RETRO Exhibition Hopping: 547 W27 St, New York, NY

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!:

FIRST WEEK’S POST!!! FIRST WEEK’S POST!!! FIRST WEEK’S POST about my first week gallery hopping that I never wrote!

It’s now the fifth week in my new life of weekly exhibition hopping and like one half of a couple on The Devotion Project stated about her relationship, “The desire to do it is so much greater than the challenge of doing it”, so I’m not struggling to get up and go anymore. I worry with most things to state so definite and straight how I feel because I’m weary that that will change in the future but today looking back on my journey to now, knowing that I’ll be going to a gallery either later today or definitely tomorrow, and that this is something that’s just a part of my schedule every week, no hemming and hawing, it isn’t a struggle to get up and go. It’s just, just go.

That first week, I knew that I wanted to go to a gallery whose work related to mine. So, I didn’t really search for those that just interested me on a superficial level. If I did I’d probably go to an installation, more socially political works or a highly publicized exhibition that was featured in the papers. All this would only stroke my entertainment feels, as opposed to learning where my art could fit. But, I admit, I did look for a little bit of both when I searched for galleries and it’s how I found Patrick Webb’s Love’s Progress Exhibition at the Painting Center. First, I like viewing queer art and art by queer artists (I think in a later post I’ll write about the amazing Paul Thek exhibition I went to in the summer) especially if it’s work on sexuality or social issues and second, a gallery titled The Painting Center stood a likely chance that they’d enjoy my work.

Since leaving School of Visual Arts a couple years ago, I very sporadically make my way around Chelsea. And because I used to go through Chelsea a lot, I’ve gotten so tired of the area. Now, I’m mostly there on trips to the Utrecht art store so I was pretty bummed the gallery was there when I found the address, but, it looks like I’m gonna be walking there a lot because it’s galleries on galleries on every street. And per building there are multiple galleries! Which I think from past experience I knew but never really retained. So, you can spend hours in just one building and never get to the rest. It’s overwhelming and exciting.

What you have to know about this trip was that it was a great trip but not because of the Patrick Webb exhibition. Not at all. It was because of a mistake. I’m sure you’ll relate because this situation happens a lot to people who think they’re paying attention but aren’t.

I had both the address and the floor down for the exhibition. Got on the elevator, pressed the floor, doors opened, some people came in and I walked out. I looked around, couldn’t immediately find it but the gallery right in front of the elevator had work that looked intriguing.

My first stop: Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin’s CONCEPTS at the Flomenhaft Gallery

Cameo by yours truly.
Cameo by yours truly.

I walked in and work after work was fascinating because of the way this team used materials and portray concepts. I thought it was creative, clever and very haunting especially in the photographs of Rimma Gerlovina like the one above that played with black and form and show off her hair.

Rimma Gerlovina  Valeriy Gerlovin Jardley Jean-Louis

Rimma Gerlovina  Valeriy Gerlovin Jardley Jean-Louis 4

Rimma Gerlovina  Valeriy Gerlovin Jardley Jean-Louis 2

I more so have pictures of their photographs but as you can see above they’ve also created 3D work. Turns out you can’t actually touch those blocks above to see what they say but there are words written all around them. Other 3D work incorporated metal which you can see in some of my pictures in the photographs reflection.

I loved looking at their work. But, being in this gallery brought back some reasons why I held back from going to galleries again and that’s because sometimes there’s a cold at times snooty vibe coming from the people who work there where their smiles are tight and they’re being nice but it doesn’t feel genuine and I’m conflicted because I like asking questions and taking in the work and have the urge to keep walking around to see more of it but I also want to get the hell out of there because I’m feeling very awkward and uncomfortable. Have you guys felt that way? I don’t believe I’m the only one who has but I also don’t know to what extent others relate.

I’m going to keep this talk about the next exhibition I went to on this same floor very short because unfortunately I don’t know the name of the artist nor the gallery. I took the promotional materials but lost them and then I copiously checked online for the name but couldn’t find anything. It’s really unfortunate because I really enjoyed her work so if anyone knows the gallery or whose work this is lemme know and I’ll edit.

Chelsea Gallery 547 W27 Jardley Jean-Louis 3

Chelsea Gallery 547 W27 Jardley Jean-Louis 2

Edited to Add, October 19, 2013: I found the promo materials! The artist is Heejung Cho and this series is called “Urban Facade” with Gallery Ho!

Heejung Cho Jardley Jean-Louis

Heejung Cho Jardley Jean-Louis (2)

The artist like Drew Hamilton, seemed to be greatly impacted by what she saw and in this case it appears to be apartment buildings. The work is done with wood and other materials and because of both the style of her work and the level of commitment, I was very drawn in. I think that she’s turned what could’ve been just a boring row of buildings into something attention grabbing both because of the material and the perspective she uses.

Some of you have already realized but after leaving this gallery I found out I got off at the wrong floor! I found out when I asked another gallery where was the Painting Center and they told me it was levels up! But, once I made my way to the Painting Center I was pretty underwhelmed by the pieces. To me they looked better in photographs and their lack of detail that I hadn’t pick up on in the photos was disappointing. I also just don’t enjoy fuzzy paintings which I’m noticing is a pattern in oil paintings. Below are the ones I did like and one for a sense of the gallery:

Patrick Webb Lamenting Punch By His Bed Jardley Jean-Louis 2

Patrick Webb's Love's Progress

Patrick Webb Love's Progress

I really enjoy the first one the most because of the significance and history of it. It’s not only because it shows how AIDS is very much a dark mark on our LGBT history having killed many in droves during the 80s and early 90s, but it is painted within the time of the AIDS crisis causing me to get a glimpse into how it affected the artist and his life. But beyond the social issues, what I take away from Webb’s work that I enjoy is his color palette and his choices in positioning the people in his paintings. Both feel very intentional and really creates a narrative.

But, after seeing both his and the work of another painter who was jointly exhibiting, I’m not sure if my work would fit here. I’d have to see more exhibitions.

After walking around a bit, I was making my way home when I saw a gallery not too far from 547. From the outside looking in I thought I was looking at photographs, but once inside I was shocked to find they were actually photo realistic oil paintings.

Taner Ceylan Birth of Hope Jardley Jean-Louis

Taner Ceylan 1553 Jardley Jean-Louis 3

Taner Ceylan Cage of Flesh Jardley Jean-Louis 2

I encourage you to see these and more of Taner Ceylan’s paintings at the Paul Kasmin Gallery as photos don’t do it justice as to how real they look up close. The show “The Lost Paintings Series” will be up until October 26 so you still have time and they are very large so you lose yourself in them trying to find out how he did it.

And based on the settings and themes in Ceylan’s work plus the gallery’s other outside installation titled “Sheep Station”, I think my work might fit here but I’ve got to do return visits to other exhibitions.

My first exhibition hop was such a great experience and I kept thinking it funny how that happened from all that I wasn’t expecting to see than the one on my go to list. And there are some artists I will happily view their show again.

Happy Friday.

Come back for my latest Exhibition Hop post this Sunday. Edited to Add: Unfortunately you guys, I have a lot I need to finish up so please expect this week’s gallery hopping post early this coming week.