I'm surprised that the cynical me (I know, you can't imagine) never seems to be bored by yet another Van Gogh exhibit, especially with drawings from his diaries. MoMA's latest, Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night, had me at sunset. It's a perfect theme to explore; I'm hard pressed to think of another artist that drew so much emotional depth from the beauty and demons to be found in a night scene. Starry Night over the Rhône River (above) is a juicy, impasto-ed, love-fest of paint. (Blake Gopnik reviewed the show for the Post.)
I like surprises, like I got this past week at the Drawing Center, with Rirkrit Tiravanija's Demonstration Drawings, a series of more than 200 photo-realistic pencil drawings of political demonstrations. He commissioned them from Thai artists, many of them former students. I'm in the process of planning a trip to the region and have been warned off of going to Thailand right now -- it's a timely exhibit.
Across the street at the annex, Kathleen Henderson got me again with her exhibit What If I Could Draw a Bird That Could Change the World? -- gorgeous, simple, oil stick drawings that are still resonating with me. I like that.
There is more drawing next door at Spencer Brownstone, where Jeff Gabel shows a caustic wit that grabs your attention. The drawings are uniquely crude, with long rambling social narratives that can often be uncomfortable to follow, especially when you get a belly laugh going in the middle of the gallery.
Ryan Humphrey must throw really good parties: apparently the opening at DCKT was fun. His designer refrigerator titled Staying Up Late and Sleeping Alone is customized with stickers and a very cool bottle opener made from an acrylic high heel shoe a stripper would wear, and may have. Open the door and it's full of beer with custom labels and blasting rock music! No guy art collection should be without one.
I was lucky enough to make it to the Jennifer Coates show at Kins,Tillou+Feigen before it closed. It was a recommendation from Brent at Heart As Arena, and he was right about the drawings. The painting Aurora is a beauty.
Some news in the Never Saw That Coming Column. The stunningly wonderful photographer Zoe Strauss has a book titled America coming out anytime now. Well. that was until the Chinese printer refused to print two photos of men, with their men showing. It's one of my favorites: two guys in full Mummer costume showing their Harley logos -- tattooed on their penises! [NSFW, and requires registration -- Ed.] Only Zoe could pull this off in such a compassionate, fun, and loving way. Hang in there, Philly gurl, I'm dying to get the book already.