Two years after inaugurating 47 Canal with a barn burner of a solo show, New York-based photographer Michele Abeles is back, and not a moment too soon. Ms. Abeles is, to my mind, the best among a promising pack of young artists, like Travess Smalley, Lucas Blalock and Talia Chetrit, who use both analog and digital means to create still lifes and abstractions that feel bracingly new: deadpan and strange and attuned to the freewheeling networks in which images circulate today.
Frieze New York 2012
Up until the announcement last spring that London’s Frieze Art Fair would be coming to New York for the first time, there were maybe five main reasons for a person to be on Randall’s Island: You are a high school student on an organized sports team—probably lacrosse or track or, perhaps, soccer—and you are utilizing the island’s athletic fields for practice; you have tickets to Electric Zoo or Cirque du Soleil; you like golf, but you do not want to leave the city to play it; you are a patient at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on the adjoining Wards Island; you are John McEnroe, it is 2010 and you are inaugurating the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at the Sportime Randall’s Island Tennis Center.
Antoine Catala’s first show at the gallery 47 Canal is called “I See Catastrophes Ahead.” It has one of those press releases that made us feel like we had to figure out what the hell was going on. The text would be staggeringly bleak, if not for the fact that certain words—instead of being written out—are illustrated with kitschy clip art that looks like it came straight out of Windows 95. Earlier this week, we stopped by the gallery and saw Mr. Catala, who presided over a messy room in the midst of installation, with wires and flat-screen televisions and mirrors strewn about the room.