It has been a year of variety and surprises as to the range of shows we’ve covered. Any singular thing does not quantify the degree of how a show leaves a deep impression as it can be one tiny detail or a grand statement. Such trivial thoughts are best left to the wind as we have pinned down the Best of 2014 for all of our loyal and still growing readers. We raise a glass to 2014 for the year that was and here’s looking forward as AF keeps an eye always to the future.
January – INBETWEEN: Serena Mitnik-Miller
The beginning of the year started with the nuanced work of Serena Mitnik-Miller at Joshua Liner Gallery where the work could be easily deduced as line patterns. Clean, precisely in control and you can see that watercolor is no joke to execute when you go carefully between the lines.
February – Heartfelt: Ben Eine
Street Art has segued into the gallery as proven with Ben Eine at Judith Charles Gallery with his bold colored letters in large scale which eschewed the invisible and covert idiom of the once obscure street artist. Spelling out his sardonic wit and humor with his iconic typography that one can feel that the work came indeed from the heart.
March – Spring / Summer: Eva Berendes
The ingenious sculptural installations of Eva Berendes at CRG Gallery signaled that a new season has begun. Taking a turn for the lighter side of art with her suspended installations on grids which blew the darkness and heavy hand of winter away – so that spring / summer can bloom in earnest.
April – Breathing Color: Beatriz Elorza
Abstract art can be very macho but Beatriz Elorza has given it that stamp of still strong yet done by a woman with her first solo show at Spanierman Modern. She breathed new life into the genre and put her skill to where the art is. What was on the wall can simply take your breath away!
May – Elsewhere: Allison Gildersleeve
Modernist landscapes with the shock of acrid green and vibrant hues mixed with the intertwined universe where Allison Gildersleeve at Asya Geisberg Gallery most certainly took you “elsewhere”. That is the transporting power of art that will continue to mesmerize and fascinate gallery goers.
June – paintingassupermodel: Franklin Evans
You better work it good in the art world and Franklin Evans for this show at Ameringer McEnery Yohe put the studio and his entire world into broad strokes of powerful multimedia installation and magnified superlative statements. Finally, it’s a big bold impression of a show that doesn’t shy away from attention. It was quite fierce!
July – Chelsea Art Walk
There was something electric and palpable in the air this year for the Chelsea Art Walk. It had musicians jamming away on street corners, performance art sailing on bikes over the cobblestoned street, the hordes of art lovers embracing the gentle breeze of summer, and art galleries opening up their doors. It was magical and everyone who walked certainly had a lot of things to talk about.
August – #IRL (In Real Life): The 2014 MFA Photography Graduates Thesis
What is real nowadays? These recent MFA graduates at Parsons New School showcased the tenets of what photography can show and the possibilities of created realities. The camera is no longer the unerring eye as it has become a manipulated engine of dreams.
September – Plastic Perfect: Rachel Lee Hovnanian
By far the strongest of the season openers that really tapped into the technological addiction and pursuit of perfection in the world of plastic as demonstrated by the works of Rachel Lee Hovnanian at Leila Heller Gallery. The baby showroom was the most eerie and interactive of all art installations that struck a serious jolt to the psyche and jump started the pulse of the season. Or blame it on the manufactured super food: The Cereal. It was art that spoke to the times and done really well.
October – Without You I’m Nothing: Julien Levy
Raw emotion that is brutal can be made alluring and hauntingly beautiful as crafted by the cinematic prose of Julien Levy for his show at Garis & Hahn. The films, photos and installations brought together effortlessly the closer examination of muse and artist. Clearly without one, the other ceases to exist.
November – PORTRAITS: Martin Schoeller
The man behind the most iconic and published portraits of the stars revealed a lot or maybe nothing as the PORTRAITS stared back at the onlookers during his opening in HASTED KRAEUTLER. Martin Schoeller is an auteur of the camera lens that captures the essence of his subjects in the most arresting way as they are all frozen in heightened reality.
December – GATTOPARDO: Arianna Carossa
Italians do it better. Here is an artist that has serious ideas but executed in the most nonchalant of manners. Rooster Gallery had debuted her art at their bathroom back in April but now has given the entire gallery for her to reconfigure elements of decadence. This profoundly changed my mind about conceptual art as Arianna Carossa is consistent in her methods. And the most discussed and freshest item thus far in a gallery this year: PINEAPPLE. Mix it up – Pina Coladas for everyone!
Here’s to 2015 with more great art shows to cover and all the awesome stuff ahead. We want you to come along and share in our experiences. That’s a date dear AF readers.
Article by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Select Art Images from various galleries
Photography by: Olya Turcihin