Summer Gallery Round Up 2013: Lower East Side & Chelsea

Finally! The nice summer weather is here: sunny, warm and not so humid. It is time to get out and catch all the good shows that will be closing next week or so. For this post, I combined galleries in Lower East Side and Chelsea that I have visited from late June to late July. Already there were many galleries that shuttered for the summer, and many that had great solo shows and museum quality group shows as well as usual crowd pleasing, but perhaps obvious shows. I am also introducing a slide carousel system for more organized visual presentation of what I have seen. I hope that you like it as much as I do.

The most memorable show in Lower East Side was Wim Delvoye‘s solo exhibition at Sperone Westwater, where the subversive Belgian artist is showing recent surrealist sculptures made in laser-cut stainless steel and bronze. As you enter the gallery, a monumental size (23 feet) Gothic tower, Suppo dominates the vast atrium space (Photo 2). Also to be installed is a large-scale polished bronze sculpture, Dual Möbius Quad Corpus, 2010, which depicts contorted and warped crucifixes in a Möbius band – a single closed continuous curve with a twist. Delvoye employs computerized reproduction techniques and then twists and further morphs their Baroque and Rococo forms even further. Even though we have seen similar works from this artist, I am always amused by the artist’s sense of irony in perceiving modernity and antiquity.

In Chelsea at Cheim & Read, the critic Raphael Rubinstein curated an excellent abstract painting exhibition called “Reinventing Abstraction: New York Painting in the 1980s.” This exhibition focuses on New York abstraction in the 1980s as practiced by a generation of painters born between 1939 and 1949, who favored more idiosyncratic and individual approach to abstraction than more easily identifiable movements and styles (Neo-Expressionis, Appropriation Art, Neo-Geo, etc). The show includes Carroll Dunham (Photo 10), Bill Jensen, Thomas Nozkowski (Photo 11), Terry Winters, Elizabeth Murray, Joan Snyder (Photo 12), Mary Heilmann (Photo 9), Louise Fishman, Pat Steir, Stanley Whitney (Photo 13), David Reed (Photo 9), Jonathan Lasker (Photo 9) and others. I enjoyed seeing many of my favorite artists’ early paintings, but also interesting dialog between different styles and strategies of abstraction. Also notable was Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt at Pavel Zoubok Gallery (Photo 14) and Jane & Louise Wilson at 303 Gallery (Photo 17).

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