Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Slim Pickings

It was slim pickings in the galleries of Chelsea today, many were closed because they were putting up new shows, but I did see two exhibits that I liked. Surprisingly both are political in theme and images

Nancy Spero From Victimage to Liberation. Works From the 1980's & 1990's. Galerie Lelong. These are large print like works with collage like elements that express moral outrage in general and the treatment of women around world specifically. They're mostly large and scroll like with beautiful representations of stylized figures of women, some are abstract and show movement and some also have text. These are strong works, angry yet very seductive they draw you in, and their messages are powerful yet the works themselves are quite simply very beautiful.

the other show I liked was Hugo Gellert: Free Radical. Mary Ryan Gallery. At first the exhibit confused me, I thought that the artist was contemporary and his paintings were attractive but too influenced by other artists of the moderne style. And then there were all these great political posters which also confused me, was the artist using these as a decorative element to support his paintings, was this another wise ass installation by some recent art school graduate? Finally with the help of a press release that the receptionist printed out for me I realized that all of the work was done by Hugo Gellert who was born in 1892 and died in 1985. Gellert was was a graphic artist and radical who did strong political works especially posters, The five beautiful paintings small in size haven't been seen in 80 years and are complimented by a knock out portfolio of 19 silkscreens that illustrated a speech by Henry Wallace and was published by the International Workers Orders and they are stunning. His posters are also terrific.


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