Weekend Appraisal

03/25/2010

Friday wasn’t particularly a special night in the arts, it just happened to be the night with the most exhibition openings in which I wanted to attend. I started the night off in Chelsea at the Robert Mann Gallery. They were having an exhibit of Joe Deal’s West and West: Reimagining the Great Plains, and being from Kansas, naturally, I was interest. Not knowing what to expect, you walk into this small exhibit space and are immediately presented to a selection of iconic photographs. The quality of these pictures are timeless. Understanding the idea that the lens framed the photograph in a way a public surveyor would grid the land; they capture the essence of this vast, flat landscape. Representing a quietness, the works feel as if they are of historical importance. They truly epitomize the past, present, and future of this fixed plain.

Along my way to the next gallery I catch sight of “Stained Cithairon”, a large 142 x 320 inch painting by Elliott Hundley, in which I had to explore more. That is the best way to describe Hundley’s work, an exploration. It is the vastness of the artworks that draw your attention but then the minute detail has you combing the artwork, wanting to discover more. The formal, yet artistic, atmosphere at Andrea Rosen Gallery, was just right for such an exhibit that pushes the limits of collage and assemblage in these methodologically dramatic paintings and sculptures. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with such an exhibit, but Hundley finds a pleasant balance that keeps you from walking away inundated.

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