|“Jacky Connolly’s ‘Shadows on the Hudson,'”
by Tim Gentles
Art Agenda, November 17, 2016
|“Jacky Connolly and Flannery Silva,”
by Paige K. Bradley
Artforum, November 2015
by Alex Jovanovich
Artforum, January 2015
|“In the Mix: Quintessa Matranga and Rafael Delacruz on ‘Dizzy World,’
Their show at Kimberly Klark in Queens,”
by John Chiaverina
ARTnews, March 25, 2016
|“‘Fawn’s Leap, NY’ at Kimberly-Klark,”
by The Editors of ARTnews
ARTnews, October 21, 2015
|“The New York Artist-Run Galleries You Need to Know, Part II,”
by Emily Torrey
Artsy, November 20, 2015
|“Quintessa Matranga and Rafael Delacruz at Kimberly-Klark”
Art Viewer, April 3, 2016
|“White House Black Market at Kimberly-Klark,”
Art Viewer, January 25, 2016
|“NO DICE (I) at Kimberly-Klark,”
Art Viewer, December 5, 2016
|“When Fall is Better Than Summer and Spring:
These Art Shows Are In The Crisp Season Spirit,”
by Katie Killary
Bushwick Daily, September 25, 2015
|“Cut, Paste, and Blossom,”
by Anthony Cudahy
Hyperallergic, September 21, 2015
|“Fall Art Preview:
25 Shows and Events to Catch This Season,”
by Kate Messinger
Paper Magazine, August 31, 2015
|“Fawn’s Leap, NY at Kimberly Klark,”
Sex Magazine, October 14, 2015
|“Selections from Material Art Fair,”
Sex Magazine, February 9, 2016
|“Quintessa Matranga & Rafael Delacruz: Dizzy World At Kimberly Klark,”
Sex Magazine, March 8, 2016
|“… Meanwhile, Out in Bushwick,
You Can Collect Art With Only 10 Bucks in Your Pocket,”
by Claire Voon
Vulture, Spring 2015
Favorite time of day: the golden hour & the moment before midnight. [An episodic play]. A recurring musical theme. A soiled sock, a cigarette burn. The sun rises and lowers in the sky. The shadows of fallen leaves are cast across the character’s faces. The figures seem to glow or emit a light of their own. [Shafts of light are focused on selected areas or actors. Give accent to certain attitudes in each scene].
The caretaker. She works the late night shift, comes home and drapes her scrubs on the sofa. [Emotional emphasis]. Her nervousness and fragility manifests itself physically in her adult-onset acne infection. She clings to adolescent relics, such as her eyebrow ring and arm tattoo. Self-soothing, she teaches herself guitar. Her mind is occupied with her past; she lives in a memory theater of earlier years spent in the region. [Time: Now and the Past]. She holds a bouquet of plastic autumn leaves in her hand, a security blanket. She has decorated the house with Rite Aid plastic tablecloths and ornamental pretzels. The scent of fresh calzones makes the living room feel like a roadside trattoria.
The sounds of quiet wind, interspersed with heavier wind and rain, permeate their entire universe. The whole landscape becomes an interior, a darkened snow globe. [Fragmentary rather than architectural]. A serious child. [The light upon the Young One should be distinct from others]. She sits poised, questioning authority. She has a facial birthmark that is shaped like the Neversink Reservoir. The communities of Old Neversink and Bittersweet were drowned to form the reservoir – a tale she’s always held onto. She does not like for her hands to be exposed. They are often covered in black elbow-length gloves. She bloomed a mile down the road from The Angels’ Den. [A memory play, seated predominantly in the heart].
Can’t (yet) afford to drop $179 million on a prized Picasso? What if you only have $9.99 and want to participate in the art world this week? You’d have a hard time getting a sandwich at the fancy food court at the Frieze Art Fair for that little (and a day pass alone costs four times that amount — and that’s just to get in). But at a 200-square-foot storefront in Bushwick, where not (yet, they hope) name-brand artists got together on May 9 for a group exhibition and fund-raiser, you could buy anything on the walls for ten bucks (cash only).
The event was hosted by 99¢ Plus Gallery to celebrate its one-year anniversary since opening in what was formerly a 99-cent store on Wilson Avenue in deep Brooklyn. Wedged between a corner bodega and a tiny real-estate agency and across from Outlet gallery, it’s still trimmed with the original red, white, and blue awning, now updated to spell its full name. Owners Simran Johnston, Zoe Alexander Fisher, and Riley Strom, all in their mid-20s and, early that evening, already overwhelmed by the turnout, had invited nine nearby galleries to showcase 11 of their artists in one tight but brightly lit room. Each had donated one of their artworks to sell to support the young space, home to a gallery for exhibitions and events, Fisher’s design store HANDJOB, and an art studio for one residency at a time. Like at an actual 99-cent store, nothing was actually on sale for less than a dollar, but yellow price stickers valued each piece at just $9.99.
“It’s about the idea of accessibility, making artwork as accessible as the objects you would find in a 99-cent store,” explained Scott Goodman, who owns participating gallery Good Work Gallery. “The work you find at an art fair is inaccessible to most people.”
Among the 99 offerings: one of Mark Dorf’s prints of digitally altered landscapes; one troy ounce, .999 fine silver bar contributed by Brooklyn artist Elizabeth Ferry; a letter from Nadja Voorham’s grandmother in Amsterdam promising to text the buyer photos of her breakfast for one week; an ink drawing of a nude woman by San Francisco–based artistChris Lux; an iron-on patch of flowers by Dennis Witkin, who leaves virtual blossoms on grave sites through FindaGrave.com; a USB drive holding a single JPEG of a cat by Ryan V. Brennan; and printmakerRebecca Gilbert’s flyer of tear-off tabs that read, “Dudes Doing What Dudes Do.”
In keeping with the consumer-product theme, each artwork came in a clear, vacuum-sealed bag and was hung from a simple rod hook. Bag toppers replaced wall labels in proclaiming the titles of works and their artists, many of whom were present. With its white walls covered in rows of these packaged tchotchkes — themselves seen as products of collaborative creation by some attendees — the space resembled the inside of an orderly hardware store.
“They’re cash only,” a young woman waiting in line said, sighing. “Can I Venmo you?” she asked her companion, who wore double braids and heavy denim, from head to toe. Ahead of the pair, Bushwick-based artistJordan Barse handed Johnston ten bucks for a painted, nine-piece puzzle of a cat-faced, naked woman clutching a dog made by the collectiveDestineez Child (which is shown at the gallery Kimberly-Klark).
Barse herself had also donated something related to her current interest in “fashion and fishing, driven by this idea of people being on hooks and led around places, kind of blindly,” she described. The mint-green, thrifted tank top, which she had embroidered with fishermen and the phrase “beautiful flowers, chic forever,” was picked up — unbeknownst to her — by Robert Grand, an artist originally from Nashville who now lives in Ridgewood. “I’m just a big fan of embroidery,” Grand exclaimed. “It has this cheesy, kitschy aesthetic, but it’s also very refined.”
All the art sold out in less than an hour, faster than the dollar cans of beer on hand, and almost as fast as it took Christie’s to sell $700 million worth of art a few nights later.
Fall is here. The kids are back to school, Drake is back with Serena, you are back in pants, and, finally, the art world is back from its sleepy summer hiatus. From galleries filled with rubble and cake art you can eat to Internet flea markets and so much more, here are all the must-see art shows and events happening this fall.
Umpawaug’s Bloom at Kimberly Klark
788 Woodward Avenue, Queens, NY 11385
September 5 – 22
It’s hard to tell exactly what the group show featuring Ashley Carter, Phil Cote, Ray Johnson, and Erin Jane Nelson at the artist-run space in Queens is about, but with a strange press release mentioning a cross breed of flowers by Edward Steichen with a “‘personal appearance’ of the flowers themselves,” it’s worth sniffing out.
In 1936, the Museum of Modern Art showcased a project by the famed photographer Edward Steichen that featured work not in his expected medium, but Delphiniums he had bred himself at Umpawaug, a farm he owned in Connecticut. Considering this show today, embracing horticulture as art in an institution is surprisingly inclusive, but it also raises questions about the status of Steichen’s photographs of his flowers. Are they documentation of artworks, or the primary artwork themselves? Are they ways to extend and experiment with the image of a flower he had a hand in creating? His various creative pursuits mirror the pluralism artists find themselves working in today, making work within a stream of reproductions, alternate versions, and duplicates.
With the 1936 MoMA show in mind, Kimberly-Klark, a gallery in Ridgewood, Queens, has mounted Umpawaug’s Bloom. The show features the work of three living artists — Erin Jane Nelson, Phil Cote, and Ashley Carter — alongside the late Ray Johnson. Each work incorporates or references photography, but like Edward Steichen’s Delphiniums,the artists move away from the medium. Here the shift leans towards collage and assemblage sculptural work.
Nelson’s piece, “Dullup” (2014), is an irregularly-shaped quilt that looks like a scaled-up garment pattern. Closer investigation reveals it to be a large T-shirt extended to be extra-long. The surface holds a variety of materials including tie-dyed sheets, a coffee cup sleeve, an embroidered patch, grommets, what appear to be metal claws, and images printed on fabric. What’s interesting is how these components all naturally fit together. When confronted with the “randomness” of this piece, its patchwork doesn’t feel like a series of nonsensical pairings, but like a language you haven’t yet learned. It demands that you pay attention, give it time, and make connections.
Cote’s large-scale painting, “The Supposed Behavior of Spirits” (2015), dominates the main wall of the gallery. Similar to Nelson’s piece, this painting operates according to its own logic. Words float around its edges, containing the overwhelming volume of information within the painting. An infinity symbol catches the word “CREMATION” in one of its loops. Scraps of images and advertisements make their way into the composition alongside several stylistically divergent drawings and paintings contradictorily placed near each other. There’s a desperate energy to this piece, like every idea passing through Cote’s head while he was working had to be expressed. Some seem like intuitive choices, like a silhouette of a shoe painted near a papier-maché shoe sole that juts from the canvas. If the jumble suggests any setting, it would be the moment in a science-fiction story when a spaceship tips over into another dimension and is fragmented and pulled apart in a white void.
Like the wreckage from this scene, Carter’s two sculptures resemble debris on the floor of the gallery. The sculptures are kitchen exhaust fans turned on their sides with ephemera sitting atop. The pedestal structures surrounding them have domestic images pasted on their sides of household items such as gloves and sinks. One seems to be crushed under a chunk of cement embedded with a soap container and a cigarette. The other has a printed image hooked onto it that would likely fall off otherwise. There’s physical tension in this setup: one assemblage is compressed, the other fighting to rise. These familiar objects look truly strange presented in this way, and so carry the unsettling, vaguely post-apocalyptic feeling of considering an object stripped of its original use.
The Johnson collages do feel like forebears of the rest of the work in the show. Smaller and contained in simple frames, they are related to but separate from the rest of the pieces. Like a supplemental text, they point to a lineage of collage-based work. Johnson worked into these small, extremely symbol-laden, and obsessively detailed pieces over the course of several years. “Untitled (Tab Hunter William Burroughs)” (1976–81) is the standout of the two, showing both figures’ profiles at once within a circular composition. The various drawn characters, collaged photographs and papers, and graphic symbols all speak to each other with a masterful effortlessness. So much is done with so little, and the two collages endlessly unfold with engaging moments.
Nelson’s piece could stand as a microcosm for the entire show, where a willingness to experiment, often utilizing quotidian and low-brow materials, coalesces into something complex and initially impenetrable. However, there’s enough self-contained logic and beauty to the ordering that a viewer is willing to spend the time needed to piece together the disparate elements.
I left the show pondering its title and trying to connect photography to horticulture. A photograph traditionally originates in a negative, but from there on it’s all reproduction, creating new combinations and iterations from the same raw material. Steichen retaining certain strains and whittling out others over generations of flowers, joyfully experimenting along the way, is akin to this. At Umpawaug’s Bloom this is taken further, mutating into the strange hybrid sculptural and collage-based work on display.
Spring is crisp and colorful. Summer is sunny and just plain fun, plus it’s good to get away, travel, and work on your tan. But Fall: it’s the most crisp and fun of them all. Do you ever notice how the air is more refreshing and people are generally more relaxed after summertime? I mean, they no longer spend their weekend hours escaping town on the LIRR/Amtrak/Metro North, etc. In the Fall there’s more reason to stay close to home and enjoy the neighborhood. This week’s art shows have captured the spirit of the season as everyone prepares to celebrate new shows at Wayfarers, Valentine (they have a new location!), Schema Projects, Theodore:Art, Songs for Presidents and The Parlour Bushwick. We’ll see you there!
788 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood
Kimberly-Klark Gallery opened “Umpawaug’s Bloom” on September 5th, featuring assemblage and collage by Erin Jane Nelson, Phil Cote and Ashley Carter, supplemented with works by the late Ray Johnson. With references to photography, the combination of objects address a connection to horticulture, described by Hyperallergic as “mutating into the strange hybrid” with the absence, yet the presence, of flowers in bloom.
Car parks, Sam’s Club, mom’s house, Target. At Panera Bread with your sister-in-law. Driving to Home Depot for shower hooks, a towel rack, new batteries. Take some more Tylenol, and you’ll still feel like shit. This stripe of existential cauterization sits at the heart of Libby Rothfeld’s solo show—her first in New York—titled “Good To Think With, Good To Think Against.” Rothfeld’s work acts as a sort of excavation of selfhood from suburban life, an attempt to find distinction within a landscape of mediocre vistas and big-box desolation.
Rothfeld’s three floor sculptures, all 2015, are mainly composed of distressed photographs depicting automobile interiors, adhered to planks of MDF with resin, which are mounted on tombstone-like cement slabs. Each work is skirted by sand embedded with small pieces of junk, such as old rubber bands and cracked bits of plastic. In Car #3, ceramic hands with pointed fingers on metal rods rise heavenward from a cluster of Subaru stars, while Car #2 has a row of three demure, bunny-eared fetish figures nestled atop a close-up picture of a grimy dashboard vent. Rothfeld is trying to imbue these banal images and materials with a mythology, a spiritual life—attempting to forge a haunted heart amid some sham ruins.
Warner Communications, 2014, is an oil painting of a floating monolith with the Saul Bass–designed Warner Bros. logo levitating before it. It sits on the back wall of the gallery’s closet, the floor within it littered with empty water bottles, cheap wire shelves, and flimsy sheets of painted wood. The painting feels like something pulled from a secret portfolio that could’ve belonged to Jack Goldstein—funny, smart, and in love with a dumb world that barely deserves it.