Monday, May 7, 2012

Jill Krementz covers Five Artists — Five Galleries

Martin Puryear, New Sculpture, McKee Gallery; 745 Fifth Avenue: May 3-June 29, 2013.
Opening Night Receptions
Five Artists — Five Galleries
May 3rd and May 5th, 2012

New York City is swarming with art collectors and dealers, here for the auctions as well as for Frieze, the British Contemporary art fair.

For those who can't get a paddle or don't want to make the trek to Randall's Island, Manhattan Art Galleries are mounting excellent exhibitions.

Among the artists whose work is currently on display and who were feted with fancy opening night receptions: Martin Puryear, Will Cotton, Francesco Clemente, Loris Gréaud, and Kehinde Wiley.
The artist Martin Puryear with Tommy Simpson, the furniture maker, who has had a number of exhibitions at Leo Kaplan in New York. David McKee, who owns and runs the gallery.
Opening night at Martin Puryear's exhibition.
Heaven Three Ways/ Exquisite Corpse, 2011
white bronze
78 1/4 x 35 1/4 x 18 1/2 inches
Hominid, 2012
73 × 60 × 77 1/2 inches

Most of Puryear's sculptures have wood for a medium, and even outwardly simple pieces conceal the craft of a master woodworker.
The Load, 2012
wood, steel, glass
91 x 185 x 74 inches
NIght Watch, 2012
maple, willow and OSB (oriented strand board)
116 x 122 x 48 inches
Martin Puryear with architect Byron Bell.
Will Cotton
Mary Boone Gallery, 745 5th Avenue, 4th floor
May 3-June 30th
Will Cotton with his installation of sculpture – modeled from cakes that Cotton baked and decorated, then cast in plaster – echoes the theme of discarded abundance. These symbols of celebration
and sustenance, ossified and drained of color, become cultural relics.
80" by 68"

Conjuring his signature land of plentiful sweets, Will Cotton depicts Katy Perry as the reluctant queen of an imagined Utopia standing before a palisade of pastel cakes. She is holding the headpiece as if wary of its obligations and consequences, realizing that a reign of opulence and profusion will inevitably conclude in decline and decay.

Cotton served as Artistic Director for Perry's 2010 "California Gurls"
music video.
Nut House, 2012
82" by 96"
Landfill, 2012
54" by 82"

Doughnuts, pastry, and tarts are nothing but layers in a garbage heap, their allure diminished in a realm of infinite riches.
Candy Forest, an idyllic landscape that merits bright color but is instead painted in the monochromatic palette of an old sepia photograph.
Francesco Clemente: Nostalgia/Utopia
Mary Boone Gallery, 541 West 24th Street
May 5-June 30, 2012
Francesco Clemente. Trungpa, 91" x 92", mixed media/canvas, 2011-2012.
This is one of ten paintings in the exhibition.
118" by 79"
mixed media/canvas
The Artificial Princess
118" by 79"
mixed media/canvas
Artist Julian Lethbridge. Vanity Fair's Ingrid Sischy.
Donna Karan has been a frequent visitor to Haiti since its earthquake. She has worked hard to help the artisans of that ravaged country, urging everyone to visit the Urban Zen Center.

There you will find a gallery and temporary showroom to showcase a collection of art, accessories, clothing, and home furnishings designed and produced in Haiti.

Karan is wearing one of the beautiful necklaces created by a Haitian artist.

LOCATION: Urban Zen Center
(M-F) 11AM-5PM
711 Greenwich Street, New York City
Andrea Rosen (who owns a gallery down the street from Mary Boone) and Francesco Clemente. Writer Fran Lebowitz, who is known for her sardonic commentary.
Untitled, 2011-2012
78" by 93"
mixed media/canvas

The artist demonstrates his masterful interfacing of disparate images, materials and cultures that reflect mainy locations where he has lived and worked. Here you see strands of rainbow-hued barbed wire stretched across a painted quilt or tile pattern.
Untitled, 92" by 91"
mixed media/canvas

An African mask at the center of a radiant sunflower sheds a string of pearl tears. Clemente's paintings can be linked to influences of his peripatetic lifestyle and spiritual exploration.
There are ten large paintings by Francesco Clemente ranging from $250,000 - $350,000 on sale at Mary Boone.

Also included in the exhibition is a new series of eighteen gouache and sanguine drawings. These intimate works function as a sourcebook of ideas expanded upon in the paintings.
Chelsea sidewalk
The art chroniclers Larry Qualls (left) and Anthony Haden-Guest (right) with the young artist Michael Anderson (center). Mr. Anderson, who has had solo exhibitions at Marlborough, among many other galleries, has been one of the mainstays of
Animal Magazine.
Tattoo art (Audrey Hepburn) on the leg of Mary Iserman, who is a professional knitter.
Loris Gréaud: The Unplayed Notes
The Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street
Pace director (and founder) Arne Glimcher greets Loris Gréaud at the opening night reception.
The French artist in front of his sculptures, which look like large Rodin statues veiled in black cheesecloth.

Loris Gréaud belongs to a young generation of French artists which has emerged over the last few years. Fluctuating between the fields of film, sound and installation, Gréaud was trained in a variety of disciplines while attending the famous Conservatoire de Musique in Paris from which he got expelled after setting up a recording studio.

Prior to his studies at the conservatory, where he was training to play the flute, Gréaud's studies included filmmaking and some semesters of graphic design before he finally arrived at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Paris Cergy.
Kehinde Wiley An Economy of Grace
Sean Kelly Gallery, 538 West 29th Street
May 6-June 16, 2012
Kehinde Wiley, who has been recently featured in New York magazine by Christopher Beam and in the monthly magazine of the Wall Street Journal by Meghan O'Rourke.

The artist welcomed close to 1000 guests at his opening night reception.
The exhibition represents a significant departure from Wiley's previous subject matter by depicting African-American women, his first-ever series dedicated to female subjects.

The models for the paintings were cast on the streets of New York City. Their poses are based on historical portraits of society women by Jacques-Louis David, Thomas Gainsborough and John Singer Sargent, among others.

Instead of representing the models in their own clothes, as is the case with his portraits of men, Wiley has collaborated with Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of the famed French couture house Givenchy, to design long dresses for the women.

As creative collaborators, Wiley and Tisci spent numerous hours together walking through the galleries of the Louvre and discussing both the aesthetic and conceptual context for the project, specifically society's ideals of feminine beauty and the frequent marginalization of women of color.

Following these conversations, Tisci designed six unique dresses for the models. The resulting paintings to be shown in An Economy of Grace are a celebration of black women, creating a rightful place for them within art history, which has to date been an almost exclusively white domain.
In Wiley's words, "The phrase 'an economy of grace' speaks directly to the ways in which we manufacture and value grace and honor, the people that we choose to bestow that honor upon, and the ways in which grace is at once an ideal that we strive for and something that is considered to be a natural human right.

I am painting women in order to come to terms with the depictions of gender within the context of art history. One has to broaden the conversation .... This series of works attempts to reconcile the presence of black female stereotypes that surrounds their presence and/or absence in art history, and the notions of beauty, spectacle, and the 'grand' in painting."
A documentary film project about An Economy of Grace is being directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Dupre.

Interspersed with personal dialogue, historical narrative, and critical commentary, the documentary will share the personal stories of the young women chosen as the models, with insight into their lives and backgrounds.
Kehinde Wiley with his 3-year-old niece, Sasha Wiley. Linda Cleveland, who is Mr. Wiley's aunt.
Thelma Golden is the Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Ms. Golden has written the foreword for the exhibition's sumptuous catalogue. Wiley was an artist-in-residence an The Studio Museum and Ms. Golden has mentored him from the beginning.

Ms. Golden begins her foreword:

"I was interested in Kehinde Wiley's work before I knew it would actually exist. I was in conversation with Wiley before I ever spoke to him. So many of the issues and investigations at the core of his wide-ranging artistic project have also been central to my curatorial practice: the politics of representation; the power of art history; the veracity of images; notions of authorship; identity, and culture; the critical nexus of race and gender in contemporary art--issues I first explored in my 1994 Whitney Museum exhibition Black Male, a decade before I encountered his work and before he would come to The Studio Museum as an artist-in-residence."

The exhibition catalogue, $65.

Portrait of Andries Stilte II (Columbus), 2006
oil on canvas
8 x 6 feet
Death of Abdel Study, 2008.
Chapter opener by Brian Keith Jackson
Ecco Homo (detail), 2009.
Mr. Johnson is an award-winning author of three novels, a playwright, and a writer on arts and culture. His work has been featured on National Public Radio and in the New York Times, New York magazine, the London Observer, Vibe, and Paper, among other publications.
Left page: Portrait of Andries Stilte II (Columbus), 2006.
Right Page: The Prophet and the King, 2006.
Dee Tranny Bear, who did the hair and makeup for Mr. Wiley's models. UnBelievable Jones, who is married to Mr.
Tranny Bear.
NBA player Juwan Howard plays for the Miami Heat. Jenine Howard is married to Juwan Howard. They will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in July. Ms. Howard runs The Juice Foundation, a medical spa in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Jessinia Tirado is a model and healer. Performa Arts' RoseLee Goldberg.
Choreographer Bill T. Jones. Robert Verdi, TV celebrity stylist.
Fans of Wiley's work can also visit The Jewish Museum, New York to see Kehinde Wiley/The World Stage: Israel through July 29, 2012. The exhibition features 14 large-scale portraits of Israeli youths, from diverse ethnic and religious affiliations.

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.