"The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within that prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness." Andre Malraux

19 September, 2010

Mel Leipzig and Pipilotti Rist

My favorite 2 exhibits from a visit to the Chelsea galleries yesterday:

Mel Leipzig is one of those brilliant artists, always thrilling to find, who have been hiding in plain sight. He's 75 & lives in NJ, so I have no excuse for never having heard of him before, but it wasn't until seeing his exhibit yesterday at Gallery Henoch (he's a living figurative artist, so where else?) that I'd ever come across his paintings. He works in acrylics, limits himself to 4 colors (red, blue, yellow, white) & doesn't work from photographs -- I may have a new personal hero. "The Cast of Hedda Gabler" (2009), below, is monumental in every sense of the word; it's 5' x 6' (& unlike most large paintings, works on that scale), has a thrilling composition & is on my (very) short list for best new painting I've seen this year.

I also loved Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist's transformation of Luhrung Augustine's space. It's always a wonder to me that more artists don't take full advantage of the possibilities of really making over the small white box of the gallery -- the spaces are designed to be fluid, after all. Here, Rist uses wallpaper, light, sound, projection and sculpture to turn Luhring's interior into something otherworldly. She's not the first artist to hang rows of scrims & project images through them (I saw personal fave Bill Viola do this back when I was in college), but she uses it to great effect.

This is one of those you really just have to go experience if you can, but the video on this page will give you some notion of what it's like. Don't miss the underpants chandelier in the back.

Lastly, there is some very strong work at the SVA MFA group show at Perry Rubenstein Gallery. I especially liked 2 works on paper of fantastical creatures by Sean Dustin-Halliday. Alas, I can't find any links to his work, but I hope to run across more of his stuff someday.

Thanks for droppin' by....

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