First Thursday Openings in Chelsea: Highlights

 

September is an exciting time in New York City! The summers behind us and we’re all drowning in work but it’s OK because all our old curiosities are back: theatre, fashion, film, art. So let’s all do what we came here to do. Let’s get cultured. Here are a few highlights from this year’s First Thursday Openings in Chelsea.

Let’s begin with David Zwirner Gallery’s exhibition of works by John McCracken. Sometimes quite small and sometimes very very large, McCracken’s stark minimalist sculptures are bald, abrupt, and intensely emotive, melding minimalist restraint with a West Coast sensibility expressed through color, form, and surface.

www.davidzwirner.com

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Installation-view-John-McCracken-Works-from-1963-2011-David-Zwirner-New-York-2013_2-600x341Calligraffiti 1984/2013 at Leila Heller blew us away. Originally curated in 1984 by Jeffrey Deitch, this updated exhibition continues to explore the connections between the seemingly disparate styles of mid-century abstract, U.S. graffiti, and Middle Eastern calligraphy.

www.leilahellergallery.com

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Calligraphiti1

photo 2 copy 2Charline von Heyl’s show at Petzel is exquisite. Large canvas depicting images which marry concepts of abstraction with that of figurative representation. The artist’s seventh solo exhibition at the gallery. A very impressive show.

www.petzel.com

Done got old

Night Doctor and Moky

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We stopped by the unveiling of the Jeff Koons/Dom Perignon collaboration. A remarkably chic and remarkably humid event decked out like a greenhouse with floor to ceiling vines and leafy plants. Apparently the creative director’s imagination was so fantastic that he failed to take into account the inevitable sport coats and sequined gowns before filling the space with flower-friendly amazonian heat. Or maybe it was his way of trying to make us feel something? Either way it was impressive, if uncomfortably so, and the Koons statues spread throughout were miniature but dazzling as ever. The collaboration, however, the champagne bottle, is a classic, somewhat underwhelming conception.

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James Cohan surprised me with its Aldo Tambellini retrospective. It includes paintings, video, and what some might call photography although a more appropriate name might be strange magical light catching. The lovely Laurie Harrison who works at the gallery explained that some of the pieces were made by capturing and manipulating momentary light from old TVs. What developed is incredible.

www.jamescohan.com

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TAMBELLINI_The_Seed_21Jonas Wood is a favorite. His show at Anton Kern is not to be missed.

Head Up 2013

We stopped by Robert Miller Gallery for Suddenness + Certainty, a group show exhibiting the works of over 50 artists. We chatted with artist Richard Saja who talked to us about his embroidery piece. But we wound up just talking about the shoes on his feet, which are also his, and were commissioned by Opening Ceremony a couple of years ago. I asked him how I could get a pair. His reply, ‘Good luck.’

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Richard Saja shoes

Art is in the air in Chelsea. And out on the street as well. We found this young lady at the corner of 23rd and 10th.

photo 5And last but not least the show-stopping transformation of the old Getty gas station on 24th and 10th into a verdant meadow of sheep. Conceived by art dealer, Paul Kasmin, and real-estate developer, Michael Shvo, we’re not sure how long this installation is going to last. But we do know that Shvo, who owns the land, has plans to pave over the meadow and build a nice big luxury condo, naturally.

Getty station These galleries and many more are open six days a week generally from 10am to 6pm.

Go. See. Art.