Last Saturday, armed with a list in my coat pocket, I scoffed at the frigid temperature and made my way to Chelsea for some critical end of the year gallery viewing. Several artists whose work I admire and have followed for years, had shows that were on the cusp of closing and after a busy fall of freelance and my own studio time, I recognized the importance of making rounds before these shows were replaced by others.

First up was David Zwirner, (unless attending openings, I usually prefer to walk south to north) Luc Tuymans: Corporate. The show features large-scale paintings, executed with a delicate sense of reduction and limited monochromatic palette. The result are works that are both pleasing to look at with enough sense of wonder remaining to make them alluring.

Next up was Matthew Monahan at Anton Kern. Metal sculptures stand tall and have a vivid relationship with both a historical sculptural context and in the deconstructive process that occurs in a contemporary discourse. I discovered newly married, New Museum curator Massimo Gioni in the back room which also featured my favorite piece of the exhibit pictured above- along with delicate lithographs.

Next was the lovely painter Maria Lassnig at Friedrich Petzel. After ogling the lush, perfectly toned hot and cool paintings, I spoke briefly with gallery director Jason Murison about the recent removal of David Wojnarowicz’s work from the Smithsonian and the relevance to his NYU class on Downtown New York (for which I was a TA in 2007).

Walking west, Anselm Kiefer; Next Year In Jerusalem, an ode to a historically contemporary Israel at Gagosian was next. The exhibit was by far the most populated and extensively installed of all the other shows. The work has a
monumental quality and I felt that it would’ve easily fit into the second floor wing of MoMA almost more so than in the realm of the commercial, contemporary Chelsea market.

This is part 1 of the visit. There were so many good things to see! After Gagosian I went to Mika Rottenberg Squeeze at Mary Boone, and I will probably devote an entire post to that particular piece which I adored.
I am booked to fly to Berlin tomorrow and will report from there. Hopefully in spite of the weather the flight will go without hitch!

All images taken with iPhone4.

More soon.