On the last Thursday of the humid and wet month of June, Chelsea offered quite a few interesting and unique new exhibitions that were crowded with a generous amount of art aficionados and spectators.
Upon arriving to the first spot, Unix Gallery, there were already a great number of people drinking bottles from the Brooklyn Brewery, chatting amongst themselves and appreciating the artwork. The group show Efflorescence, containing the works of four brilliant artists (Alexi Torres, Ellen de Meijer, Gavin Rain and Zhuang Hong Yi), all range in style–from pointillism to non-objective, three-dimensional wall pieces–but share the use of high chromatic, vibrant, energetic hues. When asking the gallery assistant about the exhibition, he noted that many of the artists started with a photograph and expanded their pieces by adding textures and mixed media, which creates another level of profundity.
Efflorescence at Unix Gallery from June 25 – August 22, 2015
532 W 24th Street, New York,NY 10011
Next, we visited the acclaimed Gladstone Gallery’s group show Hello Walls with gargantuan pieces by sixteen well-known artists: Ricci Albenda, Mel Bochner, Angela Bulloch, Daniel Buren, Neil Campbell, Michael Craig-Martin, Jeff Elrod, Douglas Gordon, Arturo Herrera, Karl Holmqvist, Sol LeWitt, Wangechi Mutu, Raymond Pettibon, Ugo Rondinone, Kara Walker and Lawrence Weiner. Due to the fact that the works were created on site, the wall acted as a canvas to the artists during the creation process, a “physical and metaphysical site.” The Gladstone’s simplistic approach to exhibiting the pieces allowed for the artworks to stand independently, while still maintaining unity as all of the “murals” are not only grand in proportion, but are also conceptual and minimalistic in style.
Hello Walls at Gladstone Gallery from June 26 – July 31, 2015
515 West 24th Street, NYC
Afterwards we walked a couple of blocks to the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery to check out their solo-exhibition Department of the Interior featuring artwork by Gordon Harrison Hull. In each room of the space, there are white frames running parallel and equidistant from one another with paper pieces that show distinctive sketches of eccentric and simplistic illustrations with the use of mixed media. The works of the multidisciplinary artist are truly amazing as he shares with the viewer “emotional landscapes, multi-cultural channel surfing and soft faded fragments of dreams”, which are inspired by the “rituals, mysticism and craft of Africa”, or what Hull calls “lo-fi magic.”
Gordon Harrison Hull: Department of the Interior at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery from June 25 – July 31, 2015
505 West 24th Street
We then departed and went to the Jonathan LeVine Gallery which also exhibited a solo-show with works by Evol, a Berlin based artist. The show, Unreal Estate, contains all new art created on used pieces of cardboard with stencils and spray paint, done by hand at the gallery. His pieces all collectively comment on the corrupt dichotomy between poor conditions of the housing, in Germany, for high prices that are being operated by the government.
Evol: Unreal Estate at Jonathan Levine Gallery from June 25 – July 25, 2015
557C West 23rd Street
Finally, we arrived to our last gallery for the evening, In the Cloud at the Ethan Cohen Gallery. Upon entering the room, the first thing the audience notices is the smoky, foggy air taking over the entire space. The show, consisting of twenty-three artists, contains work varying in media, but all comment on the idea of technology and how all of our information is stored in “clouds” rather than physical archives as previously done in the past.
I spoke to the gallery assistant, and she mentioned how the show brings up many vital questions: “How are we going to effectively store information items? How can we embrace what was in the past, while still moving on with the current state of technology? What will ultimately happen to all of our information?” The show, filled with intricate pieces ranging from projections and television screens to an interactive bubble installation, captures all your senses and transports you into a surreal dimension.
In The Cloud at Ethan Cohen Gallery from June 25 – August 28th, 2015
251 W 19TH ST
Writing by Ilsoon Jeon
Photographs by Olya Turcihin