Contributed by Clare Gemima / Analog Diary’s group exhibition “Chromazones” – curated by Derek Eller, Abby Messitte, Katharine Overgaard and Franklin Parrasch – features a wide, intergenerational array of artists. Many works, including Clare Grill’s Plant, Pam Glick’s Cat, Dog, Car, Sky, and Yukine Yanagi’s Chrysalis, are traditional oil paintings. Others utilize unconventional materials, such as glitter, which is found in Chris Martin’s Fireflies, or gemstones, which appear in Alteronce Gumby’s I can’t stop thinking about love. And there are ceramic sculptures, like Peter Shire’s Scozzese and Ken Price’s Iggy. The show confronts viewers with abundant color. While that may be a narrow parameter, here it provides insight into each artist’s approach to material and method of application.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The group exhibition “Resounding, Variegated, Leaves” brought together three quite divergent artists – Fabienne Lasserre, Annie Prendergast, and Lily Ramírez – who share a penchant for audacious color choices that serves to unify their work. The show yielded an intellectually satisfying and harmonious experience as well as an aesthetically edifying one. That’s a credit not only to the artists but also to the insightful curators at Mrs. Strategically postured in New York but at a tactical remove in the gritty neighborhood of Maspeth, Queens, the gallery appears to have forged a crisply nuanced niche, gently tilting towards female artists, abstraction, and vivid color.
Contributed by David Carrier / Raphael Rubinstein, who co-curated “Schema: World as Diagram” at Marlborough with Heather Cause Rubinstein, observes in the catalogue that diagrams are important because they sometimes have much greater explanatory power then words. Rather than tell someone directions, which can be tricky, it might be better to draw a diagram. With work by more than fifty artists on two floors, “Schema” presents an extraordinarily full history of this form, reflecting how a diverse range of artists have collectively created and responded to an aesthetic tradition. Using diagrams, of course, is no guarantee of making sense. Indeed, in its preoccupation with thorough description as opposed to subtle evocation, it might suggest lonely, ruminative souls without audiences. But diagrams can also be a rich way of communicating, and this show focuses on that capacity.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Fifteen years ago, Jason Andrew was one of relatively few adventurous impresarios and gallerists who together established Bushwick as a New York art community and destination. For nearly five years, his project space Norte Maar was a steady source of the neighborhood’s sublime, funky buzz of possibility for aspiring, often young, artists. Andrew and Norte Maar have moved on, but he has not forgotten Bushwick. After a ten-year absence, he has returned to curate the relentlessly energetic and eclectic group show “Causality” at M. David & Co.
Contributed by Zach Seeger / The group exhibit “Medium Rare” – on display at Subtitled NYC, a second-floor Greenpoint gallery with a skylight – features paintings by Amanda Ba, Jacob Patrick Brooks, Marcus Civin, Sam Cockrell, Kevin Ford, Annette Hur, and Kate Liebman. It was curated – or rather, prompted – by Jaejoon Jang, who instructed the artists to select examples of what they considered unfinished work. Without knowledge of this specification, it would be difficult for a viewer to consider the pieces unfinished. The overarching cohesiveness of the show makes each one seem resolved. In light of Jang’s command, though, they can also be seen as hovering just outside of the artists’ respective oeuvres, meeting only some of their criteria for finished work.
Contributed by Jenny Zoe Casey / The two-person exhibition “as long as you want,” featuring work by Julia Blume and Heather Drayzen, on view at My Pet Ram on the Lower East Side, is perceptively based on the referenced fragment of poetry written by Sappho over two-and-a-half millennia ago as a reminder of love, endurance and adaptation, and complemented by a slyly kindred show of drawings. Work by Joshua Drayzen is also on view.
Contributed by Sharon Butler / In “Poem Unlimited” a group show at The Alexey Von Schlippe Gallery at the University of Connecticut Avery Point, curator Kenneth Heyne has taken his inspiration from Harold Bloom’s 2003 book Hamlet: Poem Unlimited. A revered Shakespeare scholar, literary critic, and professor at Yale, Bloom divides his slim volume into short chapters, each dedicated to different characters and aspects of the play. In tone and style, it is almost gossipy. Reading it made me feel as though I was joining Bloom in catching up on old friends with whom we’d lost touch. Though some have criticized the book as a disjointed compilation of fragmented ideas and unfinished thoughts, for me – admittedly no Shakespeare expert – its charm lies in its casualness.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / There’s a Seinfeld episode in which Elaine, annoyed by the knowing ellipticality of a New Yorker cartoon caption, marches into the august magazine’s offices and confronts the editor – portrayed to preppy-geek perfection by the late Edward Herrmann – about its meaning. After offering several generic, pretentious, and abjectly unconvincing interpretations, he admits that he has no idea what the hell the caption is supposed to mean. Jeff Gabel – whose elaborately narrated drawings and paintings, a few site-specific, are presently on display in a solo at Spencer Brownstone Gallery on the Lower East Side and a group show at Jennifer Baahng Gallery on the Upper East Side – runs no such risk, abjuring obscure glibness for mordantly wise, sourly penetrating bloviation.
Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In “Sense of Place” at Greene Naftali Gallery, ten artists unflinchingly explore the nuances of transition, from epiphany to revolution, from getting lost to just moving on. The show is incisively curated and genuinely cohesive.
“Mind the Gaps” at the Osmos space on East 1st Street takes as its curatorial premise that it has no consistent curatorial premise and so offers a welcome respite to the incessant connecting of dots of contemporary life. The curatorial statement of non-intent leaves viewers to “puzzle out their own version of coherence.”