Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jan Holthoff Opening in Cologne Oct 24

Following his Abstract Strategies, the group show Jan Holthoff curated in Düsseldorf last month, comes a solo show at Martina Kaiser Contemporary Art in Cologne. Jan is also in our present group show Full House East, which runs through October.

From the forthcoming catalog essay for Full House East, I write that ... 
... a painting is not abstract because of what it looks like, but because of what it is. We should be cautious of thinking of the “abstract” as merely a visual mode of some sort. Half a century ago Adorno described the art object as an integrative system; it has an internal and deeply hermetic system, and it has an external system that accounts for its position or indeed its strategy in the world. Adorno advanced the work of art as an instrument of resistance and liberation, not just an occasion for the expression of feelings or taste. This put the art object on a new footing and opened up its possibilities immensely. It is in this sense that we should call the work of art, literally, an abstraction. 
Adorno has had a huge influence on postmodern aesthetics and on so-called socially engaged art. The time has come I think to re-read the aesthetics of Adorno in view of present work in abstraction. What, actually, is the event that we call an abstract painting! The implications are profound, and Jan Holthoff is one of the most energetic and uncompromising artists I know of who is pursuing this matter. I am honored and, frankly, FLOORED ... to represent this artist. Read the essay I wrote about Jan's work exactly two years ago.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Full House East - Reception This Friday

Our long-running group show was initiated by David Rich and Paulette Myers-Rich in St Paul Minnesota back in July as Full House West. The show migrated to our gallery in Park Slope Brooklyn in early September, and it will remain up until November 2nd.

Please join us on Friday, October 3rd at 6PM for a reception for the artists.

Location Details Here
Download the Press Release (pdf)
Exhibition Homepage

Jim Denomie, Attack on New Ulm, oil on canvas 26 x 32” 2012 
It is a wonderful thing that all events on canvas are manifestations of the individual and the particular. And it may be interesting as well to see if painting might engage with the thought that affords this wonderful thing in the first place. Abstract painting should put itself to the task of forcing a historical showdown with postmodern thought. We should seek from abstraction the space that was opened by postmodernism. We should ask if this new “abstraction” is not the postmodern painting that never happened. 
Jim Denomie’s painting opens up some of this disturbing depth. Adorno said in a famous lecture, “The images of our life are guaranteed through history alone.” He was attacking the essentialism and transcendental woo-woo in German philosophy in 1931, and philosophy has not been the same since that attack. Adorno forced a confrontation of philosophy with its existential conceits; he rejected the idealist formulations of “reality” and “being” that were fashionable at the time. 
This is not to say I like Denomie’s painting because it is “relevant” or “about something” or because it reminds me of the 19th century Indian art at the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. It is no documentary piety that draws me to the painting. But because the painting invokes history and horror, this is what courts a certain kind of aesthetic adventure. I don’t really care what history or what horror it is. The mordant cynicism of the Lakota chief riding in a convertible through some disturbing actual event … this hatches a space that is dialectical and not coupled to some immanent, breathless, present moment. We are in need of that dialectical space. 
— from the catalog essay by Ethan Pettit 

Robert Egert Brown Mars oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in. 2014
Patricia Saterlee Gloria 70 flashe paint on linen, 26 x 23.5 in. 2012
Barbara Lea Illicit Lunch oil on canvas 16 x 16” 2011 
Todd Bienvenu Talking About Abstract Painting oil on canvas, 2013

Jim Denomie
Eugene Hyon
Elisa Jensen
Barbara Kreft
Barbara Lea
Eliot Markell
Arlene Burke Morgan
Clarence Morgan
Marcy Rosenblat
Patricia Satterlee
Alkemikal Soshu
Patrick Todd
Jeanne Tremel

Sonam Rinzin Yanchenma brushed ink on paper, 29 x 32 in. 2014

David Rich Call and Response and Charlie's Corner oil on canvas, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thangka Painting with Sonam Rinzin Starts Sept. 20

Starting Saturday, September 20th, renowned artist and teacher Sonam Rinzin will be giving classes on the Tibetan art of Thangka painting and drawing at the gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. See details here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Full House West - Opens July 25th in St. Paul, MN

Full House West, a visual dialogue between painters from Saint Paul, Minnesota and NYC, brought together by Paulette Myers-Rich and David Rich, opens on Friday, July 25th. This show coincides with Full House (east), which will commence in August and run through September 2014 at ethan pettit gallery.

exhibition home page
exhibition catalog (pdf download)
facebook invitation
photos of opening night in St. Paul
video of the St. Paul show

Jim Denomie, Attack on New Ulm, oil on canvas 26 x 32” 2012
Barbara Kreft, JCH, oil on canvas 8 x 8” 2014
Todd Bienvenu, The Space Between Us, oil on paper 15 x 13” 2014
Marcy Rosenblatt, Moonshade, oil on canvas 16 x 16” 2012

Gili Levy, gouache on canvas, 30 x 25 in. 2014
Elisa Jensen, Flushing oil/canvas 8 x 10” 2014
Robert Egert, Will You be Calling In? oil, charcoal, acrylic, pigmented glue on linen 24 x 30” 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Hours: By Appointment Only

From June 29 through the month of August, the gallery will be open by appointment only.  Regular weekend hours will commence again on Saturday, September 6.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Barbara Friedman - Closing Party

Please join us on Sunday, June 22, from 6PM-midnight, at a Closing Party for Barbara Friedman's show DEPORTRAITURE.

Location details are here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

KB in Venice

Pool Cue Archery Bow Cello from 1981, is one of a large group of Ken Butler's pieces now on display in Art or Sound, a survey that spans four centuries of musical instruments and curiosities.

The mere fact that the esteemed founder of "Arte Povera" Germano Celant has chosen to put Ken Butler in any show is a cause for comment, never mind what the show is about. As it happens this is not exactly an Arte Povera show, but rather an historical survey of musical objects from over the course of four centuries. It is, however, a bit of a curatorial "spill" in the manner of Arte Povera. Very old decorative artifacts and sundry pieces of Weimar whimsy are rolled out into the company of objects from the historical avant-garde.

Antiques are pressed into the service of conceptual art, and all the objects in the show concern "the relationship between art and sound" or the "iconic aspect" of musical instruments. Never mind the context or the century of origin of anything, there is a theory that carries them all in a Prada handbag, whose foundation is sponsoring the show. So it is a good chance to see some beautiful and interesting objects from all over the map, and some really dull moves from the 1970s as well.

Adolphe Sax, Natural Trumpet, 1866–84, brass

But I will say this, Ken Butler's "hybrid visions" stand up to an Adolphe Sax trumpet or a dazzling old street organ, as much as they stand out against the stylistic uniformity of most of the avant-garde and postmodern representation here. Butler really is a new species in the art world, and in Venice it shows. His work has old world charm, and it looks and feels snappy in the generally mortified acres of assemblage art of our times.

I'll venture that Butler's work is the lynchpin of this show. His work is historically sensitive to the older artifacts. It responds to the antique functional objects as well as it does to the newer and patently art historical pieces. And what's more, Ken Butler's instruments are thoroughly and all about the confluence of objects and sounds.

Musical Chairs, roto-picker (for 8 chairs and channels) concept drawing 23.5 x 18 in. 2005. See enhanced album of these drawings.

Rifle Cello, exhibited at Test-Site in Williamsburg, early 1990s

Art or Sound, June 7 - November 3, 2014
Ken Butler's page on our website