back to new art stuff

Ah, that's better.

I've been feeling so distanced from the visual arts thing for months, I was beginning to think I was going through another change of life (-style).
This afternoon's outing put the kibosh on that notion.

The galleries in Chelsea were at their best today. It was a wonderful day, and worth being pulled out of bed at the crack of ten a.m. by houseguests eager to go out to "brunch." Actually, I thought "brunch" had been replaced by something more, oh, edgy(?) during the years I've been sleeping late and preferring to defer to the cereal boxes on the top shelf.

What did we see?

There was Gustav Kluge at Klemens Gasser (Barry noted that German expressionism isn't dead after all).

There was a great show from David Shrigley at Anton Kern (Gee, it seems that Glasgow has created a special silly sweet sensibility shared by several of its sons).

We're also really excited about Kiniko Ivic's very sympathetic-pathetic paint things at Andrew Kreps. [No picture links; what are these galleries thinking?]

Oh and don't pass up Maurizio Cattalan's "Wrong Gallery" (the installation space is only about ten inches by thirty-six inches!) through the door immediately adjacent, where you will see a piece by Martin Creed, the Turner Prize guy the conservatives love to hate.

How often does a woman born in 1919 in Carinthia, Austria, get a solo show in Chelsea? Don't bother asking, but look in on the work of Maria Lassing at Petzel, especially the work on paper in the rear space.

I'm a sucker for good car stuff (It started while I was growing up in Detroit during its halcyon years), but even Barry liked the brilliant shapes and colors on Peter Cain's canvases at Matthew Marks on 22nd Street. Very sexy images from an artist we miss a lot.

Peter Campus innovative 1970's video work projections seemed today to be upstaging his current work at Leslie Tonkonow, but I have to admit we did not stay long enough to really see the new stuff on the small screens. Gotta go back.

I'm crazy about Yoshitomo Nara, and have been from the moment I first saw his tough little cartoon girl, several years back. Yes, she reminds me of my equally tough little sister years ago, but she and her gestures also seem more and more to represent at least one absolutely appropriate attitude to a more and more stupid and threatening world.

The young Israeli artist, Tomer Ganihar, has a provocative installation of photographs at Paul Rodgers/9W. He chronicles a group he refers to as the "New Jews," a "spontaneously emerging youth movement" in Israel.

We were both really enchanted with the show at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, where Rob Fischer has installed a fantastic shed/plane/boat/greenhouse/trailer construction I would really, really like to live with, if not in, on a permanent basis (but just where, other than in the field for which I would never trade my own cozy New York warren of rooms?). The small works on paper in the back and, in the reception nook, a lightbox-mounted photograph of hoary Minnesota boathouses looking like a model of a stone-age fishing village sans villagers, are a bit more portable and almost as wonderful.