In early May, Spencer Sweeneys exhibition Perfect opened at the Brant Foundation. The drawings and paintings that spanned across the two floors of the foundation represented fifteen years of work and achieved the depth and dimension of both a retrospective and a concert . When the energy finally settled from the opening, we talked in his studio, where I found myself surrounded by the same palpable excitement and energy captured at the Brant. Next to his drums and guitars, and flanked by a ring of booming paintings still in progress, we discussed the shared spaces of music and painting, how painting can be used to anticipate and store the energy of an announcement, and how self-portraits can hold the tension of contradictions to emanate and reflect the soul.
Theres an enchantment one feels with Dr. Charles Smiths work. Whether it is the sheer expanse of his world building or the peculiar levity he has developed as an aesthetic, it can prove challenging to interpret his practice beyond the initial impact of its immersive charm.
There may be no better example of a product of Chicagos transgression, specifically the ethos of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), than Angel Otero.
Banshee Sunrise, Linhare’s second solo exhibition with P.P.O.W., solidifies her painterly presence and influence, specifically the important connection she has been able to draw between the figure and Abstract Expressionism through a phenomenological turn within representational work since the late seventies and eighties.
Mala Iqbal: Shape Shifting in the Outer Boroughs and Its Effects on the Travelers Perception of the Midnight SkyBy Andrew Paul Woolbright
Iqbal concretizes the momentary but vivid perceptions of strangers we capture in crowdsthe tangible effects of faces, of fading voices, of the colors and silhouettes of clothingwhile recording the translucent uncertainty of sightings that our memory is unable to make more permanent.
What is exhaustible versus what is inexhaustible comes to mind in Nicky Nodjoumis We the Witnesses at Helena Anrather. Newsprint is exhaustible. The images that circulate within newspapers, the ones that swarm around events, elicit quick shocks of something limbic but rarely have permanence past the next days issue.
Tathata is a Buddhist sentiment that translates roughly to the suchness of things. In practice, its trying to understand the essence of something before words can circumscribe it. For forty years, Ouattara Watts has similarly resisted being assimilated or codified. His exhibition Paintings, currently on view at Karma, reveals a dedicated and thoughtful practice of painting that can only be achieved through the experiences of a world traveler.
Jan Baraczs exhibition Mutinys Darling at Peninsula Art Space provides a map of the overlooked. The artist utilizes materials marked by subtlety, favoring an inconspicuous tonality that exists somewhere between the woodshed and the boathouse, to address the impinged and imperceptible experience of traversing the ordinary.
The exhibition provides the unique experience to see where Gorchov expands the saddle into more of a field, plays at the boundaries, attempts to relate it more directly to the edge of the paper through trial and error, before finally settling on his aesthetic.
Ted Gahls Le Goon at Harkawik picks the plangent chords and stirs the submerged chromas of terra melancholia. Melancholia, as opposed to anhedonia, conjures a sensual pleasure within the somber. While his paintings dont seem to exist in the present, they also dont seem to be nostalgic for another time, instead dealing with some time outside of time.
Jarrett Key is interested in the slow, germinating speed of folklore and the gradual repetition needed for world-building.
Mark Lavers Within at Ricco/Maresca approaches the landscape through a radical subjectivity that blurs the boundary separating nature itself from our perception of it.
Wrays ability to avoid semblance and reduction prioritizes specific but undisclosed sources, creating distinct shapes that defer recognition. Hovering in the protean spaces that can simultaneously suggest the interiors of bodies, bones, plants, and tools, Wrays practice stays in the apeiron, presiding over the final moment where forms resist determination and luxuriating in the mutable recognition of shadows.
Danica Lundys exhibit Three Hole Punch potentially offers an alternative response to a post-humanist painting practice through an intentional multivalent painting.
Raymond Saunderss current solo exhibition at Andrew Kreps presents a series of gripping assemblages, hung on the walls like excavated fragments. The individual configurations might be referred to as slabs, panels, boards, or slates. However, thinking of the works instead as decks of culture or rafts of visuality may lend us a better lens for interpreting the work.
You feel the parallels between the aesthetic endgame of painting and American decline itself when you walk into Mike Shultiss Animal Crackers at ASHES/ASHES.
In Philip Taaffes exhibition currently on view at Luhring Augustine, the artist explores the transcendent possibilities of symmetry and visual density. Through a series of prismatic mandalas, Taaffes mixed media works on panel set up painting as a form of New Materialist meditation, a relational way of seeing the world that challenges anthropocentrism and probes the ethics of our engagement with non-human kin.
The material conditions of being an artist in New York have a direct impact on the aesthetics and considerations taken in the studio and within an artists practice. While the return of the influence of Arte Povera and the prominence of post-studio practices can both can be attributed to ideological and conceptual decisions or to new structures of feeling in Raymond Williamss terms, they can also be translated and defined through the prices of lumber, rising studio costs, and the commuting culture created through the gig economy.