Chelsea Galleries

Art is so personal. Sometimes when I venture into Chelsea, I feel so pedestrian. Not only would I not want some pieces hanging on my walls, I am not sure why anyone would. But, that is why art is so personal.

I really was looking forward to seeing the James Casebere show at the Sean Kelly Gallery. I am a huge fan of this work. We actually own one of his pieces. In essence, he creates small structures of work and then takes pictures of them. The pictures are so surreal they actually look like paintings. You can see the water running through the structures, the shadows on the wall, the details are so intense. This is a show worth seeing.

I also was looking forward to seeing the Ross Bleckner show at Mary Boone in Chelsea. First of all, I think Ross is an amazing person. He really helps cultivate young artists and is involved in giving back to the community and is also politically active. I have always liked his work. There is movement in his paintings. The colors are beautiful. This exhibit has flowers that feel as they are moving across the canvas. It is a sold out show but worth seeing before it is over.

I also went to check out Markus Linnenbrink at Margaret Thatcher Projects. I had seen this artist at the Affordable Art Fair a few weeks ago. This work was worth seeing again. He is all about color. Vertical drippings of colors, multiplayered use of epoxy over polaroids he brought back from Israel. He even has created a large statue that is layers upon layers of epoxy colors. Bright colors. He manipulates the epoxy to come through from underneath as it is literally exploding among the colors. I really like his work.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by the Gagosian Gallery to see what they had installed. The artist was Howard Hodgkin. Here is where I felt like I didn’t get it. The New York Times gave him a wonderful review today. Personally, it looked like he had taken his canvas, built a frame around it and then taken huge brushes and made big strokes to cover the entire piece (frame included). Looked similar to art that was done by my children in pre-school. But, there you have it, art is very personal. I wish that I had asked for Zach, who is a walking art historian at Gagosian. He can always give me a better perspective on why, what and how come. Then, I at least might not like it but I can understand the significance of the work in the art world.

I went to a few other galleries that are not even worth mentioning. Although, Metro Pictures had an interesting exhibit by Isaac Julien. In the back there is a 3 screen film installation that basically incorporates all the paintings through out the space. The film is quite interesting, strange, weird, etc. The installation is about black wax figures in museums. He goes to real museums in his movie which at the end sees all the characters that are in the paitnings. I can’t decide where I am on this one.

Last stop was 303 Gallery which had an installation by Anne Chu. Huge wood cuttings and sculptures made of wire, fabric and such hanging by nooses. At least that is what it looked like to me. Interesting bodies of work but again, not in my house.

It is always fun to get out into the art world and see what is happening. People are always buying. Noted today in the New York Times that the Contemporary Art Auctions brought in a whopping $11.4 million with the majority coming from young artists. Regardless of the economy, the art world is still hopping.