Painting in Chelsea

Jennifer Wynne Reeves at Bravin Lee Programs
This post is long on pictures with just enough information to get you to the sources that show you more. With Armory week looming, I still have a lot more to show you from the past several weeks--not just from Chelsea, but from the Lower East Side and Bushwick--and I want to show you several strong group shows as well. I've posted images here in a visual stream to embrace the lush, sweeping, lyrical, organic and geometric.

Stephen Antonakos solo, Pillows 1962-63, at Lori Bookstein Fine Art, through March 16. Mixed- media assemblages with pillows that have been painted and otherwise acted upon by clips, nails, clamps and other hardware. Fifty years old? To my eye many of these works have an immediacy and freshness that speak to insomnia, maybe nightmares and possibly the occasional pleasant dream.
Foyer view of Untitled Pillow
Antonakas pillow, title not available
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Mara Held solo at Gary Snyder Gallery, through March 2. Held's fluid works in egg tempera on linen have a printerly quality, specifically that of Japanese woodblock. Their easel size allows for intimate viewing, and I have included a detail to show you what I mean.
Above, Ogee, shown in installation view below

 Ostinato, above and in detail below (and in the installation view)

Murmur of Continence, 12 x 9 inches
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Matthew Weinstein solo, The Celestial Sea, at Sonnabend Gallery, up now; no closing date posted. Weinstein's mixed-media installation (sculpture, video and paintings) suggest the otherworldly which is anchored, literally (sculpture below), to this one.
Above: Celestial Sea, Drama from Deep Space 9, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 45 inches; detail below
Celestial Sea, and Far Off Now I am Borne, bronze and steel, 48 x 48 x 48 inches; image from gallery website

Celestial Sea, Giant Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean; detail below

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Todd Kelly solo, My Own Personal Rebus, at Asya Geisberg Gallery through March 9. The uniform size of the paintings and a fairly saturated palette are the hints that this is not a group show but the work of one artist. The logic of the installation, each grouping a sequence of geometric compositions, abstractions and still lifes, keeps you moving and looking. 
Above: Grid Painting 2, shown below installed with others. "My randomnly created pieces sit next to each other, grow familiar, and become inexplicably linked," says the artist.
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Peter Wayne Lewis solo, Paintings from Middle Earth Part IV, at Skoto Gallery. The show is now over, but you can see more on the gallery's website and peruse the online catalog. Lewis paints multipart compositions fairly bursting with energy, which he brings together with fluid grace. Jazz and haiku come to mind.
Above:  Beijing Booster 541, 2009, acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches; image from the gallery website
Above and below: Installation views that give you a view of two walls of the exhibition
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Josette Urso solo, Snow Day, at Markel Fine Art through March 9. I'm enamored of her beguiling color sense, the lights and darks that she meshes so easily, and the disparate compositional elements that she brings together into individual paintings, like, the ones below.

Undertow, oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches; this image fro the gallery website
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Jered Sprecher solo,  I Always Lie, at Jeff Bailey Gallery through March 23. I find Sprecher's aesthetic appealing, a quirky mingle of geometric and painterly surface. In these mostly small to easel-size works, the conversation is both amiable and raucous. Both images shown below are visible in the installation on the far wall.

Above: Nail to Hang Your Sail, oil on canvas
Below: Slow Dancing, oil on linen

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Douglas Witmer's solo,  All Kinds of Ways to Your Garden, at Blank Space is over, but you can see installation views and selected works on the gallery website. Witmer's formal exploration of color and surface yield a rich range of results from elements that he has been working and reworking for some time. Subtlety sustains the bold statement (and vice versa).
Above: Installation view with Guiding Light below

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Brett Baker's solo, Paintings, at Elizabeth Harris Gallery ended on February 2. I  missed it, but these two paintings were hanging side by side in the office, and I got to see several small works that were being stored for viewing in a flat file. Baker is a master of the chromatic mark, the dense surface, and a repetition that pulls you deep into each painting. The small size (some as tiny as 5 x 4 inches) make the viewing all the more intimate.
Above: Axel's Forest II, oil on canvas, 16 x 14 inches
Below: Same size work, title not available
Below: a selection of small paintings, including Painter's Table III, 2009-2011, oil on canvas. (Baker is the editor of the blog, Painter's Table)

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Jennifer Wynne Reeves solo, The Worms in the Walls at Mondrian's House, at Bravin Lee Programs, through March 23. The combination of abstraction and implied narrative is strong, but it is the sensuality of Reeves's paint and palette that bowl me over.
Installation view above; specific images and details below 

Above: Standard of Liberty;  gouache, pencil, wire and oil pastel on hard molding paste on paper; 12.5 x 15.25 inches

Gorgeous Paul, 1990-2013, acrylic and oil on wood, app 9 x 20 inches. A detail of this work opens the post
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Larry Poons, New Paintings, shown jointly at Danese and Loretta Howard Gallery. The exhibition ended March 1, but you can peruse an exhibition catalog here.
Above: Detail of the Untitled work shown below in Danese's temporary space, a light-filled aerie one flight up from Loretta Howard's sixth-floor gallery

Another Untitled painting, also in the Danese space
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Shinique Smith solo, Bold as Love, at James Cohan Gallery through March 16. Smith is known for her evocative bales of fabric. In this body of work, body seems to be the reference, not only because the sculptures are made with clothing but because they suggest the mass of Wilendorfian torsos. New for me was seeing Smith's paintings, energetic compositions that seem to draw from the form of the mandala. I don't think I would love them on their own, but the point/counteroint with the sculptures--shape to form, color to mass--is pretty great.
Above: Installation view in the front gallery, with a selection of hanging sculptures and Gravity of Love; ink, acrylic, poaper and fabric collage on wood panel
Below: Same gallery, opposite corner
Painting: No Key, No Questions, ink, acrylic, fabric and collage on wood panel; sculpture: Soul Elsewhere, artist's clothing, fiber fill, rope

Painting: Seed of Life and Within a Detail hanging sculpture

Granny Square, acrylic, fabric and collage on wood panel, with a view to the street   


Nancy Natale said...

Great, inspiring post! It reminds me why I love paint and painting so much. Thanks for posting, Joanne!

annell4 said...

Loved each piece! Thanks so much for the post!

Tamar said...

A post filled to the brim with gooodies! Good to see the work by Mara Held -- an exhibit I just missed.

Douglas Witmer said...

Thanks for the mention, Joanne! Your readers may want to know that they can see my show for the rest of this week. Friday March 8 is the last day for the show and there's a closing reception from 6-8pm. BLANK SPACE 511 W 25th, 2nd Fl. All best...

Julian said...

Thanks, Joanne for a great gallery stroll! & not to be missed is the just opened exhibition Of Mara Held's dad, Al @ Cheim & Read. Mara helms his foundation and helped produce this amazing show of his hugely ambitious (& just out and out huge) alphabet paintings of the 1960's. Painting at its absolute chewiest on a scale rarely seen in these days of casualist daubings and doo dads.

New American Paintings said...

Great post! Just tweeted it to our followers. Looking forward to seeing these exhibits personally later in the week. Maybe We'll run into you again at the fairs!

Ravenna Taylor said...

thanks for another great post, Joanne.

Epic Art said...

Looks like a fantastic exhibit. I know many people frown on abstract art, but I think it requires more creativity than virtually any other art style.

Mike said...

Joanne,I really like your post. I love this kind of art. Thanks for this amazing gallery.