Sunday, April 11, 2021

4 art gallery shows to watch now

Through April 3. Anton Kern Gallery, 16 East 55th Street, Manhattan, 212-367-9663,

The painter David Baer was born in Springfield, Ill., 1926. When he was quite young, his father, who had a mental illness, left the family. When David was 12 years old, his mother, unable to cope, sent six of her children to homes.

The affected bird, which died in 2013, will never be known. But a trace of this trauma seems imminent in the tender pictures and colored pencil drawings he made of life in the psychiatry ward of a Veterans Affairs hospital in Montreux, NY.

Bird worked there as an orderly for three decades, joining the Merchant Marine at the age of 17; Served in the US Army during World War II; In New York, he studied art with Cubist Amazon Ogenfant for two years and struggled to find a job that would allow him time to paint.

The hospital provided it, and also the subject. During the quiet time on the ward, Bird made small sketches that formed the basis of colored pencil drawings and drawings. His surfaces are distinctly textured and thin: shining through white paper or canvas, for unrelated effects. Although Berth also portrayed life in Montrose, the hospital ward remained his primary focus, serving as a never-ending figure-drawing class, where unexpected patients grapple with the stripped-down geometry of institutional architecture Did the opposite.

This seems to be the case with the show’s biggest canvas “hospital hallway” (1992). Here a long hallway intersection with others produces pale yellow light and a slow-walled recession of pink walls in which four patients can be seen; Beside, a doctor stepped into an elevator, cast in a blue light.

Breed worked on a scrapbook of drawing for many years, also conducting esoteric observations. Last year, the Anton Cairn Gallery, with the property of the artist, published a stunning aspect of it, “Montreux VA, 1958–1988.” The current gallery exhibition, which bears the same name, shows Byrd systematically working from his ghostly images and scrapbooks to several pages.

Roberta Smith

Through April 3. Alexander Gray Associates, 510 West 26th Street, Manhattan, (212) 399-2636,

When artist Hugh Steers out of Yale was doing realistic semiotic painting in the mid-1980s, that style, so hot right now, was out of fashion. His early photographs of gay-themed figurative fiction felt like art in search of an era.

In 1987, Steers tested HIV positive. His later style of work – a tune by Edward Hopper Mizaz and Pierre Bonnard Color – stayed the same as the narrative form, but the material clearly focused on this beautiful show of pictures, “State of Being” . ” “Later in his career. (Steers died of complications from AIDS in 32 of 1995.)

In many, the setting is a disease, and in some the figurative mode still dominates. In the early 1988 “Crow”, a half-clothed man touches the other man’s forehead as a black bird feeling for signs of fever like a trumpet angel. In a later painting, “Hospital Bed” (1993), the story is more straightforward. A figure is in a bed which is different from another shape. It is a classic Mary-and-Jesus “pieta”, except that both figures are male, both naked, and the prone man is breathing oxygen through a tube.

He lived an immediate emotional life when he first appeared during the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s, and does it again during the epidemic today. And that weight is differently powerful now. Steers said in an interview in 1994, “I would like to act or someone can take care of me. But the coronovirus has comforted in the end The intimacy that she represents is almost impossible.

Holland Cotter

Through April 17. Green Naftali, 508 West 26th Street, Manhattan; 212-463-7770,

Already stands Corey Arcagel“/ Ro sdeɪoʊ / Let Play: HOLLYWOOD” (2017-21) on Green Naftali, I found myself wondering “why?” The work debuts, in Artist words“Deep-Q machine learning super computing system that can play, and learn as it plays, the finished RPG game” – in other words, a highly intelligent computer with more ambiguous objectives than winning a video game Can navigate.

For his show “Century 21“Archagel, a multimedia artist with conceptual throughline technique, trained it on the video game” Kim Kardashian: Hollywood “, in which players try to become famous. On a big screen, I saw a character play Fox Fox Hawk and Seen with Gotay, who hung in Los Angeles airport, while colored boxes and lines of emoji codes flickered around him. It was boring, not vice versa. To see Warhol’s eight-hour film of the Empire State Building. / ro / deʊˈoʊ / The command center – monitor, processor and wiring – was arranged on a nearby pedestal.

Why build such a sophisticated system, only to run it through such a void game? This question goes to the heart of the art of archaelge. For his iconic entry at the 2004 Whitney Biennial, he stripped “Super Mario Bros.” of every element except The clouds. With Archgail, “Why?” “Why don’t we?” To give an indication of how we relate to digital media and contemporary culture. At his best, he gives us a fresh perspective on his habits of consumption.

He does not always correct it. Video installation “Aleusah, equinor, equinox, atrad_finential”(2020) shows a bot liking every post by these Twitter accounts, which is no less practical than the ban. Arcangel is fast when he’s funny, as in “We check by queen”(2020), featuring two bots playing chess through comments on corporate Instagram accounts. There is a quiet absence of interference that makes it feel disruptive and like a satisfying joke.

Jillian Steinhair

Through April 10 Gallerie Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones Street, Manhattan. 212-931-0711,

Lucas Blalock’s new show, “Florida, 1989, “Is named for two events that marked his childhood. When he was 10 years old, his right thumb was turned into an accident at Disney World; And shortly after, in an experimental procedure, doctors replaced it with his big toe.

This date is not the least. In his early 40s, Block is a photographer of his generation – not entirely immersed in the imaginary possibilities of digital image manipulation, but not so concerned, either, what can those digital imaginations say? Is the medium. For him, Photoshop is just one of the more available tools used in large, beautiful and often confusing constructions. In “Haunted Stove (Witchcraft Advertising)” (2017-20), close to a stone chimney in a settlement hotel, he changes the color of the grout and adds to its shadow an additional, floating stone; For “Blap” (2020), he affixed a lifelong plastic tongue to the mouth of a toy tiger, but to no avail at all.

The dislocated and rebuffed tongue is not the only visual fusion of the artist’s own missing issue. Fingers-shaped wooden cloth pieces with finger-shaped black lines appear, and, in the show’s standout image, “Reverse Titanic / Hell Is in the Air” (2019), two different plastic fish The heads are locked in a curious embrace. But the real resemblance between Blalck’s formal injury and his work is in the overall tone: like a horrific accident, or an eccentric trauma, his images are almost too weird and vivid. They should simply be taken as facts.

Will be heavy

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