ART – The Chelsea Galleries: Gagosian Gallery – west 21st Street. At the Gagosian Gallery, on West 21st Street, until July 27 an exhibition of Richard Avedon’s legendary photographic murals and related portraits. Against the backdrop of America's social and political transformation, Avedon began to create four photographic murals between 1969 and 1971, which would be unprecedented in scale and pointed in subject. Between 20 to 35 feet wide and comprising up to five panels, the murals revealed a striking new format in which subjects were positioned frontally and aligned against a stark white background.
Above: Richard Avedon’s Allen Ginsberg's family who’s who - Hannah (Honey) Litzky, aunt; Leo Litzky, uncle; Abe Ginsberg, uncle; Anna Ginsberg, aunt; Louis Ginsberg, father; Eugene Brooks, brother; Allen Ginsberg, poet; Anne Brooks, niece; Peter Brooks, nephew; Connie Brooks, sister-in-law; Lyle Brooks, nephew; Eugene Brooks; Neal Brooks, nephew; Edith Ginsberg, stepmother; Louis Ginsberg, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970, 1970 Gelatin silver print 96 x 240 inches (243.8 x 609.6 cm) Ed. of 3 © The Richard Avedon Foundation.
Gagosian Gallery – west 21st Street. Richard Avedon’s The Mission Council who’s who … Hawthorne Q. Mills, Mission Coordinator; Ernest J. Colantonio, Counselor of Embassy for Administrative Affairs; Edward J. Nickel, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs; John E. McGowan, Minister Counselor for Press Affairs; George D. Jacobson, Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Operations and Rural Development Support; General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker; Deputy Ambassador Samuel D. Berger; John R. Mossler, Minister and Director, United States Agency for International Development; Charles A. Cooper, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs; and Laurin B. Askew, Counselor of Embassy for Political Affairs, Saigon, South Vietnam, April 28, 1971, printed 1975 Silver gelatin prints, five panels mounted on linen 119 1/2 x 390 1/8 inches (303.5 x 990.9 cm) Edition 2/2 + 1 AP.
Paula Cooper Gallery – Tauba Auerbach Float exhibition. Until June 9 at the Paula Cooper Gallery Tauba Auerbach’s Float exhibition. San Francisco-born, New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach has described her work as an attempt to reveal “new spectral and dimensional richness…both within and beyond the limits of perception.” Engaging a variety of media, ranging from painting and photography to book design and musical performance, Auerbach explores the limits of our structures and systems of logic (linguistic, mathematical, spatial) and the points at which they break down and open up onto new visual and poetic possibilities.
Above. Untitled Fold 2012. In her acclaimed series of Fold paintings, first introduced in 2009, Auerbach presents powdery trompe l’oeil surfaces that register the traces of their former three-dimensionality. Painted with an industrial sprayer, the works draw attention to the physical properties of pigment imitating light.
Paula Cooper Gallery – Tauba Auerbach Float Exhibition. In the exhibition new photographs and sculptural objects, including Bent Onyx, 2012 a deconstructed material volume printed and bound in book form. As Auerbach once observed, “A book is an X-axis. The format is almost always linear; the content, bound in a prescribed order, marches single file.” Inspired by a desire to upend this theory, Auerbach resorts to tomography (the method of producing images of the internal structure of an object), allowing the viewer to slice through a solid block of onyx layer by layer, revealing the twists and turns of a mineral narrative.
Gladstone Gallery – Anish Kapoor. Street Space until June 9, Anish Kapoor at the Gladstone Gallery on West 21st Street, has created a site-specific monumental Cor-Ten steel sculpture that assumes a looming circular form. Rising above and extending around the viewer, the work transforms the environment, creating an acute awareness of spatial composition and the phenomenological experience of surface, scale and shape. The sculpture enfolds the viewer into immersive and heightened encounters that capture the intersecting forces of the mind, eye and body.
Tanya Bonakdar gallery – Ernesto Neto – Slow iis Good exhibition. For his exhibition Slow iis Good at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Ernesto Neto presented a series of vibrantly colored installations of crocheted polypropylene and polyester cord that hang from the ceiling, hovering several feet above the ground. These works continue Neto’s practice of gravity, weight and tension to dictate form as plastic balls in different shades provide a counterweight for the crocheted sheets. Stretching the crocheted membranes taught, the balls form a floor for the labyrinthine, tunnel-like structures of alluring color and inviting texture that the gallery visitor is meant to enter and explore.
Metro Pictures – Cindy Sherman. Until June 9 at Metro Pictures Cindy Sherman exhibits new, large-scale works that depict outsized enigmatic female figures standing in striking isolation before ominous landscapes. Looking directly out of the picture in our direction, each character is an eccentric specter, whose epic scale, vivid Chanel costumes and intense gaze suggests a sentry standing between the viewer and the distant background.
Sikkema Jenkins and Co – Sheila Hicks. With a career that spans five decades, Sheila Hicks’s work traverses the boundaries between painting and sculpture, design, craft and even architecture with the use of woven forms. Challenging the hierarchical classification of textiles as a more artisanal design-based medium, Hicks combines her early training in painting, the interaction of color with Josef Albers, and art history with George Kubler, with an expert understanding of the craft of weaving and tapestry-making. The exhibition at the Sikkema Jenkins and Co. Gallery, includes a range of work from Hicks’s earliest pieces dating from 1958 and composed of both natural fibers and found materials – such as shirt collars, leather shoelaces, and rubber bands – to new works of colorful linen stalks, wrapped cotton cords, and steel fibers. She transforms these materials into discrete two-dimensional objects, as well as large wall-mounted, free-standing, and suspended sculptures.
Sikkema Jenkins & Co – Sheila Hicks. Sheila Hick’s Overflow, 2006 Bathing tub and seagrass.
Gagosian Gallery – West 24th Street – Lucio Fontana – Ambienti Spaziali exhibition. Lucio Fontana’s Ambienti Spaziali exhibition at Gagosian West 24th Street until June 30 showcases six of his groundbreaking environments, known as Ambienti Spaziali, which have been faithfully reconstructed, providing a completely new perspective for the rich and varied retrospective of more than one hundred major works that surrounds them. Curated by Germano Celant and assisted by Gagosian director Valentina Castellani in close collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana in Milan, the exhibition includes many works that have rarely been seen and reunites important series from public and private collections.
Gagosian Gallery - Lucio Fontana’s Ambienti Spaziali. Fontana’s 1949 Ambienti Spaziali a Luce Nero (Spatial Environment in Black Light), which consists of a small black room in which several large, fossil-like forms made from papier maché hover overhead, their fluorescent painted surfaces picked out by black light.
photograph and copyright manfredi bellati
Mike Weiss Gallery - Jan De Vliegher Treasury exhibition. For his first solo exhibition in the United States at the Mike Weiss Gallery, until June 9, Belgian artist Jan De Vliegher creates a series of monumental paintings which reference the artist obsessive hunt for otherwise overlooked porcelain plates. United in their ritualistic and repetitive compositions the series of circular abstractions reveal De Vliegher’s fascination with the painting experience while also speaking to broader themes of contemporary collecting. The lush colors, dramatic brushstrokes and overpowering scale of his work, however, starkly diverge from the otherwise controlled subject matter.
photograph and copyright manfredi bellati
Mike Weiss Gallery - Jan De Vliegher Treasury exhibition. The title of the show Treasury, calls to mind currency and precious items, perhaps a play on the over-abundance of “treasured” objects housed in countless sacrosanct institutions and museums.
Mary Boone Gallery – Francesco Clemente – Nostalgia/Utopia exhibition. For the current exhibition, at the Mary Boone Gallery, Until June 30, Francesco Clemente continues his masterful interlacing of disparate images, materials, and cultures that reflect many locations where he has lived and worked. The paintings run autonomously through Colonial Baroque, Afro-Brazilian, Indian, and urban American iconography. Deftly painted imagined scenes and figures co-exist with real sculptural objects affixed to the canvas surface. Each work exists outside of specific reference to place or time.
Above. One of the new series of eighteen gouache and sanguine drawings. These intimate works function as a source book of ideas expanded upon in the paintings.