I spend so much of my time in Chelsea that going to the Lower East Side is like an out-of-town trip. I went there with map in hand. Not that I'm totally unfamiliar with the LES, I just don't have the order of streets in my mind the way I do other parts of the city. Allen? Chrystie? Essex? Orchard? I get confused.
But I do know Rivington Street. Geometrics II marks the third time I have been in a group show at Gallery OneTwentyEight, located at #128. (The first was in 1997 when Harmony Hammond curated Material Girls: Gender, Process and Abstract Art Since 1970; the second was two years later when Sylvia Netzer curated Pieces III, an exhibition of work made with substantially material means.)
These days, Rivington--east of Bowery and right around the corner from the New Museum--is smack in the middle of an area that is chockablock with new galleries: Sue Scott, Eleven Rivington, both on Rivington; Number 35 on Essex Street; Canada on Chrystie; and Invisible Exports on Orchard. Just to name a few.
For Geometrics II, curator Gloria Klein selected 12 artists from the Geoform website. Geoform, as I've mentioned in the past, is a fabulous online resource dedicated to abstract geometric art maintained by Julie Karabenick. Gloria and Julie are two of the 12 artists in the show. The others are Steven Alexander, Laura Battle, Mark Dagley, Julie Gross, Michael Knutson, Bruce Pollock, Lynda Ray, Larry Spaid, Lorien Suarez and me. (Specifics on the sidebar, right.)
I'm not sure what drove Gloria's selections--because the work ranges from hard edged and mathematically inspired to intuitive and more organically developed, and from maximal to minimal--but you can see from the installation that it works. All the paintings are modest in size, in keeping with the gallery's modest (well, shoebox) proportions. Given the economic downturn, there was something comforting about the scale, though at one point artists and friends were packed in pretty much check by jowl.
You can see more on the gallery's website, and read an opinion of the show at Chris Rywalt's blog, NYC Art. So here just let me say that I loved the installation, and I'm delighted to be showing with these hard-working and accomplished mid-career artists.
The image above moves you around the gallery
Below, continuing counterclockwise: Bruce Pollock's almost monochrome circles within circles, Red Square Cluster; Michael Knutson's organic and mathematic composition, Crossing Oval Coils XII, which is so energetic it almost gives off sparks; Mark Dagley's 16-point circle, Distressed Orb; and Julie Gross's sensuous circles, Mirro-B
Below: Julie Karabenick's Composition 78, 2008, acrylic on cancas, 30 x 30 inches, at far left, the last work as you swing around counterclockwise from the front door
Curator Gloria Klein standing in front of her painting, Beach Umbrellas, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches
Three of the artists from the show, above: Steven Alexander (in leather jacket), Michael Knutson barely visible behind him, and Larry Spaid. Foreground: painter Binnie Birstein with her back to the camera; background, sculptor Richard Bottwin
Curator Gloria Klein with her back to the camera. (The camera is looking to the front of the gallery.) .