New York City Galleries – A Weekend Tour

By: Jan Driesbach, Chief Curator

I started my first day in New York at George Adams Gallery , talking about Lesley Dill, whose lithograph I See Visions  will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Akron Art Museum called Language in Art (opening in April).

Also at the gallery were new works by Enrique Chagoya and amazing cut-outs by Kako Ueda.

An example of Lesley Dill’s sculpture at George Adams Gallery

An example of Lesley Dill’s sculpture at George Adams Gallery

Kako Ueda, Reciprocal Pain, 2009, acrylic on hand cut paper, string, 94 x 59 x 2 inches.

Kako Ueda, Reciprocal Pain, 2009, acrylic on hand cut paper, string, 94 x 59 x 2 inches.

I made my way down West 25th and West 24th Streets, with highlights including impressive new ceramics by Lynda Benglis at Cheim and Reid .

Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis

The second half of the day was devoted to catching up with Diana Al-Hadid (her massive sculpture Nolli’s Orders is on view at the Akron Art Museum.

Serra Pradhan from Marianne Boesky Gallery showed me two of Diana’s gorgeous new wall pieces before we enjoyed lunch together and departed for the artist’s studio in Brooklyn.  As always, Diana was a delight and had a bevy of projects—three-dimensional projects, wall pieces, drawings—underway or newly-completed.  It was fascinating to see and learn more about her process. Diana was delighted to hear about the interest Nolli’s Orders is generating in Akron.  I am looking forward to viewing work I’ve seen in process in her studio when it is exhibited alongside Medardo Rosso’s in a presentation by Marianne Boesky [http://www.marianneboeskygallery.com/exhibitions/diana-al-hadid-regarding-medardo-rosso/pressRelease] next month.

In Diana Al-Hadid’s studio

In Diana Al-Hadid’s studio

Friday morning I wended my way up Chelsea, admiring Donald Judd prints at David Zwirner and Jackie Nickerson photographs at Jack Shainman (will send an image).  And Jessica Stoller’s ceramics  offered amazing contemporary still lifes that invited close viewing.  At Galerie Lelong, talked about Jaume Plensa  installation that had impressed me on my previous visit.

Donald Judd at David Zwirner

Donald Judd at David Zwirner

Jessica Stoller

Jessica Stoller

Juame Plensa at Galerie Lelong

Juame Plensa at Galerie Lelong

Continuing down 26th Street, I spied evidence of Bansky’s New York residency:

Banksy in NYC

Banksy in NYC

I took my very first “selfie,” reflected in Mark Foxx’s metallic curtain at Robert Miller Gallery (also relevant to the upcoming Language in Art exhibition at AAM):

Chief Curator Janice Driesbach's first selfie.

Chief Curator Janice Driesbach’s first selfie.

Continuing my journey, I returned to 24th Street, where I found Radcliffe Bailey’s new work at Jack Shainman Gallery. A powerful new direction for this artist, the work is responding to the Middle Passage, which refers to the transport of kidnapped Africans to America during the Atlantic slave trade.  It was particularly interesting to see this new work in the context of an important piece in our collection, the artist’s J Red House.

Radcliffe Bailey, To be Titled, 2012, tarp, iron, vintage model ship, wicker basket, and glass, 120 x 188 x 89 inches. Jack Shainman Gallery.

Radcliffe Bailey, To be Titled, 2012, tarp, iron, vintage model ship, wicker basket, and glass, 120 x 188 x 89 inches. Jack Shainman Gallery.

Radcliffe Bailey, JRed House, 1996, mixed media on wood, 96 in. x 96 in. x 24 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Bruce and Barbara Berger. http://akronartmuseum.org/collection/Obj5080

Radcliffe Bailey, JRed House, 1996, mixed media on wood, 96 in. x 96 in. x 24 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Bruce and Barbara Berger. http://akronartmuseum.org/collection/Obj5080

Hordes of Denver Bronco and Seattle Seahawk fans were pouring into Manhattan by the end of the week, so an escape to the Bronx on Saturday to meet up with Tony Feher was a particular delight.  We spent time in his exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. During our visit, I noted a young boy’s immediate glee when he entered the gallery with his family, and Tony commented as to how well children respond to his work.

Tony Feher at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Tony Feher at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Best of all were lunch with Tony and a visit to his studio, filled with the jars, marbles, plastic bottles and Depression glass the artist uses for his poetic gestures.  In addition to touring the space and seeing a number of projects underway, we reviewed plans for exciting new work Tony is making specifically for the Akron Art Museum that responds to our magnificent architecture.  

Tony Feher’s studio

Tony Feher’s studio

Tony Feher opens at the Akron Art Museum on April 12 and will be on view until August 17, 2014.

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