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11.29.2012

Viva Chelsea, Part 4


Marcus Linnenbrink, There Were Songs Before There Was Radio, 2012, pigments and epoxy resin on wood   


This is the last of the Viva Chelsea posts. Next week when I'm in Miami, A Connecticut Afternoon  will post automatically. After that, and through the month of December, I'll be posting from and about Miami.

Here you see two shows: Marcus Linnenbrink at Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe, There Were Songs Before There Was Radio (September 6- October 6), and Matthew Langley at Blank Space Gallery, Atlas, October 11-November 27.

Marcus Linnenbrink's work is about the experience of color. Opaque or transparent, it is layered, scooped or dripped, inviting the retina to seek out variations while basking in the pleasure of pure chromatic vibration. The paintings are sized from human scale, which invites eye-to-eye viewing--especially those scooped out semi-orbs--to monumental, offering the altogether pleasant experience of being immersed in hue.

 There Were Songs Before There Was Radio; and Last Known Surroundings, 2012, w


To the right of the long horizontal painting we glimpse Linnenbrink's painted hallway

Below: Looking down the hallway


In the window at the front of the gallery, an enormous sculptural vessel

. . . . . .

Matthew Langley's solo at Blank Space--his first in New York City--is equal parts process and reductive poetry. Langley builds up a gridded image then scrapes it back to reveal a reductive geography of markings. The exhibition's title, Atlas, would suggest that each painting refers to a particular location, but the titles, like The Quiet Time and Velvet Days, refer to places that exist in a private longitude and latitude rather than on a mapped location. What you can't tell  from the images is that the surfaces have a richness that invites slow looking.

Installation view from the entrance to the gallery

Inventory, 2012
View from the back of the gallery looking toward the front, with IUnventory in the center of the frame

11.26.2012

Marketing Mondays: The Big Picture


“Artists make images, but they often
 
don't look at look at the Big Picture.
--Paul Klein longtime Chicago art dealer, currently founder/director of Klein Artists Works

What is the Big Picture?

Usually I'm the one who jumps in with an answer, but today I have invited Paul Klein, the author of the quote that opens this post, to offer a response. Klein has been a major presence in the Chicago art world (and beyond) for over 40 years, first as the owner/director of a long-running gallery, Klein Art Works, and more recently as the author of Art Letter, a report on the art and artists of Chicago, and founder of Klein Artist Works, a webinar-based course that helps artists at all levels and in all locations navigate themselves into the career they want. (Disclaimer: Participating in a Klein Artist Works webinar recently as an invited speaker prompted me to get Klein to talk here.)
.
"In the four decades I’ve been immersed in the art world I’ve noticed that almost all participants are thoroughly na├»ve when they jump in. Particularly artists," says Klein. 
 
"My hunch is that there are two key reasons. One is that art commerce is unregulated. Rules don’t exist. Guidelines are fuzzy. Recommended paths are vague.
.
"And two is that the vast majority of art schools do a lousy job of teaching artists how to have a career. Most artists flounder. They rarely have role models and even less often, mentors. Maybe it’s human nature to not look at the Big Picture. Maybe not. How often do you hear artists say, “I want to be famous in one year,” or “I’m focusing on getting a museum exhibit within five years”? Instead, for whatever reason, artists tend to focus on a given work of art, or at best, a body of work, with no real thought about where that body of work might fit into a larger picture and how they might get it there."

Klein describes this as the difference between vision and strategy.

"Vision is the stuff that's nonnegotiable; the need to make art . . . On the other hand, strategy is up for grabs and should be molded to serve the artist’s purpose."
.
I think Klein nails it, though I would say that many art students now are getting some of that Big Picture perspective. (He might disagree). But it is absolutely true that midcareer artists are laboring under fuzzy guidelines. The irony, then, is that undergraduates are coming out of art school infinitely more prepared to approach the art world than veteran artists. Those newbies don't have the studio experience or the chops or the body of work yet, but they have a clearer sense of the Big Picture and will be spared that decade of climbing out of the abyss that so many of us fell into right out of art school.

Think about the cognitive dissonance so many current mid- or late-career artists experienced back in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties:
. Art is not a career; it's a calling. We expected to work a "day job" forever so that our art would not be "tainted" with commercialism. Most artists didn't dare dream of making it--or if they did, they didn't talk about it, and many felt ashamed for even desiring such a thing
It will happen for you when the time is right. Neither the "it" nor the timing were adequately explained, and I think that's because the professors then didn't have a clue either. It was a carrot perpetually out of reach.

. Just in case you got too ambitious, there was this one: Selling your art is selling out. For well over a decade I had a studio in a building with a number of older artists who followed the "rules" of their generation. Most were unknown, and all had studios crammed floor to ceiling with a lifetime of art they never sold
. The dealer
is your enemy. Oh, the challenge: to approach someone we needed who was the very last person we were encouraged to trust. If we were unsuccessful--that is, if we faced the inevitable rejection--everything we learned was prophecy fulfilled. If we were successful in securing exhibitions and representation, we, too, became "the enemy." And if a friend got what we secretly wanted, we publicly reviled him for "selling out"
 
Talk about fuzzy guidelines. 
 
If only we had known what Klein states so matter of factly now: "Artists need their art to take care of them. Artists want to make money. Artists want to get their art out into the world. Artists are among the most creative people on the planet. But typically they sit in their studio, make great art and don’t experience the success they want and deserve. As creative people they have better tools than the mere mortals for accomplishing what they want and need. But they don’t pursue it (well). They don’t look at the Big Picture. Their hunger doesn’t propel them. They don’t apply their creativity to their careers. Resultantly their art is not communicating as well as it could. The artists are not making the money they’re entitled to and the rest of us art not getting the inspiration, stimulation and catharsis that we want."

So the Big Picture is that your studio practice is only half the equation. The other half is getting your art out into the world with confidence and a plan.
 
How do you see the Big picture? And equally important, where or how would you place yourself in that panorama?

 

11.21.2012

Viva Chelsea, Part 3

 
While Chelsea begins to stir back into something approaching normalcy, I'm continuing to show you exhibitions that took place throughout the fall. (There's never enough time to show everything when it's actually up.) These are painterly abstractions marked by transparency and strong, if lighthanded, brushwork. Color is mostly saturated, sometimes subtle. I'm doing my best to show you as much as possible before I go to Miami, because December will be all about the art fairs.
.

Carolanna Parlato, Behind the Sun, Elizabeth Harris Gallery

September 6 - October 6
 
 High Summer, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 64.25 x 78 inches
Image from the Elizabeth Harris Gallery website
 
 
Carolanna Parlato's new body of abstract paintings, so different from the layers of opaque poured pigment in an earlier (and equally splendid) series, deals with light and transformation in nature. Her brushwork is gestural and expressive, marked by the occasional and initially unexpected introduction of spray paint. I respond to the palette, to the way the surface is built up through layers and then worked into without feeling labored. These are physical paintings that push, hover, clash, demand. I like the demand part. Acquiesce to the work.


Installation view of Parlato's show, with High Summer, right. Two of the three small works on the far wall are shown below
 
 
Above: July, 2012, acrylic and spray paint on canvas
Below: Sea Wall, 2012, acrylic and spray paint on canvas
 
 

Turning clockwise, HIgh Summer and Side Streaming
 
 
Side Streaming, 2012, acrylic ansd spray paint
Image from the Elizabeth Harris Gallery website
 

Continuing clockwise, Side Streaming and Wet Spring
Read Rachel Youens's interview with Parlato in NY Arts magazine
  
. . . . . .
 

Monique van Genderen at D'Amelio Gallery

September 6 - October 20


 
Untitled, 2012, oil and pigment on canvas, 84 x 78 inches
 
 
I was not familiar with Monique van Genderen's work (she lives and works in Los Angeles), but I liked them--and I like posting them here, right after Carolanna Parlato's work, because the two artists share some formal and compositional elements. Van Genderen is the more graphic of the two, and her individual elements are more large scale, but there's a spatial sense, and a compositional quirkiness that relates the two.
 
 
Installation view at D'Amelio Gallery with two Untitled works


Turning clockwise. All the paintings are Untitled
 

Untitled, 2012, oil and pigment on canvas, 72 x 48 inches
 
 . . . . . .
 

Sarah Hinckley, Everywhere Tomorrow, DM Contemporary

 September 19 - November 17

 Installation view, seen from the gallery entrance
 
 
DM Contemporary is far enough east on 29th Street that the surge came nowhere near the gallery. Like most of the area, however, it lost power for almost a week. Fortunately the gallery extended Sarah Hinckley's solo show. I hope you got to see it, because the subtlety of her paintings is hard to capture, especially for my little camera which struggles to integrate the gallery lighting with the natural light coming in from a bank of windows opposite the exhibition walls. (Disclaimer: I am represented by the gallery.)
 
An ever-present horizontal suggests that Hinckley's reference is landscape. In fact is is the sea and sky of her childhood (she grew up on Cape Cod) which informs the work. The subtle washes--often overlaid onto much brighter underpainting--recall the  nuances of fog and mist or the changes in light at different times of day. Botanical references are sometimes forthright, sometimes all but imperceptible. The gorgeousness of Hinckley's work is balanced with the traces of her process--paint drips, rivulets of wash, tantalizing gimpses of what she has painted over.
 
Somewhere Over, 2012, oil on canvas, 52 x 48 inches
Image from the DM Contemporary website
 
 
 
I love this panoramic view from the second gallery looking back into the first. To the right of the doorway: Open Your Arms to the Sun, 2011, oil on canvas, 48 x 52 inches.
 


Below: A roughly 180 turn clockwise with Find a Better Dream,  Another Place You Can Go, and Everywhere Tomorrow, which imspired the title of the show
Image from the DM Contemporary website
 
 
 . . . . . .
 

William Willis, Recent Paintings, Howard Scott Gallery

October 11 - November 24
 
Pale Presence, 2012, oil on canvas, 41 x 40 inches
 
 
William Willis's work draws from landscape, but not so much from the vast expanse as from the elements within it. The gallery press release cites "branch and antlers . . . streams and creeks . . .rocky landscapes." I respond to the formal geometry of the work, the way curve meets angle, or an arabesque rubs up against a jagged line. These are easel-size paintings, each with a rich and subtle palette.
 
The show is up through Saturday. If you're in town for the holiday, go--but call first, because on holiday weekends you just never know.
 
Installation view of William Willis's solo show at Howard Scott Gallery
 
 
Not Too Dense, 2012, oil on panel

Look for the last installment, Part 4, next week

11.19.2012

Marketing Mondays: Help for Artists After the Storm

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"The fundraising has been surprisingly easy,
even joyous."
--Artist Julie Torres on her project to help another artist
 
.
When electricity was turned back on in Chelsea, the galleries otherwise unaffected by superstorn Sandy opened their doors and have returned to showing and selling art. Affected dealers are still repairing damaged spaces, replacing business documents, filing insurance claims, and seeking conservation of damaged work. Most hope to be back up and running after the first of the year.

But what of the artists who lost a lifetime of work when high waters damaged their studios in Brooklyn? What of the artists who lost tools, equipment and supplies? Most did not have insurance. Those who did may see coverage of equipment, but it is a rare artist whose artwork losses are covered by insurance (in large part because art insurance for artists is so expensive for so little in monetary value.)

Today's post provides a some links for artists who need help and suggestions for those who wish to provide some assistance.

 
How one artist is helping another: Julie Torres,  a Brooklyn-based painter, is selling these postcard-size paintings for $20 each to help fellow Brooklyn artist, Rachel Beach.
Specific info farther down this post


Foundation Help
. NYFA Emergency Relief Fund
"The Andy Warhol Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Lambent Foundation (a project of the Tides Center) have established an Emergency Relief Fund, administered by NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] to assist artists with damages and losses as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Eligible artists can be working in any discipline and reside in Connecticut, New Jersey or New York." 
Grants are expected to range from $1000 to $5000.
Guidelines are on the NYFA site now. Application info will be posted on the NYFA website on November 21

. Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grants
"The Emergency Assistance Program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need."
Grant range: "The maximum amount of this grant is $10,000; an award of $4000 is typical."

. Alliance of Artists Communities Emergency Rellief Program
"In the event of an emergency, the Alliance can offer support for artists by connecting them with our diverse network of residency programs across the country. By providing the time, space, and support that residencies offer, artists can focus on their work, reflect, and renew their creative practice during an especially challenging time."

. Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Program
"The Joan Mitchell Foundation provides emergency support to artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing after natural or manmade disasters that have affected a community. Artists who have suffered losses due to catastrophic situations of this nature can apply to the Foundation for funding. Please contact the Joan Mitchell Foundation for additional information at info@joanmitchellfoundation.org.

"Deeply concerned for the welfare of artists affected by the Hurricane Sandy disaster, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation is currently accepting emergency requests for grants to professional visual artists, which will be expedited under the Foundation’s guidelines.
"Artists are encouraged to visit our Foundation’s website, www.pkf.org where we have an online application. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Foundation by telephone (212-517-5400) or fax (212-288-2836). All requests will be promptly addressed. A completed application form, cover letter, exhibition history and ten images of your work (jpegs or photos of work will be accepted) will be needed to be considered for our emergency grants."

Conservation Help
From friends via Facebook: Conservator Rustin Levenson will give a free seminar/demonstration on caring for wet/moldy paintings on canvas or wood. Artists and collectors can bring one (preferably small) painting. Limited supplies will be available, along with a supply list, website list, and printed instructions. The seminar will be from 4-6 PM on Tuesday November 20th at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
For exact location or questions about the seminar, email artcareny@gmail.com.
The location will also be posted on our blog at artcarenyc.com.
(Rustin Levenson is an acclaimed art conservator. After Hurricane Andrew in Miami she rescued over 5000 works of art.)

Personal Help
Some suggestions. Feel free to add yours in the Comments section.
. If you have extra storage space, even a small space, offer it to an artist for temporary storage
. If you have a studio that you work in only during the day, offer the use of it--or even a clean section--to a temporarily studio-less artist who would work at night
.Do you have a house within commuting distance? Does it have a barn or garage that could serve as a temporary studio for an artist who has lost hers?
. Do you have a laptop you're about to get rid of? If it's still in decent shape, give it to an artist or art group, since online applications for help grants, residencies and exhibition entry are now standard
. Offer to help one artist, or a small group, with grant applications
. Offer to photograph or Photoshop an artist's images
. Run errands for an artist who is busy cleaning or rebuilding a studio space
. Offer daycare for one time or on a temporary regular basis to a friend's child
. Have an artist or a group of artists over to dinner. If you can afford to do so, turn it into a "salon" so that you're not only feeding your needy friends but offering them a respite from the hard work of repairing or relocating a studio. Invite a few folks who might also be in a position to help
. Forget the food basket for a friend. Find out where s/he shops and offer a gift card in an amount from $25 to, well, whatever you can afford
. Set up a supply fund so that a group of artists might come over and select from what you have gathered. This might be office supplies or basic studio stuff like drawing implements, sketchpads, brushes, paintspalette knives, an easel.

Individual Financial Initiatives
I was very impressed with what Julie Torres did to help a friend. She created 100 small paintings (a selection of which is shown in the image that opens this post), which she is selling for $20 each, checks to be made out to Rachel Beach, an artist who lost much in the flood. Torres's act of generosity has created a win/win for artist and collector. If you want an original Julie Torres, you'll have to friend her on Facebook, because that's how she's promoting her fundraiser.

Torres told me me how the fundraiser came about and how Beach came to be the designated recipient:  "When I lost my job last winter I was broke and panicked, and held a 'studio sale' out of desperation. Though I didn't know Rachel very well at the time, she came to my sale and was especially generous and kind. Along with a few others, she helped get my rent paid, and she did it with a big, beaming smile. So when I saw the photos of Rachel's damaged studio after the storm, I knew I had to do something. Rachel is an uncommonly warm and talented person. The loss of her work is devastating. I am thrilled to be able to help her in this small way. And people have been incredibly generous. The fundraising has been surprisingly easy, even joyous."

This, it seems to me is a model for how many artists might help others. For instance:
. Hold your own Facebook fundraiser for a designated artist
. Get a group together and do something similar for a larger group of artists (or something really big for one artist)
. Raffle an artwork. Figure out what would be a reasonable ticket cost and ask your frients to take a change on winning this artwork while also helping an artist in need.

And, of course, there's the old standby: money. My friend David read of an artist's plight and was so moved he impulsively stuffed money into an envelope and sent it to her, someone he didn't even know. Inspired by David's generosity, I sent a check to an artist whose work I admire. She lost all her tools and equipment when the floodwater surged in and swept much of it out.

You know I'm a curmudgeon when it comes to being asked endlessly to donate art for good causes. But we all have our exceptions, and helping other artists during a difficult time would be a wonderful exception.



Packages leaving Julie Torres's studio
Both photos via Torres's Facebook page
 

How are you helping? What would you add to this list?

11.14.2012

Viva Chelsea! Part 2

Viva Chelsea, Part 1

"I'd like to remind everyone that Chelsea is open
I fear people think that all the galleries are closed due to the horrific images and sad articles, but all the galleries, especially the ones who sustained damage, would be happy to have visitors. 
And better yet, if you've been eyeing a piece
of art . . . buy it." 
--Sara Jo Romero, a partner in Schroeder Romero & Shredder,
on Facebook


Helen Miranda Wilson, Time of Night, 2012, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches, at Lori Bookstein Gallery
 
 
Helen Miranda Wilson's solo show, New Paintings, was up at Lori Bookstein Fine Art on Tenth Avenue when the storm hit. The gallery did not sustain major damage, and the show continued until November 10. I loved these small gems of color, with compositions that conjure Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, or perhaps waterfalls and mandalas.
 
 
Installation view with Strike to the right of the column
 
Below: Strike, 2011, oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches

 

Installation view showing Forsythia and Lion
 

Lion, 2012, oil on panel, 11 x 14 inches
 

Forsythia, 2012, oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches
 Images of the paintings from the gallery website
 
 
 
Regine Schumann at DeBuck Gallery, September 13-October 25
 
 
I first became familiar with Regine Schumann's luminous work at the art fairs in Miami. There as here, most of her work is meticulously crafted phosphorescent plexi that challenges a viewer's perception of space through reflection and refraction while dancing with its own shadow.

 
Installation views, above and below
 
 
Looking at the work in daylight, I remembered an installation of Schumann's that was shown under blacklight in Miami. I guess I just needed to wait until dark, because this is what I found on the gallery website
 
 Image from DeBuck Gallery website  


Installation view of Omar Chacon's solo, Bacanales Tropicales, at Margaret Thatcher Projects, September 6 - October 20
 
Below: Detail of Bacanal Chitiga, the painting at left above


 
A bacanal is, of course, a bachanal, a riotous orgy of pleasure. In this case, the pleasure is provided through color--an orgy of saturated hues and intense visual movement. What I didn't know about the work until I read the press release is that these drops and circles of color are not dripped onto the painting, but prepared beforehand and adhered to the surface, collaged into dense layers. It's the perfect structural complement to a bacanal, no?
 
 
View from the small viewing room
 
 
Thatcher Projects was one of the galleries hard hit by the flood water that surged into 23rd Street at the height of superstorm Sandy. Bill Thompson's solo show of luscious urethane forms had just opened. The gallery quickly closed for repairs (and may still be as of this writing), but on Facebook Thatcher posted this: "I will be extending Bill Thompson's show into the beginning of 2013."
 
 
Installation view of Bill Thompson's solo show, Swell, at Margaret Thatcher Projects, which will be extended into the new year. These two images from the gallery website
 
Below, an aqueous form with the oddly prescient name: Surge

 
 
In the meantime, Schroeder Romero & Shredder on 26th Street is open. Ken Weaver's Requiem for the Immortal, a Faustian tale told in baroque-operatic style, opens tomorrow night. Go visit!
 
At Schroeder Romero & Shredder: Ken Weaver, Lux Mundi, 2007, oil  paper, 30 x 22 inxhes
 


11.12.2012

Marketing Mondays: Update after the Storm


"We're all very emotionally attached to the paintings. It's been a big loss to the art community."
--Stephen Haller, in an Artinfo video tour of his damaged gallery


Screengrab from the Artinfo video at the Stephen Haller Gallery


If you're living outside the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, you may be unaware of just how bad things still are for the art community as a result of superstorm Sandy.  Last week I posted Hell and High Water, a long aggregated piece about the situation in Chelsea--with an additional report from Loren Munk, aka James Kalm, about the artist studio enclaves in Brooklyn.

Today's post is shorter, with some links and information for artists and dealers. How does this affect you? If you are lucky, it doesn't--at least not immediately. But with artists always looking for galleries, and with many ground-floor galleries closed for two months or more as renovations take place--which means that current shows have been postponed--you can see the bottleneck that will occur over the next year, possibly for years to come. Pulling back for a longer view, you realize the interconnectedness of the art community. Someone sneezes, you catch cold. 

Here are some updates. On Wednesday I'll continue with Viva Chelsea, a look at some recent shows in the neighborhood.

More on the Situation
. The New York Times on November 7, published After Floods, Galleries Face Uncertainty. The story, by Allan Kozinn, is less about the art, more about the business of recouping and rebuilding.

. Also on November 7, the blog Art Fag City published a short piece by Corinna Kirsch on the 27th Street galleries--Jeff Bailey, Derek Eller, Foxy Productions,Winkleman Gallery--in the block between Eleventh Avenue and the West Side Highway, where flood damage was severe, the landlord was unresponsive, and insurance claims were being filed. Here the art that was not damaged was drying out in the galleries. Kirsch reports that many of the galleries may not remain in that building, and that "It could take up to a year for the insurance claims to come through."

.
. A WABC video report takes you to the Derek Eller and Pavel Zoubok Galleries. Zoubok (who spoke to me last week) encourages people to buy art: "If you have a favorite gallery and are blessed enough to have a discretionary income and the timing is right, go out and buy a wonderful work of art. iI will support the gallery you're buying from and it will support the artist."
.
Eller notes, "My already difficult job as a small business owner has just become more difficult.".And reporter Lauren Glassberg states the unthinkable, "It isn't clear whether insurance  will cover any or even some of the claims on the artwork."
. will cover
. Stephen Haller, owner of the 26th Street gallery that bears his name, is the subject of a short video interview by Artinfo. The camera pans past gallery staffers moving paintings; in some frames you can see a water line at about the 18-inch mark. Haller shows the interviewer the office, where water-logged files were still in their folders, and remarks on the gallery's timetable for reopening its doors: "The earliest I would expect we could be back functioning after the restoration of the gallery, after the paintings are returned from storage, would be at least two months," said Haller. 


Financial Help for Dealers
The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) announced the first recipients of $10,000 emergency grants from its relief fund: three commercial galleries (Bortolami, Derek Eller Gallery, and Wallspace) as well as the not-for-profit Printed Matter, which sells artist's books. This is a fund that is supported by its members, and it is expected that more grants will be made. Gallerists affected by Sandy are eligible for emergency funds. The ADAA defines emergency need this way:


"The funds are being distributed to aid in restoration for galleries in dire need of financial assistance. Recipient galleries in the process of being identified and prioritized by need and must meet criteria which include: catastrophic damage prohibiting gallery business, drastically impaired cash flow, and demonstrated risk of a business’ permanent closure. It is our hope that this injection of resources will speed recovery and assist the entire gallery community in restoring this vital component of cultural life in New York City."

Read more about this funding in Paddy Johnson's post on the Art Fag City blog.


Cleaning up on 24th Street. Image from the ADAA website


Resources for Artists and Dealers
. The ADAA also provides a Resource List, which includes links for Federal and City business resources, as well as those for conservation and restoration

 . New York Foundation for the Arts, known as NYFA, has aggregated and posted a long list of art-specific resources--for emergency grants, hardship assistance, and arts recovery--followed by those resources which are more general. It's the best of a lot of very good aggregated information for artists and dealers, and I won't attempt to duplicate their effort. Click here for the info 


The Takeaway for You
Since I try to keep Marketing Mondays useful for a wide readership, the flooding experienced in such a widespread way leads me to a few thoughts for you.

. We all need to think about the possibility of water damage, and flooding is only one scenario. A burst pipe or an errant sprinkler can affect otherwise dry studios. (Indeed, an unexpected winter rainstorm last year led to some very minor flooding in my studio, a former auto repair shop built on a slab. The ground was too snowpacked to absorb the rain, so water leaked in through the concrete foundation. There was nowhere for the water to go but on the concrete floor. Since everything was raised a few inches off the floor, and I was around, a quick mopping was all that was needed. I was lucky.) 
If you are on a ground floor, raise your flat files, art storage, and all supplies at least four to six inches off the floor

. Look into studio insurance. It's expensive though, and ask about what actually gets covered. If you work at home, make sure your homeowner's policy will cover professional supplies. Artwork itself is another issue, another policy.

. Look into waterproof plastic bags for work on paper and water-tight storage bins for small works. Places like Talas and Light Impressions have archival storage materials

. Back up your computer files, An external hard drive is good if your computer crashes, but it won't help you if it gets flooded along with your computer. Consider online backup, such as Carbonite

. Going away? If you live in a dwelling that is not managed by an on-site superintendent, turn the water off at the source. That way, if a pipe joint breaks or a hot-water heater leaks, the water damage will be limited to what's in the line. There are also water sensors for leaks and a variety of surveillance equipment than can be monitored even from a smart phone

. As for damage to artwork, you have to act fast. With water it's not just the moisture damage but the mold that sets in almost immediately if work is not brought to a dry and low-humidity place. Generously, and quite amazingly, the Museum of Modern Art has made available a 13-page PDF of its own protocols for dealing with damaged artwork, MoMA's Immediate Response for Collections. Save the URL; better still, print out a copy in case the info is taken offline. Just put it in a nice dry place. 


11.08.2012

Viva Chelsea! Part 1

 .
A quietly cinematic view from Inside Cheim & Read looking out
 

Having already posted an extensive piece on the devastation in Chelsea, I have decided instead to focus on the art I saw and photographed in September through just about a week before the storm. Some of the exhibitions, such as Valerie Jaudon at Von Lintel, are still up. Others were curtailed as a result of the water damage to the exhibitions spaces. Even on the upper levels, where everything remained dry, electricity was out and so the galleries remained dark. But the point of this post is not who lost what, but that Chelsea survived. Even now, while cleanup and repairs are being carried out on so many spaces, exhibitions continue. This is the first of four or five posts. Marketing Mondays will return later in the month. 
 
Matthew Cusick's September solo at Pavel Zoubok Gallery on 23rd Street would be a harbinger of things to come. His collages of maps on panel offer views of turbulent skies and a raging sea.

Matthew Cusick, Rachael's Wave, 2011, inlaid maps and acrylic on wood panel, 30 x 42 inches
 
Below: partial panorama of the installation. The work on the back wall is shown in full and with a detail after this image 

 
All of This World at Once, 2012, inlaid maps and acrylic on wood panel, 40 xc 70 inches
 
Detail below 
 
 
At Cheim & Read Gallery, Louise Fishman's recent work was up through October 27. Fishman is having a well-deserved moment, with this exhibition of recent work and a five-decade retrospective at Jack Tilton Gallery uptown (through October 13). But back to Chelsea: How did Fishman's work make it through the storm? "We didn't have any damage to any artwork," the gallery reports.  

View from the entry
  
Postscript, 2010, oil on linen, 50.75 x 29.5 inches
 

Installation view of the large gallery with Crossing the Rubicon and A Simple Pulsation

 
Installation view of Assunta,  2012, oil on linen, 70 x 60 inches
 
 Full view below
 
 
That's a smiling Asya Geisberg in her 23rd Street gallery in late October, surrounded by the work of Melanie Daniel, who meshes images of military technology with painterly pattern. The gallery sustained a good deal of damage just a week later. Geisberg reported that paintings were being moved to a dry space and that the work of pumping out and repairing the gallery was underway.

 
 Installation view of Echo Shield, 2012, oil on canvas, 67 x 70 inches; image from the gallery website
 
 Detail below
 
 
Valerie Jaudon's exhibition at Von Lintel Gallery, up through November 21, made it through whatever water damage the gallery may have sustained. "The paintings were not damaged," said the person I spoke with at the gallery. Jaudon is, of course, one of the founders of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s. Her work, always graphically strong, has gotten more powerful, muscularly calligraphic you might say, in this recent shift to black and white. What you can't see well from the photos is the luscious quality of each brush stroke, a staccato, hither-and-thither direction at lovely odds with the curve and flow of each composition.
 
View from the entrance: Circa, Archive and Glyph
 
Archive, 2012, oil on linen, 54 x 72 inches
 
Below: Detail of Glyph
 
 
Installation view of  Coda and Telos

 Coda, 2011, oil on linen, 45 x 63 inches
 

Telos, 2012, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
 
 
At Winkleman Gallery on 27th Street, I saw Chris Dorland's solo, Permanent Vacation, just before it closed on October 20. Using stock photography and other images of fashion, advertising, logos and commodities, Dorland layers images of a culture to the point of saturation. Yes, you do want to get away from it all. But you also want to keep looking. The saturated colors--acidic and clashing, but compelling--heighten both sensations.
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The block between Eleventh Avenue and the West Side Highway, an immense warehouse building that also houses the Derek Eller Gallery, Jeff Bailey Gallery and others, sustained  significant basement flooding as well as water damage in the galleries themselves. On his blog, Ed WInkleman wrote yesterday: "We have been so focused on the gallery and without much in the way of contact with the world, due to 5 days without electricity at home either, that we have only just begun to realize the extent of devastation in neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Redhook, and Staten Island. Our hearts are broken for the losses suffered so widely."
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Still he retained a sense of humor, which you have to go to his blog to read (I'm not spoiling the story).

Installation view: back wall of main gallery
 

Installation view: back wall of small gallery
 
 
Installation view: Back gallery

 More posts next week. Marketing Mondays will return on November 29