Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two very good exhibitions I saw the other day in Chelsea

Looking at art is sometimes exhausting for me, especially when the art is lousy or maybe its just my age. Happily I did see two beautiful shows the other day that gave me a lift. The Judy Pfaff show and the Craig Kauffman exhibit. I haven’t seen a show of either artist in a long while, and I didn’t even know that a Craig Kauffman show was on, I stumbled on it, and I’m glad that I stumbled. The Danese Gallery is showing his late work which are his vacuum formed acrylic wall reliefs that I think he referred to as Bubbles, Donuts, Dishes and are made from acrylic formed plastic and then spray-painted in beautiful colors. Some of the dishes also have glitter adhered to them. and some are saturated with metallic iridescence paint. Kaufman was part of the LA art scene back in the 60‘s which was mostly cool and minimal, but there were also room there for some eccentric folks like Ed Ruscha and Edward Kienholz. For some reason I didn’t really care for his or the other California cool guys when I was young, maybe I thought the work was too California and cool, but I think my living in California for two years helped to change my mind about these artists. Experiencing the colors and light of this special place first hand I think made me come to appreciate their work more. So when got off the elevator I was transfixed by the glowing colors and delicate formed shapes and the subtle light they gave off. I was also the only person in the gallery which was nice and exquisite. Kaufman passed away in May which makes me sad, because I finally get his beautiful work. I knew that Judy Pfaff’s show would be marvelous and it was. The gallery held maybe 4 of her large off the wall (I mean that both literally and figuratively) assemblage sculptural works that came into the space with a nice big smile and a lovely hello to me. Each piece was very individual, theatrical and densely packed with sometimes unusual materials and were rich in ideas with a fresh free style that I find unique and very appealing. Pfaff is mainly known for her intricate and dense installations that usually don’t last after the show is over because of the fragility of the materials used so I’m glad that she has been doing some permanent works probably for a long time. I do wish that the space of the gallery was larger so she could have exhibited more of these pieces in fact I even asked the girl at the desk, if there were more works downstairs, no its only offices she said. Dejected I went home


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