Over the course of the semester, we visited many different galleries and locations. I found that my favorite galleries are located in the Lower East Side. There is a much different energy in these galleries than those in Chelsea, for example.
We visited Rachel Uffner gallery where Joanne Greenbaum had her show, I’m Doing My Face in Magic Marker. It was really fascinating to see how Joanne’s work adapted from her studio to the gallery. The glass works were a lot different on display in the space. For me personally, I believe that it my have been beneficial to include a few less in the show. It seemed a little cluttered. However, I really did appreciate the paintings and I think that the way that Joanne layered the smaller canvases on top of the larger canvases translated well in the gallery. I think the colors and textures of the paint worked well in the space and seeing all the works hanging next to each other made me understand Joanne’s vision on a greater scope.
We went to The New Museum in the afternoon where we saw Hans Haacke’s exhibition, All Connected. Haacke’s retrospective showed his skill in kinetic art, environmental art, conceptual art, and institutional critique, as referenced in the New Museum. His work was politically, economically and socially charged. I found it difficult to understand a lot of his works, even after reading the wall text. This show seemed like one I would spend all day in, there was so much to take in.
Later in the day I went back to some of the galleries we had visited on our first trip to the Lower East Side. I went to The Hole where there were three shows featuring artists Adam Parker Smith, Tara Subkoff, and Aurel Schmidt. These exhibitions were quite different than the Meet Me in the Bathroom installation that had been here in September. Still, the energy of the gallery seemed to be grungy, experimental, and slightly niche.
Adam Parker Smith’s Let’s Celebrate featured several sculptures that are made of “cast resin and car painted balloons.” The works seemed humorous and bright. They made me think of childhood and seemed playful. However, they were juxtaposed with industrial and harsh materials like cinderblocks and nails. As a result, his work examines the absurd side of optimism and the themes of “confinement, suffocation, pressure or death.” They do so in a humorous way, that seems accessible to the viewer.
Tara Subkoff presented a mixed media exhibition that consisted of a rotating bed, film, sculptures, and a mirror installation. According to the Press Release, the exhibition aims to examine “pain, beauty, desolation, and fear whilst questioning the branded identities of Eve & Adam.” This exhibition felt very trippy and hypnotic. I was not sure how to walk and interact within the space, yet it still felt very tangible. The work comments on femininity and how we process issues in our society.
Finally, Aurel Schmidt’s small exhibition featured small drawings from her “doll series.” This series combines various materials, as well as layered drawing. It was stated that she includes found elements and personal mementos such as “hair, blood, and other bodily fluids from herself, friends, exes, and crushes.” These drawings aim to comment on the artist’s life on New York City. They also comment on the physical and the imagined, and the vulnerability and morality that comes with sharing. The works are intimate, yet referential. They can serve as a sort of memento mori. They are humorous, yet feature items that approach on more serious issues.