3 Art Gallery Shows You Must See Right Now

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Until August 13, Andrew Kreps, 22 Cortlandt Alley, Manhattan; (212) 741-8849, andrewkreps.com.

Corita Kent, also known as Sister Mary Corita, was quite famous as a nun. He made the headlines for an article in the 1967 Newsweek about the state of the American convent and worked on major commercial advertising campaigns to raise money for the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, where he taught art. (Kent left the order in 1968 at the age of 50 and died in 1986.)

He was also a prolific artist. In his silkscreen collages and text art, he combined his passionate interest in social justice with a seriousness about language and his own faith that is rarely found anywhere, let alone in the art world. (Perhaps you could call it “goodwill”.)

“Heroes and Heroes” The exhibition at the Andrew Kreps Gallery is the first full screening of Kent’s series from ’68 and ’69 in New York. Kent studied the moral disasters of the decade – the Kennedy and King assassinations, the Vietnam War – using images mostly from the news media, loud colors, and often handwritten text. It can juxtapose an arrested Vietcong guerilla with a slave ship diagram and a few lines from a Whitman poem. Or he might put a simple flower picture on top of the phrase “Hope is believing that there must be an ‘me’ in the ‘daisy’. Either way, the impact is as direct and devastating as a sledgehammer blow. .

the whole show, a generous summary of other text and media art, extraordinary. But the piece I kept coming back to was “Pieta 1969,” a Mardi Gras-colored work in which Mary wrapped the lifeless body of Jesus over a letter written by one of Kent’s students about Robert Kennedy. “It is very easy to disperse when surrounded by destruction,” the student said. “I can see what you mean when you say we have to create now. That’s all we can do.”

HEINRICH WILL BE


until 30 July. Casey Kaplan Gallery. 121 West 27th Street, Manhattan; (212) 645-7335, caseykaplangallery.com.

South African artist Igshaan Adams grew up in the working-class town of Bonteheuwel near Cape Town during the twilight years of apartheid. A mixed race Muslim born and raised by Christian grandparents, Adams weaves visual elements from these traditions in dazzling combinations that illuminate their interconnected histories.

For his first solo exhibition “Veld Wen” (“gaining ground” in Afrikaans) at the Casey Kaplan Gallery, Adams presents 10 richly textured tapestries and nest-like wire sculptures featuring organic and synthetic flotsam, such as the shimmering ensembles of El Anatsui. , including shells, stones and nylon rope. Loosely attached to the gallery walls, tapestries bear abstract geometric patterns that often look like maps, as in the archipelago design of Nagtreis op n Vliende Perd. (a night ride on a winged horse)” from 2021, with its midnight blue expanse adorned with bright stars.

The inspiration for these patterns is the linoleum flooring found in a typical Bonteheuwel home. Worn and torn from use over time, floors combine dates in sedimentary layers to produce palimpsests that Adams skillfully transforms into warp and weft and punctuate with shimmering metallic chains and glass beads. Among these tapestries are knotted wire sculptures hanging like tumbleweeds hanging throughout the gallery. They trace a longer history by referring to dust clouds made by the Nama people, the artist’s grandparents, during a traditional celebratory performance known as Rieldans. By demonstrating that an artist can successfully combine the national and personal narrative without diminishing the complexity of both, Adams invites his audience to take in the craftsmanship and lineage of his work at the same time.

TUSIF NOOR


Until August 8, Smack Mellon, 92 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn; (718) 834-8761, smackmellon.org.

A recent tropical storm to flood the East Coast and drought and heat wave It is more accurate than ever to think about climate change in the West. Three solo shows on Smack Mellon tackle my favorite subject. tammy nguyenuses painting and printmaking to highlight how intertwined it is with capitalism and geopolitics.

The name of Nguyen’s exhibition is “property“Referring to Forest City, a real estate development in Malaysia built on four man-made islands. Forest City markets itself as a technologically advanced, environmentally friendly, tax-free capitalist utopia. “There is no climate change here,” a salesperson told him when the artist visited in 2019.

Nguyen designed an unofficial flag for Forest City, featuring a white circle – the sun – and 12 blue and green stripes representing land and water in harmony. The flag anchors “Freehold” as a symbol of artificial, almost parodic serenity, in contrast to the carefully arranged and wonderfully compelling visual chaos of the rest of Nguyen.

Shape and ground are barely distinguishable in Nguyen’s prints and paintings. Instead, it creates networks of rebellious images and techniques. In “Seasons of Revolution 1 – 4” the flag is mixed with vegetation and different flora and fauna associated with leisure activities such as shrimp; another series depicts archetypes: a Marlboro man, Medusa going to a spa, and a King Kong-like monkey. In all the pieces, the various elements compete for precedence, but the plants that are more traditionally seen as the background seem to win. Nguyen argues that there is no such thing as “no climate change” and that if we try to defeat nature, we will eventually surrender to it.

JILLIAN STEINHAUER

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