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20.11.10

Mesmerized and Toyed With

I recently heard the pianist Edward Auer perform Chopin's 24 preludes, topped with a Schubert Sonata in A Minor, at Williams College’s Chapin Hall. Auer is a perfectionist: very straightforward, no theatrics. The monstrous Bösendorfer piano, however, provided the visual excitement with its cover shined to a mirror finish, reflecting the sculptural craftsmanship of its inner workings. Later I was told a few keys were not functioning properly -- I was mesmerized.

Tom Nozkowski's latest paintings at Pace Gallery are toying with me. Just when I think he could never surprise me with new shapes and combinations, he steals my heart again. I must say I’ve got a bit of a crush on this guy: he’s got one of the sweetest painting surfaces around. There I said it.

What’s not to admire about the late great, Robert Rauschenberg? I just never really got it, until the current show at Gagosian Gallery, that is. I think I may have been trying a bit too hard. Once the simplicity and humor of his unfolded cardboard boxes on a white wall struck me -- boxes? Our humanity exposed? We’re that easy. What I did come away from this show with was a greater respect for and curiosity about an artist who developed much of the language used by his contemporaries and to this day. He was a visual wizard.

The thing that’s been a constant over all these years is that I believe that art is communication so that the message has to change with time… If I can possibly show to anyone that the world belongs to them, to each person, then the work is successful. And if I succeed in being a great artist, then there won’t be any need for artists any more.
Waste not want not: our poor planet is swathed in a never-ending flow of trash, from landfill to incinerator. At Andrew Edlin Gallery Chris Doyle's hand-drawn digital animation projected on the gallery wall makes the process look fascinatingly good.

Roxy Paine likes to take over spaces; he's like that. Last year the roof garden at the Met, and this past month the complete Cohan Gallery. Something this large, this invasive should incite great fear, but it doesn't. Its awkwardness draws you in, it's beauty -- mesmerized again!

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