The beauty of Artnet.com's online gallery network is the sheer variety of exhibitions that can be viewed, all with a simple click of a mouse. And this week, "variety" would certainly seem to be the watchword where new exhibitions are concerned.
At Gracie Mansion Gallery in New York we can explore Ilona Malka Rich's psychedelic, giant-sized kitsch sculptures. Titled "Size 6," the exhibition opened Mar. 21-Apr. 28, 2001, at a temporary space over at 537 West 27th Street in West Chelsea (Gracie's usual home is on St. Mark's Place in the village, of course). Rich's rainbow-striped, carnival world is livelier than ever, featuring a cat sculpture the size of a small car, with twelve legs and six toes, and The Core of the Problem, an eight-foot-tall apple dotted with portraits of television celebrities.
As a daughter of songwriter Denise Rich and controversial financier Marc Rich, Ilona is swimming in her very own river of publicity -- notably, a cover story in last week's New York Observer. Here's hopes that her new fashion line, also called "Size 6" and which is to be unveiled on Mar. 28 at the West 27th Street space, knocks 'em dead in the rag trade.
Moving on from these dazzling if slightly sinister creations, go back in time to the 19th century for the "Romantic Paintings from the Low Countries" at Richard Green in London, opening Mar. 23, 2001. The exhibition showcases timeless Romantic genre paintings like Cornelis Springer's A Summer's Day in Deventer, which shows laundresses and bargemen at work on the river with the town cathedral in the background, and David Adolph Constantin Artz's First Love, a Hague School work that captures the quickening pulse of spring quite well.
Contrast these landscapes with the Altoon Sultan's exhibition of "Recent Paintings" at Tibor de Nagy, Mar. 15-Apr. 21, 2001. Perhaps best known for her egg-tempera landscapes (her how-to book on the technique, The Luminous Brush, was published in 1999), Sultan for this exhibition has produced an impressive group of Vermont landscapes. Though they may be illumined by an almost Vermeerean perspicacity, their subject is contemporary to debates about environmental activism in the 21st century -- they all depict countrified scenes of pastoral debris, things like concrete rubble and white-bagged bales of hay.
Prepare to switch from landscapes to interiors for Martin McGinn's show "Phobia" at Houldsworth Fine Art in London, Mar. 15-Apr. 28, 2001. Conjuring up all that is postmodern cool, McGinn presents large paintings of slightly blurred, slightly dizzying spaces eerily free of occupants. Instead they are inhabited by the source of phobias (water, for instance) and marked by overhead strip lights that at times converge. The title of one work, Shopping on Valium, probably best sums up the visual experience of McGinn's esthetic.
When art critic Peter Frank wrote about Robert Stanley's sexy paintings in the Village Voice back in 1978, he gave his article the title, "Paint Misbehavin'." A favorite of the Whitney Museum annual exhibitions in the late 1960s and early '70s, Stanley (who died in 1997 at age 65) was a Pop artist who loved pin-ups along with sports images and other icons of jock culture. New Yorkers saw a come-back show of his paintings in 1999 at Mitchel Algus Gallery in SoHo. Now Londoners are getting the treat, as Stanley's star-spangled images of playmates and astronauts are on view in "Works from the Sixties" at Mayor Gallery, Mar. 1-Apr. 14, 2001.
Meanwhile, at Gagosian in London, you can catch Peter Davies' exhibition of "New Paintings." Davies is notorious for his light-hearted list paintings, such as The Hip One Hundred (1998), which was included in "Sensation." Here we have a more recent list, The Fun One Hundred (2000). Davies also makes beautifully colored abstract paintings that take the same tongue-in-cheek approach to pattern and design. This current display at Gagosian sees him successfully blending the two styles.
A very different style was established by the Arte Povera movement -- one which positioned itself in opposition to dominant tendencies like Pop in the U.S. at the time. So Galerie Karsten Greve's current exhibition in Cologne, Jannis Kounellis "Paintings 1958-68," which opened Mar. 16-May 31, 2001, once again confirms the heterogeneous nature of current shows this week. Greek by birth, Kounellis became one of the leading proponents of Arte Povera after his move to Rome in 1956. The exhibition includes key works from the '60s, which see the addition of signs and letters to the painting surface to create a free rhythm of symbols. As a counterpoint, the show includes new works by the artist, whose sense of "poor" materials like steel and sacking seems to predict a bear market to come.
Last but not least, we have "Stills," an exhibition of color photographs by Liz Rideal at Lucas Schoormans in New York, Mar. 13-Apr. 28, 2001. Rideal uses the automatic fixed-focus of the photo booth to create works that are emotional, but with a structured approach to shape, color and material. Rideal collages multiple originals into gridded images or enlarges a single small shot into a five-foot-tall picture. To accompany the show, a fully illustrated catalogue has been published with essays by Charles Darwent and Norman Bryson.
CHRISTINA SHEARMAN is a writer and account coordinator at Artnet.com.
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