New York Postcard: Butch in the streets, femme in the sheets…

Art Life , Stuff Apr 20, 2018 No Comments

From George Shaw, our man in New York City…

Ghada Amer, A Summer in India, 2017

Ghada Amer, Women in White, 2016 (detail)

Ghada Amer, Glimpse Into Another Painting, 2018


#4 Ghada Amer, Girl With Garden Carnation, 2017


Ghada Amer, Lovers in Blue, 2017


The feminist, multimedia artist Ghada Amer continues to subvert ideas about race, gender, and identity in her latest exhibition at Cheim & Read. Known mostly for her large-scale canvases that combine painting and needlework, Amer takes aim at the white, heteronormative views of female sexuality by appropriating pornographic images to ‘rewrite’ their meaning by recreating them through embroidery, a traditional female craft. The works are vibrant, sophisticated, and accessible, their colourful threads cascading like paint squeezed out of a tube. Also on show is Amer’s first foray into ceramic works.


Jonathan Lyndon Chase, 56nd Street, 2017

Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Combing My Hair, 2017

Jonathan Lyndon Chase, High Mountain, 2016


Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Day Dreaming, 2017


Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Day Dreaming, 2017

There is a pen and graphite text drawing in Jonathan Lyndon Chase’s exhibition Quiet Storm at the Company Gallery that reads, “Butch in the streets, femme in the sheets” – a simple, dichotomous sentence that captures perfectly the intimate and visceral tone of this show. In often energetic, intensely coloured paintings, pared back line drawings, and various other installations, Chase celebrates queerness and homosexuality in the black male body. In most works, bodies either commune with each other in day-to-day settings or express love for each other with varying degrees of sensuality.


Michelle Kingdom, Still As A Statue, 2017

Michelle Kingdom, Leaving No Relics, 2017

Michelle Kingdom, As Plain As Day, 2017

Michelle Kingdom, Without Question, 2017


Michelle Kingdom, The Stars Were Long Gone, 2017


The modestly sized works (no larger than A4) by Michelle Kingdom at the Foley Gallery show densely embroidered canvases compressed into compositions with ambiguous narratives. Laden with symbolism, as if borne out of dreams, loose threads of beauty and melancholy weave throughout the scenes. Although the term ‘needlework’ comes suffused with certain preconceptions, Kingdom’s mastery of the medium allows her embroideries to be constructed and presented more like paintings, rather than more polite renditions normally associated with this type of work. In Kingdom’s hands, embroidery is honoured and undermined simultaneously.

George Shaw

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