3 art gallery exhibitions to see right now
Until October 16. Alexander and Bonin, 47 Walker St., Manhattan. 212 367-7474; alexanderandbonin.com.
Paul Thek’s career path resembles an inverted bell curve: precocious success, mid-career neglect and bitterness, death of AIDS in 1988, and ever-increasing posthumous fame.
The mini-retrospective âRelativity Clockâ samples aspects of the artist with many facets, with sketchbook sketches that Thek made on a daily basis, paintings he created on newspaper, a few âmeat cablesâ that Thek made on a daily basis. ‘he hung when he lived in Amsterdam, and paintings he adorns with frames of ultra-bourgeois gold artists and lamps. The highlight of the show is a “technological reliquary” or “piece of meat” – an object with iridescent blue skin and an interior of mutilated flesh displayed in a clear plastic container.
Thek would shape and color wax to simulate pieces of raw meat, which he combined with steel, such as in cables, or more often enclosed in plexiglass boxes. As the name suggests, technological reliquaries placed visceral contents in a rational container. In part, Thek thumbed his nose at minimalism. At the same time, a Roman Catholic religiosity, merging spirituality and carnality, permeates much of his work.
In the late 60s and early 70s he created a series of installations in Europe, creating new pieces while the show was going on, so the exhibition kept changing in a way. which now seems ahead of its time.
But her most legendary exhibition was held earlier, at the Stable Gallery in New York in 1967. It featured a wax cast of her body in a costume, painted pink, with a blackened tongue and a severed right hand, housed in a ziggurat. He called it “The Tomb”, although to his annoyance it became known as “Death of a Hippie”. (Like its creator, the effigy had long blonde hair.) The hippie perished, but in the current exhibition, the Stable show is represented by photographs and a poster made by Peter Hujar, who was Thek’s lover. at the time, and is another artist whose reputation has soared since his untimely death in 1987.
Until October 9. Derek Eller Gallery, 300 Broome Street, Manhattan. 212-206-6411; derekeller.com.
To concern julia blandArtwork up close can be a little adventure. In one piece – for example, “Canyon” (2020), in its current exhibition at the Derek Eller Gallery – you might find hand-woven linen alongside pre-fabricated denim, silk, and a bay coat. Hudson’s reused, with ink and paint applied to various fabrics, all of which were cut, sewn, woven or braided together. Your eye can get caught up in an aesthetic treasure hunt, marveling at the number of textures, colors, shapes and processes that can comfortably coexist.
Bland, who studied painting and printmaking in both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, has been making textile works resembling collages for several years. For his first solo exhibition with Derek Eller, entitled “A little love holds waterâ, It is enlarged both in size and complexity, with three monumental pieces (includingâ Canyon â) presiding over the main space of the gallery. They are the undeniable stars of the exhibition, ambitious formal experiences that merge elements of Western textile art, traditional Islamic textiles, modern abstract painting and more.
Unfortunately, the rest of the show suffers a bit by comparison: three small drawings made with linen thread and oil paint and a series of linen and wool blankets begin to look tame. But these pieces still capture some of the totemic quality that makes the greatest trio so thrilling. The geometric shapes at the heart of Bland’s work and its iterative layering and riffs exude a sort of psychedelic power. You don’t need to know their precise meaning to feel it.
Until October 23. Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street, Manhattan. 212-255-2923; lehmannmaupin.com.
Born in Mississippi and raised in Detroit, McArthur Binion followed the black avant-garde to New York in 1973. In ’91, he followed a woman – and a teaching post – to Chicago. Throughout, he also kept an address book filled with the names of artists, many of whom were later famous. In 2013, he began using this book, along with his birth certificate, found photos of lynchings and other personally resonant documents as motifs for minimal paintings. He cut color photocopies of the papers into 4-inch squares, arranged the squares like tiles, and covered each with an oil grid.
For the most part, Binion has let this work lean towards the conceptual. He uses dark colors that do not rule out the heady idea of ââconnecting the intimate with the universal, of emphasizing his identity on a gallery wall while piercing it. But the nine great paintings in “Modern: Ancient: Brown” – among the last of his “DNA series,” which he declared completed in 2020 after more than 250 paintings and prints – use color with glorious abandon. The primary and secondary sparkle on an extended address book like fairy lights. On paintings that use a relatively dark repeated portrait, or Binion’s birth certificate printed in white on black, the same colors flow but do not fade. Meanwhile, two black-on-black pieces bring concept and practice to equal heights – they’re just as absorbing to look at or think about.