NoteWorthy Shows-October, 2016

As a counterpoint to my longer pieces on big shows, here’s something else-  shorter looks at some especially Noteworthy Shows that I’m not going to have the time to do the full pieces on that they each deserve, but that I want to bring to your attention.

Post-Labor Day has seen things quiet down on the NYC Museum show scene, after an insanely busy summer. The action has turned to the galleries. Here are some shows I saw recently that I was especially impressed with, in no particular order-

Ethan Murrow: Water Almanac” @Winston Wachter. A show of very large drawings(!) about the folly of man trying to control nature, many featuring water, shown in a space that was partially submerged almost 3 years ago after Hurricane Sandy, destroying some of Mr. Murrow’s work. When I pointed out the irony of it to him, he responded, “At least they weren’t people,” he said referring to his lost work. When I asked him why he draws instead of paints he spoke of the minimal amount of materials necessary. His work has wonderful elements of the Surrealism of Max Ernst and Bruce Conner that he makes seem everyday real world.

"Deluge Estimator," 2016, graphite on paper

Ready for the next Sandy? Hmmm… “Deluge Estimator,” 2016, graphite on paper

Ethan Murrow (in orange shirt) at his opening.

Ethan Murrow (just to the left in orange shirt) at his opening.”Hail Cannon Rainmaker,” 2016, graphite on paper, 60 x 48 inches, right.

"To Redirect the Tempest," 2016, graphite on paper

“To Redirect the Tempest,” 2016, graphite on paper, 52 x 72 inches

Meleko Mokgosi: Democratic Intuition” @ Jack Shainman Gallery. I’d write something about this, if I could ever finish looking at it and thinking about it.

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“Democratic Intuition- Comrades II,” a very large work

And seen at the show's 2nd location.

And as seen at the show’s 2nd location.

Sol LeWitt” at 3 Paul Cooper Gallery Locations, Pace Prints, and The Met. Yes, no less than 5 simultaneous shows featuring Lewitt’s drawings, scultpture, photography, collages, prints and, suddenly ubiquitous wall drawings (not to mention the permanent one on view in the NYC Subway at 57th Street & Columbus Circle!).

"Complex Form #65," 1989, painted wood, 59 x 38 x 40 inches, in front of "Wall Drawing #368" @ Paula Cooper.

“Complex Form #65,” 1989, painted wood, 59 x 38 x 40 inches, in front of “Wall Drawing #368” @ Paula Cooper.

Detail

Detail

"Wall Drawing #370" as seen at The Met

“Wall Drawing #370” as seen at The Met

“Alexi Torres: Sun Light” @ UNIX Gallery. No mere photo-realistic interpretations of source photos here. Visions- exquisitely executed.

"Sun Light-Ernesto," 2016, oil on canvas

“Sun Light-Ernesto,” 2016, oil on canvas, 72 x 68 inches

"Sun Light-Miguel," 2016, 84 x 80 inches, oil on canvas

“Sun Light-Miguel,” 2016, , oil on canvas, 84 x 80 inches

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Detail

Miguel- Source Photo

Miguel- Source Photo

Robert Currie in “Mind Storm” @ Bryce Wolkowitz. A name new to me. As close as I can gather, Robert Currie applies paint to monofilament thread in rows, which can be seen from the side, or in their reflections, below the works. The image can only really be seen from directly in front. Somehow, they still manage to evoke the sense of the place as well as the sense of a bygone era.

Installation View

Installation View

"17,820cm of nylon monofilament and acrylic," 2016. That's 590 feet.

Entitled- “17,820cm of nylon monofilament and acrylic,” 2016. That’s 590 feet of it in a work that’s 12 x 16 x 5 inches.

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Side view

Fahamu Pecou: #BlackMatterLives” @Lyons Wier Gallery. Prolific and multi-talented, this could be a breakthrough show for him. Powerful. Gorgeous rawness. Present tense.

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“Even In Darkness,” 2016, acrylic, spray paint, gold leaf on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

"Ultimate Yello Brick," drawing

“Ultimate Yello Brick,” 2016, graphite and iridescent ink on paper

And- “diane arbus: in the beginning” @ The Met Breuer. Memorable as much for the show’s content as for it’s innovative display, Ms. Arbus’ beginnings show the Artist’s eye fully formed. Each of the 100 plus images on view is given it’s own wall- a side of a “mini-pillar” that allows the viewer to move through the show any which way they want to. Ingenious and ground-breaking, it’s more a case of The Met showing off it’s construction capabilities and resources more than “why didn’t anyone else think of this before?”

There is no "recommended" way to see this show.

There is no “recommended” way to see this show.

Especially noteworthy for me was a photo of my late friend, the legendary Storme de Laverie, titled “Miss Storme de Laverie,The Lady Who Appears to be a Gentleman, NYC,” 1961. I knew Storme during the final decade of her life, and she had told me that Diane Arbus had photographed her, though I had not previously seen it. I took it with a grain of salt, given to tall tales as she was on occasion (will we ever know if she really was the “cause of,” or started, the Stonewall Uprising, nee “Riot”, which I heard her claim she was?). But, there she is, sitting elegantly on a park bench in 1961, immortalized for all time, in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on view as part of this very good show at The Met Breuer. Diane Arbus had one of the greatest eyes in photography.

Storme, in full effect in 1961. 45 years before I would meet her.

Storme, in full effect in 1961. 45 years before I would meet her.

Some of these shows are still up, some have just closed. And somewhere the singer is saying…

“’cause no one knows about a good thing
Until a good thing is gone.”

R.I.P- Storme de Laverie. Get home safe, my friend.
*- Soundtrack for this Post is “No One Knows About A Good Thing” by Curtis Mayfield and Daryl Simmons, from Mayfield’s album “New World Order,” and published by Warner- Tamerlane Publishing Corp.

This Post was created by Kenn Sava for nighthawknyc.com
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