curatorial // 5 phat art exhibits recently

i make it my mission to see art as often as humanly possible. living in chelsea means free, easy access to constant visual stimulation and inspiration. these were 5 of my favorite exhibits as of late:

1 // devin troy strother: space jam at marlborough chelsea

from the press release: "the exhibition’s title, space jam is taken from the hit 1996 film starring michael jordan and the looney toons. conceptually strother looked towards space jam as a sentiment, a film he grew up with, but also a play on words: “space” in relation to being challenged with marlborough chelsea’s large space, and “jam” as a verb meaning to do something quickly, art and growth in this case. the galleries will be paved with three different floors, two replicating proper basketball courts, and one of stock carpet depicting outer space, typically for outfitting movie theaters or children’s daycares. the paintings and sculptures further Strother’s existent artistic lexicon, which challenges stereotypes, and points to pop culture and art history. strother explores the idea of basketball not necessarily as a sport or form entertainment, but rather an aesthetic: the hats and trading cards that have hologram stickers, the flags that are strewn about a stadium, the souvenir cups that visitors take with them. all of these important symbols at an event have transpired into strother’s paintings. there is also the allusion to space, from the exhibition’s name to the gradients in the paintings that reference jordan’s limbo state in the film. the feeling of the unknown and darkness are ever present."

2 // the memphis group at koenig & clinton

from the press release: "following its debut at the milan furniture fair in 1981, the memphis group grew to include numerous artists, designers, and architects. the gallery’s presentation spotlights a small sliver of memphis’ numerous associates: martine Bedin, andrea Branzi, aldo cibic, michele de lucchi, shiro kuramata, peter shire, ettore sottsass, and george sowden. these individuals were part of a larger group that also included founding members marco zanini, matteo thun, and nathalie du pasquier. the emblematic furniture and lighting designs on view demonstrate the collective’s greater ethos of irreverence, a challenge to modernist tenets of good taste and efficacy. pillars of memphis design include unconventional combinations of materials—such as slabs of marble alongside fiberglass and laminates—and historic forms embellished with kitsch patterns and gaudy colors. joyful, witty, and rebellious, memphis forms do not follow function. instead, memphis infiltrates the traditionally feminine domestic space with stubborn architectural structures that playfully overturn the roles of comfort and practicality in interior design. and while memphis is often classified as postmodern because of its provocative blending of historic styles, it was also international in origin and reach."

3 // lili reynaud-dewar: live through that?! at new museum

from the press release: "lili reynaud-dewar creates environments and situations in which she uses her own body, as well as those of others, to examine the dual experiences of vulnerability and empowerment associated with acts of exposing oneself to the world. evolving through a range of mediums such as performance, video, installation, sound, and literature, her works consider the fluid border between public and private space, and in so doing, challenge established conventions relating to the body, sexuality, power relations, and institutional spaces."

4 // show #24: brian willmont nevermore at field projects

from the press release: "continuing his investigation into graphic abstraction, willmont combines painting techniques- from tromp l’oeil and airbrush to hard edge abstraction- to create a unique visual vocabulary that is at once phenomenological and atmospheric. employing a surprising palette of bright pastels, Willmont’s paintings hum, pulse and vibrate, before coming into focus."

5 // titus kaphar: drawing the blinds at jack shainman

from the press release: "through the manipulation of seemingly classical and canonical imagery, kaphar introduces us to an alternate history that runs concurrent to the dominant narrative. truths emerge to reveal the fiction and revisionism inherent in history painting and the visual representation of a moment or memory. kaphar cuts, slashes, erases, layers and peels back the surface of his paintings. each method is specific to the subject and meant to ignite and recharge the image, often that of the underrepresented body."