Category: Exhibition Reviews

Hiroshi Senju “Beginnings”

Hiroshi Senju’s Polar Opposites

Image courtesy of Sundaram Tagore

Everything can be divided between polar opposites, dark and light, good and bad, night and day, yin and yang, etc.  That can also be said of Hiroshi Senju’s return to waterfall imagery in his “Beginnings” exhibition across Sundaram Tagore’s two New York locations on 27th Street in Chelsea and Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side.  

After seeing Senju’s blacklight installation in Singapore in 2016, the beauty and immediacy of his work has been on this critic’s radar ever since.  There is something both calming and frenetic about moving water, and he is able to capture the picturesque moment like a photographer would, while creating movement and energy like the Futurists did.  The high contrast of black and white pigments in his waterfall pieces has always been one their strongpoints, and in these new paintings, that continues to be the case.   Although, there are a few canvases with blue backgrounds that are similar in tone and vibrancy to the blacklight, where white pigments appear when illuminated.  It is these blue canvases, alongside a few red background works that really showcase what new colors can do to an artist’s work.

Image courtesy of Sundaram Tagore

Compare them to the paintings of Italian ZERO artists Enrico Castellani and Lucio Fontana where subtle changes in the artist’s palette have significant and lasting changes to the work. By completely changing the color, Senju has augmented the contrast between the water and the earth, reducing the polar opposite of black and white in his other paintings.  The color becomes more of a focus, just as the flat red of a Fontana sets the stage for the violent cut that the artist performs to the canvas.  Whereas Senju adds the lighter white pigments to soften the work, creating an assemblance of … Click here to read more

“Nocturnal Whispers of Pan”

A Resource of Imagination

Image courtesy of WhiteBox Harlem

In the collaborative exhibition titled “Nocturnal Whispers of Pan” presented at WhiteBox Harlem, Thomas Rose and Lo Ch’ing have teamed up once again to offer the public an exciting new exhibition open from June 12th through July 17th, 2020.

On February 8th preceding the official announcement of the Coronavirus pandemic affecting New York City, WhiteBox Harlem opened “Trapped in Wuhan“, premiering the first known video work by Wuhan based artist Ke Ming offering an in depth, in-situ arresting graphic examination of the novel virus’s destructive plague-like effects​ in his human environment occurring as early as mid-January. In the tradition of WhiteBox programming responding to the tenor of the times, the next two exhibitions under COVID-19 confinement preceding the present, meta-poetic show “Nocturnal Whispers of Pan”, were dedicated to the exodus experienced by Chinese and Mexican èmigrè artists in New York City, both shows celebrated those artists’ positive contributions to its unparalleled art scene as whimsical immigrants, showcased in the present day and age of Trump’s antagonistic policies. 

“Nocturnal Whispers of Pan” meets this criteria acting as an ‘analgesic’ to counter today’s xenophobic times while doubling up as celebration of East-West artistic and cultural ties lost in the ether of either the political or the economic Sino-American unending confrontations.

Succinctly elaborated by two aesthetic masters in deep conversation, Minneapolis based sculptor Thomas Rose​ sculptor,​ and ​Taiwanese poet-painter scholar ​Lo Ch’ing, the exhibition presents two main opus, Nocturnal and Secrets, laid out in a format akin to the great ‘Illustrated Medieval Books’ where the visitor is solicited to enter the collaborative pages as if in a ‘stage’ where exquisite dual visual and literary narratives appear to invite the viewer to, in a Duchampian way, finish the works. 

The literary-visual narrative in Nocturnal Whispers of Pan befits … Click here to read more

Bill Scott “A Prolonged Moment”

Bill Scott’s Colorful Fantasies

Installation view of Bill Scott: A Prolonged Moment. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart

For his eighth solo show with Hollis Taggart, Bill Scott presents “A Prolonged Moment”, an exhibition featuring new oil on canvas paintings and watercolors on paper. The show is viewable online and by appointment at the gallery’s 26th Street location from June 15 through July 24, 2020.

The included works are full of rich color and a significant amount of energy and movement.  Although the gallery is currently open by appointment only at the moment of publication, Scott’s rich abstractions are likely to appeal to collectors exploring online, with their bright colors, energy, and immediately recognized gestures–all of which are characteristic of Scott’s previous work.  

All of the work in the show starts with large swashes of bold colors; reds, blues, and yellows become dominant surfaces for Scott’s expressive brushwork. Upon finishing the groundwork of color, the artist begins digging into his past and also his present surroundings.  References to natural forms, shapes, traditional landscapes, plants, and the local Philadelphia skyline are all visible in his new works.

Compared to his older pieces, there is a bit more geometry in these paintings, and there is a more illustrative influence, possibly from the return to using a finer watercolor brush for the smaller works on paper.   With the canvases, Scott is working with numerous layers of thin and transparent paint, with slow and methodical applications, which is in strong contrast to many abstract painters of his generation who were working quickly and thickly, which much less deliberate intent.

Installation view of Bill Scott: A Prolonged Moment. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart

In the catalog that accompanies the exhibition, the artist states that the small watercolors are not studies for paintings, and it would appear that they are spiritually connected, … Click here to read more