Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Call: Brucennial through Friday, April 4

Gerri Davis, When We Kiss, 2013

Forget about the Whitney Biennial this year - such a drag.  Feast on The Last Brucennial for fun, fulfillment and freedom from trying to like it.  It's just a free-for-all show: free admission, free-forum curating, and free from male artists.

But hurry!  The Last Brucennial closes this Friday.  Be there or be square.

Check out this video for a preview:

Two big shout-outs to Tayo Heuser and Clarity Haynes, whose works are in The Last Brucennial!

Please say it isn't so, Bruces - we love you!
Beth New York

aka  Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Friday, March 21, 2014

Last Call: Rachel Mica Weiss "In Place" at Fridman Gallery through March 22

Installation View: An Unnecessary Gesture, Plane of Imminence

Installation View: Plane of Imminence, Untitled 

Installation View: Untitled, Gold Cloak (for Sisyphus)

Installation View: Portrait #1, Portrait #2, Portrait #3 

Installation View: Portrait #3, An Unnecessary Gesture 
Photographs Courtesy of Fridman Gallery

The is an unexpected power and grace in Rachel Mica Weiss' current exhibition at Fridman Gallery.  She aims to create conflicts and tensions between perception and expectations.   What appears strong is soft.  What appears flat is bumpy.  Strings, ropes, cords and yarn resist the laws of gravity.  Obsessively neat wrapping competes with loosely dangling forms.  "In place" of or set "in place" for . . . . contradict each other here and there.  Above all, the mighty centerpiece of the exhibition, Plane of Imminence (not Eminence, as its lofty presence seems to infer), takes control of the entire space, guarding the smaller pieces as they remain steadfastly in place (not budging an inch).

"In Place expands Weiss’s inquiry into the interplay between physical and psychological spaces, between inhabitation and inhibition. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a lurching architectural intervention composed of over 50,000 yards of gleaming tensile thread. As the viewer navigates the imposition of this bold blockade, it gives way to porosity; the threads shift, casting the viewer’s shadow onto the wall’s threaded bars of light and opening a new world beyond this threshold." 

Here, most happily, is the boldness and riskiness that seems missing in this year's Whitney Biennial.   Hopefully Ms. Weiss will be included next time.

Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring Street, between Varick and Hudson Streets.  Gallery hours: 12 noon to 6 pm.

Hurry - closing on Saturday, March 22.

Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purim, St. Patrick and the Power of One - Making a Difference Today

Jan Victors, The Banquet of Esther and Ahasurus, 1640s

Chag Sameach!  Happy Holiday!  Today we celebrate the Feast of Esther, also known as Purim, and tomorrow we celebrate St. Patrick's Day or "the wearing of the green."   What do these nearly spring festivals have in common: courage.   That's right, Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.  Courage.

It isn't enough to ask for courage, one has to perform a courageous act and learn that the power of one decision followed by action to complete the deed is absolutely necessary.  To pass on the work to someone else is not courage.  It's facilitation.   Esther acts, Mordechai facilitates. 

St. Patrick, Church of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, rid the country of snakes.  Like the Book of Esther in the Bible, it's a story - not necessarily fact.   However, the significance of the narrative is to inspire courage, to demonstrate that acting selflessly to protect the community is the right thing to do.

Both Esther and St. Patrick symbolize the ability for mere mortals to significantly turn the tide for their people - and, most importantly, to choose to act (even in the face of possible death, as was the case for Esther).  This week so many people risked their lives to rescue the victims of the East 116th gas explosion in New York.  They are perfect examples of courage and selflessness.

Be the change you believe in.

Best wishes for Purim and St. Patrick's Day,
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New York Art Fairs 2014 - March 5-9

Detail Image
Zanele Muholi, Lumka Stemela, Nyanga East, Cape Town, 2011 
From the series Faces and Phases 
30 x 20 inches, Silver Gelatin Print, Edition of 8\

In haste, I am writing to recommend the Art Dealers Association of America's 2014 exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory (alias 67th St. Armory).  Here is the write up on ArtNet

If you are overwhelmed by the number of venues, please make ADAA your first stop - then decide if you are up for more.  Admission is $25 - proceeds go to the Henry Street Settlement.

I am off to the Armory Show on Piers 92 and 94 today - will report later.

For more information on the New York Art Fairs - here is the skinny:

Armory Shows, 12th Ave at 55 St.
Volta, 82 Mercer Street
CLIO, 508 West 26th St.
The (Un)Fair, 500 West 52nd St.
Scope, 312 West 33rd St (Old Main Post Office)
Independent, 548 West 22nd St.
ADAA, Park Avene at 67th St.

Happy International Women's Day (Google the Doodle to celebrate!)
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.