AF First Ever End of the Year 2012 Review

In the year I have written for AF then couple that with so many art openings, shows, previews, and fairs in New York City even beyond, it merits a time to reminisce on 2012 and its kaleidoscopic array of visual arts. It is filled with so much wonder and surprises. But best of all, the privilege of writing for this online blog has given me great things beyond words. Besides outlining the notable shows I have attended – I am putting forth myBEST in SHOW as a personal stamp of what I love about art. So here’s to the year that was and anticipating the year that will be in 2013.

Van Gogh -Up Close- at Philadelphia Museum of Art

January 2012

Jazz-minh Moore who survived reality TV hell by being a booted finalist from Bravo’s Work of Art Season 2 had her show “Is That All There Is” at Lyons Wier Gallery Jan. 5th. Secret surprise on Attorney Street at LES number thirty-five gallery had a group show “Subliminal Sunlight” to illuminate the dark dreary skies of winter last Jan. 7th.  January 12th had Italian artist Mauro Moriconi with his super-imposed Geishas at “My Plastic Japan”  in CATM. Trekking on the same night over to LES at frosch & portmann for Brad Nelson’s “Even Mountains Cast Shadows”.  The multi-media work of John Miller “Suburban Past Time” at Metro Pictures on January 19th then ending at Brooklyn on January 26th for “BRICOLEURS” / “Figured” exhibitions at BRIC Rotunda Gallery.

Best in show January 2012: John Miller “Suburban Past Time” at Metro Pictures 

February 2012

Video art on the toxicity of LOVE at Christopher Henry Gallery for “Anti-Oxidant: Promantic” on the first day of Feb. Bring on the BLING! at the group show that celebrated the luxe at Jim Kempner Fine Art on Feb. 9th.  “Two Heads are Better Than One” by Theo Rosenblum & Chelsea Seltzer at the hot NYC gallery space The Hole on Valentine’s Day itself. Michelle Doll’s ethereal paintings for “Shelter” at Blank Space & Jean Lowe “Live The Dream” with sculptures celebrating consumerism at McKenzie Fine Art Inc. both on Feb. 16th. On to the City of Brotherly Love at Philadelphia Museum of Art for Van Gogh “Up Close” to view rare masterpieces from private collections.  Supernova photographer artist David LaChapelle at Fred Torres Collaborations Feb. 23rd for “Earth Laughs in Flowers” showcasing his symbolically charged still life photo tableaus.

Benchmark #1: AF debuts its Q & A feature / A Four Part Series article “Elements” / First theater performance art review

Photo by William John Kennedy of Andy Warhol with Birmingham Race Riot at the Factory

Best in Show February 2012: Van Gogh “Up Close” at Philadelphia Museum of Art

March 2012 

This month proved to be a big one. Brucennial 2012 headed the month with its monstrous collection of artworks including a Warhol, Basquiat and a cadre of other notable artists. Mark Ruwedel’s “Records” of black & white photos at Yossi Milo Gallery & Alan Rath’s “Skinetics” mechanized sculptures at Bryce Wolkowitz also started the month strong. On the Bowery, Kadar Brock / Jason Gringler / Jim Lee were a triple whammy with their textured artworks at The Proposition on March 4th.  Munch Gallery presented a group show “Night” and feted the nocturnal interpretation of its artists on March 17th.  Vibha Galhotra at Jack Shainman on March 22ndpresented “Utopia of Difference” about the impending threats of globalization and time to Shoot the Lobster (at the back of Martos Gallery) for Chris Martin.  Ending the month on March 29th were the following: the surprising turn of color master Michael Bevilacqua with his chrome-tastic & black show “Ceremony” at Kravets | Wehby, Eugene Lemay’s “Navigator” at Mike Weiss Gallery with the huge inky black nightscapes, and on March 30th The Hole staged its gallery interior into a live walk-in Monet painting with E.V. Day & Kembra Pfahler “Giverny”. 

Also let’s not forget the New York Art Fair’s on the first week of March 2012 – the big Kahuna Armory Show, the well curated Volta NY, the fun-filled Fountain Art Fair, and the unique experience at Pool Art Fair.

Benchmark #2: Press Preview and first time featuring MANA Contemporary

Best in Show March 2012: Kadar Brock / Jason Gringler / Jim Lee at The Proposition 

Best NY Art Fair 2012: Volta NY

One of Eva Lake’s women at her show in frosch & portmann

April 2012

April was photo heavy: It gave me the hunger pangs at Anja Hitzenberger’s “TAKE-OUT” photo show at Underline Gallery on April 5th. I love the nightlife photos with VES PITTS “MEOW” at Christopher Henry Gallery on April 12th. The amazing photpgraphic technical prowess of Chris Wiley’s “Technical Compositions” at Nicelle Beauchene on April 14th. The MOD appeal of women in collage work by Eva Lake for “Judd Women Targets” on April 19th at frosch & portmann. More cerebral calculations of artworks “Towards a Warm Math” at On Stellar Rays last April 22nd and on the same date Louis B. James presented dual shows on Matthew Kirk “Push Came to Shove” / Kelly Jazvac “Thermoloaded”

 Special mention: Affordable Art Fair Spring Edition 2012 

Best in Show April 2012: Eva Lake “Judd Women Targets” at frosch & portmann 

No. 16 by Brian Tolle photo by Max Noy

May 2012

Starting off May 3rd with the luminous abstract “New Paintings” by Mark Innerst at DC Moore Gallery, Francois Bard “Not Guilty” extraordinary portraiture at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, and a celeb outing with the drawings of Courtney Love “And She’s Not Even That Pretty” at Fred Torres Collaborations.. Site specific art from Gereon Krebber “Contrary Data” at number thirty five gallery (now Cindy Rucker Gallery) on May 17th. Minimalist magnificence at CHURNER and CHURNER for Elise Adibi’s “Da Capo” then the amazing photographic process of Matthew Brandt at Yossi Milo Gallery for his show “Lakes, Trees and Honeybees” – both on May 24th. Two LES gems ended the month: Feature Inc. presented Bill Komoski / Todd Chilton / Alan Wiener on May 30th and followed on May 31st by a pair of great conceptual works at Rooster Gallery for Jaro 1: “Bells & Whistles” by Guy Goldstein + “Rapture’s Adagio” by Erin Dunn.

 Benchmark #3: Attended an artist panel of Warhol’s friends at Site/109 for “Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy” and marveled at lost photos of Andy Warhol / Robert Indiana unearthed after 50 years.

Patrick Jacobs artwork at VOLTA NY

Best in Show May 2012:  Matthew Brandt “Lakes, Trees and Honeybees” at Yossi Milo Gallery

June 2012

An interesting mix as the majority of coverage going to the hinterlands of the EAST – Lower East Side / Bowery but AF managed a great moment in Chelsea. First up are the landscape photos of human elements by Paolo Pellizzari at Anastasia Photo on June 6th then it was the miniature club universe by street artist turned DJ entrepreneur Monsieur André aka André Saraiva for “ANDRÉPOLIS” at the HOLE on June 7th. Back to Chelsea at Hasted Kraeutler for Awol Erizku’s new urban portraiture on June 14th. Followed by the ringing set of gay centric artworks at Strange Loop Gallery for “Anthem – A Song of Celebration” on June 21st. Inspiring works for the show “Creative Growth” at Rachel Uffner Gallery and a dual set of shows at Dodge Gallery for Size Matters / The Way of Things – both on June 28th.

Benchmark #4: Max Noy starts taking photographs for AF, which spells the end of my bad candid Dutch angle style but a new chapter begins.

 Best in Show June 2012: Anthem – A Song of Celebration at Strange Loop Gallery

Mary’s Lake MT 5 (2012) by Matthew Brandt

July 2012

The month was quiet save for some shows that were around before the lull of the art season towards the end of summer since most galleries take their summer break eventually. Tate Foley hand made prints made quite a splash for “100% Stratification or Your Money Back” at Recession Art on July 10th. The group show “Inglorious Materials” at Charles Bank Gallery on July 12th featured unusual materials remade into astounding works of art. Finally, hear the estrogen roar at “BACKLASH” at SOHO20 Chelsea Gallery for its feminist themed show on July 17th.

 Special mention for our feature on Norwood, a creative industry based members only club. It’s like Soho House but for the art set.

 Best in Show July 2012: Inglorious Materials at Charles Bank Gallery 

Mattia Biagi (artist) with his Ladder sculpture photo by Deukyun Hwang

August 2012

And we thought that August would be a ghost town in the gallery districts but not so as AF was busy as ever. The art handlers took over or rather “HiJack!” at Jack Shainman Gallery and Alex Gingrow poked fun at the art industry with her wry texts of snippets heard all over for “All the money IS in the label” at Mike Weiss Gallery – both on August 2nd.  Touch and change the way art looks for Colleen Blackard’s “Shifting Perception” show at Orchard Windows on August 13th. Be warned of the very explicit works of the group show at Freight + Volume for “The Double Dirty Dozen (& Friends)” on August 16th. Special preview of the lush and luscious luster of “Natural Lacquer Paintings” of Wenzhi Zhang at Joy Wai Gallery last August 22nd. Max Noy photographs showing NYC character in “Max and Joe (‘s) at Joe – the Art of Coffee on August 23rd.  Art & coffee is a classic combo that’s hard to beat!

Special mention: Celebrity sightings during ADAM GREEN: Houseface opening at the HOLE on August 16th. Macaulay Culkin (at the opening) and Robert Pattinson (at the after party).

Benchmark #5: Deukyun “Sunny” Hwang joins as second photographer on staff and includes video with her work / Picture Stories begin with the ADAM GREEN opening shots at the HOLE by Max Noy.

Best in Show August 2012: Alex Gingrow “All the money IS in the label” at Mike Weiss Gallery 

Artist Alex Gingrow photo by Max Noy

September 2012

The new art season begins and AF did the most coverage on the openers both in Chelsea and LES. The gritty bosom of the LES started Sept. 5th with the following: Magnolia Laurie paintings on wood panel in “what could hold us together”  at frosch & portmnann / Leah Yerpe with her impressive figurative drawings at “Infinitum” at Dacia Gallery / Jerry Schatzberg photographs of legendary Warhol girl in “Nico: New York, New York” at Rooster Gallery / Jordan Eagles showing abstract art made of cattle blood for “HEMOFIELDS” at Krause Gallery. Chelsea followed suit with their season opening Sept. 6th with the following: Joianne Bittle evolutionary take on “On My Way Gone” at CHURNER and CHURNER / Kwang Young Chun with his jaw dropping sculptures at Hasted Kraeutler / Joe Fig “Cinematic Paintings” of movie moments about artists at Cristin Tierney Gallery. The night never looked so bright and colorful at Teresita Fernández show “Night Writing” at Lehmann Maupin Gallery on September 12th. Twp artists dealt with domicile pursuits at gallery nine5 with “Caves and Nests” by Jasper White & Steve Ellis on Sept. 14th.

 Best in Show September 2012: Jordan Eagles “HEMOFIELDS” at Krause Gallery 

HF1HR-3 (2012) by Jordan Eagles

October 2012

It never slows down as more new shows abound when fall sets in. Pat Andrea “IRREALISM” at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery displayed magical realist realms of his fascination with women on Oct. 4th. More women and in noble nudes by Aaron Nagel for “Sovereign” at Lyons Wier Gallery, all about the President in Brian Tolle’s “ Commander in Chief” at CRG Gallery, and Salt Prints by Danielle Ezzo “Invisible Cities” at Galerie Protégé – all opened on October 11th. Multi-media work of William Crump at Independent Station Projects for his show “Gathering Ground” last Oct. 17th.  The legendary Chuck Close at PACE Gallery last October 19th to celebrate the trademark portraits. To bookend the month, Madeleine Gekiere with her very telling works in “A Lifetime of Sketchbooks” at Fred Torres Collaborations on October 25th.

Best in Show October 2012: A TIE for this month between:

 Brian Tolle “Commander in Chief” at CRG Gallery (visually arresting, timely in an election year, and unfortunately destroyed by Hurricane Sandy)

 Madeleine Gekiere “A Lifetime of Sketchbooks” at Fred Torres Collaborations (smaller gestures have bigger impact and it’s the last show covered before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Chelsea gallery district)

Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29th wrecking havoc and incurred damages in the Chelsea Gallery district with estimated total loss of $70 Million

November 2012

After the ravages of Super Hurricane Sandy to the Chelsea Gallery district – it was the resilient spirit of renewal in art that got it going. Starting on November 8th at Tyler Rollins Fine Art for Manuel Ocampo show of digesting his textural & symbolic paintings “…20 Years of Self-Loathing and Intestinal Mishaps”.  Back to the LES and the amazing air shots of George Steinmetz for “Desert Air” at Anastasia Photo last Nov.14th.  Korean Art gets prominence on November 15th with two shows in Chelsea: Sejin Park “Won-Kyung” at Doosan Gallery with her unique perspective of light and Haeri Yoo “Running Pit” at Thomas Erben Gallery with her massive and miniscule scaled abstract vibrant paintings. Mattia Biagi   “Someone Told Me Never To Do It” tempted fate by trumping superstition with his show at Anna Kustera Gallery and the alluring romance of jewelry fashioned by artists for “Beyond Bling: The Artist as Jeweler” at Claire Oliver Gallery –both on November 29th.

Best in Show November 2012: Mattia Biagi “Someone Told Me Never To Do It” at Anna Kustera Gallery

 December 2012

The last month of the year was an industry year-end buster with the Art Basel Miami Beach art fairs and other satellite fairs where AF did first time coverage. The major global force and standard bearer Art Basel Miami Beach at the convention center, Untitled with its curated  works shown by galleries & unique setting at the beach on 12th and Ocean Drive, and SCOPE with its provocative statement making art. After an exhaustive weekend, it is back to art shows in NYC rounding up the last month of the year. Magic Date 12/12/12 merited an invite to a special event at ISE Cultural Foundation in SoHo for the woodcut prints of Katsutoshi Yuasa for his show “Miraculous”. Followed by the stochastic tinged and jazz rhythmic works of Shaun O’Dell at Susan Inglett Gallery and the small but magnificent group show of gallery artists for “Napoleon Complex” at J. Cacciola Gallery – both on December 20th. This has been quite a year and the season takes a breather and opens a new one next year.

Best Art Fair in Miami: Untitled Miami 2012

 Best in Show December 2012: Shaun O’Dell at Susan Inglett Gallery

Best Show We Missed But You Shouldn’t: SHAKA at Gallery nine5 till January 11, 2013.

 There you go and what a year in NY art & beyond it has been. AF looks forward to another year in 2013 where the art will be exciting and as varied as they come!


Year End Review Written by: Oscar A. Laluyan

Images from all the various galleries we mentioned and as well from our AF Photographers.



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