Saturday, March 26, 2005

Hipster's Paradise

I spent the last two days soaking in the ambiance of NYC in preparation for returning to the isolated oasis that is Hanover. Particularly of note was a wander through the galleries of Chelsea. The exhibitions were the usual mix of provocative art that sacrifices aesthetic appeal in order to make a point, and contemporary realist paintings that didn't pack the political punch but were easy and fun to look at.

Of particular note in the former category were Damien Hirst's new show at the Gagosian Gallery, a series of painting with a medical team, and a show of work by younger artists at the DCKT Contemporary Gallery, entitled "Not Too Loose and Not Too Tight", inspired by the commercialism of our culture as embodied by the Olsen Twins. Hirst's show was certainly not as controversial as his work in the "Sensation" exhibit, but his depictions of hospital rooms, surgical procedures, and brightly colored pills were disturbing nonetheless. As for the DCKT show, while some of the works were beautiful in their own right, the conceit of organizing an art exhibit around the Olsen Twins struck me as a little much. The work would have been just as powerful or aesthetically appealing without the message.

In the latter category, the works of Tommy Fitzpatrick at the Cowles Gallery were beautiful in their use of the geometrical patterns of modern architecture to create appealing compositions. The show at Chiem & Read galleries of Jean-Michael Basquiat's words, In Word Only, is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the artist, while the retrospective at the Pace Wildenstein of "rule-based art," featured some great pieces.

And while we're on the subject of art, this article from CNN, "Man Smuggles Own Art into MoMA", is worth a look.


Blogger vvoi said...

hirst, although this time less ocntroversial, still managed to make quite a lot of noise.
this managing quality is something we should all be inspired by.
i've got a post on about hirst and his recent self-criticism...

10:37 AM  

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