Sunday, December 21, 2008

Final post for 2008: Focus on Chelsea

Cheim and Read put on another great show for Joan Mitchell focusing on her sunflower paintings. The sunflower came of interest to Mitchell upon moving to the Seine Valley in the late 60s. The majority of the work is composed of blooming brushstrokes of blues, ochers, maroons, greens and dirty whites that all overlap as the surface and space are defined by Mitchell. I was literally taken aback once I turned to face the painting titled "Two Sunflowers" (1980). The deep warm yellows and ochres push out vibrantly against greens and pinks in the upper portion of the painting, and blues and violets along the bottom. The surface seemed to weather some sort of cataclysm, where the light of the yellows and ochres were doggedly forced to the surface. (Image from gallery website)

Nestled in the side gallery of Sikkema Jenkins & Co hangs a show of small and remarkably quiet paintings by Josephine Halvorson. The paintings are made with a sensitivity to touch and light that seem to suit the subject matter of Halvorson's paintings. Each painting is cropped close to the subject, creating an intimacy akin to portrait painting. (Image from gallery website)

Jonas Wood plays full court at Anton Kern. I could not help myself with the sports analogy given some of the basketball-inspired paintings in Wood's awesome show. I was at first concerned to see so much work, but my worries soon dissipated once becoming acclimated with the work on view. It's clear that the show is an example of an artist who is in charge of their practice and running on all eight cylinders. The painting titled "Robin with Phoebe" 2008 (an image can be found on the gallery website) made the biggest impression on me. I particularly enjoyed how the cat was painted and the way the plant in the background formed a pattern that Wood used to break up the space. (Image from gallery website)

Organic Geometry is a group show of abstract artists on view at Nicole Klagsburn. I found the show to be a real treat as my eye danced from one work to another. Each artist in the show has a particular way with form and color, that when used together is a real joy to look at and ponder. Days later I am still addicted to what I saw and I'm eager for more. The artists in the show are Alex Hubbard, Marilyn Lerner, Stephen Mueller, Cordy Ryman, Keith Sonnier, Andrzei Zielinski. (Image from gallery website)
Terry Winters show titled "Knotted Graphs" on view at Matthew Marks seems to be an example of an artist who has explored a variety of possibilities over the course of their career and is now distilling it all into one process. Aspects of Winters' early work with biomorphic forms, to later explorations with lines and patterns, all show themselves in one form or another. (Image from gallery website)

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