chicago Avenue where Molly Upton, his most important artist, was to meet him for a walkthrough of her show before the opening at five o’clock.
Contributed by Adam Simon / Lately I find myself wondering what impact the ubiquity of cellphone cameras is having on the practice of fine-art photography. As frustrating as it might be for the serious photographer to see everyone and their cousin constantly taking and posting pictures, one salient effect could be a rising inclination to explore the limits of what defines a photograph. There has been a resurgence of interest in photograms and camera obscura for some time now, and Joy Episalla’s current show of works labelled ‘foldtograms’ on view at Tibor de Nagy are even further removed from the idea of capturing an image.
Contributed by Zach Seeger / Nora Griffin’s ostensibly playful, jangled paintings, on display at Fierman West, reflect not only a galvanizing appreciation of the moment but also a deep understanding of art history and its connection to the contemporary zeitgeist. There is a sheer, crude brilliance about them, and it is inspiring.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / To understand Elisabeth Condon’s paintings, it seems important to know that she grew up in California in a highly decorated house where she spent hours staring at the wild patterns of the fabrics and wallpapers. The experience certainly informs her exuberant paintings, in which pattern, flower, landscape all co-exist, as she says in her artist statement, in living, breathing presence.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / Lauren Luloff’s rigorous new paintings, on view at Fridman Gallery through July 24, have taken a decisive turn away from organic form, floral patterns, and flowing structure towards compulsive geometric pattern.
The principal of our junior high school was a felon. His name was Mr. Phillips. He was a short man – as short as we were – with a large head of thick hair and dark-rimmed glasses. We called him “Froggy” behind his back. The cops arrested him in a motel parking lot holding up a prostitute at gunpoint. The story made the front page of all the local papers. They said the gun wasn’t loaded, but he was. People talked about it for weeks, maybe longer. Everyone was astonished that Mr. Phillips had signed his real name in the motel register. For this they called him an idiot.
Contributed by Saul Ostrow / Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe has subtly set aside received truths about abstract painting, engaging it as a philosophical subject consisting of things which, regardless of differences of form and content, have been assigned the same classification.
Contributed by Jacob Patrick Brooks / In “Plus,”Geoffrey Chadsey’s inventively grotesque show of drawings at Jack Shainman Gallery, the men are endlessly customizable, like sets of Mr. Potato Heads, but with dad bods instead of plastic blobs.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In his beguiling new show of abstract paintings, drawings, and collages at Frosch & Co., Robert Yoder elegantly demonstrates a truth of late modern art: that an object found and isolated, or visual representation shorn of context, is no more derivative or inferior than a given moment in time is subordinate to one that preceded or followed it. What makes it original is the artist’s unique choices in presenting it to the world – and, by implication, the singular experiences and insights that informed them.