Monday, October 17, 2016

A Stroll Through Chelsea

If you like contemporary art try to make time for a visit to New York's Chelsea neighbourhood. You'll find a wealth of independent galleries between 10th and 11th Avenues, from West 18th Street north to 29th.
 This time we started at West 18th St and worked north. It's always a pleasure to pass the frosted windows of Frank Gehry's wonderful IAC Building on 11th Avenue.
Hauser & Wirth on 18th Street was showing work in a variety of mediums by Rashid Johnson. This monumental installation, Fly Away, reminded me of the warehouse shelving in an Ikea self-service area stuffed with exotic plants.
 At Matthew Marks on 24th Street we liked Peter Cain's gas station paintings.
 As usual we particularly liked his preparatory drawings.
Cain made collages from magazine advertisements. John found this one inspiring.
 The Chelsea neighbourhood is still very industrial. A delivery man takes a break.
Sikkena Jenkins and Co at 22nd Street had new work by Leonardo Drew.
 We once saw a huge installation of burnt structures by the artist at this gallery 
reminiscent of this recent wall piece
but this time the installation featured individual  pieces with a "found art" quality. 
 Of course after seeing such work the streets begin to look like art installations too.
There was a big show of work by Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner.
The collage-elements in the paintings reminded us of some of Robert Rauschenberg's work from the 70s and 80s.
Here's a detail of the painting on the left, above.
Murillo's installation reminded us that we don't always "get" the work we look at, but we like to look at it nonetheless. Often we "get" things much later.
 We both loved John Baldessari's new series of prints -- Madame Cezanne's Hairdos at Gemini G.E.L.
Later, at the Met, we looked again at Cezanne's portraits of his wife.
 Even the Chelsea architecture started to look like her hairdos!
 Another fun show was at the Tanya Bonakdar gallery. Art collective Slavs and Tatars presented their new work: Auteur Pasteur. John passes through a curtain of plastic strips.
Some of the best pieces in the show were rag rugs on twisted political themes. 
I want one!!
Chaim and Reid Gallery on West 25th St featured new work by Lynda Bengalis. Her works on paper are fascinating
but my favourite piece was this plastic purse sculpture with kissing anonymous couple.
John seemed to fit into the work on display as he crossed the street outside the gallery.
The work of Tomoo Gokita at Mary Boone on 24th St was other-worldly
to say the least! Again, not sure we got it but it was fun to see it.
We finished our tour at West 28th Street and by now everything was looking like art.


  1. Such a wealth of culture in Chelsea, I'm particularly taken with Madame Cezanne's hairdos.

  2. Oh yes, Shelley. Chelsea is not to be missed. We loved Madame Cezanne's hairdos too!