Meg Cranston at Fitzroy Gallery
I walked into Fitzroy Gallery at 195 Chrystie Street and immediately liked the works of Meg Cranston. Most were quite large (around 72 by 56 inches) works of oil, acrylic and silkscreen, but the one above (collage and gouache on paper) was only 14 by 11 inches.
I loved the collage element of the works, the colors, the mix of abstract images and images found in popular culture. I found the works both stimulating and mysterious. Cranston is a Los Angeles artist and is acting chair of the Fine Arts Department at Otis College, where she has been on the faculty for over 20 years. She works in many media–often sculpture, video, and performance. The exhibit is on through June 15th.
Meyer Vaisman at Eleven Rivington
I also enjoyed the Meyer Vaisman exhibit which is in both of Eleven Rivington’s gallery spaces: 11 Rivington Street and at 195 Chrystie Street. These works are abstract images on plywood that have been created with an inkjet printer. Though they have been created without the artist’s hand, they are playful and give the illusion of “action”. Most of the works were signed twice–so the owner must decide which is the top and which is the bottom when hanging the works.
Vaisman is the same age as Meg Cranston (both were born in 1960). Vaisman was born in Venezuela, went to art school and worked for some time in New York, but has been based in Barcelona for 14 years. This is his first solo show in New York since 2000. The show is up until July 3rd, 2014.
Philip Pearlstein at Betty Cuningham Gallery
I was surprised to find the Betty Cuningham Gallery at 15 Rivington Street, the former home of Dodge Gallery. Turns out Dodge closed after 4 years in the space. Betty Cuningham originally opened in Soho in 1972 and spent 10 years in Chelsea. Chased out of Chelsea by high rents, she has moved the gallery and the final exhibit of the Chelsea space has become the inaugural exhibit on Rivington Street. Chelsea has become home to super galleries with exhibits of major artists that rival museum shows in quality and curatorial ingenuity. For the last few years, the lower east side was where you went to see emerging artists with unfamiliar names. Though a couple of established galleries have opened spaces in the Lower East Side area (e.g. Lehmann Maupin opened an auxiliary space on Chrystie, while keeping their Chelsea space and Sperone Westwater built a remarkable building on the Bowery), to me, the arrival of Betty Cuningham who represents well-established artists like 90-year old Philip Pearlstein truly indicates a change in the face of the art scene both in Chelsea and the Lower East Side.
By the way, I’m not a Pearlstein fan, but that’s me. The Philip Pearlstein exhibit is on display at the new space through July 25, 2014.