SoHo Geo


A geometric fixture in NoHo

There was some great geometry in SoHo earlier this month, and because I’ve been busy—with Marketing Mondays here on this blog and several exhibitions of my own—I’m only now getting to show these to you.

We’re starting with the painted wall that’s been in SoHo, actually NoHo, forever. (It might be part of NYU.) I’m including it because it has a nice visual connection to the two shows here.

At OK Harris: Detail of painting by Doug Navarra


The first, at OK Harris, was a small show by Doug Navarra. Called Palimpsest, it featured an installation of found historical documents, most stained and worn over time, upon which the artist has superimposed geometric shapes in brilliant hues. The idiosyncratic work synthesized time and order, intent and chance. I particularly loved how crisp geometry hovers over the fluid, almost florid, calligraphy of the pages.

Installation of paintings by Doug Navarra at OK Harris gives you a sense of the scale of his work

Above and below: two works by Navarra

At Jose Friere’s Team Gallery a three-artist show could well have been a solo, so formally did the work relate. The two little pics below, impossible (for me) to Photoshop well because of the competing light sources, orient you to the space. Better images are below that.

Above and below: two shots to orient you to the Team Gallery space

Davis Rhodes used the simplest stuff: spray paint on what looks to be foam core. Two such objects, one black with an uneven stripe of lavender at the top, and another with a strong yellow/black diagonal, were placed opposite Gardar Einar Einarsson’s knife-edge black and white graphics. The result was not so much a conversation as a standoff—High Noon at the SoHo corrall. I liked it.

Above, with the front door unseen to the right: two freestanding objects by Davis Rhodes and a painting by Stanley Whitney
Below, with the front door to your back; three by Gardar Einar Einarsson and a painting by Stanley Whitney

Stanley Whitney’s work is more conventional oil-on-linen painting. His blocks of color expand and contract in their compositions, dominating the surface or steadfastly holding onto a small bit of it—classic push pull—and some are seemingly flattened by the weight of the big hues above them. With its brushy brushstrokes and imperfect geometry, this work is the opposite of refined. I really like it.

Stanley Whitney, The Last of the Bohemians, 2008, oil on linen, 72 x 72 inches

In the back gallery: Davis Rhodes, Untitled, 2008, enamel on foamboard, two panels 96 x 44 inches each


Anonymous said...

Davis Rhodes, not David. Thanks for the pics.

Joanne Mattera said...

Done. I learned to type in Fifth Grade and all the mistakes I made then I still make, including confusing the adjacent S and D.

Nancy Natale said...

Great photos, Joanne. I loved Doug Navarra's geometry over the handwritten ledgers. Handwriting is disappearing even quicker than newspapers. Clerks in the days of ledgers were really artists in their own way and you can see the pride and enjoyment they took in making their work beautiful. The addition of geometry and color is just fabulous. (froodkin)

dani sanchis said...

Hi, I would like to find some more info about Doug Navarra, do you know where?
Great blog yours, thanks.