New York Postcard: Handmade Pictures

Art Life , Stuff Nov 15, 2017 No Comments

George Shaw reports from the land of the hirsute gentleman… 

 

Gilbert & George, BEARD CODE, 2016

Gilbert & George, BEARD HONOR, 2016

Gilbert & George, BEARDTREE, 2017

Gilbert & George, BEARDGATE, 2016

Gilbert & George, BEARDCAGE, 2017

To celebrate fifty years of friendship and collaboration, Gilbert & George have produced a spectacular exhibition at two Lehmann Maupin venues. The massive works depict both artists as sinister versions of themselves in a lurid shade of red. In every work their mask-like beards become wildly stylised and extrapolated into otherworldly imagery, from the imperious to the absurd. Gilbert & George link the beard motif to cultural and social history, religion, and demographics. The beards are symbols of urban transformation, and project the fears and anger often accompanying these upheavals.

 

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2017

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2017

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2017 (detail)

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2017

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2017

 

According to his 2010 MacArthur Fellowship for exceptional creativity, artist and architect Jorge Pardo is considered a “polymathic genius.” His new exhibition of self-portraits at Petzel are a fusion of photography, painting and sculpture. They begin life as snapshots which are then manipulated in postproduction, a timber layer engraved, laser cut, hand painted, and backlit with LEDs. The tiers of milled and perforated wood sit on plexiglass allowing the even backlight to dissipate the illusion of depth or amplify it, as well altering colour patterns, depending on the viewing angle.

 

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures), 1992

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures), 1992

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures), 1992

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures), 1992

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures), 1992

 

Skarstedt is showing a collection of Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) self-portraits created in the island of Syrios in Greece and Frankfurt in 1992. The works are painted from two sets of photographs, however, each wholly different reflecting the conflicting perceptions of his role as an artist. Kippenberger was notorious for works that he considered ‘style-less.’ Yet, these often grotesque images celebrate portraiture as a genre that elevates the sitter’s status. With an eye on classical art history, he finds a way to be serious and absurd, at the same time.

George Shaw

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