Eileen Gray – Bard Graduate Center
It’s easy to get swept up in the drama of an artist’s story but the real point of any creative person’s life is the way they composed and made their pieces. In the newly revised virtual exhibit, Eileen Gray, the work is given center stage, following the architectural and design pioneer’s career path from 1910 until the mid-1950s. Divided into five sections and using rare archival materials, this stunning exhibit outlines the process, commissions, and clients behind Gray’s textile, furniture, and interior design works and motifs as well as her buildings, with a special emphasis on her first house, the iconic E 1027. The elegant, timeless beauty of the furnishings on display are due to the combination of modern materials and her innate understanding of ergonomics. The tables are especially well done: each has a balanced form, with or without shelving or drawers. Looking at them makes you realize just how difficult it is to make a design stand the test of time but also produces a feeling of awe that Gray achieved that milestone so many times and in so many ways.
Betty Parsons: Heated Sky – Alexander Gray Associates
It used to be relatively simple to chose which Betty Parsons to put in the history books: although she had been an artist most of her adult life, it’s her reputation as a postwar gallerist in New York that has gained the most attention. Representing a who’s who of Abstract Expressionists working in America (José Bernal, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Kenzo Okada, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and more), it’s safe to say she was a central influence in shaping the look and theory of the movement. In return, the style had a major impact on her own art, providing a method to explore emotion through a non-figurative technique. In Betty Parsons: Heated Sky, works on paper and paintings show an artist working to balance the demands of shape and light while staying focused on abstract concepts, but what really impresses is her finely tuned sense of color contrasts and harmonies, invoking mood and feeling. The virtual gallery space (registration required) includes pieces from a show held this spring, installation views, and an informative short video narrated by Rachel Vorsanger, Collection and Research Manager, Betty Parsons and William P. Rayner Foundation.
The Photographs of the Farm Security Administration 1935-1946 – Howard Greenberg Gallery
Before March 2020, it was possible to look at these photographs as a historical record of the USA, be impressed at the various programs of the federal government to get people back to work, and change lives for the better. In April 2020, many people fear that our own times will be worse than the 1930s, and wonder how government will cope with a nationwide collapse of economic activity. It’s this new mindset that sharpens the empathy of anyone viewing these photographs, creating an immediate, powerful reaction to the suffering and dogged determination of the subjects. The exhibit is available for viewing April 9-30, 2020, details are here.
Abstract Romare Bearden – DC Moore Gallery
This unusual show focuses on the pivotal moment when Bearden began creating abstract works, using methods of paint stain and collage to explore what could be done. Through conversations on the topic with friends and associates, he developed a style that embraced the emotional side of abstraction with rich and variegated color tonality, so that, as he put it: “underneath the seeming simplicity was a great, long tradition, and a very complex one, in which so much had been taken away to find the essence of the landscape.” In addition to the excellent background material on the pieces, there is also a hour-long video, Abstract Romare Bearden in Conversation with Tracy Fitzpatrick, Director, Neuberger Museum of Art and Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director, The Romare Bearden Foundation, that’s worth a look.
Platform: New York – David Zwirner
In Platform: New York, the gallery is virtually hosting 12 smaller galleries in the NYC area from now until May 1, providing exposure and selling opportunities on an international scale. Works are more conceptual and sculptural which translates well to the visual requirements of internet viewing, allowing for a more ‘real’ sense of the pieces. A list of artists and their galleries is below:
- Josh Kline – 47 Canal
- Brandon Ndife – Bureau
- Troy Michie – Company
- Lisa Alvarado – Bridget Donahue
- Park McArthur – Essex Street
- Keegan Monaghan – James Fuentes
- Elaine Cameron-Weir – JJT
- Kyle Thurman – David Lewis
- Nathaniel Robinson – Magenta Plains
- Megan Marrin – Queer Thoughts
- Sven Sachsalber – Ramiken
- Zsófia Keresztes – Elijah Wheat Showroom