Mixed Media Reimagined

[/media-credit] Laura Ortiz Vega’s “Guadalajara Sunday” (2012, Thread & beeswax on board; 18 x 24 in/45.72 x 61 cm). See “Material Matters.”

Four galleries push envelope, provoke

[/media-credit] Patrick Lundeen’s “Mad Mask, Ugly Monkey” (2012, Acrylic on magazine paper; 17 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 2 in). See “Good for You Son.”

BY SCOTT STIFFLER   |  “GOOD FOR YOU SON”
Canadian artist Patrick Lundeen’s first NYC solo exhibition takes seemingly disparate objects (think flags, posters, keyboards, magazine pages) and combines them into six-foot-tall, neon-colored canvas anthropomorphic masks. Inspired by his interest in (or obsession with?) the exaggerated theatricality of Coney Island denizens and outsider art motifs, Lundeen’s masks manage to both amuse and menace. Accompanying the exhibition is a seven-inch vinyl record by The Oblique Mystique — Lundeen’s three-man rock band. As for what this all means, you’re on your own. However, the artist does tip his hand regarding the exhibition’s title. “Good For You Son” references a line from an unintentionally funny commercial that was the source of constant childhood mockery for Lundeen. In the spot, a father praises his offspring’s wise choice to take out life insurance. By referencing that dubious praise (both in the title of his exhibition and on an Oblique Mystique track), the artist cleverly calls attention to his own worthy achievement, while also mocking its value.

Through July 28, at Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm (and by appointment). For info, call 212-691-6899 or visit mikeweissgallery.com.

 “MATERIAL MATTERS”
In the group exhibition “Material Matters,” Lyons Wier Gallery brings together four female artists who use common mixed media (thread, ribbon, discarded clothing, beads, resin) to bring a fresh interpretation to their chosen mediums. Contemporary notions of identity are explored by transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Stephanie Hirsch appropriates iconic, once-rebellious, rock-and-roll images and re-infuses them with personal mantras. Rocio Infestas creates small-scale resin sculptures whose baby-like forms have both divine and profane implications. Laura Ortiz Vega reimagines her personal photographs of graffiti, utilizing the artisanal techniques of the native Huichol Indians of central Mexico — and Vadis Turner’s ceremonial adornments are partnered with destructive agents to generate compositions that address dual identities.

Through July 7, at Lyons Wier Gallery (542 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. For info, call 212-242-6220, email gallery@lyonswiergallery.com or visit lyonswiergallery.com

[/media-credit] Shao Fan’s “Ming-style Foot” (2009, Bubinga wood). See “The Third Meaning II.”

“THE THIRD MEANING II”
RH Gallery, which opened in 2010 with a group exhibition — “The Third Meaning” — comes full circle (or, full sequel?). This summer, “The Third Meaning II” further explores the original’s quest to “reveal layers of meaning through process and form.” Coined by French literary critic and all-around deep thinker Roland Barthes as a term to represent that which exists without a direct, material source, the 17 artists who’ve contributed work to this exhibition seek to reveal “a third order of meaning, beyond the obvious and the symbolic.” To that end, Shao Fan’s “Ming-style Foot” (pictured) bridges past and present by employing the traditions of ancient Chinese periods, such as Ming Dynasty wood construction, with contemporary subjects and materials.

Through Sept. 6, at RH Gallery (137 Duane St., btw. Church & W. Broadway). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-7pm, Sun.-Mon. by appointment. For more info, call 646-490-6355 or visit rhgallery.com.

[/media-credit] Kenji Nakayama’s “SoHo Collage” (2011, spray paint with multi-layer stencils and enamel on hard board; 28 x 42 inches/71.1 x 106.7 cm). See “Kenji Nakayama.”

“KENJI NAKAYAMA”
The first New York solo exhibition by Japanese-born, Boston-based artist Kenji Nakayama — simply entitled “Kenji Nakayama” — is a presentation of his complex photorealistic, hand-cut stencil, spray enamel, acrylic and mixed media paintings of street scenes. “My process is like dust,” says the artist. “Each little grain and speck adds up, and soon becomes a mountain.” The subject matter may be that of urban chaos, but Nakayama’s intricate technique (original, hand-cut, multi-layer stencils become one complete image when illuminated with colorful spray enamel) casts a meditative spell of contemplation and calm.

Through July 7, at Woodward Gallery (133 Eldridge St., btw. Broome & Delancey Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm, Sun., 12-5pm. Call 212-966-3411 or email art@woodwardgallery.net. To access selected works online, visit woodwardgallery.net. Large scale spray paint and hand cut stencil paintings by Nakayama are featured at the Four Seasons Restaurant (99 E. 52nd St., btw. Park & Lexington Ave.), throughout the summer.

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