It's time for the next monthly installment of our member's favorite GUY GALLERY WALK
Join us for a tour of the 16 best art shows in the Chelsea Gallery District!
1ST STOP: PAUL KASMIN GALLERY (515 W 27TH ST) presents IMPASSE RONSIN, group show
Taking as its focus the historic Parisian alley once home to the studios of Constantin Brancusi, William N. Copley, Max Ernst, Yves Klein, Les Lalanne, Larry Rivers, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and numerous other seminal 20th-century artists, the exhibition will include work by these artists in an elaborate installation designed to embody the collaborative atmosphere of the Impasse Ronsin.
At the heart of the original Impasse Ronsin complex, as well as in this exhibition, stands Constantin Brancusi, who moved into the Impasse in 1916 and would remain there until his death in 1957. During those forty-one years, countless seminal artists made the pilgrimage to the Impasse Ronsin in hopes of meeting the artist, whom Marcel Duchamp famously referred to as “The Queen Mother of the Impasse Ronsin” . The exhibition will feature a bronze edition of Princess X, one of Brancusi’s most iconic forms, as well as a selection of the artist’s vintage photographs depicting the studio and its contents. Brancusi’s studio as it was arranged at the time of his death was later meticulously reconstructed opposite the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where it has been open to the public since 1997.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, the Impasse Ronsin was an area closely associated with Dada and Surrealism. While neither had permanent studios in the Impasse, both Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp were fixtures at the complex. Included in the exhibition is a vintage photograph of Brancusi and his dogs taken at the Impasse by Man Ray, as well as an original set of Duchamp’s “Rotoreliefs” and his film Anemic Cinema, 1926, in which they were used.
This Surrealist spirit would remain at Ronsin through the 1950s and 1960s, when artists such as William N. Copley, Max Ernst and Les Lalanne would inhabit studios.
2nd STOP: PAUL KASMIN GALLERY [masked]th Ave) presents: IVAN NAVARRO, MUTE PARADE
the viewer is confronted by a towering pyramid of six drums with the words HIGH, TONE, TUNE, BASS, MUTE, and DEAF embedded in LED lights. This monumental work, titled TUNING, 2015, produces a visual representation of sound while simultaneously removing and negating the original function of the instruments; ‘playing a song,’ in the absence of sound. In the center of the adjacent room, two freestanding drums-- each six-feet in diameter-- incorporate neon, LED, mirrors, and electricity to produce Navarro’s iconic infinite vanishing points. Circular texts, written in light, repeat the words KICKBACK and KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK in a seemingly boundless loop. The inherent silence and stillness of the artworks creates an uncanny perception of audio and movement, probing the relationship between sight and sound.
A final installation consists of four 6 x 6 foot structures that make up the Impenetrable Room (2016). This new compositional innovation co-opts the materials and format of portable “road cases,” which are customarily used to transport and protect musical instruments. Refitting the cases with mirrors and neon light, Navarro transforms these static objects into deep spaces that appear to reverberate in perpetuity. Silent and monolithic, these self-contained rooms resonate with unspoken narrative power.
3rd Stop: STEVEN KASHAR GALLERY (515 W 26TH ST) presents MILES ALDRIDGE, PLEASE RETURN POLAROID
This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery since 2009. Miles Aldridge’s Polaroids have been exhumed from their original context of preparatory sketches. Bearing hand-written notes, sharpie drawings, or chemical chimeras, Aldridge’s Polaroids are like ravaged stills from an erotic film noir. They are rife with intrigue, sex, impulse, and accident. Like in all of Aldridge’s work, each image presents a narrative that is cinematic yet abstract, dream-driven yet precise.
Miles Aldridge is famous for his surreal, hyper-chromatic world. Planet Aldridge is a luxury world just slightly beyond our own: hyper-sexualized, hyper-slick, ceremonial and full of dread. All is
perfect, yet something is amiss; a bare-breasted blonde draped over lobster and caviar, a brunette skewered by a carousel, a school girl engulfed in too many teddy bears.
Aldridge, born in 1964, lives and works in London.
4th STOP: PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY (531 W 26TH ST0 presents: MAY WILSON, SNOWFLAKE
Pavel Zoubok Gallery is pleased to usher in winter with an intimate exhibition of “snowflake” collages by May Wilson [masked]), an artist who during her heyday of the 1960s and 1970s was often referred to as the “Grandma Moses of the Underground.” These superimpositions of intricately cut paper range from vibrantly patterned all-over abstractions, to playful juxtapositions made from gay physique journals and “girlie” magazines.
5th STOP: FLAG ART FOUNDATION (545 W 25TH ST) presents: ELMGREEN + DRAGSET, CHANGING SUBJECTS
from the duo’s twenty-year-long collaboration that address existential issues linked to identity, sexuality, and mortality, as well as an examination of social value systems and the expectations that surround them.
Changing Subjects investigates the multiple meanings of the word “subject” as a noun. In grammatical terms, the subject can be a noun functioning as one of the main components of a clause, making it the element about which the rest of the clause is predicated. In turn, the predicate is the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what is said of the subject on its own. In the context of this exhibition, the subject of each work exists independently of the others, yet when viewed together, they shift positions, creating a complex interconnection between the autonomous works.
The works in the exhibition, ranging in date of creation from 1998 to 2016, collectively guide visitors on a non-linear journey through various life stages. However, the sculptures and installations do not mark momentous occasions; on the contrary, they show introspective, unspectacular moments, by way of a figurative representation, by the use of a minimalist symbolic language, or by employing the actual materials to which they refer. Even when a lifelike human form is not shown, presence is implied through absence. The repeated use of an antiseptic material like stainless steel underscores a sense of a clinical study and evokes solitary feelings of abandonment.
6TH STOP: LEILA HELLER GALLERY (568 W 25TH ST) presents: ZAHA HADID
featuring the oeuvre of the late internationally renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid. On view will be works spanning from a breadth of Hadid’s designs including pieces from the 2015 Liquid Glacial Collection of furniture.
From the MAXXI Museum in Rome to the London Olympic Aquatics Stadium, from the Guangzhou Opera House to the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, over the last 30 years Hadid has engaged with architecture as a form of landscape painting, transforming the hard-geometry of 20th century vertical aspirations into a site specific horizontal reflection of multi-perspectival design, heralding a new era along the way. For this exhibition, the hallmarks of these large scale building projects and grand architecture reveal themselves in the architect’s use of a new spatial paradigm at all scales, and in a myriad of materials resulting in a multitude of forms of domestic reverie.
Hadid’s work in design presents a 21st century evolution towards iconic folds and organic forms, as well as an exploration of scale, innovation, and materiality: from the delicately tactile to the high-gloss industrial. These signature elements in the evolution of a gesture translate into lyrical condensations in the interior, domestic, or personal space.
7TH STOP: ANDREA ROSEN (535 W 24TH ST) presents: MICHAEL ST. JOHN, THESE DAYS; LEAVES OF GRASS
St. John’s sustained commitment to observing and re-presenting experiences of the everyday is framed in this exhibition by Walt Whitman and his groundbreaking work Leaves of Grass, originally published in 1855 and continually reworked by Whitman until his death in 1892. In referencing Leaves of Grass, St. John evokes a vision of democracy that expands beyond politics to a way of life.
In this context, the works in the exhibition convey an acceptance of the multitude of subjectivities in America, as well as a personal responsibility to participate in the socio-cultural realm. Connecting a lineage from the Ashcan School artists to Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, St. John gathers source materials by casting an inclusive and penetrating gaze on the world through which he moves, from billboard advertisements to the Internet. Underlying his insightful and rigorous formal practice is an urgency that reflects today’s heightened state of information exchange.
Creating palimpsests by harnessing such cultural fragments as corporate logos, handwritten lost item signs, red-white-and-blue political stickers, found images of celebrities, and spray-painted graffiti, St. John draws stimulating connections that kindle new perspectives on contemporary culture.
8TH STOP: C24 GALLERY (560 W 24TH ST_ presents: KATJA LOHER, VUELA VUELA
At this critical time for the planet, Katja Loher draws attention to the silent and gradual extinction of many species through the artifice of creating digital alternative interpretations and recombinations of reality. For over a decade, she has experimented with various forms of Videosculpture, combining nature and technology in a collective effort with architects, dancers, choreographers, anthropologists, costume designers and fabricators. With her images, sound and performance, Loher gives life to an enchanted world of intriguing creatures from the past and the present, generating both individual visions and personal readings.
VUELA VUELA is an all-immersive installation experience that explores the four elements of nature by relating each one to creatures infused with mind and spirit. The exhibition space draws visitors into an alternative world as they peek into the round glass portals on the gallery's facade. The performance begins inside as they encounter each element through sound and vision while traveling through a phantasmagoric and enchanted universe. Hand blown glass bubbles hold microcosms of beauty and complexity that capture entire worlds and alternate realities in an instance of time. Videoportalsopen a passage into dimensions where poetic statements materialize into human form creating words and letters that dance in space. Ballerinas take on the form of small creatures in a multicolored game of perspective and scale that ennoble the existence of tiny beings. Vibrating trees taken from nature ooze Videobubbles akin to liquid sap with images from the rainforest, the healer, his medicine and his plants, infusing the endangered forest with a second life in this digital world of magic.
9th stop: LYONS WIER GALLERY (542 W 24TH ST) presents: STEPHANIE HIRSCH, INDESTRUCTIBLE
Using beads, sequins and embroidery to literally and figuratively illuminate her canvases, Stephanie Hirsch continues her themes of self-awareness and self transformation. Hirsch’s previous exhibition, “Awakening,” metaphorically used the butterfly to represent notions rebirth and renewal. By means of garden imagery, “Indestructible” also draws upon nature to allegorically address and challenge her ideas of preparedness, perseverance and vision. Throughout history, artists and authors have mused endlessly about gardens. Volumes have been written about how gardens can symbolize personal growth, renewed vigor, budding life and withering decay. For Hirsch, “Indestructible” draws upon the history of the garden as a metaphor and is a cathartic hybrid of art-making and spiritual growth.
10TH STOP: UNIX GALLERY (532 W 24TH ST) presents: OMAR HASSAN, BREAKING THROUGH
At 15, Omar Hassan was juggling his budding interests in boxing and street art: training in the gym and spray-painting the streets of his native Milan. Now, after being trained in the fine arts at the prestigious Brera Academy of Art in Italy, his art is a marriage of all of these interests.
A former boxer, Hassan boxed, rather than painted his latest exhibition, Breaking Through, a collection of large-scale abstract-expressionist compositions, explosions of color – some of which he created by dipping his boxer's gloves in paint, and simply punching the canvas.
"I'm not angry when I'm creating – maybe you can think that I'm punching the canvas with rage, but no. I'm super happy to punch color," Hassan laughs, "Color is the most simple language."
Watching Hassan create is a powerful experience – it's a performance in itself. At the opening of his exhibition, "Breaking Through," in the Unix Gallery in Chelsea last week, he created and auctioned off a painting live, proceeds for which went to Lyfebulb, a charity working with people suffering from chronic illnesses like Type 1 Diabetes, a disease from which the Hassan himself suffers.
11TH STOP: ANNA ZORINA GALLERY (533 W 23RD ST) presents: BRADLEY HART, MEMORIES FADE
The artist’s process incorporates bubble wrap as his support to create two paintings simultaneously to different effect. While the Injection series works are photorealistic, the resulting Impression series paintings are less distinct and show how the paint reacts to the unique artistic method. The interaction between the Injections and Impressions demonstrates Hart’s intention of depicting the plastic quality of memory by capturing a moment and further portraying how the finite characteristics of that memory disintegrate and are manipulated with time. The Injection works are created through Hart’s application of acrylic paint with a syringe into each individual bubble. The material associated with protecting fragile items is instead used to protect an image, a moment in time. The pixilated effect that the bubble wrap endows on the painting references the common way in which we view pictures today, in photo albums saved online. Hart makes tangible files as a means of backing up the transient moment. The Impression series is comprised of paintings created from the paint remnants on the back, flat surface of bubble wrap. The subject matter is still distinguishable yet has a drippy appearance. The memory has since been obscured and exact details have blurred.
12th STOP: KLEIN SUN GALLERY (535 W 22ND ST) presents: LIU BOLIN, ART HACKER
The exhibition marks Liu Bolin's shift towards the virtual world, exploring this new territory artistically through Post-Internet Art. This new body of work consists of appropriations of classical Masterpieces — da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Picasso's Guernica — juxtaposed with a photograph of the devastating impact of the Tianjin explosions. Using complicated and precise hand-painted camouflage, Liu Bolin painstakingly recreates these images with scores of human subjects as his canvas. Through various methods, Liu Bolin's new photographs have replaced the three subjects on numerous websites, which were targeted with image-search results on Google and Baidu, thus realizing the Hacker project. Neon installations of the URLs exhibited throughout the gallery pound home the transitory and delicate nature of the internet.
Recreating the imagery of human suffering and devastation of war symbolized in the painting Guernica, Liu Bolin’s relives the history of the Spanish civil war, making a plea for humanity and freedom. In Mona Lisa (2016), Liu Bolin imbeds himself into the masterpiece as well as its historical legacy.
blurring the boundary between art and technology evident in his installation Livestream Vest (2016). Attaching multiple smartphones onto a life jacket, the artist turns on the front cameras for unstoppable live-streaming. Reflecting and broadcasting what is happening while moving around, Liu Bolin merges into the environment mirrored on the vest. The work, therefore, becomes a quasi-invisible jacket wherein the artist turns into part of the social environment.
13TH STOP: DILLON + LEE GALLERY (487 W 22nd St) presents: MAMI KOSEMURA, PENDULUM
Dillon + Lee is pleased to present our inaugural exhibition "Pendulum," showcasing new works by Japanese artist Mami Kosemura.
In her new eponymous video installation, Mami Kosemura sought to create a mysterious and unrealistic atmosphere, while using a real structure as its basis. This structure is the main salon of the Dillon + Lee townhouse, where Kosemura spent the summer. The artist wanted to abide by two self-induced rules: first to make the content of her video and the installation be of the same place. The second rule was to introduce movement, but one that is simple and rhythmic, as in a pendulum. In the installation, two mirrors in the main salon are turned into projection screens to display the videos shot in the room. The video shows the space of the salon, as a mirror would reflect it, but Kosemura's alternative version depicts the interior sliding horizontally from left to right, and right to left at regular intervals. Kosemura has decided to incorporate the errors that happens inevitably during a video editing process to further disorient the viewer.
In gallery b, Kosemura will be showing a new series of photographs called Objects - New York where she has created a set that imitates still life paintings in the style of the Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbaran [masked]). Kosemura has been collecting various objects from the streets and thrift shops in New York. She only collected objects that were completely alien to her, unaware of what they are or what is their function. The process of finding these objects was sort of like being a New York archeologist for Kosemura, since it is her first time ever living in this city. Though to an American viewer these objects may be familiar, Kosemura's arrangement of them may create a sense of freshness or distance.
14TH STOP: JONATHAN LeVINE GALLERY (539 W 20TH ST) presents: ALESSANDRO GALLO, FOR SOME REASON
‘For some reason’ is an idiom used to acknowledge when something exists despite the fact that it defies explanation and perfectly characterizes Gallo’s uncanny ceramic sculptures. His impeccably crafted hybrid creatures with human bodies and animal heads stand approximately two feet tall and question mankind’s relationship with the natural world, as well as our need to postulate a sense of logic when it otherwise appears to be missing.
Gallo’s mixed-media process is rooted in realism and he begins by photographing a model from multiple angles. The resulting photographs are then used in conjunction with images from animal wildlife books as references while sculpting. He adorns his mutant species with clothing, tattoos and other attributes of typical city-dwellers, and positions them within mundane human circumstances, such as standing in an elevator or taking out the garbage. The title of Gallo’s 2014 exhibition, Strani Incontri (Strange Encounters), is a term he continues to use when referring to his surreal subjects and artistic process. He describes, “I find myself invested in unexpected combinations that are strange or surprising even to me and to the viewer facing my work.”
By placing his compositions within the minutia of daily life Gallo views his work as psychological portraits that embark upon themes of alienation, boredom and loneliness. Whether originally derived from nature or culture, his characters effectively embodying the values and vices of human nature.
15TH STOP: ANNIE LEIBOWITZ: WOMEN, NEW PORTRAITS (550 W 20th St)
travelling exhibit of her new photographs, and includes pics from the original show from 1999
16th Stop: MICHAEL ROSENFELD GALLERY [masked]TH AVE/19TH ST) presents: BENNY ANDREWS , THE BICENTENNIAL SERIES
This exhibition will consist of paintings and drawings from all six individual subseries – Symbols, Trash, Circle, Sexism, War and Utopia - which in their totality comprise The Bicentennial Series.
Completed between 1970 to 1975, The Bicentennial Series was conceived to reveal one Black American's view of the United States at a time when the country was celebrating a milestone and feeling nostalgic. Fearing that black Americans would be invisible from all Bicentennial narratives and celebrations, Benny Andrews devoted himself to sharing his “feelings and impressions of this place–America.” By completing six distinctive groups of works (monumental-scale paintings and drawings) with themes that include southern rituals, oppression, justice/injustice, incarceration, regeneration, war, inequality, technology, feminism, motherhood, the absence of humanity, fantasy and idealized beauty, Andrews raised a consciousness. Holding deeply to his southern roots and masterfully crafting timeless allegories, Andrews revealed American truths that are today as relevant as they were 40 years ago.
This exhibition will be the first opportunity to see work from all six subseries together; the majority of works have never been exhibited publicly.
17TH STOP: DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY ( 533 & 525 W 19TH ST) presents: CAROL BOVE, POLKA DOTS
Bove is known for her assemblages that combine found and made elements. Incorporating a wide range of domestic, industrial, and natural objects, her sculptures, paintings, and prints reveal the poetry of their materials. As the art historian Johanna Burton notes in the catalogue accompanying this exhibition, “Bove brings things together not to nudge associative impulses into free play driven by the unconscious, but rather to conjure a kind of affective tangle that disrupts any singular, historical narrative.”1
The exhibition presents a new series of large-scale “collage sculptures” that mark a departure within the artist’s practice. To create these abstract assemblages, which merge various types of sculptural processes from her earlier works and references to art historical precedents, Bove combines three different types of steel. Six-inch square steel tubing that has been crushed and shaped at her studio is arranged with found scrap metals and punctuated by shallow, highly polished discs. The compositions are either fully or partially painted using a palette of bright colors
FEE: $10.00 / Payable via cash or Venmo at start of event
Full Gallery itinerary will be posted here the day before the tour, on friday Dec 9th.
We'll stop to grab a bite and drinks either in the middle or end of the tour.