View from Orchard Street into McKenzie Fine Art
Every week seems to bring a new gallery to the Lower East Side, but Orchard Street is my favorite for the sheer number of interesting galleries. McKenzie Fine Art is one of my enduring favorites, recently transplanted from 25th Street. This show is up through March 17.
In his large paintings displayed in the main gallery space, Karolak pulls you into his visual webs, cubicular orgies of analogous color that suggest the containments of architecture or conversely, mathematical depictions of cosmic phenomena in the vastness of the universe.
Untitled (P-1206), 2012, and Untitled (P-1301), 2013, both oil on canvas, 85 x 75 inches
Here, a panorama of the opposite wall that stretches into the middle gallery. From right to left: Untitled (P-1205), the smaller Untitled (P-1302), and Untitled (P-1207) in the distance--the latter shown below from the opposite vantage point
In the middle and back galleries, there are smaller works depicting flatter space. Here, pattern with syncopated rhythm, if not actual repetition, evokes Mondrian's paintings and Gee's Bend quilts in equal measure.
View looking toward the back of the gallery
Untitled (P-1102), 2011, 16 x 14 inches
Untitled (P-1210), 2012, 15 x 13 inches
All are oil on linen
Below: Untitled (P-1101), 2011, 16 x 13 inches
Given the number of artists who contact galleries each day with presentation packages, it is highly unusual for a serious New York City gallery to send out letters proposing solo exhibitions to artists it doesn't know. Please do not email me to ask about this gallery. I know nothing about it. Typically, however, the artist/gallery relationship is this: the artist shows; the gallery sells. Each party receives 50 percent of the sale. If the artist is requested or required to pay money up front, that arrangement is known as a pay-to-show gallery or a vanity gallery.)
As always I would urge artists to do their due diligence, which might include talking to the artists who have shown there--ask for a list of past exhibitions--rather than emailing an art blogger who walked in off the street to look at a show there.