10.30.2009

Tripping on the LES: Evans, Williams, Almeida, Martinez, P-Orridge

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In a recent foray to the galleries on the Lower East Side, I experienced spatial shifts, woozy geometry, surrealistic portraits and hallucinogenic patterns. Call it LSD on the LES. (I wasn't really tripping; it just felt that way.)

Franklin Evans
At Sue Scott Gallery on Rivington Street, Franklin Evans transformed the space with tape, paint and lots of colored stuff. According to the gallery press release, Evans recreated his own studio. It felt like walking into an notebook--no, into an artist's head, an experience, if you are an artist, that will not feel unfamiliar, even if the specific contents are different from what's in your own cabeza. The show ended October 24, but here's a peek at what I saw:

Evans at Sue Scott: Looking toward the gallery entrance, with a wall-and-floor detail below

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It's not always easy to determine what's three dimensional and what appears to be that way. Hint: The round tunnel, above, is on a flat wall that juts into the gallery to divide the space in two. Elements from the wall continue onto the floor
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Below, a painting leans up against a wall; the "wall" at left is open, defined by tape from ceiling to floor. I don't know about anyone else, but I proceeded slowly through the space, as much to take it all in as to navigate the spatial distortions


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Michael Williams
The vertiginous painting by Michael Williams, below, crams all of Evans's spatiality into a two dimentional surface. Williams's show, Uncle Big, is at Canada on Chrystie Street through November 15. While there's more to Williams than vertigo, most of his visual narratives seem to be spaced-out meditations on everyday life.

Williams at Canada: Mikes Zone, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
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Detail below, with a frosting-like palette and surface

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Caetano de Almieda

Up through November 15, the Brazilian Caetano de Almieda pulls you into his dialog with geometric abstraction at Eleven Rivington . I particularly liked his hallucinogenic grid, below, which seems to breathe with you, inhaling and exhaling before your eyes.
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Almeida At Eleven Rivington: 3825 Cores (3285 Colors), 2008, acrylic on canvas, app. 59 x 47 inches
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Detail below .

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Max-Carlos Martinez

Martinez's first-time solo is at Christopher Henry Gallery through November 1. As suggested by the title of the show, The Pursuit of Happiness (Is a Warm Gun), the work mixes referents and ideas. Cowboys and Indians take you through a narrative that suggests historical struggle and cultural identity painted with what seems to be a mescaline-dipped brush. The smaller works are framed and glazed, so as you peer into the work, you catch a glimpse of yourself--another layer of history and identity. But are you adding something of your culture and history to the artist's? Or is he adding his to yours?

For his part, the self-taught Martinez says simply: "Inspired by my tripping through america/as an insider, as an outsider/revolving doors and cultural mores/dog bless america!"


Martinez at Christopher Henry: Under My Thumb, 2009, 42 x 108 inches; and Pillow Talk, 2009, 74 x 60 inches, both acrylic on paper

Below: Pillow Talk detail with an electric palette and retinally challenging pattern




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Above: She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
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Below: Tennessee Waltz, both 2009, acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches
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Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Identity is a thread that also runs through 30 Years of Being Cut Up at Invisible-Exports on Orchard Street, which closed October 18. The unique individual known as Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, a cross-dressing, pandrogynous man who had himself surgically and cosmetically altered to look like his paramour, Lady Jane Breyer, showed three decades of collages. The mix-it-up medium would seem to suit the artist, and while there are more exposed body parts than I care to show you here, this collage of a certain British monarch--more Surrealist than psychedelic--made me laugh out loud:


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge at Invisible-Exports: English Breakfast, collage
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2 comments:

Seth said...

I saw the Evans show and was really mesmerized by all that tape and all those colors.

Hailey said...

Michael Williams work has blown my mind! Mmmmm, looks like turkish delight. And there is a gallery named CANADA? That is so neat, and strange. As a Canadian, I guess I feel flattered.