Wednesday, March 31, 2010


As people celebrate Passover, Holy Week and Spring Break, the art galleries in Chelsea and around town are welcoming April with a wide variety of new shows. Those "Gallery Closed For Installation" signs  - don't they always make you want to peek around and see how it comes together? Well, Mark did...

@ The Viewing Room  - Photo by Mark Wiener

James Kennedy (above) was caught in the act of perfectly placing  a work by Bonnie Rychlak, whose solo show opens Thursday with a reception from 6-8 at The Viewing Room (Chelsea's annex of East Hampton's Surface Library) on the 4th Floor of 551 West 21st Street.

@ 571 Projects - photo by Mark Wiener

On the second floor, Sophie Bréchu-West only appeared to be working alone at 571 Projects

Maggie advises Sophie - photo by Mark Wiener

She had help deciding on the perfect array for of Liz Engelhardt’s "Silentscapes" -  from her sister Maggie -  via Skype. You can see what they came up with at the opening reception, Thursday from 6-9.

While we have not been given a sneak peak of Tim Linn's exhibition of sculpture and works on paper "Of Necessity" at Heskin Contemporary 443 West 37th St., given what we have seen of his "painterly architecture" and this vibrant gallery, we would be April Fools not to get to get a first look during the reception, Thursday from 6-9.

by Tim Linn courtesy Heskin Contemporary

Keyes Art Projects presents the debut show in their new space  - at 551 West 21st Street on 4 -  a solo from photographer Wyatt Neumann - toast them at the reception from 6-8.

by Wyatt Neumann courtesy Keyes Art Projects

While at 551 West 21st, you can also visit us in Studio #210...

Photo by Mark Wiener stop by for a peek and some "peeps."

Monday, March 29, 2010

"There's no such thing... a free lunch." 

Postcard featuring portrait of Molly Barnes by Dennis Dutzi

Usually true, but this week art-savvy New Yorkers can bag one, along with an hour of entertainment and enlightenment as curator, dealer, author and media personality Molly Barnes returns for a spring edition of her "Brown Bag Lunch Talks" at Midtown's art hotel, the Roger Smith, on April 1st & 2nd.

Sideshow Gallery

Williamsburg's own "drag racer become art impresario" Richard Timperio visits Molly Thursday with tales of the many artists  - some famous, all fascinating - who have been part of the ongoing saga of his groundbreaking and inimitable Bedford Avenue gallery, Sideshow.

fat men and little boys (c) R.C. Baker

On Friday, artist R.C. Baker, who has written about art, politics and popular culture in publications such as the Village Voice and NY Times,  joins Molly to discuss the convergence of poetry, collage, and painting in past and current artist/writer collaborations, as well as his new book, "The Terminal Century."

Presentations begin at 12 Noon, arrive a bit early to settle in and enjoy some coffee, soda and your home-style lunch - sandwich, apple and a cookie. The Roger Smith is at 501 Lexington on the corner of 47th Street - the talks are on the 16th Floor. If you see me there I will trade my cookie for your apple! 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Celebrating us...

"My work is about self acceptance, that our bodies, minds and souls are to be honoured."
- Carolyn Weltman

"O Resting in Blue Shoes" (c) Carolyn Weltman

Artist Carolyn Weltman creates sensitive works of fine art that celebrate the bodies of women and men and their pleasure in sex, sensuality and sometimes, shoes. Equally rich in compassion and passion, she has reached out to help others who are sexually abused and exploited.

Wild (c) Carolyn Weltman

This Thursday April 1st, her two pieces shown above will be for sale in a print edition at a fundraising event. "My heart wanted to go to Haiti to help," she told me,  "I also understood that if i went, I'd be a nuisance and in the way, so this is one way i can help.  Any abuse of any human beings, be they male or female, really hurts me."

Presented by The Edge at Broadway's Jerry Orbach Theatre, the gala features a cast of 12 women in a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" under the direction of Jessica Brondo, beginning at 7 with cocktails, followed by the play, an auction and after-party.

Proceeds benefit Shelterbox, V-Day City of Joy and NOMI Network. Tickets can be purchased at (search for Vagina Monologues) for more info visit Resolve40, where this is our banner event. Questions? Feel free to call 646.415.8816 or e-mail

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Have you seen me?

Portrait of Anthony Haden-Guest (c) Colette

The opening was packed and glittering, as it should have been for the artist who admonishes us to "Fight Terror With Glamour," Colette. A mainstay of the downtown vanguard of decades past whose work and style have continued to evolve and captivate New Yorkers and others, she dazzled us with a Valentine month exhibition at Destination NY that offered a pink oasis amidst the trendy grit of the Meat Packing district.

Colette -  Installation view at Destination NY

But now this crusader in heels has a new enemy - art thieves. What should have been a celebration of the successful unveiling of her engaging and thought-provoking new series, "Metaphysical Portraits," has been marred by the disappearance  of six of these paintings of friends and the famous, in transit from the gallery to the studio.

Portrait of Rufus Wainwright (c) Colette

Last seen on March 10th on Little West 12th Street, the missing portraits - two are shown above - are 20 x 24 inches on sewn canvas - but in spite of the fact that they should be easy to identify both the NYPD and an art recovery agency have had no success. Since it is possible that they were picked up by mistake, Colette has offered a reward for their safe return. But as to theft, when the perp is tracked down, we should all put on our white satin gloves and "Throw the book at 'em!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Because it was naked...

This is personal.  Explicit...

Mark Wiener, with whom I live and work, has created a new virtual catalog of his intense abstract paintings and drawings, which he has titled "Explicit," - which refers to the title of his last catalog, "Naked." And while it may seem provocative taken out of context (as I did to create the teaser), it is actually a serious and sincere expression of his process, of an artist's necessary exploration of  the bare elements that comprise the complex work in order to re-energize and recombine them to explore and deepen their expression of life in his paintings.

Click the below the cover to view and read more, or download in Hi-Res here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Art of the Lens...

It's no secret that I love photography, and my eye always goes first to black and white. So it did come as a surprise when, viewing the sensational array of photos presented at the AIPAD show preview, I was taken in most by two photographers working in color.

Day After, 2006 (c) Jen Davis courtesy Lee Marks Fine Art

In Jen Davis's own words:  "I deal with my insecurities about my body image and the direct correlation between self-perception and the way one is perceived by others...My work is solely based on personal experiences that I have re-constructed into a photograph, but I believe that it speaks generally to the situation of many women in our culture."

Her works, represented by Lee Marks Fine Art  from Indiana, certainly spoke to me -  in a soft and unwavering voice with notes of both  the vulnerability of a woman and the confidence of a young artist. 

From closer to home was 57th Street's Amador Gallery, always a favorite stop on the circuit. New to me were the works  of Robert Voit - an artist from Germany who captures the essence of proportion with both wonder and wit in his images of very tall trees in their settings. Perusing his bio, I noticed that he recently studied in Düsseldorf with Prof. Thomas Ruff, whose work I have admired for years.

Mobile Home Park, Las Vegas, Nevada USA 2006 (c) Robert Voit courtesy Amador gallery

There is so much to see of art and history at this fair, it is well worth going to lost in it yourself. Find what speaks to you...@ the Park Avenue Armory through Sunday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The night side of art...

When most NYC gallerists are locking up and heading for home, Gramercy's Creon gallery will be opening its doors each evening, beginning tomorrow, at 6 PM for Chris Twomey's solo installation exhibition, "Astral Fluff."

Twomey has organized the installation in 3 discreet spaces in the gallery:  an entry hall installation composed of 15 photographs arranged on 3 walls is the first taste of the work;  the main gallery literally filled with "fluff" - cloud-like material, shimmering with light, with moving images of the subjects of the photos floating amidst the etherial substance; and finally  an outdoor projection in the gallery's garden - the need for low natural light is one reason for the novel scheduling for this exhibition.

My own delight in viewing Twomey's works has always been watching it change its spots before my eyes - while her art is usually wound around a concept - often scientific and always an edifying idea - the visual and technical strength defies classification as conceptual. Her photography is gorgeous and impeccably printed, but she does not stop there - she paints, draws, writes, varies substrates, images move - and she builds to surround us, in light, in foil, this time in fluff. If you walk in and don't notice any of this at first, forgive yourself, because it is Twomey's unique sense of humor and the moment that will pull you in and bowl you over in seamless collaboration with her inspiration and craft.
When I asked Chris, still "fluffed under" the task of putting the finishing touches on her creation, for a comment that arose in the making, she said "In this show my use of photography has an intriguing aspect, for these photographs are not well done documentations of the DVD’S in the installation, nor are they photographic pictures that are singly unto themselves.  They are icons that merge carnal with astral; symbolizing a point of connection." 


More about the show and scheduled guest performances at:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"It followed me home..."

Hard to believe Armory Week ended a week ago today, and with gratitude that the rain stayed away until this week, this grey afternoon my opportunity to recall last Sunday and my last to fair visits...

Verge took spiritual possession Midtown's Dylan Hotel, with installations in lobbys and other public areas in addition to an eclectic and engaging sampling of many facets art today in presenters' rooms. Taking the stairs to the second floor I found myself surrounded by (detail below) Marc-Anthony Polizzi's untitled multi-level installation presented by

On the fourth floor, Tokyo's Megumi Ogita Gallery had devoted the entire room to artist Mitsuru Takeya. Her unique rendition of a penguin, below, was already sold...

Neverless, I managed to acquire on of her feathered friends for our collection:

Was it synchronicity? On my final visit tour of lobby I heard what sounded like birds chirping, but found the source of the sound to be near the Artist's Meeting Art Machine, which looks a bit like a set piece from the film "2001" .

The insertion of the token (above) activates the working mechanism to dispense a piece of art of its own choosing. It gave me a vinyl envelope containing the work (below) of artist Olga Lysenko, who I was delighted meet there -  unique and energizing experience of collecting that I think will catch on and come back to NYC soon.

In Chelsea, I was fortunate to catch the last hour of a new fair, The Independent. The presentations of installation art there were remarkable, the physical environment (the late X-Initiative/Dia space) and the personality of the dealers just seemed to click. Being there was an amazing visual experience that was for some reason impossible to photograph well (I tried) , but for a taste visit Bolte Lang's website documenting their solo "non-booth" by sculptor Jill Spector, as well as UK's Kate MacGarry.

That's it for my fair coverage - I sadly could not make it to Fountain or Pulse...if you want to share your experiences at those fairs please e-mail me  -

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Social

It's fun to take pictures of people, people with people, people in places, happy people, serious people...

So this entry is devoted to events and the people I saw there.

Severine & David Manuel @ Affirmation Arts

"31 Women in Art Photography" opened Saturday, presented by Humble Arts Foundation and Affirmation Art at the latter's gorgeous and spacious gallery at 523 W. 37th. The event was so packed and dynamic I'll have to return to see most of the work, but with a wait of about half a block to get in, once inside all were happy and energized to view this provocative art and support its future...

Mark Wiener

The exhibition is on view through April 10th.

Glad I caught the closing moments of the new fair, The Independent, on Sunday - intriguing and respectful of art and quality without taking itself too seriously. (more in the upcoming wrap of the fairs) Also caught up with Claire Lieberman, whose solo show "Crystal Clear" opens Thursday at Queens College Art Center.

Claire at the Independent

Debra Drexler and Pool Art Fair's Thierry Alet @ the Gershwin

Monday evening at the Gershwin Hotel, artists from gathered to toast the success of the Pool Art Fair and the opening of "Out of Hawaii."

Jodi Endicott and her work

Debra's painting performance

Liam Davis and his work

Broadthinking Collective's Peggy Cyphers, Jane Fire & Gwen Thomas

Mark and I always say a show is blessed when a dog arrives...

Peggy's pup Venus

"Out of Hawaii" will be on view in the Hotel's lobby through April 3rd.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A map, an opening, and vintage Pool...

Photo of Emma's Installation by Mark Wiener

This installation (see Thursday's post) has landed at the NE corner of 21st Street & 11th Avenue. See it today when you visit the open studio from 11-6 - it's steps away from our entrance at 551 W. 21st Street.

The hotel-based Pool Art Fair has always held a place in my heart, and one reason is the amazing creative ways artists have found to use the bathrooms! This year was no exception, as demonstrated by Brooklyn artist Jae Hi Ahn's inspired installation, 2 views below:

(Special thanks to Chris Twomey for finding this artist for me, her own video bathroom installation at the Chelsea Hotel a couple of seasons ago is unforgettable.)

But the Gershwin is quite an old building, and what CAN you do with one of those old exposed radiators?
Above is the solution created by artist Cigdem Tankut, and in case you think this lady can't take the heat, you must know that her hat and neckwear are constructed of copper and steel scrubbing pads, and her "delicate" veil is made of repurposed window screen(sharp edges!) Her appearance, like that of the petite and charming artist who works with metal, can be deceiving - hooray for girl power!

See you later at Studio 210 - click on the little map below of all the locations to download the big one for yourself...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Countdown to Chelsea...(and a trip to Red Dot)

We are ready for our close-up, Armory Week...well, almost ready, Mark has a mural he's working on today. There are a few couples sharing a studio at 551 West 21st, and one other is participating Saturday - painters Maureen Dougherty and Jamie Dalglish will welcome you to studio 403 with works like these: 

Painting by Maureen Dougherty

Painting by Jamie Dalglish

And we'll be in 210 from 11-6...

Triptych on Paper by Mark Wiener 2009

...and while Mark paints (you'll have to come by to see the new ones) and spruces up our digs for you, I am dashing to as many fairs as I can. Follow me! The list is in the banner - click the image below and watch it "grow"...

Red Dot was a pleasure on it's opening day, full to capacity with an eclectic mix from the freshest emerging art to the blue-chip variety...

Yes, that's a Bluemner, it's a gem called "Autumn" presented at Red Dot by Art Link International - as is the vibrant small painting below.

David Davidovich Burliuk (Russian, 1882-1967)
Going to Church - circa 1947

Also great viewing the works there of our New York colleague Mark Zimmerman via Andi Campagnone Projects, the booth is truly an oasis for lovers of the subtleties of abstraction and materials.

Glad the sun is finally shining, tho I am off to get wet in the Fountain and the Pool...leaving you with my latest, still in my drawing pad.


Preview all the artists and exhibitions at 551 West 21st Street by viewing this all of week's posts! See you tomorrow...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The shows at 551 and something I have never seen...

by Jan Gilbert image courtesy 571 Projects

Galleries are vibrant members of our community at 551 West 21st Street, and they will be open Saturday as well.  571 Projects on the second floor is presenting Sur la Ligne/On the Line through March 20th.

On the third floor visit Twenty First/Twenty First for a group exhibition of limited edition objects of furniture and design.

gallery view - Twenty First/Twenty First

At 142 11th Avenue (same building, different frontage) Emma will present an installation from March 4th -7th in homage to the location's former purpose as a notorious "leather bar" beginning in the 1970's. Read more here

Last but not least, the Armory Show preview was packed with patrons devouring a first look at almost too much art in one place to be believed. While the "new" art exhibitions were on the menu for Pier 94, I actually discovered something new to me in the "modern" section of the show on Pier 92.

UNTITLED, 1929,Gouache on paper,10 x 6 1/2 inches
courtesy Alan Koppel Gallery

Chicago's Alan Koppel Gallery displayed a group of small works on paper from the early 20th Century that were the results of artist's games of "Exquisite Corpse." I had never seen anything like them and wished for more time to view the art and replay the games in my imagination.

After the Armory, I thought I had all I could ever take of the popular uber-simple style of portrait/landscape painting. Viewing the works of Jorge Pantoja at Scope, where dealer Carol Jazzar devoted her entire booth to the artist, was an engaging surprise - simple works on paper with depth and character.

All the other satellites open or preview today except one, you will have to wait 'til Friday to dive into Pool...all linked in the banner at Resolve40

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Art & People

What makes an open studio event such an interesting excursion is that there is no filter on what you are to see, no one taste or theory shaping the presentation - everything genre, size, shape , medium is on display for you to discover something to think about , talk about, or fall in love with.  So on to the art of the portrait with 2 residents of 551 West 21st and a former studio-mate and good friend who invites you to her new studio a short walk away.

The Violinist by Mercedes Nugent-Head, Studio 406

3 small works by John Wells, Studio 203A

Painting by Yu Zhang, 421 West 22nd Street (9th-10th)

Open studio hours for Yu Zhang and the artists of 551 West 21st Street are Saturday March 6th, 11-6. (Sorry to keep repeating but not everyone sees every post)

By the time this appears online I will be over my head in art and sloshing around in the slush between the Armory Show and Scope so I can tell you all about it later!