Culture: May 2007 Archives

cut-paper collage by Sophy Naess [installation view]


collaged drawing by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy [installation view]

collaged drawing, a collaboration of Sophy Naess and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy [installation view]

Thrust Projects is currently mounting an exhibition of work by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy and Sophy Naess titled, "darling! what color". The artists, who are in fact good friends and who are both comfortable in a number of media, including performance, are represented here both individually and in collaboration, in beautiful work that stretches the idea of figurative representation but manages just as often to betray the indifference of pure abstraction.

Eliezar Sonnenschein Landscape and jerusalem 2007 acrylic on wood 96" x 48"

Three years ago I did a post which included an image of a painting by Eliezar Sonnenschein, who shows with Tel Aviv's Sommer Gallery. Yesterday I came across his flickr page, where he shows a number of works, including the large-scale painting above, which is apparently very new.

His profile led me to this beautiful animation, "self portrait", on YouTube, constructed from another of his paintings:

William Powhida The Rules 2007 graphite and gouache on panel 24" x 18" [large detail of installation]

William Powhida Pricing Guide 2007 graphite and gouache on panel 14" x 11" [large detail of installation]

We missed all the fun of the opening while we were traveling, but this past Saturday Barry and I slipped into Schroeder Romero, to see William Powhida's awesome first solo show at the gallery, "This Is A Work Of Fiction......". It didn't disappoint our highest expectations, and I'm very happy to say it also didn't hurt one bit: We're both included in one of the pieces, with a sketch, a blurb and a footnote, but the work is "The New York Allies List", one of two large drawings illustrating people who occupy the artist's world. The other, "The New York Enemies List", is pretty scary, and not just because it includes Trump and Giuliani.

I loved Powhida's rich gouache representations of his fantasy world as a hugely-successful art star, but his texts, whether accompanying the figures or standing alone as memos, are even more intense.

Disclosure: William was asked by the NURTUREart people to introduce us at their June 4 benefit, and we couldn't be more excited about their choice.

The gallery introduces the artist's letter/press proclamation with this admission:

Schroeder Romero is terrified to present This Is A Work Of Fiction...... a solo exhibition by William Powhida, under professional obligation and personal duress.
And here is an excerpt of what follows, from the artist himself:
BUT, all that doesn't really matter. The work isn't that important. I could, say, pack my shit into a can, take nude photos of my beautiful friends at parties, or make BIG EXPRESSIONISTIC paintings of monsters, but it wouldn't really matter. WHAT matters is that someone says "Did you see that shit on 27th Street?! He called Dash a jerk-off'." It's REALLY important that Shamim and Roberta drop by. I mean, otherwise what's the point? I can't keep sitting around my studio getting drunk and yelling at my assistants forever, can I? I need some affirmation of my BRILLIANCE like a Times review or a Biennial nod. While I have probably just doomed myself to insignificance by ASKING for those things, aren't they the very indicators of success?

I would like to ask you to participate in my impossible endeavor to scale the walls of my insignificant existence as an emerging (it's so pathetic sounding) artist. I know that WE (_Richard, you bastard_) don't make art to be rich and famous, but my hair is turning gray, I am getting OLD, and time is running out for me to experience GREATNESS. I mean, I'm not twenty-five anymore! I can feel the studio walls closing in around me, my assistants are giving me dirty looks, and collectors are trying to GUESS MY AGE!!! (I take no comfort in the fact that I too will eventually be recognized as a GENIUS. I mean we ALL will someday when we are dead)

The artist's real or mock fears, expressed at the end of his letter, about no one ever letting him do this again have almost certainly been dispelled by a success both artistic and monetary: One week into the show almost all of the work had been sold.


I've always wanted to inhabit this glorious utopian folly, so it was way up near the top of my list during our visit to Barcelona. In the end, since the platform occupied by the 1985 recreation of Mies van der Rohe's 1929 Barcelona Pavilion was closed for a corporate reception when we approached it early in the afternoon on Tuesday, we had to go back a second time in order to actually experience the space.

I see it as a garden folly, maybe surrounded by a vineyard, and now I really covet it. Except that there wouldn't be much wall space for art, I'd even live permanently (and sparely) in the confines of the architect's detached structure at the end of the larger pool if there were books, music and food, and if I could share the beauty of these magnificent planes with friends and others. I can't understand why none of the many people today who could afford to commission such a thing and live with it [seem to] have actually done so.

The second view here is taken from one end of that pool, looking at the structure I referred to, now being used as a museum shop. Barry can be seen in the distance, in a green shirt, sitting on the long Roman Travertine bench. The thick vertical line just right of the center of the picture is the leading edge of a high wall, of the same material, which extends all the way to the shop.


The first image above and these last two show other details of these austere, woven spaces and their materials. Those include, prominently, chromium steel, glass, water, river stones, green marble, golden Onyx, light and air.



Artemio Made in china 2006 self-adhesive vinyl 80cm x 150cm [installation view with Barry and gallery guest in foreground]

Yesterday Barry and I went to an opening in Lavapiés with Teresa Moro, a show by a group of Mexican artists at a new space called "Off Limits", run by two friends of hers. There we discovered that one of the participating artists was our friend María Alós, whom we had first met in New York. She showed up a few minutes after we arrived and in our excitement we almost forgot to pay attention to the show itself, "Perdidos en el despacio" [Lost in space], whose curatorial conceit was a consideration of the way we address the spaces we occupy.

One of the pieces in the show was this adhesive intervention by Artemio, a sign affixed to the wall just outside the entrance of the gallery which identified the entire show as a product. I was also able to register both the boast and the melancholy of Edgar Orlaineta's straps from a humble pair of plastic flip-flops, fixed on the cement floor, "The world is my sole", with their suggestion of the possibility of transcending space altogether.

Maria was represented in the exhibition with "Ejercicio de control #2" [Control exercise #2], a piece which demands of the public some behavior protocols in the gallery: Where it was possible, each of the other artists' works was isolated in an area delineated by tape attached to the floor, and volunteers were stationed at the edge of each of these with timers and instructions for the visitor.

Edgar Orlaineta The world is my sole 2005 sujetadores de chancias enterradas en el cementa 30 cm [detail of installation]




We really happy to spend some time with Teresa Moro today, especially since we weren't originally sure we would even find her while we were here. We hadn't seen the artist since her solo show at Foxy Production a little over three years ago, when we went home with three beautiful gouaches.

We had a terrific leisurely lunch in Malasaña, where we were joined by John Thomson of Foxy, who had helped us locate the artist here and who was in Madrid himself, representing New York's Elecronic Arts Intermix at a new media event at Circulo des Belles Artes. After lunch, John went off to participate in a panel and Barry and I headed to Lavapiés with Teresa. There we visited her Madrid gallery, My name's Lolita Art, and were shown a number of her newer drawings and paintings, including these two gorgeous acrylics on linen.

from the entrance at Foxy, a detail of "SUPEROVERPASS"

collages grouped in the rear of the gallery at Foxy

a detail of the enormous "Recondite" at Metro Pictures

more of "Recondite", with collages on the wall in the background

detail of Metro's "Mortar and Pestle/Torso Combo", with works on paper on wall

I'm on my way out the door right now, so I don't have time to write anything or even identify the works in these images, but I want to recommend Sterling Ruby's brilliant installations at Foxy Production, where he was first shown in New York, and Metro Pictures, whose comparatively vast spaces house several truly monumental sculptures. Between the two galleries there is work in virtually every medium, including sculpture, video, painting, print, ceramic, photography and collage, much of it of these elements compounded.

Ruby's a master in each of them. These shows may be my favorites for the year.

nurture art benefit

Barry has all the words, and he links to all the important information on his post: Williamsburg's NUTUREart is having a benefit party, and they're throwing it in Manhattan. I suppose the location may have been chosen partly for the same reasons presidential candidates come to Manhattan, but CUE Art Foundation also has more room for all the people I would expect are going to want to be there.

It's a very good thing for emerging artists, and those who love them.

Barry and I would be excited about this event even if we weren't the honorees, and with William Powhida doing the introductions, it would seem risky to stay away no matter whom he was asked to talk about.

We're told tickets may be purchased on the website beginning Wednesday.

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from May 2007.

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