Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another day at the galleries

Another day doing the galleries in Chelsea. My God where does all this crap art come from. I really shouldn't spend time moaning over the lousy shows I saw, but I’ll make some exceptions. Eric Fischl at the Mary Boone gallery has to be one of the worst exhibitions of the year, and it's only March. These portraits loosely  painted in his now common and I mean common style  have absolutely nothing to say about his rich and famous subjects, the art or state of representational art or portraits in general. They look like illustrations that you might have seen in old copies of Playboy Magazine. He is to representational-figurative art what Terry Winters is to abstract art, both are empty and vapid and highly overrated artists. I was also disappointed in the Georg Baselitz show, talk about vapid. Yes they are big, but so what. These are semi abstract like portraits that look like monsters.  Painted with lyrical and dainty paint strokes they don’t hold weight they don’t compel the viewer and they don’t hold  the huge Gagosian space. I also disliked the empty photographs of Paul Graham at the Pace Gallery and comparing him to the great street photographers ie. Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Garry Winogrand is an insult to these great photographers.  Gimmicky in theme and presentation.  Also dull and empty is the Roy Lichtenstein show at the other big Gagosian space and is a big strike out as far as I'm concerned.  They’re take off’s on Chinese painting and they’re so light and nothing that they almost seem to float away before our eyes. Well you're probably thinking did I like anything. Yes actually I did. The Janet Fish show at D.C. Moore of still life's are bold and complex in her handling of her paint and her set ups, also in the smaller gallery is a marvelous small show of watercolor Landscapes by the great Charles Burchfield.  The Tom Friedman show which closes soon, has some of his wow sculptures. His work usually brings a smile to my face, and although not all of them are successful this is still a very good show. The two shows that I liked the most is the wonderful exhibit of Milton Avery that the painter McWillie Chambers put together for Fischbach Gallery and the really beautiful show of Jonathan Lasker at Cheim & Read. These are "early works" from 1977-1985 and there is not a weak work in the entire exhibition. So there you have it.


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