Saturday, May 29, 2010

Golub And Others

I spent the day in Soho looking at art and going to some bookstores. I took in the group show at O.K. Harris which like most large group shows of this sort are uneven, but did enjoy seeing Stephanie Brody-Lederman's small beautifully done lush paintings. I had no idea that they were so small. I found them very charming and embraceable, almost good enough to eat or at least lick. Also the Leon Golub show at The Drawing Center This is a large show of very small works on paper which because of the subject matter was unexpected but excellent. The drawings are mostly all violent, and angry and many have explicit sexual images along with handwritten words and some have images of animals. I knew Leon and his wife the late painter Nancy Spero in the the 70’s and one day a creep broke into their apartment on the Upper West Side and Leon and his son were brutally attacked. Luckily Nancy was not home. Leon was stabbed and left for dead, don’t recall if his son was injured, but Leon survived which was a miracle. I thought of this horrible incident looking at the violent images in the drawings, which were according to the press release unknown until his death. I also saw a show of homoerotic photographs and some drawings at The Leslie/Lohman gallery which is devoted to gay art. They always mount interesting and exciting (ha ha) shows. This one was very good with work by Warhol, Marsden Hartley, Peter Hujar, Mapplethorpe, Tom of Finland and many others. Then I went to Brooke Alexander to see a Josef Albers/Ken Price show which was also very good but I fail to see the connection that the gallery makes for these two artists who to them share a “similarity of sensibilities and a kind of parallel thinking.” I certainly like both artists but you can pretty much say this about any two artists if you put them together in a gallery. I just think Brooke Alexander was pushing it a bit this time, still I can always enjoy Albers and I’ve always liked the loopy ceramics and pottery of Ken Price. I also went to see a somewhat sloppy show at Fresh Art which is a non-profit organization devoted to providing workshops and studios for artists with special needs. I did some volunteer work for them recently and I love a lot of this kind of work that is now usually called outsider art. It is still possible to see good and interesting art in Soho in spite of the hoards of tourists, the lousy overpriced boutiques and the crummy street peddlers. Now I’m tired from looking.

illustrations are from the Leon Golub exhibition.


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