Yet Another Art Day


Wen and I spent Saturday afternoon skulking around the galleries of Chelsea in search of the above show: Desperate, Rejected and Angry by DALEK at the Jonathan Levine Gallery.  It was a good show; here’s how the gallery describes it:

For Desperate, Rejected and Angry, DALEK formulates shapes found in the natural and mechanical world to create a continuous, abstract narrative.  Drawing on wood panel and then painting in a dramatic colour scheme, DALEK’s familiar characters form a subtle dialogue juxtaposed with darker backgrounds.  For his new works, DALEK achieves a delicate balance of form amidst a hostile, violent and bleeding world.  Each painting becomes an excerpt for an ambiguous story, unfolding notions of human survival.

If DALEK’s art looks a little urban, it’s because he was originally a graffiti artist; he’s now moved on to toys and canvasses.  In fact, he’s even got a movie coming out on May 7th; it’s called A Purge of Dissidents:

DALEK’s work was great, but we were totally blown away when we unexpectedly stumbled upon Andreas Gefeller’s first North American show at Hastead Hunt.  Entitled Supervisions, here’s how it was laid out by the gallery:

Supervisions consists of huge “ground-scapes”.  Using a digital camera rigged about two meters high, Gefeller systematically records every square meter of the surface of a special terrain: a parking lot, stadium, abandoned office, racetrack or baseball field.  This information is then combined into a mosaic-like grid, which the artist transforms into a seamless plane.

Gefeller sees uniquely.  His vision is fresh.  He imagines spaces crammed with detail, filling the rectangle with a seeming infinity of information.

The works are innovative and at the same time they reference the whole history of art and photography from sequenced panoramas by Beato or Muybridge to NASA topographical collages of the moon.

Gefeller’s “Driving Range”, 2004 seems to be a constellation of white stars on a green expanse.  “Lottery Tickets”, 2004 behaves like a J.M.W. Turner abstraction of a sunset, which you discover is a sweep of little pieces of paper scattered on a cobblestone street.

“The Racetrack”, 2004 holds the wall like a giant Renaissance trompe l’oeill mural.  Closer up it suddenly presents - without perspective - a galaxy of details from Hong Kong newspaper ads for Chinese masseuses to a discarded Evian bottle.

The very size of Gefeller photographs adds to their presence and power while making them even more ambiguous and puzzling.

If you’re interested, one of the above photos sells for $10-12.5K; they’re about 10 feet wide and 6 feet tall.  For a more compact version, maybe you should pick up one of Gefeller’s books: Supervisions or SOMA.


Saturday, April 7, 2007

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