Crichoues Indignation by Caitlin Cherry


The Hole NYC - 312 Bowery, New York, NY - Showing until November 15, 2020

The HOLE NYC honestly takes it up a notch with every artist they showcase. Upon visiting this gallery, I was shocked to see that The HOLE had transformed entirely, with crisply painted walls, a huge amount of incredible new works and a fresh take on their whole space. Transforming the gallery for Cherry after Cubed, their previous group show (14 international artists) that utilized the space in an entirely different means, allows viewers to understand just how important looking at art is right now, how passionate The HOLE is and how on board their team is with highlighting the current climate of technology and social media running rampantly hand-in-hand with civil unrest, the upcoming election and dismantling (or establishing) social hierarchy in 2020. 


Cherry’s oil on canvas works are engulfing in their larger than life scale, confronting th eviewer in a familiar digital landscape with Black Femme figures at the foreground, her gazes highlighting the way social media appropriates this community’s body image, sexuality and style without highlighting their skill set or expertise. An image-run, surface level and vapid Instagram-esque landscape is expressed through Cherry’s undulating use of fluorescent colors, shapes and installation techniques. The artist’s hyper-sexualised characters are based on dancers, bartenders and Instagram models working at cabarets and as online influencers.

I would recommend seeing this show for an impressive take on its online origin (a misspelt tweet that Kanye West made) that expands into a gooey, delicious and psychedelic series of abstract paintings. Cherry also includes a very large paintings vault, housing several canvases that gallery goers can engage with. The vault speaks to the value of archiving digital works (or lack their of) playing with online’s ubiquitous sugar-coating methods and the over-arching authenticity in the art world today.


PS. The HOLE also has a show on by Anders Oinonen

For review on EVGRIEVE website https://evgrieve.com/2020/11/gallery-watch-crichoues-indignation-at.html

 

Vantage Points by Letha Wilson, Sonia Almeida, Heidi Norton and Claudia Peña Salinas

GRIMM Gallery, 202 Bowery, New York, NY - Showing until November 14, 2020

Although the gallery is dominated by a vast amount of captivating and rich work by a male painter, Tjebbe Beekman (Symbiosis), if you get to the middle of the gallery and turn to your left, you will see a small door leading to a descending staircase that you can go down for a refreshing take on (finally) an all women's show!

The work deals with the natural world, conceptually and physically, as the artists criss-cross and mingle with the use of plants, grass, fibre, wax, metal and paper presented in a range of autonomous sculptures, paintings and installations in their final form.

The work in this show is presented on the ground, wall, floor and even corners of the building, challenging conventional installation techniques that demonstrate how space can be manipulated by both delicate and less delicate forms. Nature versus structure, hard versus soft, digital versus organic, etc.

Wilson, Almeida, Norton and Salinas' work compliments each other as much as it highlights the differences in each piece. The most compelling work for me was Reverse timeline (2019) by Sonia Almeida, made out of printed fabric, screen print, fabric pen, cotton, polyester and wool hung from the ceiling, and The Museum Archive by Heidi Norton made out of five panels of glass, resin, plants, beam splitter glass, photo gels, photographic prints, film and an aluminum stand. This is GRIMM Gallery’s final show before they move to Tribeca.

For review on EVGRIEVE website https://evgrieve.com/2020/11/gallery-watch-crichoues-indignation-at.html

 

Total Running Time by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

 

Magenta Plains - 94 Allen Street, New York, NY - Showing until December 16, 2020.

Having stumbled across Magenta Plains awaiting the results of the election, my mood was tense and suspended. I was cynical and in urgent need of a distraction, but entering this gallery gave me so much more than that. I was elated by what I saw the second I walked into the almost disguised gallery space on Allen Street (refer to photos to avoid missing it entirely). 

 

The atmosphere was moody and engrossing. Neons, vocal soundscapes and jolted light flashings from unconventionally hung projectors filled the 2 storied gallery space. Total Running Time presents a multi-faceted insight into the practice of inter-disciplinary artist Jibade-Khalil Huffman, a successful writer and poet working with text and imagery to re-imagine and challenge semiotic hierarchies. His object making involves the re-contextualisation of text presented through densely layered video pieces, light work, moving imagery and digital stills. 

 

The exhibition includes photographic light boxes and digital photo-collages printed onto transparencies that are manipulated and scrutinised by looped video projections. Layering visuals for Huffman intentionally speaks to conversations and language pertinent to race and visibility. Upon looking at a projected transparency work, you’ll find yourself becoming confused about what is printed and what is projected, while being completely mesmerised by the piece and its much larger light leak onto the back wall. The prints are saturated with color and cartoon graphics, making for an almost psychedelic and explosive experience. 

 

Huffman’s work confronts serious subject matter while colliding loose and dated graphics together such as Tom and Jerry depictions, paint by number motifs, images from TV guides, classic television stills, advertisements from the 60’s and iconography from various American comic books. 

His work embraces contemporary interests such as the degradation of digital media while also saluting recognisable imagery to draw his viewers in. Because of the ephemeral nature of Huffman’s work , I suggest Total Running Time be a show you visit more than once. Whether his pieces juxtapose illustrations with video or projections with digital prints, his work looks and feels different with every photographic iteration, video capture and sensory interaction. 

 

For review on EVGRIEVE website https://evgrieve.com/2020/11/gallery-watch-total-running-time-by.html

 

Cotton Mouth by Tschabalala Self

Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones St, New York, NY - showing until December 19, 2020


Cotton Mouth presents as a formal critique on projected viewings (or constructions) of Black bodies in America. This show is physically and figuratively in your face, hitting the nail on the head with what needs to be addressed socially and artistically right now. 

 

The demand of this politically charged work is potent with its use of scale and installation method especially. Cotton Mouth is striking, hard-hitting and an exciting insight into the trajectory of young artist Tschabalala Self (1990, Harlem). This is her first solo show at the gallery. 


As you walk into the beautiful space that is Eva Presenhuber on the historically rich Great Jones, you will quickly find yourself surrounded by mixed-media paintings made out of materials such as fabric, thread, charmeuse, silk, velvet, paper, pigment, acrylic and canvas that completely dominate the space.

 

Cotton Mouth also features sculptures, drawings and an audio work spread across the two gallery floors.
The title of the show and Self’s making process simultaneously speak to slavery, and the mutually exclusive relationship that cotton has with the African-American experience. 

 

The act of these characters stitched and painted into the canvas by hand carry an emotional and personal significance to Self, while also speaking to the historical devastations of Black slave labor in America. Each constructed character holds power over their self-presentation and external perception unapologetically, an act of power that Black people in America are denied daily.

The work is so hard not to touch based on the array of different fabrics used and sewn together. What was hard for me to believe is that through stitching and constructing, Self has made characters that undeniably hold their own presence and somehow even look different in age and personified life experience. 

 

Self has impeccably built each and everyone of these characters from scratch whether it be Lil Mama 2 with her plaid and tulle fringed pants or the two lovers in Sprewell that kiss in front of an incredible photo transferred TV. One of the characters even wears the artist’s actual jeans. 

Self’s practice marries her interests in the psychological and emotional effects of projected fantasy with her sustained articulation of Black life and embodiment. Seeing every hand stitch in Self’s work shows the viewer how painstaking and timely it is to create. The labor in each stitch holds affection, memory and protection according to the artist, and I feel as though the painted hands directly applied to the gallery’s walls touch on this too. 

For review on EVGRIEVE website https://evgrieve.com/2020/11/gallery-watch-cotton-mouth-by.html