May 29, 2008

Cohen's picks for June solo shows

David Cohen writes in the NY Sun that there are still several solos to catch in June before the galleries hang their summer group shows. I look forward to the group shows, but Cohen complains that writing about them is a bore. Here is his June painting preview, with links to the artists. "Jack Shainman Gallery presents the spirited black history mural painter Kerry James Marshall, while Marlborough Chelsea has Hunt Slonem, known for his exuberant, serial paintings of birds, and his icon-like portraits of saints, sacred or secular (both shows until June 21). Tibor de Nagy has a historic show of Jess, as the quasi-outsider artist and lover of the poet Robert Duncan, Jess Collins, was known (until July 31).

"Also now on view are Darina Karpov's obsessively involved, science fiction-y landscapes in watercolor, at the mainstay Williamsburg gallery Pierogi 2000 (until June 23). Her work ties in with two other artists showing this summer: Fanny Bostrom at 31Grand (the former Williamsburg gallery that has since decamped to the Lower East Side), who also works in aqueous mediums on paper in pieces that can entail schematic constellations imposed on childlike landscapes (May 29 to June 28); and Chris Finley at Lombard-Freid Projects, whose show of swirling, looping abstract forms, each named for a political figure, is titled 'Power Sources' (until July 3).

"More hard-edged and conceptual abstraction is represented by two solo shows: Michael Zahn at Eleven Rivington (May 28 to July 3) is known for monochromatic canvases in synthetic colors that resemble commercial stationery, while Alix Le Méléder at Galerie Zurcher (June 11 to July 23) makes repeating marks in the corners of small white canvases. For freely abstract painting that steers a course equally distant from neatness and obsessiveness, there is Elizabeth Cooper at Thrust Projects (until June 29).

"Figuration, meanwhile, has its devotees among several painters given early summer solo spots. Betty Cuningham's 'Philip Pearlstein: Then and Now' compares late 1960s paintings by the veteran painter of nudes in the interior with work of the last decade to dispel the impression held by some of a lack of development in this artist's work. Angela Fraleigh at PPOW (June 5 to July 3) is known for canvases of faces in a tight realist hand that are then submerged in poured sludges and dabs of viscous oil. Gabi Hamm at Perry Rubinstein (May 29 to July 2) paints the female figure in allegorical poses, and forlorn-looking houses in blasted landscapes. Erotic female figures feature in the politically motivated drawings of Zoë Charlton at Clementine (June 26 to August 2). Zhao Nengzhi depicts a series of grotesquely fleshy male figures he calls phantoms at ChinaSquare (opening June 5)." Read more.

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