Anagnorisis Fine Arts

Anagnorisis Picks | New York March by Binnorie

March is always a clusterfuck of a month for the arts in New York.  There will be a myriad of art fairs in action and since they’ve gained in popularity, this year is likely going to be larger than last.  It’s really one of the best times for collectors to converge into this world art capital, New York City, to buy and peruse new art.  Networking opportunities abound as well, so it’s not just art that visitors will be shopping for.

The majority of the New York art fair week will get into full swing on March 8th with Volta, ScopeFountain, Pool and likely ten or twenty million others.  VergeArmory and Pulse will thankfully be opening a week earlier than most of the other fairs (really glad they’re doing this – there’s only so much art that can be taken in during one weekend). Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for a short-list of where you might want to focus your attention at the art fairs.

To boot, many galleries are pulling out their biggest and baddest.  Odd Nerdrum has a solo exhibition opening at ForumAlex Gross and Victor Castillo will both be at Jonathan Levine, Kris Kuksi will have a new solo at Joshua Liner and that doesn’t even begin to list what is about to open in New York.

I’m also excited about some exhibitions that will be opening up outside of Gotham.  Those I’ll list in another post. Prepare your attention spans, people! Here we go:

Click on subheaders below to get details on each exhibit below:

Sloan Fine Arts at Scope

"Absinthe" by Ransom and Mitchell

Alix Sloan is taking a group of artists to Scope this year.  Artists Mia Brownell, Elizabeth McGrath, Charles Moody, Jonathan Viner and Brad Woodfin will all be included not to mention the photography of Stacey Ransom and Jason Mitchell (pictured above).  Quite a wonderful collection of artists there – her booth will stand out for sure!

Check out her blog for more information.

Odd Nerdrum at Forum Gallery

"Egg Snatchers"

Odd Nerdrum will have a solo exhibition at his New York gallery regardless of the pressure and stress that Norway’s tax evasion charges have likely caused him.  Read more on that from Leo Plaw on Fantastic Visions.  Nerdrum’s exhibition opens at Forum Gallery on March 8th, and will be on view until May 10th.  The gallery will also be present at the Armory show and will likely have a work or two of his to see there as well.

Alex Gross’s Product Placement & Victor Castillo’s The Jungle at Jonathan Levine

"Funny Little Man" by Victor Castillo

"Volcom" by Alex Gross

These two solo exhibitions opened last Saturday night at Jonathan Levine Gallery and will be open for the rest of the month.  Quite a surrealistic feast for the eyes, here!

Kris Kuksi’s Triumph at Joshua Liner Gallery

"Hercules vs. Diana" by Kris Kuksi

Kris Kuksi never fails to please his fans and collectors with his solo exhibitions at Liner. I highly suggest going during a quiet time rather than attending the crowded opening party. The extra elbow room will better allow you to spend a lot of time looking at each work including looking under each sculpture – Kris often hides things where you might not think to look. Ask the gallery attendant to guide you on that. Triumph opens on March 8 15th and is on view until April 7, 2012. [edit: the date for this opening changed on Liner’s website after I published my list, here. The show is opening on the 15th, not the 8th]

George Boorujy’s Blood Memory at P.P.O.W.

"Initiate" by George Boorujy

"Initiate" by George Boorujy

This exhibition at P.P.O.W looks quite promising. Stark, minimalist and clean, George Boorujy’s depictions of animals are uncomfortable in their placement, yet beautifully rendered. This exhibition opens on March 15 and will be on view through to April 14, 2012

Cindy Sherman Retrospective at the MoMA

"Untitled 466" by Cindy Sherman

You have until June 11 to see the Cindy Sherman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition includes 170 photographs, tracing the artist’s career from the mid 1970s to the present.

The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Sherman’s career, including artifice and fiction; cinema and performance; horror and the grotesque; myth, carnival, and fairy tale; and gender and class identity. Also included are Sherman’s recent photographic murals (2010), which will have their American premiere at MoMA.

For a review of the show, check out this article about the exhibition on ArtInfo.

Jenny Morgan at Like the Spice’s Arts Not Fair

Image still from Jenny Morgan's "Passage" video

Like the Spice has decided to rebelliously have its own art fair out in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which will be showcasing a number of their artists. Sounds like they’re having fun with this exhibition offering an alternative to the overwhelming art fair crowd:

This year, thousands of people will be hitting the art fairs. What do you do at art fairs? Try to steal a pass, struggle to find the lounge, squeeze into the V.I.P. room and maybe, maybe manage to find a couple pieces of art that don’t make you want to roll your eyes. And then it’s off to the after-party for handshakes and fun and it’s all forgotten until Miami. Doesn’t it leave you wanting something a little more intimate? Something different?

Like The Spice shows some good stuff, so whatever their reasoning is behind this show, it is sure to please.

David LaChapelle’s Earth Laughs in Flowers at Fred Torres Collaborations

"Wilting Gossip" by David LaChapelle

I’m not a huge fan of LaChapelle’s celebrity portraits, but I think that’s just because I’m not a fan of seeing celebrities in fine arts overall. A prejudice of mine? Perhaps. But this series of LaChapelle’s that has been making the rounds is quite beautiful and grotesque, using old master color and light to depict wilting flowers with modern day appendages such as cell phones, plastic bags, barbie dolls and cold french fries. I’ve seen many still lives like these accidentally set up in many homes. LaChapelle celebrates them in the most ironic of ways. This exhibit will be up at Fred Torres Collaborations through March 24th.


What are you in for with the main art fairs? Well, to give you a general idea, last year Scope featured Frat-in-a-Box. This installation consisted of young college students, kept inside a clear box in the middle of the fair, given nothing but 30 cases of beer and a pee bucket. It was funny…I think. Frat-in-a-box (actually titled “Come On Guy”) seemed to get more press than much of the good art work in the fair (maybe the press considered the installation to have been good art work, but what do I know?).

That impression of the art fair world aside, there is impressive art to be seen – you just need to know where the good galleries and artists are located.

Besides what I already listed above, here are some focal points you might want to head towards:

Nicola Samori will be at Volta, which is a relatively small fair.
Along with Sloan Fine Art, Corey Helford Gallery will be at Scope.
Dacia Gallery will be showing Yuri Leonov at Fountain.
Verge hasn’t updated its site with its exhibitors a few days before the fair’s opening, so that’s a complete crapshoot.
At the Armory you’ll find Paul Kasmin Gallery which may have Walton Ford and Mark Ryden on view.

Hope this short list helps you navigate the coming maelstrom of art shows coming up this month. I’m sure there are more to find – please drop me a line if you think I missed something crucial. Happy hunting!

Music Non Stop by Binnorie

I thought all was lost for 2012 when Gagosian opened up its worldwide exhibition of Damien Hirst’s brainless spot paintings, but the art world at large has been redeemed thanks to the Museum of Modern Art. Oh, yes, folks, if you will be in New York this coming April 10th-17 and can manage to score tickets, electronica pioneers Kraftwork will be performing for nine eight nights straight, one album per night.

How is this art-blog-worthy? The visual aesthetic that commonly accompanies Kraftwork’s music was unique and highly influential. MoMA acknowledges this and thus will be exhibiting Kraftwork’s historical audio and visual material from April 10-May 14. At the time of this writing, there’s no information on MoMA’s site about this exhibition, unfortunately. I got my info from Pitchfork.

Tickets for the nine performances will likely be available for two seconds once they go on sale. Tickets are $25.00 and will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, February 22, at 12:00 p.m., only at

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Edit:  I don’t know a SINGLE person who managed to nab tickets to any of these shows.  Perhaps these machine men will have to come back to NYC sometime soon to satiate the masses.  There was quite an uproar on teh interwebs about the glitchy ticket purchase site.

To that I say:  BOING…BOOM CHU

The Futility of Fighting with Chaos by Binnorie

JR's furrowed brow colorized by Irene with Kenny Scharf

Hurricane Irene left very little damage in New York City compared to what happened in surrounding countrysides.  New Jersey, upstate NY and Vermont all got hit very hard with flooding, not to mention what happened further south.  It’s as if Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs are in a protective bubble, rarely affected by natural disaster.

Irene did leave her mark behind in Gotham, however.  Many are reporting this mark as damage, but I see it as Mother Nature’s collaboration with artists JR and Kenny Scharf.  Irene’s water has soaked through JR’s black and white photo of a giant furrowed brow and crinkled nose so much that Scharf’s colorful painting left underneath shows through.  Personally, I think JR’s photos are far more powerful when installed in cities that heavily benefit from its presence.  He is a selfless and intelligent artist whose work blends in and gets lost in New York City’s jaded and cynical streets.  Scharf’s colors give this particular photo of his a nice punch.  The new look further reminds us how pissed off Scharf was when his work was tagged (sorry, Kenny, the tagging looked horrible, but stop wearing your trendy outfits around town and maybe you’ll avoid this kind of problem in the future).

A close-up of the Os Gemeos mural

Kenny gets tagged

The graffiti wall on Houston Street just west of Bowery, curated by Deitch Projects,  had for a while a recreation of a mural by Keith Haring.  Haring’s image was eventually replaced with a new mural by street art duo Os Gêmeos who were soon covered over by Shepard Fairey’s pasted graphics.  Shepard’s efforts weren’t well respected by some.  I recall walking by and seeing giant holes punched into the wall of Shepard’s pastings, revealing the drywall and metal studs that had been built over the previous work.  The holes let the Os Gêmeos painting peek out once again creating a Fairy/Gêmeos medley of sorts.  So, you see, the wall has a history of damage that has been inflicted upon it, time after time.  The latest damage from Irene’s deluge is not unexpected, yet creates a pleasant visual surprise.

The Keith Haring replica gets whitewashed to make room for something new.

Shepard Fairey's mural with plywood to cover up extensive damage.

My favorite city walls are those covered with many artists’ work, stickers, tags, dirt and nails all collaged on every surface in even the most hidden nooks, all giving New York its special character.  To me, the uproar that results when one of the works on this Houston Street art space gets marred is silly.  Part of the allure of street art is the random or uncontrollable changes that happen to it over time.  If you put something up on a wall giving others access to it, then you need to accept and even revel in the fact that others are going to tag it, break it, lick it, pee on it…  It’s going to rain, mold will grow on it, the glue and paint will peel…  If you don’t want that to happen to it, put it inside and protect it, or make sure the materials used to create it can withstand the toughest abuse.

I don’t know…I suppose one could argue that the news about the damage is all part of the art, but I think time would be better spent helping those who cannot return to their homes due to Hurricane Irene.

{This post was inspired by Animal New York}

A Pupal Stage of Sorts by Binnorie
May 15, 2011, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Announcement | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been receiving some emails from some of you who have noticed that Anagnorisis has lately been a bit quiet.  Yes…  Anagnorisis has been going through some organizational changes and it’s all happening behind the scenes.  It’s taken time away from the blogging and the exhibits, but I assure you all is very very well!

Call it a cocoon or pupal stage, if you like. For the next four months or so, I will still be blogging, working with the White Rabbit and the Brooklyn Art Project, however I will be focusing very much on the inner workings of our grotesque art project, here, hoping to emerge as … ummmm … a beautiful butterfly.  (Is this analogy cheesy enough for you?)

In the meantime, let me tease you with the art of some of the uber-talented creatives I’ve been conspiring with lately!

Yuri Leonov is a fresh graduate from the School of Visual Arts’ Illustration Department.  He started his training as an artist back in Russia when he was merely 13 years old and is looking forward to living the starving artist dream in New York City in the coming years.  His new work will be on view in September at the White Rabbit‘s White Box.

Sara Gage started sending black and white photos of herself to Lorenzo a few months ago and Lorenzo started having a blast with them.  These collaborative works are gorgeous, sexy and fun.  Cross your fingers that you’ll be able to see and collect some of these works in New York sometime soon.  Check out their website, eroticolor, here.

Ina Jang’s new exhibition, so, too & very, is currently up in the White Rabbit’s White Box.  Come by on Friday May 20th for her opening reception.  Get more info and RSVP here.

Anagnorisis Picks | Too Much for March by Binnorie

This is March Madness.  There’s simply too much going on this month for words – especially this week. But I’ll try. Have I mentioned it’s my birthday, too?

Andrew Wapinski | The Artist Project (Booth #307)

Andrew Wapinski | installation view of works from his Wasteland series

This week Anagnorisis will be visiting another new art fair, The Artist Project, that is taking place in conjunction with Architectural Digest’s yearly design show at Pier 92. Artist Andrew Wapinski will be exhibiting at booth #307 to promote a new series of abstract works. Shimmering and layered with acrylic, metal leaf and epoxy resin, Drew’s works are alchemical, mysterious and powerful.

Anyone interested in attending for free can contact us here. Please put “Wapinski” in the subject line of your email.

The Artist Project is taking place March 17-20 at Pier 92 (55th Street and the West Side Highway).

Bye Bye Kitty  |  Curated by David Elliott  |  Japan Society

Please attend this opening on Friday: 50% of all admission sales will go to Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.

Makoto Aida (1965– ) Harakiri School Girls (detail), 2002. Print on transparency film, holographic film, acrylic, 46 3/4 x 33 3/8 in.

The Japan Society’s “Debutante”, Kristen Sollee, has been telling me about this wonderful show for months now, as it brings some amazing Japanese artists to the states who are virtually unknown to us jaded New Yorkers. This exhibition will show us a Japan that we are not often exposed to out here.

Curated by David Elliott, founding Director of the Mori Art Museum, Bye Bye Kitty!!! is a radical departure from recent Japanese exhibitions. Moving far beyond the stereotypes of kawaii and otaku culture, Japan Society’s show features sixteen emerging and mid-career artists whose paintings, objects, photographs, videos, and installations meld traditional styles with challenging visions of Japan’s troubled present and uncertain future. Each of the three sections, “Critical Memory,” “Threatened Nature,” and “Unquiet Dream,” not only offers a feast for the senses but also demolishes our preconceptions about contemporary Japan and its art.

The sixteen featured artists are: Makoto Aida会田誠; Manabu Ikeda池田学; Tomoko Kashiki樫木知子; Rinko Kawauchi川内倫子; Haruka Kojin荒神明香; Kumi Machida町田久美; Yoshitomo Nara奈良美智; Kohei Nawa名和晃平; Motohiko Odani小谷元彦; Hiraki Sawaさわひらき; Chiharu Shiota塩田千春; Tomoko Shioyasu塩保朋子; Hisashi Tenmyouya天明屋尚; Yamaguchi Akira山口晃; Miwa Yanagiやなぎみわ; Tomoko Yoneda米田知子.

In conjunction with Carnegie Hall’s JapanNYC festival.

I’m getting a nice sneak peek, but do stop by this Friday for the opening night. The JS is located at 333 East 47th Street.  Bye Bye Kitty!!! will be on view until June 12th.

Tiny Trifecta  |  Tara McPherson and Friends  |  Cotton Candy Machine

How sweet!!  Tara McPherson is embarking on this wonderful new journey with the Cotton Candy Machine, a new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  For the opening night celebration, Tara has brought in a bazillion artists to sell work from the newly painted walls.

Please join Paul Romano, Jeremy Hush and a bazillion other heavy hitting artists at the opening night (which will most definitely be huge) on April 9th, 7pm – 12am.  CC is located at 235 South First Street right off the L train Bedford stop.

Single Fare: Please Swipe Again  |  Sloan Fine Art

Jeff Faerber | oil on recycled metro card

I absolutely love these shows of small works of art using recycled materials not only because they’re fun, but because they’re often done for some charitable cause.  A portion of the proceeds from this particular exhibition will benefit Transportation Alternatives and Alliance for the Arts‘ NYC ARTS.  Transportation Alternatives‘ mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.  The Alliance for the Arts serves the entire cultural community through research and advocacy and serves the public through cultural guides and calendars. Through its NYC ARTS guides and calendars, the Alliance promotes New York cultural institutions. Through its research studies highlighting the importance of the arts to the economy and to education, the Alliance helps government and civic leaders understand the importance of cultural organizations to New York City. More information on the Alliance’s work can be found at the new

Works in these sorts of shows are also often affordable and offer wonderful surprises – small works often allow artists to work quick and spontaneously.  Anagnorisis artist Jeff Faerber will have a bunch of works in the mix!

For more information, check out the press release here.

This Show of Small Works on Used MetroCards opens on Thursday, March 17th, 5 to 9 pm and will be on view from March 18 to 26, 2011.

Sloan Fine Art is located at 128 Rivington Street.

Verge Art Brooklyn by Binnorie

Anagnorisis Fine Arts is very excited to be participating in its first art fair this coming season:  The inaugural Verge Brooklyn Art Fair!

In cooperation with the Brooklyn Art Project, Anagnorisis is co-curating a booth and will be including artists who both organizations have been working with for the past few years.

Our exhibiting artists will be Carrie Ann Baade, Christopher Conte, James Cospito, Molly Crabapple, Steve Ellis, Foon Foono, Caitlin Hackett, Jeremy Hush, Raghava KK and Ryan Ketchum.

In addition to original artwork, we’ll have prints for sale by many of those artists in addition to Teetering Bulb, Paul Romano and others.

We’ll be tweeting about the fair, so follow us and the Brooklyn Art Project to more easily find our booth.

Of course, on Friday night, March 4th, Anagnorisis won’t be manning the booth at the fair because we’ll be at the White Rabbit for Jeremy Hush’s solo exhibit A Curious Commotion. We’ve got DJ Mz. Margo back spinning for us and, if you’re really nice and show up early, I’ll give you a drink ticket…but you have to be nice.

Want to be on a preview list to have first dibs at the art?  Shoot us an email and let us know.

Verge has scheduled the hours of the fair very carefully, making it easy for art fair lovers to visit Brooklyn later on in the day after they’ve visited all the other art fairs in Manhattan.  Check this out:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 3 – 5 March, Noon to 10 pm
Sunday, 6 March, Noon to 6 pm

Thursday, 3 March, 2011, 10:00 pm to 2 am

Request a press pass

Verge is proud to announce its return to New York during Armory Show 2011 with the inaugural Art Brooklyn, a historic first-ever art fair to take place in multiple locations throughout the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, 3-6 March. Verge has partnered with Two Trees Management, Brooklyn Arts Council and the Brooklyn Borough President’s office to provide critical real estate, government and institutional support to ensure a successful Brooklyn art fair.

An art fair without precedent, Art Brooklyn is the first fair of its kind to be held in Brooklyn, NY. The intention of the fair is to promote and support Brooklyn as a cultural bellwether of artistic endeavor that influences artistic practice the world over. Open to artists and galleries alike at all levels of practice, Art Brooklyn recovers the standard of an art fair as a platform for presenting the best work by living artists.

Passport Program 

Art Brooklyn VIP Passport holders will receive discounts at a variety of DUMBO and Brooklyn-area businesses, including restaurants, bars and elsewhere. A full list of participating businesses and available discounts will be published at The Opening Night Reception is for those cardholders and for paid public admission. Click here for VIP Passport requests (Credentialed requests only).  Additionally, Verge is arranging for visits to private collections, studio visits and exclusive speaking engagements with artists who make Brooklyn their home, guided tours, and a neighborhood art walk.

Verge is also working to provide transportation options from Armory Show that will be available for free exclusively to Passport Program cardholders.

To enroll your collector organization in the VIP Passport Program, or to inquire about offering Verge Art Brooklyn attendees discounts on goods and services, please contact us at

Anagnorisis Picks | More in February by Binnorie

I recently came across four additional events that are more than worth attending. February is turning out to be an amazing month.  If you missed them, click to see the other Anagnorisis Picks here and here.

Not really art related, but I can’t resist posting this.  If you’re wondering what to do on Valentines Day, I very highly recommend going to Gemini and Scorpio‘s extra special event taking place in Brooklyn’s famous bath house.   Imagine a party that starts with a Russian banquet followed by an open vodka bar and performances by the Hungry March Band all while soaking in a glorious hot tub!  More details and tickets can be found on G&S’s website.


The Perfumed Handkerchief | Flux Factory

The Liar by Sarah Kipp

Thanks to my friend Lori for telling me about this exhibit which will focus on grotesque beauty.  Curator Alison Ward is a girl after my own heart!

I can’t resist posting the entire group show description here:

The Perfumed Handkerchief is themed on grotesque beauty, featuring over the top, overly ornate artwork. Laden with traditional beauty icons that verge on the extreme, the works are inspired by Rococo’s ornate symbolization of love and desire. Decorative arts, architecture, and dress worked in tandem to produce an immersive environment of florid ornament. The title The Perfumed Handkerchief refers to the way perfume was used during the eighteenth century. It was less often worn as something to attract or allure others; rather, it was worn for the sensation of the wearer, dabbed onto a handkerchief or glove and held to the nose. This not only blocked the putrid smells of the streets and gutters, but also provided an interior sensory world for the person wearing the scent. Like the veil or the handkerchief, the works gathered here create an internal universe. In its separation from reality, art becomes fantastic and beautiful, as well as grotesque and monstrous. Through performance, installation, video, and painting, The Perfumed Handkerchief creates a place in which the line between desire and repulsion is almost indiscernible.

The opening takes place on Sunday, February 13, 1 – 3pm, and is apparently also a brunch.  The closing party, book release and performances are taking place on February 26, 7 – 12am.  The entire exhibit will be up from February 13 – 27 (not very long!).  Open Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 12 – 6pm, and by appointment.  Flux Factory is located at 39-31 29th St Long Island City, NY 11101.  Click that link for a map.


“All the Wrong Art”: Juxtapoz Magazine on Film |  Museum of Modern Art

Bloodbath. 2011. USA. Directed by Cecil B. Feeder

It’s extraordinarily nice to see that Lowbrow and Pop Surreal is starting to get the attention it deserves!  I wonder how long before the MoMA actually puts this work on their very walls?  Stop dipping your damned toes in the water and jump in already!!

This film series exhibit, organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator of the MoMA’s Department of Film, will include screenings of Sweet Wishes (by Marion Peck and Mark Ryden), Bloodbath (about Elizabeth McGrath), A Rung Lower (by Chris Mars) and many others by and about our beloved artists. I wish I’d seen this sooner – the opening is taking place as I type this.  The evening features the guest of honor, Robert Williams, and the east coast premiere of Mary C Reese’s biographical documentary Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin’.

Juxtapoz magazine founder and self-described “conceptual realist” painter Robert Williams (b. 1943) is regarded as the godfather of the Southern California–based Lowbrow and Pop Surrealist art scenes. He began his career as a commercial artist for Kustom Kulture entrepreneur Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the mid-1960s, and was later a member of the Zap Comixcollective that included R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Spain Rodriguez, and Rick Griffin. In the late 1970s he helped organize the Art Boys, a loosely affiliated fraternity of L.A. artists that included Gary Panter, Mike Kelley, Matt Groening, and The Pizz. While he was already a towering figure in the underground comix and music scenes, his work reached a new audience when the painting Appetite for Destruction (1978) was used as the original cover image for the 1987 Guns N’ Roses album of the same name. This opening program in the exhibition “All the Wrong Art”: Juxtapoz Magazine on Filmfeatures the East Coast première of Mary C Reese’s biographical documentary Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin’.

The MoMA is located in midtown NYC at 11 West 53 Street. Click that last link for their map page.  These screenings will be showing from now until the 14th.


Davide Balliano  |  Location 1

I’m not usually too enthusiastic about what Location 1 exhibits, but was intrigued by the image on the latest postcard I received from them announcing a solo exhibit by Italian artist Davide Balliano.  I was even more intrigued by the minimalist nature of the artist’s blog.  A performance, installation, and video artist, his work and photos of his performances are quite beautiful.  It could very well be that I’m simply dazzled by his altering of master works with a visceral and obsessive use of string.  I think the exhibit is worth a visit to find out.  The opening reception is on Wednesday, Feb 9, 6–8pm.  The exhibit will be on view from that night until March 19th, 2011.  Location 1 is located in the heart of SoHo at 26 Greene Street.

Anagnorisis Picks | February by Binnorie

Yikes – it’s almost February.  What happened to the first month of 2011?!  Lots of snow and cold is what happened.   Please don’t hide away in your homes during this weather – come out to see art!

Besides our own opening reception for James Moore’s Rebirth Control on Friday, February 4th at the White Rabbit, there are a couple notable shows you should most definitely attend.  I’ve already recently posted about Bill Viola at the newly renovated Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, and the closing party in Philly this Saturday with artists Jeremy Hush, Paul Romano and Mike Wohlberg at Masthead Gallery, but you also shouldn’t miss these two:

Robin Williams | Rescue Party | P.P.O.W.

Cabbage Patch  |  2010, oil on linen, 44 x 72 inches

I love the dreamy quality of Robin Williams’ works.  His paintings remind me that I should relax: summer will eventually return.

This exhibit will be up from January 27 – February 26, with a reception on February 3, 6-8pm.  P.P.O.W. has apparently moved again (?) and is now located at 535 West 22nd Street, 3rd floor.

Ray Caesar  |  A Gentle Kind of Cruelty |  Jonathan Levine

Calamity | digital media on panel (UltraChrome print on Epson Luster paper, mounted on Dibond) 40 x 60 inches

If you missed the opening, you can still catch this exhibition of Caesar’s work which will be on view until February 19th.  Caesar’s use of lighting and color, mixed with a Rococo spirit, are a feast for the eyes.  Almost belying that spirit is the digital medium Caesar employs to explore reoccurring themes of, “fantasy, escapism, human cruelty and disguise…”

Jonathan Levine Gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th floor.

Anagnorisis Picks | Bill Viola’s Existential Video Game by Binnorie
January 12, 2011, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Anagnorisis Picks, Art Shows, Artist Spotlight | Tags: , , ,

I remember being completely floored by the power of Bill Viola‘s work when I saw Bill Viola: A 25-Year Survey at the Whitney Museum of Art back in 1997. I’d not before seen video art used in this sophisticated, meditative way.   The beauty of his work kept me enthralled while his concepts filled my brain.  His use of color, composition and lighting as well as strong use of symbol is classical; they are age-old tools applied to a medium unknown before this century in a way other video artists rarely employ, or don’t make use of as well (perhaps my knowledge of video art is too narrow).

Two Women | 2008 | Color High-Definition video on plasma display mounted on wall | Performers: Pamela Blackwell and Weba Garretson | Photo: Kira Perov

My new-found love brought me back to the Whitney’s theater to watch one of his longer films being shown in the museum’s screening room. Chott el-Djerid (A Portrait in Light and Heat), 1979, left me feeling uneasy. Unrelenting visions of desert heat with unrecognizable figures or objects in the distance never coming into focus, left me frustrated and tense. I didn’t last for the entire showing, but was moved nonetheless by how different this work had been from the others I’d seen in the Whitney’s main gallery.  All the work had burned itself into my memory.

Still from, “Chott el-Djerid (A Portrait in Light and Heat)” (1979)

Mr. Viola is about to step into yet another new art medium: The video game.  Artinfo’s blog In The Air reports that he has apparently been working on The Night Journey since 2005, and hopes to finish it later this year.  New Yorkers will get a chance to play the work in its current state when it comes to the Museum of the Moving Image as part of its Real Virtuality show, opening on January 15th.

Below is a trailer for The Night Journey, being developed by Game Innovation Lab (their website is under construction at the time of this writing).  More information quoted directly from the project’s website below the embedded video.

The Night Journey is a video game/art project based on the universal story of an individual mystic’s journey toward enlightenment.

Visual inspiration for The Night Journey is drawn from the prior works of Bill Viola. Narrative inspiration comes from the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryokan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher. The interactive design attempts to evoke in the player’s mind a sense of the archetypal journey of enlightenment through the “mechanics” of the game experience – i.e. the choices and actions of the player during the game.

The player’s voyage through The Night Journey takes them through a poetic landscape, a space that has more reflective and spiritual qualities than geographical ones. The core mechanic in the game is the act of traveling and reflecting rather than reaching certain destinations – the trip along a path of enlightenment.

The game is being developed with video game technologies, but attempts to stretch the boundaries of what game experiences may communicate with its unique visual design, content and mechanics. The team has created a set of custom post-processing techniques for the 3D environment that evoke the sense of “explorable video,” integrating the imagery of Bill Viola‘s prior work into the game world at both a technical and creative level.