30
Apr 04

What was it I saw in New York?

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 291 views

What was it I saw in New York?

I’ve been to New York, you know. I went to look at some art in Chelsea, or perhaps the Meatpacking District (the latter sounds so unromantic, but then it’s hard to warm to anything named Chelsea). I set off with the ambition of limiting myself to around 25 galleries, having frazzled myself with about 50 last time I was over. I didn’t do so badly: I ended up visiting 35-40 I suppose. It’s so hard to resist a gallery when it’s right there in front of you. Anyway, I made a top ten list for my friends of the bits & pieces I most recommended. Counting down’

10. Natalie Charkow Hollander: Reliefs In Stone (Lohin Geduld Gallery)

I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for classic art reproduced: I particularly liked the Poussins and Titians roughly hacked out of breeze block sized lumps of marble, and the fact that the marble ended up looking like plastic. The Twelve Mythological Views (After Poussin) looked like high art packed up and sold cheap, though I’m sure these wouldn’t be cheap by my standards’

9. Jon Routson: ‘Recordings’ (Team)

‘That’s not art!’ objected Ally C when I was banging on about this, and my little heart sang almost as loudly as my overfull post-diner belly. Routson takes his camcorder into fleapits and films films. You can take the opportunity to watch some or all of various top releases here, as long as you don’t mind variable colour, variable focus, people getting up and obscuring the picture. It’s ‘about’ the experience of watching and the status of works of art in the age of mechanical reproduction (snappy line, eh?), I think. It seems cheeky. I hope, really hope, Routson manages to sell lots of these.

8. Dieter Roth: Prints and Multiples (Matthew Marks)

Some handsome printmaking here, for certain, but this is included primarily for the set of four double-hung lithos of a single image: a set of London buses (Routemasters, saddos) going through Piccadilly Circus. Each was variously obscured with superimposed colour and each, I could dream, featured the number 12 bus which goes to my house.

7. Martin Honert: (Matthew Marks)

A set of more-or-less pop sculptures which seem to circle around the broad subject of disappointed dreams. I was most taken with the first piece you see: in a gauzy picture hung in the middle of the room, a boy is fashioning a fabulous city from sand. On the room’s floor, a busted-up sandcastle which can’t ever have been up to much anyway. What fun!

6. Allan McCollum and Matt Mullican: ‘Your Fate’ (Christine Burgin)

In which the chaps seem simultaneously to be taking the mickey out of clairvoyants and spooking themselves (and us). They’ve devised a set of 25 dice, each with a single blocky (and rather attractive) image. You’re to throw the dice and, according to where they land, your fate will be foretold. Lord knows that after a stint of between 35 and 40 galleries I was up for a bit of play. But then I looked at the set of symbols framed but obscured with black felt and I ran away.

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