NY Times Art in Review: Little, Man, Smith, Tegeder

JAMES LITTLE, June Kelly Gallery, New York, NY. Through June 9. HOLLAND COTTER: Each stripe becomes a self-defined spectrum, each painting a rainbow. Such results could be just pretty; the work�s titles � �Satchmo�s Answer to Truman,� �The Marriage of Western Civilization and the Jungle� � seem designed to make sure we don�t see them that way. And we don�t. What we see, or feel, is an eye choosing, mixing and gradating color the way Mondrian applied paint: as if concentration were a form of expression, which it is.

James Little, “Near-Miss,” 2008, oil and wax on canvas, 72 � x 94 inches

VICTOR MAN, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY. Through June 13. ROBERTA SMITH: Victor Man has a considerable reputation in Europe, so it may be pure American provincialism to say that � based on the paintings, sculptures and installation piece in his New York debut � he has apparently received too much encouragement. Mr. Man, a Romanian born in 1974, needs to stop pulling on our heartstrings and go back to the drawing board…. This show suggests some ground rules: taste is not talent; obscurity is not meaning; and the heads and pelts of dead animals should be used sparingly, if at all.

Victor Man, installation shot.

SHINIQUE SMITH:Ten Times Myself, Yvon Lambert, New York, NY. Through July 31. KAREN ROSENBERG: Shinique Smith�s latest solo, her first at this gallery, give off a restless energy. Ms. Smith pushes her collages and bunched-fabric assemblages in multiple directions: Asian calligraphy, monochrome painting, iconic figurative art. ….In her collage paintings, Ms. Smith relies too much on a signature flourish: a swirl of black marker that looks vaguely like graffiti. It�s most visible in �And the World Don�t Stop� and �Mandala.� Fortunately, some of the paintings include unusual found objects � a costumey wrestling belt, a clock with an image of River Phoenix � that resist the homogenizing force of the swirls and squiggles.

Shinique Smith, “Mount Holly Street,” 2005,
Clothing, twine on wood, 32″ x 32″

DANNIELLE TEGEDER: Arrangements to Ward Off Accidents, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY. Through July 3. KAREN ROSENBERG: In the winning but flawed installation �The Library of Abstract Sound,� 130 abstract drawings propped on shelves line the walls of a small room. They are accompanied by atonal music generated by a computer program that scans each drawing and translates its imagery into a 30- to 120-second �sound guide.� A flat-screen monitor outside the installation displays the drawings one at a time, with their corresponding recordings. It�s amusing to experience the circles, triangles and lines in the drawings as robotic blips, bleeps and arpeggios. But the varied frames in the installation, evidently found or store-bought, have a distractingly cutesy, thrift-shop aesthetic. And the drawings, individually, look like makeshift Maleviches. The four large-scale drawings in the main gallery are just as playful as the �Library,� but here quality trumps quantity.

Dannielle Tegeder, “The Library of Abstract Sound,” mixed media installation, 2009

Read the entire “Art in Review” column here.

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