Volume 80, Number 44 | March 31 - April 6, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Image courtesy of Sue Scott Gallery, NY
Installation view of “Paper A-Z.”
Image courtesy of Sperone Westwater, NY
Rules of Engagement (2011). Oil on linen. 45 1/2 x 58 inches.
Image courtesy of apexart
Installation shot from “Let It End Like This” — curated by Todd Zuniga.
Essential and recommended: Gallery exhibits
Artists address aerial combat, American modernism, meaning of camp
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
EAST VILLAGE / L.E.S.
Invisible-Exports: “Notes on Notes on “Camp””
Featuring works by Duke & Battersby, Mike Bouchet, Nicole Cherubini, Jeremy Kost, Jessica Labatte, and John Waters — among others — this group exhibition explores the meaning of camp in contemporary culture. The installation aims to stress that even today, camp remains a vital aesthetic. In the hands of the assembled artists, it becomes a poignant catalyst for expressing personal meaning, history and identity. April 2-May 8 (14A Orchard St.). Call 212-226-5447 or visit invisible-exports.com
Sperone Westwater: “Malcolm Morley: Rules of Engagement”
All of Morley’s 12 new paintings, as well as one monumental work from 2001, depict images of fighter pilots and airplanes. Aerial combat has been a classic motif in Morley’s oeuvre since the early 1990s and he depicts his subjects with a keen eye for vigorous movement and compositional drama. Incorporating historic references, these paintings were inspired by illustrations found in books for young adults around World War II. The subject matter is rooted in Morley’s childhood, when he watched airplanes for hours from his hiding spot near a local airport. March 31-April 30 (257 Bowery). Call 212-999-7337 or visit speronewestwater.com.
Sue Scott Gallery: “Paper A-Z”
A most comprehensive investigation of the paper medium, this exhibition features more than 75 established, mid-career and emerging artists from around the country. Prominent names such a Kiki Smith and Richard Tuttle are contextualized with emerging talents like Grant Huang, Sarah Mattes, Rob Nadeau, Matthew Northridge and Tamara Zahaykevich. The sheer number of participants guarantees a wide range of stylistic approaches — and the show, above all, serves as a testament to creative variety and aesthetic eclecticism. Rather than focusing on traditional drawings, “A-Z” pays special attention to constellations that, while engaging the traditional support of paper, further experiment with printmaking, collage, construction, sculpture, cast paper and books. Along these lines, not just the medium itself, but its customary role is questioned and expanded upon. Through April 22 (1 Rivington St. at Bowery). Call 212-358-8767 or visit suescottgallery.com.
SOHO / WEST VILLAGE
Artist Space: “Mark Morrisroe: From This Moment On”
This will be the first comprehensive exhibition in the US of works by Morrisroe (1959-1989). Despite the brevity of his career, Morrisroe’s photographs have continued to gain in recognition and influence. Born to a drug-addicted mother, he left home and began hustling at the age of 15. When he was 17, one of his clients shot him in the back, leaving him with a bullet lodged next to his spine for the rest of his life. The experience left a profound impact on him and his diaristic works, which depict friends, lovers and prostitutes against a post-punk background, exude a clear lust for life sensibility. Toward the end of his life, Morrisroe’s camera increasingly functioned as a mirror. With unabashed sobriety, he documented the stages of his fatal illness and managed to find life even while experiencing physical decay. Through May 1 (38 Greene St., 3rd Floor). For info call 212-226-3970 or visit artistsspace.org.
Grey Art Gallery: “John Storrs: Machine-Age Modernist”
Marking the first major exhibition of Storrs’ work in 25 years, this exhibition pays homage to one of the foremost sculptors to emerge in the early 20th century. A pioneer of American modernism, Storrs (1885–1956) reinvigorated what had become primarily an academic medium. The forty works featured here, reveal the romance and vigor that Storrs found in the city and its ingrained industry. Especially his elegant abstractions of New York skyscrapers, which were produced during the 1920s, explain why Storrs became a frontrunner of the American avant-garde. Apr. 12 - Jul. 9 (100 Washington Square East). For info call 212-998-6780 or visit nyu.edu/greyart.
Zürcher Studio: “Wang Keping”
Born in 1949 outside of Beijing, Keping did not begin making sculptures until he was 20. He never attended art school and fell victim to Mao’s Cultural Revolution due to his social background (his father wrote the first novel on the Sino-Japanese War and his mother was an actress). In 1966, he was conscripted into the Red Guards and later sent to northeastern China for his “re-education.” Afterwards he turned to art and in 1979, he was one of the co-founders of the historical avant-garde group Xing Xing. He primarily works in wood, at times burning it to obtain a specific color, or polishing it to remove tool marks. Since 1984, Keping has lived in Paris, where he shows with Galerie Zürcher, this gallery’s branch in France. Through May 15 (33 Bleecker St.). For info call 212-777-0790 or visit galeriezurcher.com.
“Let It End Like This”
In this exhibition, curator Todd Zuniga ponders the questions: “What will they say about you when you’re gone? What would you say about yourself?” With this in mind, he has invited over forty people to create obituaries, encouraging them to contemplate factual and fictional regrets, failures, successes, as well as last words. The result is an unusual but fascinating contemplation of what it means to die and what it means to be alive. Through May 14 (291 Church St.). Call 212-431-5270 or visit www.apexart.org.