WED September 15th (Upper East Side Galleries):

WED September 15th (Upper East Side Galleries):


Today was a crazy mix of gallery tours all across the upper east side of Manhattan, New York City. We started in the Almine Rech gallery with the artist Alexandre Lenoir. The show, called Trois Rivières, explores the intricacy of memories. Through almost a dozen paintings the artist creates a sense of blurry haziness that simultaneously makes you feel both close to and far from the painting. Lenoir uses a laborious process of layering oil and acrylic paints as well as adapting techniques from printmaking in which he lays down tape to hide the color (or often whiteness of the canvas) below. His large canvases are somehow filled with many different types of texture, though they remain relatively flat. Some appear to have paint drips and others seem torn. In order to create this effect, the artist applies different solvents to the back of the canvas. 

This was one of my favorite shows of the day. I absolutely loved the vibrancy of the colors contained within these paintings as well as the texture and even the meaning behind it. I find artwork that is tied to psychology (in this case memory) to be really fascinating. In this show the artist really seemed to capture the ephemerality and intensity of memory. 

There was another gallery that we saw later in the day that also reminded me of Trois Rivières and Alexandre Lenoir. Actually, this may have been our last gallery of the day, bringing everything full circle for me. In this show, The Dante Project, artist Tacita Dean centers on the story of Divine Comedy by classical poet Dante Alighieri. The work is in collaboration with The Royal Ballet. In the original poem, the author takes the reader through a long and complex journey starting in the nine circles of Hell then through the seven terraces of Purgatory, and finally, the nine spheres of Paradise. Dean emulates this otherworldly quality through a number of different mediums, but most importantly through the use of black and white as well as negative and positive space. 

I really enjoyed looking at these works, especially the altered photographs. The pastel coloring and whiting out of main areas made the prints feel almost otherworldly. I also really liked the similar blurry and hazy feeling as the works by Alexandre Lenoir. It struck me how visually similar they both were and yet how different their meanings really were. I also thought it was interesting how these works, visual images, evoked such strong visceral feeling. As I walked through the gallery I found myself appreciating the different mediums and how difficult it must be to master more than one – how much time and effort had to go into honing that craft. I was also amazed by the size of the works. As an artist myself, I was always scared to work on very large pieces. I remember sophomore year having to do two eight foot charcoal drawings. Those drawings took me so long to finish, I can only imagine the kind of work that was put into these works. 

Touring these spaces also made me think about the galleries themselves, how they differed from museums and what the process of installation must be like. I know that one of the main differences between a gallery show and a museum exhibition is the selling of work. I fell like there must be a lot of pressure to create a gallery space that shows off the work in an enticing enough way that someone will consider buying it. I also think it is crazy how much these works sell for. It’s also kind of an interesting commentary on the structure of the art world itself. I wonder how difficult it would be to become part of this world, to get shown in a gallery and to make a living off of the art you create.

Artist Name:Gallery:
Hemali BhutaCeysson & Bénétière
Emma WebsterAlexander Berggruen
Alexandre LenoirAlmine Rech
Marcel DzamaDavid Zwirner
Marsha Cottrell, Daisy YoungbloodVan Doren Waxier
Magnus Andersen, Dani Leder, Ravi Jackson, Leigh Ruple, Dana LokFrieda, Toranzo Jaeger, Lauren Satlowski, Katja Seib, Agnes Scherer, Seth PricePetzel Gallery
Tacita Dean Marian Goodman Gallery
Mickalene ThomasLévy Gorvy
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