New York Postcard: Monumental Beauty

Art Life , Stuff Dec 03, 2014 No Comments

Drinking coffee from blue cups, George Shaw in NYC…

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Takashi Murakami, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, 2014

While Takashi Murakami’s latest exhibition at Gagosian has enough works on show to be convincingly tagged as an extravaganza, it also displays the seriousness and introspection he has previously been accused of lacking or ignoring. In a major collection which includes a 35-metre long mural, large-scale sculptures, paintings and a 56-ton replica of a sanmon (sacred temple gate), Murakami reveals dark undercurrents beneath the colourful pop art surfaces that make particular reference to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and the subsequently devastating tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown.

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Ursula von Rydingsvard, Permeated Shield, 2014

For thirty years, Ursula von Rydingsvard has forced monumental beauty out of voluminous, rough-hewn cedar beams that are cut, shaped and sculpted by hand with hammer and chisel before being glued into place, and hand-finished by rubbing graphite into their crevices. Rydingsvard’s physical and artistic mastery is evident in her latest exhibition at Galerie Lelong in which works of less-than-usual monumentality reflect longstanding motifs of vertical shapes that at once reflect the grandness of nature and the modesty of domestic life, albeit at an awe-inspiring scale.


Thomas Scheibitz, Studio Imaginaire, 2014

In his Studio Imaginaire exhibition at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Thomas Scheibitz brings together a dizzying array of two-dimensional, found images from his own vast collection in the form of reconfigured photography, video and installation. The works reflect, comment and expand on ideas by the French author and statesman Andre Malraux’s art theoretic and historical project the Musee Imaginaire, in which art from all cultures and time periods was surveyed with two-dimensional figures that could be curated and reconfigured endlessly, as Scheibitz has deftly shown here.

George Shaw

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