Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review #1 of Shaky Ground in Culture Catch

"High Anxiety" By Bradley Rubenstein
Review: Shaky Ground in Culture Catch 

Shaky Ground
Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC
January 8–February 14, 2016
It is traditionally assumed that the art object is a record of history, whether the history of the artist, of its time, or merely an object left over after the fall of a civilization. While the writing of a period is open to the influence of retelling, interpretation, or the vagaries of translation, the visual object, by its very nature, promises us the stability of meaning inherent in its "objectness." How, then, in an age where perpetual war, disintegrating environmental conditions, and rapidly accelerating technologies, do we expect our artworks to function? What kinds of anxious objects will best represent to future generations our story? D. Dominick Lombardi poses these questions, and a group of artists at Lesley Heller’s Workspace seek to answer them in the exhibition Shaky Ground.

Lombardi’s choice of artists is interesting. There is no sense of Orwellian dystopia here, no flickering video monitors, chattering sound installations, nor intercessional performance art; rather, painting, sculpture, and handmade objects dominate. If there is an iconic piece to this exhibition, it is Arcady Kotler’s Painless Necklace (2006), a chain of prescription drugs strung like pearls, reminiscent of Damien Hirst, but with a twist. Fashion for the “ladies who lunch,” who, indeed, never eat but socialize dazedly with Klonopin-soaked eyes while their husbands raid our retirement funds.
Painting plays an important role in our understanding of any historical period -- our understanding of Robspierre’s Terror would be less rich if David hadn’t stage-managed it. Lombardi’s choices of painters suggest Margaret Atwood more than Orwell. In The Handmaid’s Tale Offred surveys Fred’s office, noting of the varnished, faux-naïve Americana portraits that “the art of the future resembled nothing so much as the art of the past.” One piece in the show by Roman Turovsky, Stadt 24 Pulaski Skyway” (2011), (image top) pictures an eerie dystopian landscape of decay. Though the paint handling resembles Kossoff or Auerbach, artists who indeed revel in decay, Turovsky imbues this painting with a sense of horror. It calls to mind Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; one can almost see the teeming lines of refugees crossing the bridge to Jersey City.

Another painter in the show, Dennis Kardon, has always focused on the body as the site of his painterly explorations. His The Consultation (2005) (image above right) is a meditation on the body and perhaps also the body politic. With nods to Peter Saul and Jim Lutes, a group of people sit around an Eames table. A man in a black business suit, his head an elephantine mass propped up by a bamboo sick, is surrounded by mysterious figures: a Julian Schnabel-like man in pajamas, a woman who is tentatively touching the grotesque face, and a blue track-suited figure who turns its back to us. The creepy mysteries of the action are belied by the banality of the scene; a cat brushes the Elephant Man’s leg, the mysterious figure pisses, and a scatter of notes lies on the table.
Other notable works which present variations on a theme are Lombardi’s Call of Nature (2015), a trip scene of a one-eyed tree and a deer; Anna Ortiz’s Coast (2013), which shows a plume of smoke à la SoCal’s methane leak; and Mary Ann Strandell’s Trestle, Rock, Dam (2011), a beaten-up, post-apocalypse landscape painting.
Lombardi’s show poses interesting questions, and his artists provide, on the whole, thoughtful responses. Anxiety may be the current state in which we live, but then again, these artists suggest, When wasn't it? - Bradley Rubenstein
domMr. Rubenstein is a painter, story teller, and smart culture aficionado.

Surface One Exhibition

Surface One Exhibition
Curated by Renée Riccardo at
Arena at Brooklyn Dermatology 
      Opening Reception- January 29, 6-8pm
      January 29- June 1, 2016
Artists Include:
Upper images: Jude Broughhan, Jaena Kwon
Lower Images: Julie Ryan, Mary Ann Strandell

     Between Bond & Nevins Streets
Arenagal by Renee Riccardo link

Renée Riccardo is an independent curator. She was an adjunct curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York from 1987 to 1988 and independently organized shows of postmodernist photography from 1985 through 1990, including the traveling exhibition Acceptable Entertainment for Independent Curators Inc. In 1991 she opened ARENA, a gallery dedicated to emerging artists working in all media, and in 1996 and 1997 she co-organized with John Good The Art Exchange Show, an New York art fair that focused on new art, music and performance that took place in two abandoned Wall Street office buildings. Riccardo continued her gallery, ARENA through 2004, having it sited in Soho, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, and Chelsea at various times launching many artists very early in their careers such as Joanne Greenbaum, Rachel Harrison, Kim Beom, Fabian Marcaccio, Jason Middlebrook, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley among dozens of other now well known artists. In 2004 she established ARENA Projects, a roving curatorial and consulting entity. She has since curated dozens of exhibitions including a series entitled, Wrap Around at ARENA@Suite 806, a gallery within her therapist, Lee Shapiro, Psy.D.'s office at 89 Fifth Avenue, NYC.

Bradbury Art Museum

Delta National Small Prints Exhibition
Bradbury Art Museum
Jonesboro, AR
       January 28 - February 28, 2016
Works selected by Dennis Michael Jon:
Associate Curator of Prints and Drawing 
at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN

Mary Ann Strandell, Mad Stairs with Virginian Silver, 3D Lenticular Print, 2015

Bradbury Art Museum
Arkansas State University
Jonesboro, AR 72401
ph 870 972 2567
Web:  Bradbury Art Museum
Catalog Available

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 2016

Exhibitions, January and February, 2016
-Mary Ann Strandell: Parallax, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
-Shaky Ground, Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC, curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
-Delta National Print, The Bradley Museum, ASU Fowler Center, Jonesboro, AK, Selected by curator Dennis Michael Jon
-Postcards From the Edge, Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, NYC
-Surface One, curated by ARENA at Brooklyn Dermatology, Brooklyn, NY
-ASID Houston, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX
-Open House, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX- February 13
New Prints, Suite 303 Projects. Armory Week, 2016, NYC
LREI Benefit, Openhouse Mulberry, NYC April 19
Embedded Landscape, April Price Projects Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Closing Notes

My solo exhibition Parallax, closes today at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO.

In considering ways of interpreting the world through art and culture that shape our constant re-visioning of experience- I sought to experiment with concepts of site, and place. Parallax offered an amalgamation of layered time, thru the images and the valence of historic forms, their dissolution and reference to place, as well as, the use of optics.

Living and making work in the New York City has it's root to some early beginnings in Kansas City. It was late in 1996 that I moved to KC, after a residency at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE. I moved into a second floor loft in the historic Opie Brush Building, the current location of Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art.

November 1, 2015, the week I drove to KC and started to install the show with Sherry, the KC Royals had a victory parade that moved through The Crossroads District, where the gallery is located. I felt honored to be swept up in the exuberance of joy of the Royal's fans. That night, and the others that followed prior to the pre-opening, I worked on a specific piece of art, titled "Yellow and Blue with Interior". It is the largest piece in the show; it is a  conceptually conceived artwork. It began with a part of my work that appropriates my own paintings, and shifts the imagery, with software applicable to photoshop, called the "Wave" series.

I needed a large scaled image of a historic room, a notable 18th century room. I have completed a series of large sumi ink drawings, in situ, in various exhibitions, the first one in NYC at Pablo's Birthday Gallery. Sherry and I had discussed how I might do this in the gallery. We discussed between August to October, and decided the ink drawing wouldn't work on her walls. I still wanted to have a scaled presence of a historic room there in the exhibition. I had experimented w layering oil drawings on my lenticular optical lenses (prints), to match the illusion of the layered drawings below the lens surface. Never to this scale, however.

Once the large 6 paneled - lenticular wave prints (yellow and blue) where mounted, I began to draw, in oil the line drawing of the scaled room. That was on the eve of the Royals victory parade. (more to come)

"Yellow and Blue with Interior (Frick)", 96" x 80", oil on Lenticular Print, 2015

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Shaky Ground

Shaky Ground Exhibition
    Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
Lesley Heller Workspace
54 Orchard Street
NY, NY  10002
     January 8 - February 14,2016
Opening reception January 8th, 6 to 8pm
Gennadi BarbushCora CohenAlexis Duque
Bryon FinnBill GuskyDennis Kardon
Arcady KotlerDieter KuhnD.Domonick Lombardi
Anna OrtizCatya PlateKirsten Stolle
Mary Ann StrandellRoman Turovsky

Mary Ann Strandell, "Trestle, Rock, Dam", oil on canvas, 48x36", 2010
Catalogue Essay by D. Dominick Lombardi