Nadiah Fellah

September 09, 2013, 9:40am

Barry McGee at the ICA Boston

Barry McGee’s recent retrospective highlights a common dilemma in the rising popularity of bringing street art into museums and galleries—namely, how do you capture the ephemeral nature of the work and evoke its urban context in a white cube, and how does the message of the artwork change? The ICA show sought to confront these dilemmas, and the result was a show that revealed itself as an environment more than simply a survey. Replete with floor-to-ceiling wall installations, animatronic sculptures, and a massive totem of 130 television screens, the show drew heavily on McGee’s Bay Area roots and graffiti aesthetic. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contibutor (Visiting Boston!)

Barry McGee, Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Listed under: Review

August 30, 2013, 11:25am

Joan Brown: Artist Out of Water

The San Francisco painter Joan Brown achieved international recognition when she was scarcely out of her teens. By 1960, the same year she graduated from the California School of Fine Arts (now SFAI), she was represented by a major New York gallery, and was one of thirty-six artists included in the Whitney’s Young Americans exhibition. But even as she worked in San Francisco among a burgeoning cohort of fellow artists that included Elmer Bischoff, Jay DeFeo and Manuel Neri, Brown’s work developed in the following decades in a way that was distinct from others. Thinly brushed lines of enamel replaced her signature thick oil application, and shifting concerns in composition and tonal contrasts followed. However, themes within her imagery remained consistent even as her style evolved—namely, the reoccurring motif of water. Although many other California-based artists are known for their water-themed works—David Hockney for his swimming pools, and Richard Diebenkorn for his aquatic-framed cityscapes, among others—this running theme throughout Brown’s work is rarely given critical attention in the same way. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Joan Brown, Rio Vista, California, 1971; Courtesy of The Joan Brown Estate

Listed under: Noteworthy

July 05, 2013, 8:30am

Ellsworth Kelly at Matthew Marks Gallery

Ellsworth Kelly has recalled of his early development as an artist: “I didn’t want to paint people. I wanted to paint something I had never seen before. I didn’t want to make what I was looking at. I wanted the fragments.” In Ellsworth Kelly at Ninety—a title that refers to the birthday the artist celebrated a few weeks after the show’s opening—fourteen paintings and two sculptures in Kelly’s signature fragmentary style are on view. Impressively, all of the large works were made in the past two years, evidence that the artist’s age has not affected the prolific production of his work.

Listed under: New York, Review

June 26, 2013, 8:30am

Bruce Conner at Paula Cooper Gallery

On view at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York is a large selection of pen and ink-blot drawings by the artist Bruce Conner (1933-2008). Spanning the period of 1962-2000, the drawings vary from postcard size to medium-scale works, and are all black-and-white. Also on view is a 2008 film by the artist titled EASTER MORNING, done in collaboration with the musician Terry Riley. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

 

Listed under: New York

June 20, 2013, 8:30am

Julie Mehretu’s LIMINAL SQUARED at Marian Goodman Gallery

The artist Julie Mehretu has often commented that “trying to figure out who I am and my work is trying to understand systems.” In a new body of work on view at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, it is equally her desire to understand systems and their disintegration that becomes the subject of her art.

Listed under: New York, Review

June 17, 2013, 8:30am

Gedi Sibony at Greene Naftali in New York

On view at Greene Naftali are twenty new works by the New York artist Gedi Sibony. The show begins with a small room of found, framed works, each reversed in its frame and hung on the wall, so as to only display its posterior side to viewers. Poetic yet elusive titles like Into a Ring of Doubles and Doric Ions conjure the possible imagery present but now hidden. Instead, viewers are confronted with the aged and discolored backing of each work, irregularly held in place with patches of tape.

Listed under: New York, Review

March 25, 2013, 8:30am

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery

Basquiat’s career encapsulated the kind of intensity and drama that art legends are made of. Within a period of five years he went from being a high school drop-out living on the streets of New York, to an established painter whose work was in high demand. Shortly thereafter, he died of a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven, ending his short, but prolific career. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Listed under: New York, Review

March 18, 2013, 8:30am

Vera Iliatova: Days of Never at Monya Rowe

On view though April 13th, at Monya Rowe’s second-floor gallery in Chelsea, are eight exquisite paintings by the Russian-born artist Vera Iliatova (NAP #86). The artist’s paintings are best described as wooded landscapes, but the buildings and bridges of cities can often be seen through tree’s branches, giving the impression that figures have wandered just beyond an urban environment. Introductory text written by the Ohio painter George Rush best captures this notion. He writes: “Strange things start to happen this far out. They are beyond the limits of the city now, the women...Gone are the signifiers of stability.”

Listed under: New York, Review

March 13, 2013, 8:30am

Jay DeFeo’s Retrospective at the Whitney Museum

On view at the Whitney Museum in New York are works by the late San Francisco artist Jay DeFeo. The show premiered at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the fall, but its installation at the Whitney is slightly larger, bringing together over 150 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings by the artist. The sprawling show unites many rarely seen works by DeFeo, who was little-known beyond the Bay Area art scene from the 50s until her death in 1989. However, her lack of a national reputation was not for lack of skill or production, as the retrospective demonstrates. Throughout her life DeFeo worked prolifically in a range of mediums, building a transformative artistic practice that was both visionary and inspiring.

Listed under: New York, Review

February 27, 2013, 8:30am

Shinique Smith Discusses Her New Show at James Cohan Gallery

On display at the James Cohan Gallery in New York are over twenty large-scale paintings and sculptures by Shinique Smith. The show, Bold as Love, combines the artist’s disparate inspirations drawn from calligraphy, literature, music, dance, fashion, and spiritual elements, which are literally and symbolically “tied together” in her sculptural pieces. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Listed under: New York, Q&A, Review

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