Sunday on the Lower East Side: UNTITLED

My first stop was at UNTITLED for the Anna Plesset show A Still Life, January 13-February 24.

IMG_6791

Plesset is a 2011 MFA graduate from RISD and this is her first solo show in New York. Pretty exciting!

IMG_6792 IMG_6793

In the space of the entry and first room Plesset displayed framed photocopied pages from a text on Lilla Cabot Perry, a reference to a focus and point of departure for this show.

From the press release:

Like a minimalist tableau, A Still Life is a staging of the studio as a site for recovery and discovery in 

which the perception of familiar objects slowly changes as the limitations of material and reality 

dissolve.  

The word tableau, like archive, is one of these words that is more and more present in artist’s writings, press releases and reviews. It’s distinctly indistinct enough to sound concise yet complicate its context and application. Engaging with the multiple definitions of “tableau” seem to be within Plesset’s intended scope of  A Still Life. 
As a side note: It’s always interesting going to a gallery for the first time, not knowing what rooms are there to enter and what rooms are offices or “non-art” spaces. Maybe it’s safe to assume that the every open door is there to enter. Thankfully that was the case at UNTITLED. The back space of the gallery opens up into a huge room with at least 15′ ceilings and great natural light. In this space Plesset’s works: 6 paintings, two sculptural columns made of wooden “books”, and a glass top table scattered with little fragments of stone and plaster, to use the cliche, had a lot of breathing room.

IMG_6803  IMG_6794

I was most impressed by her two paintings on dry wall that featured these trompe l’oeil recreations of would-be photographic  source images taped to the wall, complete with smudges and splatters of paint.

IMG_6802

South wall: Section 1

IMG_6801

South Wall: Section 1 (detail)

Plesset suspended the reality and fiction distinction for a pair of charming older couples while I was there. One lady, first in disbelief, then amazed called her friend over to see the illusion of painted painter’s tape on the piece South Wall: Section 2. When they couldn’t find one of the pieces listed on the list of works they called the gallerist in. Outlet, painted directly on the wall and complete with painted dead spider, is the one that eluded them. I have to admit it was nice being in the space with them to see their true wonder and excitement and finding out of things.

IMG_6795

Outlet

IMG_6796

Outlet and South Wall: Section 2

IMG_6797

The Limitation of Fact: Stack 2

IMG_6799

East wall: Section 1

IMG_6800

Self-portrait, 2013

and at eye level, a peep-hole sized self portrait of the artist.

Thank you Anna Plesset for a playful, curious, and intelligent show.

Paintings and Flowers

Because what goes together better, right?

Non-profit gallery and project space Cleopatra’s had the first of 4 Sunday evening opening receptions for the show “Painting and Flowers”, a show that features the paintings of Nolan Simon alongside a new interpretation of flower arrangement by a different artist each week.

Last Sunday Simon’s paintings were paired with artist Carissa Rodriguez who asked Ikebana master artist to arrange this week’s “flowers” part of the show.

I was there to see this beauty come together.

IMG_6586 IMG_6589

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging. It is highly disciplined and considers the shapes and forms of not just the blooms but the stems, the leaves, and spaces in between and around. Awareness and consideration of the arrangement as a whole composition while focused on the specific materials has a relationship to painting in a way that yes, sounds quaint enough, but reveals some interesting overlap.

And three of Simon’s paintings from this week:

IMG_6590

If you find yourself in NYC, or better yet, the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, on January 27th or February 3rd or 10th, stop in and see the weekly pairing.

Pier Paolo Calzolari at Marianne Boesky

IMG_6427

Pier Paolo Calzolari: Abstract in Your Home

I loved seeing Calzolari’s work in this gallery. The architectural elements of the space, the plaster walls and the lighted sconces above the fireplace seem to be in dialogue with the work, and reminded me of some of his own pieces that use similar sconce lights and candles. It was a really subtle and poetic exchange between the work and the space. I really enjoyed the text pieces and their simplicity yet with these surfaces (made of salt and flannel fabric) that look like the text was lightly pressed in snow or soft jeweled stone. I found the sculptures mesmerizing, they all seemed so tentative yet like they’ve existed for thousands of years (well, besides the neon lights and small modern motors). Belt’s slight movement looked like the sculpture was dancing a humorous and elegant dance. Really really great show.

untitled (scarpetta) 1994

untitled (scarpetta) 1994

Belt, 1974

Belt, 1974

Untitled, 1979,lead, iron, oysters, glass. oil

Untitled, 1979,
lead, iron, oysters, glass. oil

Kremer Pigments Inc.

This place is amazing! I didn’t know what to expect and still I am in awe of all the colors and products that I want to use (and learn to use). Really, there is more than I can handle at this point so I’ll be heading back on the third Saturday of this month for one of their free demonstration classes – so cool, they offer this every month. It’s a great space, supremely organized, with a nice book selection at the front and all the powdered pigments you could ever want or need along both sides.

and as you exit, some farewell advice from Kremer himself.

don't delay, paint today

don’t delay, paint today