Gallery Spy: Get Outta’ Town
by: Kate Messinger
April 1, 2014
We can’t stay in New York forever, eventually we’ll be bitching and eating dollar pizza underwater, wondering why we didn’t “get outta’ town” earlier like the subway posters told us. But believe it or not, there’s art in other parts of the country that is just as good, and parts of the world that it’s better, so even if it’s just for a second, let’s take a much needed art vacation.
New Orleans reeks of culture, but it’s not just the endless fried shrimp, booze-on-the-street, brass-band-around-the-corner kind of culture. There is an bubbling art scene in NOLA that has as wide a spectrum as Brooklyn to the Upper East Side. From DIY art spaces in the Bywater to contemporary galleries on Julia street to modern art meccas like the NOMA, the variety of space and work in New Orleans is not only intriguing but inviting, something that feels as rare as sunshine after a too-long winter in an uninviting city. I took a quick trip down to New Orleans this week, and although many of the artists I saw exhibited may not be southern bred, it was the vibrant city atmosphere that put the work in a new (and perhaps bloody-mary-buzzed) light. Here is a quick list of some great exhibits to check out in ‘Nawlins in between the eating and the drinking and the dancing. But if you don’t make it, don’t worry: art is everywhere in this city, except Bourbon Street—that place is the worst (unless art is drunk frat guys, tipsy middle aged ladies in culottes or wasted business men all puking in the streets, which maybe it is). So, go. Observe!
Contemporary Art Center
Such a great collection of work from thirty different African American artists; I wish I could put a picture of every single piece, but that would ruin the mystery and intrigue of Gallery Spy. So all I will say it that if you want to see Kehinde Wiley, Rashid Johnson, Carie Mae Weems, Nick Cave, Kara Walker, Kalup Linzy and Basquiat (above) all under the same roof, in a chill space with winding staircases and good coffee, get to CAC and let it all sink in.
Arthur Rodger Gallery
Rower is a pleasure to see anywhere, but Arthur Rodger Gallery pulled out some trippy new work that brings these layered paint pieces into new territory. Rower’s unique pour process is mesmerizing (watch below to get the full effect) but it’s nice to see the material used in a contained form, like the works on wood, and slightly disrupted, in the blurry circle pieces. You really get the Rower experience here and it makes me hope for a full on immersive retrospective that I can attend while on some sort of new age hallucinogenic.
Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
In conjunction with the current retrospective at the gorgeous New Orleans Museum of Art, a taste of Mel Chin’s cheeky and iconic contemporary sculptures are on display at an spacious Garden District gallery, so you can experience the overpowering work without that overwhelming museum vibe. Chin’s work is a happy medium between snarky pop art and introspective installation, forcing you to think twice and look twice to get the full flavor.
Adam Green, artist and the singer of the Moldy Peaches, will be showing some new nostalgia induced work all about that pants-less duck we love so much (Donald, that is. The show cheekily named Ronald Duck). Green’s work is always a colorful and tantalizing peek into the mind of an artist, and set along the talented collective spirit of a mega group show put on my Collective Art Show happening at thee same time in Mexico City, we’re wishing we could make it to really loose ourselves in the work (and tacos).
Ornis A. Gallery
If you don’t remember the lovely Jay Miriam, the young painter from the YOUTH Issue, it’s about time you start recognizing her ghostly abstract portraits; they’ll be hanging around the world before you know it. In a group show with other young talent aptly titled First Blossom, Miriam brings us characters that are hauntingly reminiscent of someone or thing we have known but forgotten, maybe in a past life or early morning dream. We keep looking and the augmented faces stare back, ready to respond when we address them by the names we don’t yet remember.
In celebration of the second issue of the Parisian art revue, Cahiers D’Art, Trockel’s abstract sculptures and images, the main theme of the issue, will be on display at their gallery locations in Paris until May. One part minimalist, one part absurdist, Trockel takes on art in a way that is both unhinging and inviting, coaxing you into an upside-down world of inverted faces and cross pollinated media.
Rosemarie Trockel, Injection, 2014
Andi Gáldi Vinkó
Erika Deák Gallery
You might not recognize Andi’s serene scenescapes in her upcoming solo show as from the same girl who brought us a bright flash photography style with fantastically raunchy art duo Iv and Candie (see our interview here!). But no matter the difference in scene, the artist’s ability to capture the rawness of personality is consistent through both projects. These works concentrate on “socio-still-lifes,” or the spaces that make us who we are, and transport us to the memory of the captured location by embodying the concept of self through the documented place. Her work takes us on that vacation we all so desperately need and we’re happy for the trip, even if only in our minds.