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September in NYC

Seasons come and seasons go. It's not the best way to judge the true value of the art world, but it is telling to see what the galleries are showing. The gorilla in the gallery this season is the economy and whether or not it will crash the feverish art market and level things out, maybe bring some rational thinking to what is valid and what is market-driven. But this is art: what's rational? what's valid? We all just happen to have really valid and, of course, rational opinions, don't we?

So far I see no substantial changes: a high percentage of what I recently saw in Chelsea was very weak to very lame, and I’m very fussy about what door I choose to walk through. But with that said, I’m always open to surprise and enlightenment, especially surprise.

A very nice surprise was the garage door open at David Zwirner. They were unloading crates for the Chris Ofili exhibit; so, never one to pass an open door, I walked in and was taken in by a display of some very potent Raymond Pettibon drawings, dealing with that war thing, as with many of the books coming out lately: great, love it, right on, but too little too late; OK, I’m frustrated.

There are lots of shows about death -- go figure -- but Cheim & Read has the best skulls in The Skeleton in Art. Ensor, Dalí, Jenny Holzer, and a very cool Alice Neel.

There is a beautiful Sol LeWitt cube at Paula Cooper and an amazing, Keith Tyson installation, Large Field Array, at Pace Wildenstein. There are over 220 individual sculptures in this show: allot some time to take it all in.

Another large show that requires a moment to take it all in is the 23 paintings by Willem de Kooning at Gagosian on West 21st, just the fix I needed from the master. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to take a picture so you'll have to see it for yourselves.

I like Gordon Moore’s paintings at Betty Cuningham. The choice of materials is quite interesting, too: latex, pumice, ink, blood, a future conservator's challenge but beautiful work.

Thomas Lendvai has what at first seems to be a very spare, simplistic, installation at Winkleman Gallery. But once you enter his realm, it become obvious that Lendvai is a master craftsman, and his piece, Between Pain and Boredom, has much a deeper effect on you. It on one hand totally alters your perception of the space, but I soon felt I was in my old family attic, full of mystery, cobwebs and all.

More images and comments of the day on my Flickr site.


ZS said...

Mark Barry is super

libby said...

loved that Thomas Lendvai piece!

Mark Barry said...

zs, is amazing! So is Libby. Ok got that out. Zoe saw so many photo shows that reminded me of you incredible eye. Your distinct and more honest, from the heart my friend.

Anonymous said...

good one Marky,
I'll have nightmares from that Alice Neel drawing thank you.

Mark Barry said...

These are times for only the brave of heart, Matthew. Go ahead stare death right in the face! I'm alway coming across little gems of hers, other than the portraits. Very prolific gal.