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Showing posts from August, 2010

Brent Green at Andrew Edlin Gallery

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House Opened Up, Mixed media, 2010

Review by Jill Conner

Since 2005 Brent Green has transformed unique but mundane narratives into quick, sporadic short films that appear as ephemeral and authentic as found objects while exposing the jitteriness of a self-taught artist. This characteristic sets Green’s work free from the bind of history and keeps it original rather than redundant. The artist’s most recent work titled, “Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then” (2010) initially appeared in two locations, at the International Film Center and the Andrew Edlin Gallery. Along with the artist’s blue-grass style of music, the film and the movie sets recreate a sentimental story about an outsider who lived in Kentucky and built a tall, winding house in order save his ailing wife’s life. Sanity slips away as reality meets fiction and quickly becomes another place, spinning Green’s most recent piece into a transgressive tale.


Mary's First Memory, video still 2010


Several years ago, Green was notif…

Julie Mehretu at The Guggenheim Museum

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Atlantic Wall, 2008-09

Review by Jill Conner

In November 2007 Julie Mehretu appeared on a panel held at Carnegie Hall titled, “Canvas Berlin: Europe’s New Capital of the Visual Arts,” where she expressed a newfound amazement with a city that has been legendary for its history of prolific artists, intellectuals but most of all anti-Semitism. As part of the “Berlin in Lights,”-festival, this panel attempted to clear the air and bring renewed visibility to this historically volatile city, a characteristic that surfaced in the diaries of Harry Graf Kessler, first published in 1971 with the same title. Unlike American abstract paintings which are visually weighted down by the density of the medium, Julie Mehretu has constructed different notions of space, similar to New Objectivity paintings that initially appeared at the Guggenheim when it first opened in 1959. Set within one of the museum’s small side galleries, Mehretu’s paintings immediately wall the viewer into a small space while se…

John Wesley at Fredericks & Freiser Gallery

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Leche, 1973

Review by Jill Conner
By 1970 critics had decided that abstract painting was dead, an empty genre, while the industrial forms of Minimalism populated galleries and museums, heralding in the new. Following the cosmetic characteristic of Abstract Expressionism, when color and beauty trumped catharsis and reality, the success of figurative painting was identified in the articulation of flat forms, as seen in advertising graphics. Artists such as James Rosenquist, Alex Katz, Claes Oldenburg, Tom Wesselmann and Roy Lichtenstein satisfied consumer demand, providing viewers with sterile icons and images of themselves that were empty of criticism but flush with fantasy. John Wesley’s pop-style paintings features in “May I Cut In? Important Paintings from the Early ‘70s,” at the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, balanced reality with fantasy depicting men, women, children and animals as stoic as Henry Darger’s “The Vivian Girls,” but even more sexually subversive, with a focus on be…