Saturday, list in hand from compiled advertisements in the current Artforum, I decided to venture to Chelsea and spend the day milling in and out of galleries. I started on 19th street at David Zwirner and then went as high as 26th Street. Chelsea is quite a mixed bag now (if not always) and in between things that made me internally cringe, I discovered some gems and snapped iPhone pics along the way mentally, and literally creating this entry. Even though Gagosian is on 21st Street I think its imperative to start the visual essay here at Claude Monet: Late Work. You may think that my reasoning would be because of a time capsule whereas I am working chronologically. This in fact is true to some extent although its less important to have literal chronological steps versus the idea of “painting” and its journey though time and more importantly today. The Monet exhibit at Gagosian features four galleries and and an impressive number of 27 framed oil paintings. A gallery employee stands out front and monitors the amount of guests in the exhibit, allowing those patiently waiting on line into the space in small intervals. Usually one to scoff at lines, I found the need to take my place. Not having stood in front of a Monet in quite some time, all of a sudden everything else in Chelsea made sense. As most of you know, I’m a big proponent of the negotiation between contemporary art and its predecessors. Standing in front of this impressive display of paintings (even if in a commercial gallery versus Museum space) I became immediately aware of the dialogue between the paintings of such young current artists as Dana Schutz and those who we all look towards as masters of some form of tactile invention. At close range Monet was an abstract painter. His brush strokes (especially later in life as his eye sight dwindled) are large, color blocked and layered. It is obvious to recognize elements of hand markings and notation but one must back up to really see the element of landscape which he was documenting. The dates of the works range from 1904 until 1924 or from the artists age of 64-84, he later died at the age of 86 in Giverny, France.
Painting: Mamma Andersson Who Is Sleeping on my Pillow @ David Zwirner on view April 29th -June 12th 2010
Photography: Trine Sondergaard; Strude @ Bruce Silverstein on view May 13-June 26th 2010
Painting: Amy Sillman Transformer (or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?) @ Sikkema Jenkins & Co. on view April 15th-May 15th 2010
Sculpture: Anna Sew Hoy also @ Sikkema Jenkins & Co. on view April 15th-May 15th 2010
Drawing: Patrick Lee Deadly Friends @ Ameringer McEnery Yohe on view April 22nd until May 28th 2010
I tend to look at all artwork for the most part as painting. I dissect the shapes, colors, and recognizable elements (if any) and think of each mark as a signifier lending itself to something else. On this day, I equated all of the artists above in relationship to the paintings of Claude Monet. The images shown were all photographed with my iPhone and somehow helped me to construct a symbiotic romance interwoven between one artist and the next. Then it comes full circle and I see myself in the reflection of the sunglass lens in the work of Anna Sew Hoy as well as in the costuming seen in the portraits of Trine Sondergaard. I am drawn not only to the humanistic qualities of art but also the places that become negative space and are remnants of a presence that no longer is.