This charmingly uneven show takes its title from a line in a Surrealist poem and its spirit from that poem’s form, the exquisite corpse. Like their better-known cousins cadavre exquis drawings, such poems are composed by multiple authors, none of whom are permitted to see the lines preceding theirs, which means there is no grand Read More
To make Weight Bearing II, the first of her four post-and-lintel arches currently dominating Laurel Gitlen’s beautiful new space on Norfolk Street, Allyson Vieira began with two stacks of 16-inch drywall squares, a ready-made material in a standard dimension. Four three-inch screws driven through each square transform the stacks into columns 128 levels high, or about as tall as the artist. A nude model holding a weight above her head, elegant figure studies painted with squid ink, reddish chalk guidelines marked at angles across the columns’ mostly white sides and violent notches cut from the corners—exposing dusty mountainscapes, pastry-like layers and motionless dependent screws like fossils in sediment—make the columns into geometric caryatids, ready to collaborate in bearing a single steel I-beam placed atop both their heads.
This September, Laurel Gitlen will move her eponymous gallery from its relatively small space at 261 Broome Street to a new space at 122 Norfolk. Ms. Gitlen said she’s been looking for a bigger space for about a year now. The new gallery gives her 1,900 square feet of ground floor space.
We all live in the constant presence of death, and if we’re lucky we can draw from it a kind of existential clarity. But for most of us, this presence is rather more hypothetical than it was for Jan Müller. After an artistic childhood in Hamburg, the removal of his socialist father to a concentration camp for several years, a long, slow flight through Europe, a rheumatic fever that gravely weakened his heart, study in New York at the Art Students League and then with Hans Hofmann, and a number of mosaic-like not-quite-abstract paintings—paintings intriguingly suggestive of where Mondrian might have ended up if he’d lived longer (and been German)—Müller underwent surgery, in 1954, to implant a plastic pacemaker with an audible tick. And an audible tick, to judge from the evidence assembled in Faust and Other Tales at Lori Bookstein Gallery, calls forth a more visceral response than existential clarity—it calls forth a manic, narrative, compulsive fascination in which it is impossible to disentangle fear from desire.