James Kalm wheels into Chelsea to sample the exhibitions of Amy Sillman and Anna Sew Hoy. If anyone was to be put forth as an example of where the current state of the "New York School" is, Amy Sillman qualifies. Her luscious and physical use of paint, strong drawing, strange figurative fragments and an adherence to the legacy of Ab-Ex have given her a local cult-like following as well as international recognition. Anne Sew Hoy mixes masterly craft skills with an appreciation of the suburban abject, rendered in the ubiquitous materials of denim, ceramics and shades.
James Kalm recovers from St. Patrick's Day with a visit to the latest exhibition of works by controversial artist Marlene Dumas. Since 2005, when one of her paintings set a record for attaining the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by a living female artist, Dumas has become a lightning rod for criticism. Dumas's "Against the Wall" uses the image of the wall as a metaphor of the intractable and tragic situation present in the Middle East, and contrasts the political and spiritual implications of what these structures portend.
James Kalm parks his bike, and slogs through a late winter blizzard to partake in the opening of this double show featuring two of contemporary paintings most exciting practitioners. Joe Bradley employs the trappings of high formalism, Minimalism and an austere vision leavened with a unique whimsy and humor, while we are presented with a chance to view some of the massive paintings that brought Chris Martin's work to the public's attention in the late eighties. The contrasting of these two sensibilities provides us a chance to witness the wide spectrum of today's painting practice.
Scott Richter is an artist who has been pushing the limits and ideas of paint and painting for decades. After investigating the process of painting and mingling with elements of sculpture, this show displays a returning to the classic rectangle hung on a wall. Richter's canvases are luscious, physical and nuanced, with an undeniable presence that is satisfyingly memorable. Includes an interview with Scott Richter.
James Kalm joins throngs of fans, admirers and groupies to elbow his way through “The End of an Era” the latest offering from Damien Hirst. With his worldwide fame peaking from the recent auction of his work, which coincided with the global economic crisis, in “End of an Era" Hirst plays out his opulent critique of materialism. Featuring a pickled bull’s head, a gold plated case with nearly 30,000 manufactured diamonds and photorealistic paintings of renowned gems, this show displays a wide variety of medium and approaches used by the artist.
James Kalm immerses viewers in the colored space of Dan Flavin’s Series and Progressions at David Zwirner. These works originally designed in 1968, represent a breakthrough both in their use of “ready made” commercially available neon light fixtures and their “Post-Minimal” radiance of sensual colored light. From the austere to the over the top we next trip into the Susan Inglett Gallery for the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, a learning experience in the absurd. Bruce High Quality is a loose confederation of artists who have recently achieved a high level of visibility with their goof ball antics and pathetic products that mask their wry version of “institutional critique”.
James Kalm slips into Williamsburg under cover of night to bring viewers a look and an extended interview with one of Chicago’s preeminent contemporary artists, Tony Fitzpatrick. Obsessively worked and fabricated from the cast off refuge of down home culture, Fitzpatrick weaves a narrative of tragic heroics recording a poetic portrait of one of the last of the great Native American leaders Crazy Horse. With simple scraps and elementary colors these collage paintings transcend their small size to express a sense of monumental mourning. Includes an extended interview with Tony Fitzpatrick.
James Kalm begins a new year with a visit to the studio of Julian Jackson. As a longtime presence on the New York scene, particularly in Brooklyn, Jackson has spent considerable effort promoting and advocating on behalf of other artists and the local community. He along with wife, Rene Lynch, have carved out a unique place with their Metaphor Gallery in the Smith-lantic district in Downtown Brooklyn. In addition to his commitment to art advocacy Jackson continues to practice a highly evolved mode of atmospheric abstraction. Relating to the “Color-field” painters of the mid sixties Jackson extendes the investigation of subtle shifts of value, tone and the concomitant emotional responses evoked by this employment of pure color.