NY Times Art in Review: Danica Phelps and Ata Kwami

Danica Phelps,” Zach Feuer, New York, NY. Through July 18. Karen Rosenberg: “For the last decade Danica Phelps has chronicled her personal and financial lives with an exhaustive system of lists and charts accompanied by diagrams of colored stripes. In this show, her fifth at the gallery, she clears the decks. �I would rather remember and record with a more selective memory,� she writes in a statement. Only major life events � most recently a pregnancy achieved through in vitro fertilization in India � make the cut. Ms. Phelps describes her experience in India in a charming series of scroll-like drawings and prints. Self-portraits, hospital scenes, tourist landscapes and snippets of Mughal miniature painting are all entangled in a fine descriptive line. In a kind of apology for abandoning writing, Ms. Phelps sculptures letters out of paper from her trash. She displays them as mobiles, floor sculptures and abject wall texts. (‘It made me too sad to write down every fight we had.’) These works are eye-catching but juvenile.”

Atta Kwami: Harmonium,” Howard Scott, New York, NY. Through tomorrow. Roberta Smith: “Cultures gently collide in the small, colorful abstract paintings of the Ghanaian painter Atta Kwami, who is having his first exhibition in New York. His compositions of intersecting freehand lines or abutting squares and blocks echo the textiles of the Ashanti and Ewe peoples, many of whom live in Ghana and Togo. But Mr. Kwami is also fluent in the tendency of relaxed, post-Process Art abstraction as pursued by American and European painters like Raoul De Keyser, Mary Heilmann, Stanley Whitney and Juan Usle.”

Read the entire NY Times “Art in Review” column.

One Comment

  1. it’s funny, I like Danica Phelps – year before last I was really pleased to be able to show people “2006” at the Armory show – and was dying to write about her, but it was that exact line, “it makes me sad…” that prevented me from doing it at all.

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