James Kalm makes a short Friday night tour of West 27th Street and captures views of some of today’s most provocative artists. Dropping in first at Derek Eller Gallery, we ogle the amusing, sometimes shocking sculptural installation of Peter Caine. Space aliens, Yetis and mechanical ape-people all huddle in an igloo performing unmentionable rituals. In the back gallery we’re treated to a couple of paintings by the Swedish artist Per Enoksson. These examples display a disturbing yet humorous confluence of Nordic Expressionism and the “Abject”. Running on to Schroeder Romero, we glimpse the latest drawings of Michael Waugh. Taking its title from Marie-Jeanne Roland’s quote, “The more I see of man the more I admire dogs” Waugh forges his images from texts derived from Presidential commissions, evoking a questioning of our acceptance of the loyalty of “democratic” governments. Featuring interviews with Peter Caine and Michael Waugh.
James Kalm gets into a Brooklyn vibe with this doubleheader gallery visit. Second Nature, a three person show at Metaphor Contemporary Art, features artistic interpretations of our relationship to the natural world. Painters Lauren Gohara, Timothy McDowell and Amy Talluto use diverse means to depict their takes on our environmental and psychological bonds to the planet. Scooting to Williamsburg’s Hogar Collection, viewers are invited to examine the unusual paintings of Peter Fox. With a personal technique that reduces all imagery to a series of “self aware drips” Fox mines the art history canon and evokes a hyper consciousness of the painter’s methods and means.
James Kalm scuttles between three galleries to bring viewers a brief overview of the recent paintings, and older drawings, of Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly is a seminal figure within New York’s formalist abstract tradition. His simplified shapes and pure color were a harbinger of Minimalisms reductivist tendencies, but his sensual palette and organic forms set him apart as a unique force in establishing a more austere version of abstraction. The drawings from the late fifties and early sixties show the influence of Matisse yet establish Kelly as a designer with his own distinct aesthetic.
James Kalm brings viewers along for a jog through some of the current shows at Manhattan’s Upper East Side Galleries. To compliment his Downtown exhibition at Gavin Brown, we visit Michael Werner and view more new paintings by Peter Doig. We then zip into Zwirner & Wirth we catch a viewing of conceptual constructions by Fred Sandback. This pioneer of spatial and volumetric projections uses the meager materials of yarn, wire and string to create his sculpture. Finally we sneak in before the opening, to view the eccentric works on paper of Chris Martin, one of today’s most engaging painters at Michell-Inness & Nash.
James Kalm returns to the Armory Show to peruse the newly added “Modern” pier. In this episode viewers can glimpse works by Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Philip Guston, George Grosz as well as many contemporary examples, like Anselm Keifer and Cecily Brown. The epilog presents Kalm’s observation as the most tiresome cliché of this fair season, so far, neon text pieces.