Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Geometry of Bliss

R. 2010

Hauser & Wirth Gallery
32 East 69th Street, NY

It was by a fortunate accident that I ended up at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery on the Upper East side while I was actually looking for another Gallery. 
There at Hauser & Wirth I walked right into their fall launch; mysterious and dark miniature paintings by Anj Smith.

Things Half-Remembered (Insert, 2010)

Lost Patteran (2010)

 The paintings in ‘Geometry of Bliss’ explore issues of identity, eroticism, horror, mortality, and the collisions of these things in our increasingly fragile and uncertain world. In the three portraits ‘Reconstructon,’ ‘The Combatant’ and ‘R.,’ composite proxies smile faintly at the viewer from within the landscape; they wear Philip Treacy hats or cowboy boots, and bleed from self-inflicted cuts that trace the vine and flower patterns of fancy textiles. With the majority of her new paintings, however, Smith forgoes the human figure to signal ‘a mere presence’ through detritus that has been left behind. In ‘Lost Patteran’ (patteran is an archaic word for the improvised signs Medieval travelers would leave for one another, using crossed twigs and other found natural objects to send coded messages about things that lay ahead), a swath of disintegrating, prettily patterned luxury fabric hangs from branches placed atop a dripping, excremental hill.
              -Hauser & Wirth 
The Combatant (2010)

Anj Smith is a young artist born in Kent, England 1978 and who now lives and work in London.
The paintings are something you want to get to know better, to learn and explore. I was surprised while reading about her fashionable aspects and relations to Chanel and Comme the Garcons, but after a while the twining of the more ancient and the new envisions. I first was thinking more of  "R." as a reflection of a dark "Orlando" from Virginia Woolf. While in the writings by the Gallery says it depicts a close friend of the artist as a 21st Century Mona Lisa.

Evolution of Poetic Language (2010)
(Insert Bottom)

Social Science (Insert 2010)

After the Escape (2010)

Trampwoman's trace (2010)

Reconstruction (2010)

 This dark world made it hard for me to walk out into the bright and noisy New York Streets again.
I would have loved to bring one of these intricate miniature paintings with me, just so I could study them a for a while. But, for between $30,000 and $50,000 a piece I will just have to wait a bit longer....
Maybe one day?

With Love

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

4th of September 2010

My Wedding!

Standard Hotel - Secret Garden (Central Park) - Meat Packing District - Dinner at the High Line Room

What a Fantastic Day!
All pictures by wonderful 

With Love 

Monday, September 27, 2010

To New York With Love

James Fuentes LLC Gallery
55 Delancey Street

Another Gallery that relocated last week was the James Fuentes Gallery. They did it with a bustling opening on Friday night, showing work by Jonas Mekas. I remember Mekas from when I was a student at Blindern University (Oslo, New York) when he came and talked about Flux films in the 90's. It changed my perspective on film, it was so new and exciting to me although he began to create these films in the 70's.

The Gallery is presenting two new works by Jonas Mekas the first called Orchard Street (2010). 

For three years, 1953-1956, Orchard Street was my home. I loved its crowded, bustling existence. The footage in this installation, with the exception of brief images of myself and my brother Adolfas, comes from the year 1975, many years later, but the street hadn’t yet changed during the interval of years since I had lived there, on 95 Orchard Street. Change came many years later… "
                       -Jonas Mekas, from the James Fuentes Gallery press release.
The second film is "World Trade Center Haikus" 2010. This one is incredibly gripping. 
Going through all his films, from 1975 - 1995, Mekas realised how prominent the Twin Towers were. 

This installation is my love poem to it. My method in constructing this piece was simply to pull out images of the WTC from my original footage, while including some of the surrounding scenes. The result I felt came close, albeit indirectly, to what in poetry is known as the Haiku.”
                    -Jonas Mekas, from the James Fuentes Gallery press release.

Enjoyable was also to see a few of his framed stills from his films, romantic, poetic and also slightly comical like this last one.

With Bug Love

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sperone Westwater Gallery

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

Photos by Nigel Young for Foster + Partners


Arriving at the Sperrone Westwater Gallery on Tuesday I was thrilled to walk through the gorgeous front black metal and glass doors, peeking through them beforehand can give you a slight sense of the space and a glimpse of the painting at the far end of the building. 
The edifice is slipped in between two other brownstones, like a unique missing puzzle bit that suddenly makes the whole block light up. I call it "The Lipstick" since it reminds me of my Chanel red. With the red lift slowly coming up in the black compact beholder. The fact that we can see this lift/moving room/ gallery from the outside and as well as walk underneath it, makes this building even more unique. As a fact, one has never been able to walk underneath an elevator before. But, there it is, the moving Red Art Space that glows behind the prominent glass and steel frame.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Elevator, underneath and inside, photo by Nigel Young (Foster +Partners), Artwork by Kuitca

Inside, you are awed by how large the space suddenly feels. Like a hidden cathedral, with double height ceilings on the first floor, shouldered by a glass framed mezzanine.

This space creates a unique challenge for the artist. This is not the regular large square high ceilinged box that we normally get to experience Contemporary art in. This is a place for deep contemplation, a place for a one on one dialogue with the Art piece in front of you.
In this case it was Guillermo Kuitca who got the honor of opening the Show. It must have been quite nerve wrecking knowing that most of the other artists that the Gallery represents would also be there.

I met Bruce Nauman wandering around with a slightly nervous glare in his eyes, probably thinking of what he will be doing with the space when his opening comes up after Kuitca. He followed me and Michael Wurzel, Project Architect (Foster + Partners) around the building, refilling our glasses in the offices and at the end viewing the top floor, which contains the library. what a wonderful and warm man, I came to think.

We met Evan Penny a fun character that makes the most incredibly real but distorted sculptures.
His work made me think of an alternative version of Lucien Freud by the way he makes the skin on his objects so pale and see trough and at the same time, incredibly realistic.
"Michael" 2010
Evan Penny and his "Muse" Michael
Charles LeDray we met in the library, he only introduced himself with the name Charles so at first I had no idea who he was, but he kept telling me how much he liked my mini-top hat and after having studied more of his artwork I realized it is not strange. A lot of his artwork is related to strangely proportioned pieces of clothing.

I did get to have a conversation with Mr. Kuitca as well, we talked about his untitled painting on the mezzanine. A sort of battlefield layered by this light pink veil, which I sort of sensed was blood thinning out in the aftermath.
Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners
Photo by Nigel Young, Foster + Partners
Artwork "Untitled" 2008 by Guillermo Kuitca

Later in the evening we celebrated with a fabulous italian dinner at the Pulino restaurant on the corner of Bowery and Houston.
It was an absolutely packed event where we had the honor of sitting at the table with among others Kim Dingle and Tom Sachs. At the end I also had a chance to meet the legendary Malcolm Morley.
Malcolm Morley

Me at the Gallery with James Lindon from Pace Gallery

With Love

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today, is the opening of:

The Sperone Westwater Gallery

...And I am terribly excited.... This is the building my "Husband" has been pre-occupied with the last year as a Project Architect. Michael Wurzel works for Foster & Partners and is heading their New York office.
Last night he took this light test picture of the building, and I think it's absolutely stunning.
The Gallery is on Bowery next to the New Museum downtown. I think it will be marking a turn for Galleries to become more centrally located again. 

Today the opening of the Sperone Westwater Gallery, will be celebrated with works by Guillermo Kuitca, a fantastic Argentinian Artist. I can´t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow.

I, the drama Queen had to design a hat to honor the occasion (of course). Made by the fabulous Millinery Jill Courtemanche. She also did my wedding hat. Will post the wedding pictures next week.

First I will be wearing this:
A mini Top-Hat



Monday, September 20, 2010

Grey Area

Middle Grey 2007-2009


"The paintings of this exhibition...Inspired in part by Berlin, the city in which Mehretu created the work, the paintings evoke the psychogeography of a place and the effects of the built environment on individuals, while at the same time contemplating the past and the surviving traces of lived history."
                 -from the Guggenheim web. site.

At the Guggenheim last week the rotunda was completely empty, waiting for it´s next exhibit but at the 2nd floor there was/is one bussing room with 6 large Julie Mehretu canvases.
I have always been curious about Julie Mehretu an artist born in Addis Ababa in 1970, what is so special about her? Now I know, you will have to see yourself.

Berliner Plaetze, 2008-2009

I think the best way to discover her work is to go all the way close and study the details, then move out from the canvas and let the whole impression play its own magnetic game with you.
The details are incredible, the intensity and the decision of every single line is admirable and when you get to sit down and just breathe it, it feels like music. Like a city that is in a continuos evolution and which dances it´s own unpredictable dance.

"Atlantic Wall" 2008-2009

"I think architecture reflects the machination of politics...
I don´t think of architectural language as just a metaphor about space, but about spaces of power, about ideas of power" 

Julie Mehretu´s own words, from the the Grey Area book that I tried to buy at the museum store but it was unfortunately sold out. The Woman behind the counter said, it is incredible, every time we have put out a few new ones they are gone the next minute.
I understand why. I would like to keep this memory with me as well:)

All the works are:
Commissioned Work by the Deutsche Bank
in consultation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
for the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin

With Love! Kristin