Review

October 08, 2013, 8:00am

Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman Gallery

Drawing from a range of inspirations in his work—including elements as disparate as medieval mapmaking, Persian miniatures and underground comic books—artist Andrew Schoultz’s (NAP #79) pieces present a commentary on the history of warfare, globalization, and environmental concerns. Cleverly making connections to events across history, his work offers viewers considerable food for thought without being overly didactic. An artist based in San Francisco, Schoultz’s roots in graffiti and street art manifest in immersive installations, in which the colors and imagery in each panel spill onto the wall, floors, and benches of the gallery. – Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Andrew Schoultz: New Work, Installation view. Image courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery.

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October 07, 2013, 8:00am

Consistently Unpredictable: Josh Smith at Luhring Augustine

Don't paint Josh Smith into a corner. He's 100% likely to surprise you. Calling him “prolific” is about as obvious as saying Rene Magritte depicted a lot of men in bowler hats. In his latest exhibition at Luhring Augustine, Smith matches his tireless production and humanizing brushwork in two modern stalwarts: beach scenes and the mighty monochrome. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Josh Smith | Installation view, Luhring Augustine Chelsea. September 13 – October 19, 2013. Photos by Farzad Owrang. Images courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

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October 03, 2013, 8:00am

The Body Elastic: Erika Keck at envoy enterprises

Over the course of her young career, Erika Keck has been steadily minimizing canvas (or other traditional backing) in her paintings, composing instead with long, sticky-shiny stripes of acrylic paint, draped across stretcher bars or other structures. Keck unleashes her physical process in Limp, her latest foray at envoy enterprises on the Lower East Side.   — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Erika Keck | Connection, 2013, acrylic paint, linen, wood panel, 35 x 16 inches. Courtesy the artist and envoy enterprises, New York.

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October 02, 2013, 8:30am

Image Real Estate: Alain Biltereyst at devening projects + editions

Not all paintings that pare down form and color in an indexical manner are immediately about language – though that is often the initial read. The urge to codify work that has the aesthetics of being a signifier to an unnamed symbol is as much a grasp to make meaning from where form lacks, as it does ignore what the potential of unnamed form can represent. In his current exhibition, Notes, at devening projects + editions, Alain Biltereyst displays a series of small paintings that not only question what it means to deny language, but also how purely formal exercises hinge on the spatial, and tactile qualities of an installation, beyond the painting itself. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor 

Alain Biltereyst | Notes, installation view at devening projects + editions, September 2013

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September 26, 2013, 8:00am

Charline von Heyl at Petzel Gallery

What is most striking about the fourteen new works by the painter Charline von Heyl on view at Petzel Gallery is their gestural energy and boldness. Each large canvas—the artist is fairly consistent in the sizing of her paintings—draws from the roots of abstraction, but with elements that border on figuration. In many, the features of faces can be seen floating among her compositions, such as disembodied eyes, mouths, and cephalic outlines. The knowledge that the artist suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness, makes the detached features even more intriguing, drawing viewers into an enigmatic realm occupied by swirling shapes, patterns, and fragmentary imagery. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Charline von Heyl | Installation view, Petzel Gallery

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September 25, 2013, 8:15am

Youth in Revolt: Aaron Fowler x Michael Shultis

Two hypertalented young artists meet during their BFA programs in Philadelphia. One interprets  contemporary urban life in found wood and industrial paint with unblinking emotion (that's Aaron Fowler), while the other revels in suburban boredom and adolescent dissent with ferocious fervor (that's Michael Shultis). Sometimes they collaborate, like in their dual debut at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, and together they're practically fearless. New York, I hope you're ready. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Aaron Fowler | Self Portrait, 2013, mixed-media on panel, 20 x 16 inches. 
Michael Shultis | Selfy, 2013, mixed-media on canvas, 28 x 16 inches. Images courtesy the artists and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York.

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September 24, 2013, 8:00am

Ed Moses: Green/Bronze

At 87 years old, Southern California-based artist Ed Moses hasn’t showed any indication of slowing down. Considered by many to be one of the preeminent artists of West Coast art, his oeuvre is known for it’s unpredictably and tendency to resist categorization. His penchant for exploration and experimentation could be likened better to that of a scientist rather than an artist, and in that sense, artistic expression becomes synonymous with words like “invention” and “discovery” rather than creation. His latest exhibition Green/Bronze at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art in Santa Fe, Moses showcases his “crackle” paintings as the results of countless hours of material experimentation and in many ways, these paintings serve as maps or guides down his self-described paths of  “confusion and ambition.” –Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

Ed Moses | Y? Copper, 2013, mixed media on canvas 4 panels 72" x 45" each

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September 23, 2013, 8:00am

Unraveling Ideals: Michael Raedecker at Andrea Rosen Gallery

Ah, suburban serenity, with its cookie-cutter domiciles by day and its after-hour socials. Michael Raedecker has worked from this bland utopia for years, picking it out in thread on monochromatic canvases. In tour, his latest exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery, he assumes an actively abstract relationship, cutting and resewing embroidered canvases into flitting memories and fitful dreams. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Michael Raedecker | place, 2013, acrylic and thread on canvas, 69 x 102 3/8 inches. © Michael Raedecker, courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

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September 18, 2013, 8:00am

Doubling All the Way Down: Amanda Valdez at Prole Drift

When I see Amanda Valdez’s (NAP #99) paintings, I think of screwballs—specifically, the cherry flavored, pink cone-shaped, frozen screwballs sold from musical ice cream trucks. Despite the cough syrup-cherry flavoring, and the sad way the icy gumball at the bottom of the cone fractured in my mouth rather than gelling into chewable gum, the screwball was the only ice cream novelty I ever wanted. When I reminisce about the screwball now, I cannot avoid the latent sexuality that resonates between its name and ripe, all-over pinkness.   Brooklyn artist Amanda Valdez’s new work in Double Down at Seattle’s Prole Drift brings to mind similar matters through its sugary hues of gumballs and cake frosting that drip and coat rounded forms, evoking primal satisfactions and their inevitable crashes. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Amanda Valdez | Tide of Pleasure: Double Down, 2013, Embroidery, fabric and acrylic, 26 x 30 in. Image courtesy of the artist and Prole Drift.

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September 17, 2013, 8:00am

Don’t Blow Your Cool – Rebecca Morris, Party Cut at Corbett vs. Dempsey

Not very often does an abstract painting exhibition keep a level head – but the casual, unruffled discretion of Party Cut, a collection of new work by Rebecca Morris currently on view at Corbett vs. Dempsey, is refreshing in more ways than one. The quick, and perhaps even preparatory nature of the paintings holds a certain degree of immediacy –however, all too often, a discussion surrounding paintings like these is fixated on the idea of a formal language. Acutely focused on gesture, the use of line, the myriad of descriptives used for compositional devices, and other criteria that certainly applies to this work – strictly formal terms like these kill conversation if not applied correctly (let’s pretend that there is such a thing); which is to say, if they explain the medium, but miss the affect. Morris’ paintings avoid this pit fall. The repetitive forms and all-over fields of high-keyed color are charmingly typical of midcentury patterns and decoration; yet remain distanced from an ornamental context, at once attractive and idiosyncratic. And while I was admittedly surprised by the dry, stained surfaces of the works on canvas with their more moderate and measured treatment, and less brazen tactile qualities, it would be partial to say that those material qualities were the only ones driving away the initial Pop impression of the work. - Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

Left: Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#06-13), 2013, oil on canvas, 87 x 80”. Right: Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#09-13), 2013, oil and spray paint on canvas, 67 x 65”. Courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey.

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