Organized by Olivier Berggruen at Dickinson New York gallery, "Playing with Form: Concrete Art from Brazil" focuses on the shift from the Concretism to Neoconcretism—two movements popular in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in from the early 1950s through the '60s. Berggruen, a former Sotheby's specialist and associate curator at Schirn Kunstalle Frankfurt, begins the survey with a group of Brazilian artists who, inspired by European modernism, shied away from popular, distinctly Latin styles in favor of one rooted in geometric abstraction.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty's work cobbles together fabricated environments that invoke an intersection of theater, comedy and magic. It's here that the artist "plans" her accidents. Since 2009, the centerpiece of Greenberger Rafferty's work has been her "Tears" series, photographs blurred or stained by liquid to near-abstraction. These images begin with a Google search or a video still, which the artist prints and manipulates with water, before scanning and printing yet again, experimenting with various techniques.
Sometimes, an event on the Bowery has the capacity to attract an art historian of the reputation of Hal Foster, allegedly dragged in by Guggenheim Museum director Richard Armstrong, scenesters Glenn O'Brien and Leo Fitzpatrick—and a slew of bums. Such was the case this week, as BMW and the Guggenheim launched the first cycle of their Lab, a freewheeling, multi-platform urban study program, in a vacant lot on Houston just off Second Ave.
The Lab, which will soon embark on a six-year, nine-city tour, has lofty aspirations to "address issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse," according to press materials. Clearly, it is impossible to judge the project's success at this juncture, but given the title of this cycle, "Confronting Comfort," the gentrified Lower East Side seemed like a suitable place to start.
"Verschränkung and the Uncertainty Principle," Damian Loeb's second solo show with Acquavella Galleries in New York, features a selection of paintings of the artist's wife, Zoya, a former model, in various states of undress in the confines of private, interior spaces permeated only by natural light and the artist's vision. "Verschränkung," most often translated from German as "entanglement," represents a state in which two entities are so inextricably intertwined that they become perpetually aware of one another. Loeb evokes this term to as a means to investigate his own intimate relationship.
In eight square oil paintings of various sizes, Loeb elaborates on a career-long fascination with the glossy world of other people's images. In the past, this has consisted of painted representations of digitally manipulated and collaged stills from canonical films like Lolita, The Graduate and The Color of Money, and provocative photography culled from various print advertisements and other popular media sources. These most recent photorealistic impressions reveal a radically new endeavor for the artist. They are generated from over 200,000 digital photographs taken by Loeb, allowing him to turn what he calls "virtually re-imagined memories" into formal compositions.
Dave Hickey recently wrote, "I would like a small clause written into my social contract that excused me from attending events at which Irving Blum is not in attendance. The pleasure of his company, the generosity of his eye, and the infectiousness of his enthusiasm are legendary, of course, but there is also the intoxicating pleasure of just floating on the laughter and flux of Irvingosity." Blum's infectious enthusiasm and taste-making eye have made the last surviving principal of the pioneering Ferus Gallery on lower La Cienega Boulevard indispensable, five decades after the opening of his first gallery.
Blum cleared the path for pop out West by breaking Ruscha, and famously debuting Warhol's Soup Cans in 1962. Then he took the East Coast during the late 1970s, opening Blum-Helman Gallery in New York. Splitting his time between New York and his home in Bel Air, Blum has remained a vital consigliere to galleries like Gagosian and Blum & Poe, museum directors including Michael Govan at LACMA and Jeffrey Deitch at LA MOCA, and most importantly, the artists.
2012, aluminum, wood, sublimation print on polyester and concrete, 71 3/4 by 122 1/2 by 135 inches overall. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New Yor