Scene + Sensoria will be a regularly occurring project of capture, of both the social and aesthetic dimensions of the New York art world, towards an ecological understanding of the scene as a living coral reef; these sensorial guided tours of affect, chance, and embodied presence will be relayed as an artistic experience by Andrew Paul Woolbright
You can start off at Suffolk and walk up to catch the basal, haptic groove that is Theorem X at Rachel Uffner Gallery. Meet a friend so you have someone to discuss this one with, ideally with a background in poetry (I recommend artist and writer Anthony Hawley). Curators Rebekah Chozick and Sara Maria Salamone have brought together something that runs the gamut of tactility, but trends largely towards a kind of limbic, nervous twisting. Completely jealous of the Shopvac painting that greets you on the way in by Vanessa Gully-Santiago. It’s clever, but not in a put on way, and ooo seductive. It’s edges never quite line up in a refreshingly unnervous anti-rigor. I wish I’d thought of it.
Not an opening but worth mentioning is Bradford Kessler’s Deep Throats at Ashes/Ashes. A completely sterile but Baroque experience (if that’s possible) a la Kubrick and sci-fi gore, that is a great way to chill and stun the limbic twist of Theorem X, only a few blocks away. It’s an airdropped hyper violence that is done with such facility you might feel yourself seduced, and possibly complicit in it.
Speaking of violence…Anthony and I headed to Tribeca next, still thinking of Avery Nelson’s refreshing reprisal of canonical biomorphism used like a spur to the body confusion of chance encounters and utopic dance floors, to make the 4 pm opening of the Corita Kent show at Andrew Kreps. Timely, insightful, and necessary. You’ll have to keep checking the dates on everything because it all looks like it could have been made tomorrow and not in 1969. The legacy of the radical, politically progressive ex-nun has been carefully stewarded by Nellie Scott and the Corita Art Center. Fortunately, the unrelenting rain storm made this an uncrowded experience and kept us in with the work for a longer appreciation. The persistent, unblinking eye that Kent shares with Goya and a handful of others, is here turned towards the Vietnam War and America’s pre-emptive strike foreign policy- depicted out of a humanist necessity that this is what we, as artists, as people, owe each other.
Cooler filled with Modelo’s at Real Pain for the solo show of Logan Criley, a Brooklyn transplant to LA. Real Pain, an LA transplant itself, has moved into the old Feuer/Mesler space at 30 Orchard and promises to be a scene. With its new director Reilly Davidson, formerly of Below Grand, the space feels returned to the flagship presence it once held on Orchard. Criley’s paintings teeter on their familiar/unfamiliar ambivalence. Not quite totally all in on either Kippenberger, Polke, Oehlen, or Buttner, but reminiscent of all in an intentional deja vu. Emo Verkerk’s Frank Zapa show at Luhring Augustine last spring makes an interesting companion/comparison, similarly channeling image bank exegesis and historical false memory.
Ran into neighborhood gallerist Francisco Correo Cordero of Lubov and artist Luba Drozd to discuss Marfa sound art and professional wrestling. Grab a drink and continue the conversation at Clandestino’s around the corner so as to not lose any of the energy.
I unfortunately missed the opening (and the crowd) at Spencer Brownstone‘s thoughtful abstract painting show “Honoring the Dog-Legging Horizon” but was able to stop by the day after. Art for art’s sake and bassesse as a tactic employed towards cerebral and sublime indeterminacy. The work is hung low, more a state of hover instead of a tangent or tension. If I had the room for it, I would joyously own Jane Swavely’s OID #1, that connects in your mind the paring down of punk to painterly base materialism.
The Theorem Y opening at Mrs. in Queens included beer and hot dogs. The show is necessary, on its own, while connecting to its counterpart at Rachel Uffner, and it made me feel I needed another visit to see the ShopVac back at Theorem X. Going forward I’m on the lookout for the anarchic avant-garde aesthetics of curated reshare sites such as ArtViewer, Tzvetnik, Ofluxo, Daily Lazy, and AQNB finding more permanent and resilient presence in Tribeca and Chelsea, and you should be too.
About the author: Andrew Paul Woolbright (Chicago, b. 1986) is an artist, gallerist, and writer working in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of the MFA Program at the Rhode Island School of Design in painting, Woolbright has exhibited with the Ada Gallery, Nancy Margolis, and Coherent in Brussels, BE. He is the founder and director of Below Grand, a gallery located at 53 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.