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Hot Time in the City, Literally

John ParksAfter a week in the great state of Maine, with lobster and fried clams, I'm back to blogging and in New York for the day.

Went uptown to Allan Stone, to see British Landscapes As Finger Painting, by John Parks. I couldn’t pass it up with such a title. It’s a very amusing show and well painted. British guards in traditional tall bear skin hats in all sorts of out-of-character situations. I’ve never seen Mr. Parks work before, but he must have a following. His small paintings are going for 8 to 10 grand; I like numbers like that!

Moving sale at Salander-O'Reilly! There were moving ramps in place as I entered. The gallery will keep this space for its contempory exhibits and open a new space at 22 East 71st.

The new galleries will allow for an expanded program of exhibitions highlighting Salander-O'Reilly's large stock of museum quality Old Master painting and Renaissance sculpture.
The parting show on the second floor is a great going away party, with many of the gallery's best artists from the past. In lineup form, a nice Milton Avery from 1959, entitled Evening Party; two Albert Kresh landscapes (his paint is so clean); a nice juicy, Provincetown Landscape by Robert De Niro, Sr. (he was such a good painter); and a big beautifully painted rural scene by Jane Freilicher. I hadn’t seen Gregory Botts before, but I like his matter-of-fact painting style. A painting popped up in this show that I last saw at Michael Rosenfeld, a big summer yard scene with figures by Fairfield Porter. Rosenfelt in turn has a striking Porter portrait in his summer show. There’s more here also—Hartley, Marin, Georges—but I’ll end with a mention of a very nice beach scene by Paul Resika. His pictures are a wonderful balancing act, where nothing is unnecesary.

Paul ResikaI stopped by Wally Findly and Wildenstein, and both asked me to leave my bag and umbrella at the door; this is not Chelsea. Wildenstein had a few small Bonnards, of scenes out the window. It’s nice to see them when we’re so used to seeing mostly the large interiors and baths. It's also a reminder that for every piece of art in a collection, often hundreds more exist, good and not so, selling for large sums. As an example, I saw a weak George Inness landscape at another gallery selling for 100 grand. How many more are out there?

Get used to signing in at the desk at all the uptown buildings. 745 was particularly grumpy: “where are you goin?” “Galleries.” “Which ones?” "All of them,” duh.

One of my favorites, Gallerie St. Etienne, is showing Recent Acquisitions and their third annual Thoughts on the Current Art Market is worth a read.

Of note at Mckee Gallery is Martin Puryear’s Kick. So graceful as always; made of Alaskan yellow cedar; 400,000; cool.

An amazing and bizarre exhibit of African American funereal imagery, by Elizabeth Heyert, at Edwin Houk Gallery. If you're white and have never had the privilege of attending such a sendoff, this could be a place to start. We white people don’t grieve and celebrate anywhere near this, and that’s too bad. James Earl “Jay Mae” Jones, born September 1982, died March 2004. Dressed in his best white rapper-style jump suit and tilted ball cap, with dollars spilling out of his pockets. Check the site for more images.

My Kodak moment of the day was at Rockefeller Center. A mother was taking a picture of her teenage daughter and son; she paused, held out her hand, so that the son could spit out his green retainers into her hand. They resumed the pose, saying, “cheese.”

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