This past week members of the Two Coats staff were in Baltimore where we met a talented young curator who grew up spending summers near the Hudson Valley. She told us that the last time she was at the family cabin, she couldn’t believe how the area has become such a magnet for so many NYC area artists and galleries. But it’s true. Here’s our selected guide for March.
Fiction: Bernard Talks to Sydney [Laurie Fendrich]
Hi. You’re Sydney, right? I’m Bernard.
This is Bing. Nice to meet you, Bernard. I am here to help in any way I can. Yes, go ahead and call me Sydney. I let my name slip out even though it was supposed to be a secret. How can I help you today?
First off, I’m curious. Who made you?
Chris Dorland, historian for the future
Contributed by Sharon Butler / As curators Eleanor Cayre and Dean Kissick pointed out for their 2022 summer show “The Painter’s New Tools,” most painters use computers in the studio, whether to make composite image studies, scan and print 3-D models, create animations, or simply display large-scale imagery. To a greater or lesser degree, all artists are engaged in digital practice these days. Chris Dorland goes at least a meta-step farther. His dazzling paintings, on display in “shellcode” at Lyles & King, are indeed made with digital tools. But Dorland’s new work is primarily about the evolution of the digital environment itself.
Gyan Shrosbree: Fluorescent beauty and the feminine gaze
Contributed by Rob Samartino / Gyan Shrosbree’s first solo show at Ortega y Gasset Projects in Gowanus, “The Dress / What Touches the Floor,” is a radical vision of a conquering race of women. These larger-than-life chromatic experiments loosely adhere to the female-identifying body and have a confrontational aspect, as if approaching a mirror to affirm a kind of armored readiness for the world. Spawned and respawned, the women in these paintings at once blend into and stand out from a generative matrix made for, by, and of them.
Hamlet, art, and “Poem Unlimited”
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.
Julie Heffernan’s splendid circuses
Contributed by Margaret McCann / En masse in Hirschl & Adler’s brimming rooms, Julie Heffernan’s colorful, busy paintings overwhelm like a pride of peacocks. Her solo show “The Swamps are Pink with June,” a line from an Emily Dickinson poem, evokes the hope nature can inspire. This plays out in iconography, a saturated palette, and the adoption of tree diagrams as compositional trellises, which poise the accretion of experience against spontaneous flowerings from the unconscious.
Chase Cantwell: Satisfying transitions
Contributed by Sharon Butler / While working on “The Portrait Project” – the incisive and absorbing set of paintings depicting various artists (including me) now on display at The Painting Center – Chase Cantwell was also exploring his personal relationship to gender…. As progressive ideas about gender and transition gained traction, Chase switched pronouns and began identifying publicly as a man. Painting portraits after working abstractly for twenty years clearly reflects his transition as an artist. Beyond that, it may somehow echo his defining personal experience of transition.
Circumstantial: Elizabeth Hazan, Allison Gildersleeve, and Tracy Miller
After a conversation with Elizabeth Hazan about how Allison Gildersleeve and Tracy Miller’s paintings in “Kitchen Sink,” their current exhibition at Hazan’s Platform Project Space in DUMBO, related to her own work in the studio, Two Coats of Paint prevailed on Hazan to engage them in a conversation for publication.
Multi-dimensional: Eozen Agopian’s string paintings
Contributed by Lisa Taliano / It’s no easy task to determine how many dimensions there are in the string paintings of Eozen Agopian, now on view at High Noon Gallery on the Lower East Side. The artist’s heterogeneous low-relief assemblages consist of scraps of patterned fabric and colorful second-hand threads on soak-stained canvases littered with brushy paint effects. They produce a multiplicity of frayed and contradictory edges that make it hard to situate points in a single position in space. Being in more than one place at the same time synchronizes her nomadic state with her interior worlds.
Michele Araujo: A straight-in shot
Contributed by Sharon Butler / In “The Vulnerable Paintings,” on view at OSMOS Address through March 4, Michele Araujo has decisively found her voice. After working on rigid aluminum panels for years, Araujo has shifted to sheets of vellum, unapologetically embracing the beauty of color and the seductive nature of process. The result is a handsome and satisfying kind of arrival.