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102 Reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    First to Review

    My favorite thing in the Jonas Wood exhibition that's currently on view at Anton Kern is a gray dog at the bottom of a big painting--a schnauzer? not good with breeds here--that looked so funnily uneven and odd, not only because its head was cocked to one side, its eyes looking directly out of the painting at the viewer in that inquisitive, expectant way that dogs do--but also the way its face was painted was split in half, making its expression not just searching but also insane. Some dogs really have expressions like that! The split in the face was mainly caused by the way Wood paints--making strips of paint with ragged edges, as if he's dragging the brush downward in a very tense zig-zag, leaving these skinny tight tiretracks of paint. The dog is made of these stripes. In Wood's paintings lots of different things--animals, furniture, whatever--are made of these strips. But not everything is, so there is a variety of texture to his surfaces that I find appealing, and it nudges against the repetitive pleasure of the stripe patterns.

    Jonas Wood's paintings are mostly interiors, and when they're not they are the kind of paintings you'd expect to find in a normal home--a portrait of a pretty peacock, some flowers, a portrait of a couple--and he underscores the fact that he's making "paintings of paintings" by cleverly inserting them in his interiors. So in the one with the dog at the bottom, you can see the peacock painting (which hangs separately in the same gallery) IN that painting. There's a painting of a poker tournament, the one thing in the show that might be thought of as happening in a public space, but you can tell from lettering on it that it's a painting of a TV screen, so again the perspective is domestic. And the television studio where the poker game is being played is made up of the same stripes that the dog is.

    I wouldn't say Jonas Wood is a mind-blowing painter but I certainly enjoyed myself looking at his work.

  • 4.0 star rating

    The bacon/bratwurst sandiwiches on pretzel buns and the mac-n-cheese bites were so delicious that I would consider hosting a wedding reception here just to see trays of those apps again. Not that I'm in danger of getting married anytime soon, ha ha. But I would jump at the chance to party here again, in the big Biergarten with the outdoor tables, indoor tables, balcony, stage, etc. Very versatile space!

  • 5.0 star rating

    This was the second elite event I've been to and I had a good time getting to know more members of the community. And I live in Jackson heights so it was really convenient for me! To be honest, I don't think that Delhi Heights has the tastiest Indian cuisine in the neighborhood. But that's not to say I or the other yelpers I talked to didn't enjoy it. Everyone ate up and had a great time. And that's what I love about the Yelp Elite--it's not about being a foodie, a snob, or a picky eater, as the word "elite" might suggest in other contexts. It's about positive attitude and cleanign your plate and going back for more! That's what I did.

  • 2712 S. La Cienega Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90034
    5.0 star rating

    Currently on view at Cherry and Martin is a small selection of works by Alan Shields, who I wrote about previously in the update to my review of Paula Cooper Gallery, in New York. To recap, he is a painter from the 60s and 70s who experimented with fabrics and techniques from the realms of crafts. I discovered a new side of his work here--some concrete poems, where he took words from ads or a newspaper, repeated them and mixed them up, and typed them out on a typewriter. It was interesting to know he did that but I prefer his paintings. There was one I really enjoyed at this show, a big rough and dirty canvas with a misshapen grid of splotches, concentrated in color in the center and wetly bulging outward, as if he'd laid out a bunch of watercolor ice cubes on the canvas and let them melt as they will. I don't know how he really made it.  I should have asked the people who worked there. They were very nice.

  • 10899 Wilshire Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    5.0 star rating

    Have you ever felt elegant as you exited a parking garage? I did at the Hammer, which has my favorite architecture of any museum I've ever been to. The airy, gracious atrium leads up the main enfilade of galleries that encircle a courtyeard, connected by a broad balcony. Only in southern California, I suppose, could a museum have its visitors going outdoors between each exhibit.  The far side of the balcony had some very cool-looking deck furniture for lounging in, and two ping-pong tables. Fun!

    There was a great variety and quality to the exhibitions. My favorite was the comprehensive exhibtiion of the fascinating painting of Forest Bess - which presented his idiosyncratic ideas about gender and spirituality in a really accessible way, and just gave me a chance to look at the way he developed his philosophy of colors and mark-making and symbols, to approach painting as the creation of a new other world. There is some great stuff in the permament collection galleries--several drawings and bronzes based on them by Daumier, the 18th century caricaturist, who drew the ascendant bourgeoisie of his time as weird monsters whose faces are just emerging from a gooey flesh mass. I love him! I also enjoyed the retrospective of James Welling, a conceptual photographer who came up with various ways of using photographic technologies to produce abstract images rather than indexical ones. I like the colors of those photograms and gradients but some of his later work, shot in libraries, looks dull. I really hate conceptual art with old books in it. The artist is just like "look how smart I am" and I could care less, honestly.

    I also wasn't really into Tacita Dean's film, about the Spiral Jetty, which had some spiral-jetty-shaped cuts in the film, a cute gesture, but why make art about other people's art? I just don't get that. Then a show of a contemporary artist (I want to say her name is Kelly Crowland but now I'm realzing that can't be possible.. it was definitely Kelly something), with letters sewn on bags of rice, was not interesting at all but you win some you lose some, right?

    On the way out I noticed a gallery near the entrance that theoretically one could visit without paying for entry, because you don't have to pass the admissions desk to get there. The show there was a video about interrogation techniques--seemed a little heavy-handed to have the free gallery featuring "socially engaged" art but I nice gesture I suppose.

  • 21 Essex St
    New York, NY 10002
    4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    I like this bar but I could never give it five stars as it's too damn narrow. I like some elbow room and at Beverly's once the crowd at the bar is one man deep it's hard to walk from one end of the bar to the other without being like "scuse me" "pardon me" and shoving your way past everybody. So it's a nice place to meet up with friends on a week night but I would steer clear on weekends, unless I manage to park myself at one of the lounging areas in the front or back (probably the back, since that's where the bathroom is and I will have to go there at some point anyway). But otherwise I like the design of the place. It's newly built but it's not slick or pretentious, yet at the same time it's not divey either--the furniture is in pretty good shape and it's clean. It strikes a nice balance, like an art gallery with concrete floors and some utilities showing but still neat enough for showing art. I make this analogy on purpose because Beverly's does display some art works. Up front there's a relief panel in styrofoam, backlit with blue and rose LCD bulbs. I'd seen the piece elsewhere and thought it had this effect of otherworldly alien menace yet in the bar context it evoked a timeless downtown neon coolness, with a strange twist--and I liked it more than I had before. The rear lounge area in the back has a giant backwards 2, hewn from wood, under a little canopy of icicle lights. The je ne sais quoi of art pieces like these makes Beverly's feel like a place where you should always be poised for an interesting, open-ended conversation.

  • 333 Broome St
    New York, NY 10002
    5.0 star rating
    First to Review

    Soak or stroke? Stroke or soak? This is the question that continuously, but pleasurably, bedeviled me as I viewed the exhibition of paintings by Matt Connors at Canada gallery. Many of them had thick stripes that looked like the trail of a broad brush drawn briefly along the surface of the canvas but on closer inspection they revealed no trace of brushhair or the direct application of a hand, instead having a wet look suggesting that the canvas had been dipped in wet paint so as to leave a stain. But in some the approximation of a brushstroke shape was so close I could almost see the ahirs tingling at the pigment's edges like hairs on an excited neck! Here and there I would see drips lefts by a splash yet they were so rich and saturated I imagined the paint falling on the canvas in slo-mo like in a commercial for absorbent paper towels. In my favorite painting of the lot the strange soak/stroke stripes--in soft shades of the primaries, red, yellow and blue--danced in a configuration that was architectural but also like a quilt, somewhere between a map's legend and patchwork. Connors' paintings more than any others I've seen lately remind me of mid-century abstraction and its jazzy play of paint on the surface, and yet it's not like the old expressionism at all because it doesn't have that aggressive approach to the plane, instead there's a tender treatment of the canvas saying that the painting isn't just a surface, it's a depth, and I felt my eyes sinking into it, drowning in love for these paintings.

  • 3.0 star rating
    6/12/2014 Updated review
    1 check-in

    Another Kay Rosen show here, and I must say my impression this time was much improved. This time the texture of the wordplay drawings was more unified, and all of the letters in them were starker and more architectural which gave the exhibition an overall feel that relieved the sense of monotony I has previously experienced. Great to see a more continuous relationship between work and space though it's still not my favorite art

    2.0 star rating
    2/27/2012 Previous review
    I was eager to visit the Kay Rosen show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co because I had seen a couple works by… Read more
  • 4.0 star rating
    First to Review

    Franklin Evans' show here is called paintingassupermodel which could mean painting gets photographed, looked at, admired, airburshed, photoshopped, has its pores removed and so on. But painting here is still a mess: thick, complex, riddled with rough textures, covered with masking tape and confused with print. When it's photographed it's distorted, stretched into wallpaper, blown up too big so the pixels show, or the editing tools otherwise show in ways that aren't pretty. But maybe I'll never understand what Franklin Evans was thinking when he chose this title for this epic installation and that's ok, the title doesn't really matter anyway. What I liked about it was how it shook up perceptions of two-dimensional space,  creating a variety of ways of looking at and relating to images on a wall, by mixing prints and collage and painting, inverting one through the other and mashing them all up. It's a fun journey through the artist's process of looking at paintings and making them, with some references to data and web pages and excel spreadsheets in the form of wallpaper that reminds you of computers and offices and networks and markets, the numerical atmosphere that art is made in and exhibitions are organized in, but not in a way that's boringly archival or demands calculating examination on the viewer's part. As I approached the desk to check out the press release a man behind it, barrel-chested in a pink oxford shirt, said "hey how's it going" in a gruff but amicable way that made me feel welcomed.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in First to Review

    It wasn't so long ago when the Lower East Side galleries were the place to see delicate and minor works--drawings, photo collage, or little assemblages of whatever with garbage dangling off. But those days are quickly receding into the past as LES galleries move into bigger digs and put on more ambitious shows to hold onto the yougn artists they've been working with who want to make granger gestures. "More weight" by Sam Moyer at Rachel Uffner is exemplary of this trend. This is a heavy show indeed. I felt like I was at Paula Cooper!! Maybe it was even too heavy for me--Sam moyer's studies of stony textures is so cold, but tactile touches warmed it up. The main gallery is impressively vast and cave-like in its current dimly lit state, a great rock slab taking up most of the floor and a warm off-white luminescence from a stately marbled lightbox of commensurate size on the ceiling. It should be said that the architecture of the gallery itself, which is beautiful, lends a lot to the effects of the art, with white wooden beams, dark floors, a rich lived-in old feel to all the walls and materials. But what I liked best were the smaller works on the upper level, the unevenly cut small rock slabs jointed with textiles stretched on uneven frames. The ancient grooves of geological movement improvised with the quicker, newer lodes of dye in fabric, and what I liked best was how this play of texture and surface continued through the slanting skylight above, which showed the rise of the building next door and the winding paths of vines and cracks as if an extension of the works on view. Made me feel small, and light, in a good way.

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February 2012

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