I was just down in NYC for Frieze week. This is a shot of one of the loo doors in the gents. What could possibly be better?
For me most of the highlights were in Chelsea this trip, starting with Mika Rottenberg at Andrea Rosen. This whole show was of a piece, and worked brilliantly when broken down into individual components as well. I saw the a/c-frying pan combo pictured below at last years Miami Basel, and remember really liking it, but it was hugely improved by a wider context of works.
A painter new to me, Sanya Kantarovsky at Casey Kaplan is the first young painter I’ve seen in memory, perhaps ever, that is doing really exciting things with the surface of his works. He builds up layers, textures and rhythms in a really bold, witty and charming way. I can’t recommend this show enough.
In the old master camp and uptown at MOMA, the Polke show was a revelation. The man did everything. He’s one of those rare artists that you can say that his minor threads open up areas that most artists spend a career mining.
Because he was so restless and didn’t long stick to any one approach he was able to explore a huge variety of subjects, imagery and mediums without ever descending into gimmickry. This image for example, was painted on bubble wrap, and it looked amazing.
Also at MOMA was Jasper Johns latest series, which iterates dozens of variations of a single motif based on a Deakin photo of Lucian Freud as reference material.
This generation of artist is so exciting to me, they were so much less burdened with questions of authenticity and validation regarding the making of images. Everyone in my generation goes into their studios after grad school having just “defended their thesis”, it’s so paranoic and apologetic compared to these pirates!
With Johns there is faith that the process is so overwhelmingly full with potential that you could just go on forever exploring and it would remain fertile ground. It’s a position I feel profoundly envious of. Here’s an example of an ink on plastic drawing that developed in the later stages of his process.
Also! Last chance to go see Margaux Williamson’s excellent and very long-awaited return to painting at Mulherin+Pollard. Hopefully she’ll make a habit of showing her work again!