Art shows you can’t miss this week in New York. We pick only three.
1. Park Seo-bo at Galerie Perrotin May 28 — July 3
Park Seo-bo, a seminal figure in modern Korean art, often finds himself in the intersection of Western and Eastern expression. After leaving Korea to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, Seo-bo rose to fame in the 1970s as a leading artist in the Dansaekhwa monochrome movement, itself a combination of traditional Korean aesthetics and Western abstraction. In their exhibition of Seo-Bo’s minimalist paintings, French Galereie Perrotin highlights the Franco-Korean tensions that characterize not only Seo-Bo’s works but Seo-Bo himself.
On display at 909 Madison Avenue, New York, NY.
2. Carolyn Salas at Koenig & Clinton May 28 — July 10
Opening tomorrow, Koenig & Clinton will display a selection of new and past sculptures from Carolyn Salas. The sculptures, both wall-hanging and free standing, illustrate Salas’ ability to manipulate raw materials into seemingly tenuously balanced compositions. Her sculptures suggest a lack of stability or potential collapse in their precarious positioning. This balance is a part of Salas’ aim to examine “our tendency to feel powerless to confront the crises of our existing surroundings…”
On display at 459 West 19th St, New York, NY.
(Koenig & Clinton)
3. Leon Golub at Hauser & Wirth May 11 — June 20
This retrospective of the late artist’s paintings illustrates Leon Golub’s importance as an artist who was able to join the canon of historical painting while also reinvigorating the genre with a sense of modern, impassioned protest. His works depict the historical and political developments of the 1960s, 70s and 80s with an anger towards the social violence of the eras. This survey of Globu’s work also offers visitors the chance to examine how the artist’s own style evolved through these decades, from his gritty compositions in the 60s to famously aggressive paintings in the 80s.
Today’s artist profile focuses on abstract painter, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet. You can read more past profiles on the ArtList blog and browse artwork for sale on ArtList.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s oeuvre shows an evolving investigation of numerous artistic styles. His paintings shift from minimalistic to impressionistic to monochromatic seamlessly.
For Bernadet this experimentation with differing styles is necessary, if unavoidable. He sees these stylistic shifts as a representation of life’s unescapable uncertainty.
Untitled (Figure XXI), 2014
But while Bernadet does not restrict his art to a particular style, he examines each new style he assumes in depth, frequently creating series of works that investigate a single composition or aesthetic.
“I don’t feel any certainty about life, so I want my work to reflect that uncertainty. I will never be the kind of artist who does one thing.” — Jean-Baptiste Bernadet (W Magazine)
Across styles, his works are further united by their aesthetic totality: Bernadet seeks to create paintings that obscure their own origins. He does not want viewers to discern the origin or seperate elements of the work, but to accept the world wholly, like hearing a burst of music.
Vetiver, 2012 (Karma)
And thus the balanced tension that categorizes Bernadet’s art emerges: it is changing yet steadfastly focused, reinvented yet theoretically connected to preceding works.
But perhaps what characterizes Bernadet’s work most is an inability to settle. He is a painter continually searching, along with his viewers for answers within art.
“I’m not pretending I’m a Master or a visionary. I’m just searching for something, and I think that’s what the viewer and I have in common, in art as in life. That’s how we are fragile, humans, and humanists.”— Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet in front of one of the paintings from his Vetiver series.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He has had solo exhibits at American Contemporary in New York City, Red Barton in London, Karma in New York City, Casado Santapau in Madrid and Torri in Paris. He has completed residencies with Triangle Arts in Brooklyn, APT Studios in Brooklyn and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.
Our 3 Must See NYC picks of the week are back on the Artlist blog! You can check out more of our past selections as well as artist profiles on our blog or browse artwork for sale on ArtList.
1. Harold Ancart at Clearing May 12 — July 12
With his paintings, drawings and sculptures, Harold Ancart creates works that exist not only as independent objects but as conscious examinations of the architectural and social spaces in which they are viewed. Ancart has admitted that he likes, “…to envision exhibits not so much as a succession of objects to be looked at, but as tensions created between the various zones of emptiness. Clearing Gallery’s solo exhibition of the rising artist offers a profound look into this artistic, spatial investigation.
On view at 396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
Untitled, 2015 (Clearing Gallery)
2. Lisa Ruyter at Eleven Rivington May 20 — July 3
Beginning today, both of Eleven Rivington’s Lower East Side locations have devoted their spaces to a singular exhibition of Lisa Ruyter paintings: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The paintings present recolored and abstracted Depression era photographs, depicting the American Dream at its most desperate. The re-coloration forces a distance between the image — which questions the essence of the American experience — and the viewer — who can therefore examine the American identity within these images while remaining separate from it.
On view at 11 Rivington St & 195 Chrystie St New York NY
Verona, New Jersey. Sewing the edge of an American flag at the Amnin Flag Company, 2011 (Eleven Rivington)
3. Lee Ufan at Pace Gallery May 15 — June 27
This new solo exhibition of Lee Ufan’s work, following his solo show at the Guggenheim and his recent installation at the Château de Versailles, showcase the artists “Relatum” works. The series, which Ufan began creating in 1968, illustrates an intensive investigation of spatial relations and the nature of elements in interaction. This spatial examination is defining of the Japanese artistic movement, Mono-ha (or “School of Things) that Ufan helped to found in the 1960s.
The latest subject of our artist profiles is Leif Ritchey, whose paintings combine the texture of fashion with the harmony of music. As always, you can read more past artist profiles on the ArtList blog and browse artwork on ArtList.
The works of Leif Ritchey walk a fine line between fragility and resilience.
Papaya Place, 2014 (ltd gallery)
With his signature process of white impasto, Ritchey creates textured works of paint and fabric with pastel palettes that give these layered, constructed works a deceptively light, delicate facade.
He uses paint to not only create his works but also as a means of adhering textural elements to his canvases, turning his process of construction into a chance for deeper fusion.
“I don’t use glue, I use paint. It fuses it. It seeps in. The colors meld. Where one thing begins and another thing ends is a blurring process. A blend from one song to another. The mix.”— Leif Ritchey
Ritchy’s work is infused with a sense of musicality.
In addition to viewing the elements of his works as separate “songs,” he is a member of the band Shades, consistently listens to music while painting and sees his painting process as a mixing of elements, similar to the composition of a song or the curation of music on the radio.
Jasmine, 2014 (ltd gallery)
However, fashion plays into his works as much as musicality. He is, along with his designer wife, a co-founder of the Leif and Tooya Clothing Company. Ritchey sees his fashion line, like his artistic works that often incorporate fabric textures, as a chance to bring the exceptional to quotidian life.
“In both [mine and my wife’s] work, we try to tap into the magic of everyday items — to realize magic that’s already there.” — Leif Ritchey (Paper Magazine)
Ritchey lives and works in New York City. He has had solo shows at the the Jounral Gallery in Brookly, ltd los angeles in Los Angeles, Martos Gallery in New York City and ATM Gallery in Brooklyn. His work has also been exhibited at the Journal Gallery in Brooklyn. He has also shown at Venus over Manhattan in New Yorka nd Jeanroch Dard in Paris.
Our latest artist profile delves into the weavings and paintings of Ethan Cook, who attempts to examine the influence of human error in artistic creation. You can find artworks by Ethan Cook on ArtList and check out past blog posts on the ArtList blog.
Cook began making dyed artworks, comprised of dyed and bleached pieces of canvas, creating a work not by adding elements to canvas but rather by changing what the canvas was itself. The canvas became not only the base for Cook’s paintings but also the subject of them.
Cook’s investigation of the canvas as both artistic media and subject led him to inquire into its physical construction, with Cook learning to weave and construct canvases himself.
Untitled, 2014 (American Contemporary)
His solo show at American Contemporary last year gave him the chance to exhibit his self-made canvases alongside mechanically constructed ones, onto which he painted.
“I now see the loom as a canvas printer — as with a printer, there is error involved, those errors in the canvas become the gestures and the artist’s hand and mark making. I present the pieces I make on the loom sewn together with store bought canvas to highlight these tiny gestures that come out of the weaving process.” — Ethan Cook (Interview Magazine)
This exhibition offered Cook the chance to juxtapose his handcrafted and inherently flawed canvas creations with those produced that were mechanically produced to perfection.
Thus, through his minimalist compositions Cook plays the human against the machine to examine not only the presence of human error, but how we as viewers view and value this trace of humanity in art.
Ethan Cook lives and works in New York City. He had a solo show at American Contemporary in New York City and has also shown at the National Museum of Capodimonte in Naples, Paul Kasmin at Middlemarch in Brussles, Roberts & Tilton in Los Angeles and The Hole in New York City.
Our latest artist spotlight is on German painter Gerhard Richter. You can read more of our artist profiles on the ArtList blog and browse other artworks for sale on ArtList.
Gerhard Richter’s body of artwork represents both the introduction of schisms and the attempt to resolve them. However, this theme of conflict traces back to Richter’s early life, before his career as an artist.
Abstract Painting (809–3), 1994 (Courtesy of Tate)
Growing up in Germany in the the 1940s and 50s, Richter’s life was subject to the country’s Nazi and Communist regimes. But in his artistic training, Richter found a way to bridge the divide imposed by German communism.
Richter studied Socialist Realist painting in Dresden before moving to West Germany, where he studied avant-garde art in Düsseldorf, befriended fellow students Sigmar Polke, Konrad Fischer-Leug and Georg Baselitz and joined Polke’s new Capitalist Realist movement.
“I don’t believe in the reality of painting, so I use different styles like clothes: it’s a way to disguise myself.”- Gerhard Richter (1978)
In the 60s Richter developed his highly acclaimed Photo-Paintings series, in which he painted over existing photographs, reconciling both the avant-garde and realism of his artistic training, just as his training itself reconciled two sides of a divided Germany.
Richter in the process of applying paint to a photograph.
“Painting is traditional but for me that doesn’t mean the academy. I felt a need to paint; I love painting. It was something natural — as is listening to music or playing an instrument for some people. For this reason I searched for themes of my era and my generation. Photography offered this, so I chose it as a medium for painting.” — Gerhard Richter (1999)
Richter’s following series investigated the purity of color, free from purposes outside of itself. His Color Charts pieces broke with his abstractionist works to examine the relations established through the interaction of different, pure colors.
192 Colors, 1966 (Courtesy of Gerard Richter)
Still up until today, Ritcher’s work oscillates between avant-garde abstractionism and naturalistic depiction; refraining from fully resolving the divisions he creates within his own body of work.
Gerhard Richter lives and works in Cologne, Germany. His work has set multiple price records at auction and been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Mariam Goodman Gallery in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. He has also participated in the Venice Biennale multiple times. He has been awarded many accolades including the Praemium Imperiale, the Wolf Prize and the Oskar Kokoschka Price.
The latest of our artist profiles is up on the ArtList blog! You can learn more about or acquire a work by Robert Motherwell on ArtList, or keep up to date with our bi-weekly profiles at the ArtList blog.
Robert Motherwell joined the founders of abstract expressionism in American through a distinctly intellectual and international perspective.
It was in Paris that he was first inspired to become a painter, in Mexico that he completed his first works and in New York that he realized his importance as a distinctly American artist, only after receiving two degrees in philosophy and one in art history.
At Five in the Afternoon, 1949 (Estate of Helen Frankenthaler)
Upon his return to New York in the early 1940s, he became a founding member of the New York School, an artistic movement that united such contemporaries as: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, William de Kooning and Philip Guston.
The New York School fostered the American development of abstract expressionism, which sought to demonstrate both universal emotionality and the individual psyche of artists. With his philosophical, analytical background, Motherwell was especially drawn to the movement defining American art.
“All [American artists] needed was a creative principle, I mean something that would mobilize this capacity to paint in a creative way, and that’s what Europe had that we hadn’t had; we had always followed in their wake. And I thought of all the possibilities of free association — because I also had a psychoanalytic background and I understood the implications — might be the best chance to really make something entirely new which everybody agreed was the thing to do.” — Robert Motherwell
Over the next five decades, Motherwell created over 1,000 works that demonstrated the influences of his past philosophical, psychoanalytical studies and strove to establish their own American voice, independent of established artistic culture.
The Hollow Men no VI, 1983 (Courtesy of Mint Museum)
In the 1980s, Motherwell completed one of his most significant series of drawings and paintings: Hollow Men. With this series, he sought to dispel superficiality in his work and cut through, directly to the genuine.
However, while Motherwell’s works were highly conceptual, he believed there was a specific place for analysis in art creation:
“It’s not that the creative act and the critical act are simultaneous. It’s more like you blurt something out and then analyze it.” — Robert Motherwell
Motherwell received a B.A. in literature, psychology and philosophy from Stanford University before going on to study philosophy at Harvard University and art history at Columbia University. He served as a professor at Hunter College.
Motherwell has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Paul Kasmin Gallery, the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City.