Author: Sharon Butler

Solo Shows

Mary Shah’s pulsing abstract narratives

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / “Dream Opera,” Mary Shah’s solo show at Rick Wester Fine Art in Chelsea, presents suavely dense abstract narratives that still unfailingly meet the visual priority of beauty. While the notion of an abstract narrative may seem paradoxical by its terms, if representation and abstraction are part of a continuum and not a stark dichotomy, the paradox isn’t too daunting to resolve. Abstract Expressionism, spiritual abstraction, and lyrical abstraction have long certified emotional and spiritual content in abstract painting, and opened the door to narrative as well. Shah confidently marches through it, and in fine style.

Solo Shows

Gabriele Evertz’s song cycle

Contributed by Leslie Roberts / Gabriele Evertz’s new paintings are a song cycle in color. Some of her previous shows had singular emotional states as themes; “Rapture” and “Exaltation” are two. But in her new solo “Path” at Minus Space, six large square canvases extend the concept, forming a chromatic narrative – an emotional journey through the pandemic to the present. They start in despair and isolation, move through night with glints of hope, break sharply, and conclude, not with sadness but with strength in a belief in the urgency of color in life. Evertz, whom some might call quintessentially modernist, sees her new work as neo-Romantic.

Gallery shows

Kim Uchiyama’s quasi-sacred spaces

Contributed by Michael Brennan / The seven large paintings in Kim Uchiyama’s solo show “Heat and Shadow” at The Lobby Gallery were inspired by Greek temples located in Sicily. They are rigorous, modernist, and abstract. But what might ancient sacred spaces have to offer anyone in midtown Manhattan in 2022?

Gallery shows

Conversation: UES gallerist John Molloy

Contributed by Kylie Heidenheimer / I spoke to John Molloy recently about the unusual programming at his eponymous Upper East Side gallery, where his exhibitions often include work by contemporary artists from the New York area alongside antique Native American art, and how studying with Marshall McLuhan at Fordham still influences his perspective. Currently, the gallery is hosting a vibrant three-person show with work by Stephen Maine, Melissa Staiger, and Naomi Cohn called “TECHNIC/ Color.”

Residencies

Two Coats Resident Artist: Deborah Zlotsky

Contributed by Sharon Butler / From November 1 to 6, the Two Coats of Paint Residency Program welcomes Deborah Zlotsky. An abstract painter who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design, Deborah has developed an idiosyncratic syntax of contours, stripes, planes, and near-trompe l’oeil passages, which inventively probe the intersection of imagined visual language and observational translation.

Conversation Solo Shows

A conversation with Jamie Allen

Contributed by Mary Shah / Jamie Allen and I initially met as colleagues at Alexandre Gallery last fall, and we quickly became fans of each other’s paintings. We sat down recently to discuss her residency at New York Studio School (NYSS) DUMBO Studio that began in August 2021 and is culminating with a solo exhibition of paintings and works on paper at the residency program’s gallery.

Fiction

Bernard Goes to Chicago [Laurie Fendrich]

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.

Solo Shows

Nora Griffin’s defiant valentine to New York

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.