Monday, September 9, 2013

Openings - Josh Kline (47 Canal) Korakrit Arunanondchi, Greg Parma-Smith, Ben Wolf Noam (Suzanne Geiss) Matthew Higgs, James Hoff, Margaret Lee, Georgia Sagri (Team) David Adamo, James Castle (Peter Freeman) Jeanette Mundt (Clifton Benevento) 3D Notion (Bruce High Quality Foundation)

Josh Kline at 47 Canal

Josh Kline’s, QUALITY OF LIFE, is a must see if you want to know what the new trajectories in video and 3D printing are and also if you have an interest in the body and reflecting on youth.  There are two videos, one of Kurt Cobain the other of Whitney Houston and they are being interviewed as if they are alive today.  It is well done and there is a strange mash-up, mix-up, glitchy delay of composite rendering of said dead celebrities.  These hover heads are over real life people that are body vessels for this act of suspended disbelief.  These videos are very interesting to watch and the content of what is being said is just as interesting as the visuals, perhaps more so.  In addition there is a brand illumination that spills red and blue pills over a “Forever 21” logo and to get even more pill like there are also IV drip bags filled with such health preserving things like spirulina and Emergen-C.  There are sculptures as well.  I have always found Kline’s molded heads and the plinths they reside on to be a bit lacking in something but it is a thing he seems to enjoy doing and one can understand their place within this larger show.  Overall, this show is very tight, very actualized and worth a viewing or two. QUALITY OF LIFE gets to the point of the first line of its press release, “Youth is the ultimate commodity in a society of dying people.”  Macabre in an embracive sort of way.

Korakrit Arunanondchi, Greg Parma-Smith, Ben Wolf Noam at The Suzanne Geiss Company

Digital Expression is the title of this show.  It presents just this but there is a slight curve here as the works are very much about texture, nay fabric.  This results in an exhibit that is not just another iteration of ‘things that have been happening for a while now.’ Arunanondchi is like so very hip right now, I don’t really get it, but I can understand why people do(?)  I have to admit the Parma-Smith works sort of recessed back while being installed with these other two artists.  Not his fault.  Wolf Noam, organized the show and he did a good job in his contribution of works.  They are very large columns that fill the space and are as impressive as they are interesting as object and as surface.  This show feels a bit like a favor somehow though… But hey, isn’t that how this whole art thing works now a days?

Matthew Higgs, James Hoff, Margaret Lee, Georgia Sagri at Team Gallery

Miriam Katzeff organized this group show entitled, Parasitic Dreams which, “…explores the ways in which textual elements can be used to prop up, destabilize and misdirect meaning in the realm of visual art.  Katzeff knows what she is doing and the works in the show are well selected and placed.  James Hoff’s towers of floppy disks were very fun to see.  Columns, even mini ones, are so in and make one think, “body!” so quickly.  The pairing of Higgs and Lee, as they are wanton to do often, was very tight and well done but had a removed feeling in a way with the rest of the show. Parasitic Dreams takes a lot of what is current; technology, words, still life as joke, and presents them in a chin rubbing way.  I must note that Higgs is really showing himself to be a true blue artist.  Some of the things that I reacted to the most were by him, to my genuine surprise.

David Adamo, James Castle at Peter Freeman Inc.

Okay, so this show is like the best thing I saw all week.  Adamo selected works by James Castle, a self taught artist (deceased) who was a rural farmer, and also has new works by himself on view at this surprising but captive space.  Adamo’s selection of Castle’s works are refreshing, even for one who adores and has sought to view as many Castle works in real life as possible.  There is a suite of small figures that runs the length of the gallery’s main space, a selection of sticks/pencils, a series of letter drawings, vases downstairs and more by Castle.  Most are drawings and all of them are so alive with charm and visual freshness it makes the heart ache a bit.  Adamo went all out as well.  There are his well-known columns of wood chopped to almost fall down sticks.  These are made interesting by his lovely white tile flooring made out of chalk sticks.  Adamo links himself with Castle in direct ways, like a collection of erasers which fooled me into thinking they were Castle’s at first, but also makes clear he is contemporary like his bronze M&Ms. This show’s success does not lie only in that fact that I like both artist’s works respectively, this helps, but because the combination of what is shown and how it is shown makes both of their works stronger in their shared binds. 

Jeanette Mundt at Clifton Benevento

I like Clifton Benevento programming a lot and not only that, they are very classy yet highly professional.  Rare these days.  Sadly, the current show with Jeanette Mundt, I know I am when you make me, is a bit of a safety.  There are landscape like paintings, a love of diptyches, mini walls with posters and other elements that make you think “prop” but there is something lacking.  Maybe I just don’t get it.  Probably, but yeah, this was a bit surprising to see in it’s feeling of quickness. 

3D Notion at Bruce High Quality Foundation

A show with a lot of artists that use 3D technologies to make work, mostly sculpturally actualized.  Wow.  This show.  Wow.  Really bad.  Like gamer flea market meets very bad street art.  So many artists on this list are very very very good artists.  How this failed is beyond me.  Ah well.   Live and learn?