Category: Exhibition Reviews

Steve Lewis “American Neon”

Steve Lewis’ Americana and the Memory of Neon

Image courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery

In his first solo show with Lyons Wier Gallery in Chelsea, New York-based fine art photographer Steve Lewis looks back on the classic Americana style, and reminisces about the appeal of the road for everyday Americans in his exclusive online exhibition “American Neon”. 

Featuring 12 new photographs, all available in editions of 10, and printed uniformly at a very easy-to-install size of 24 x 36 in | 61 x 91 cm, Lewis reminds us of our own personal history with neon signs.  We’ve all had a memorable encounter with this flagrantly blinding advertising whether it was downtown, on the Vegas Strip, in the red light district of Amsterdam, or even at the corner pharmacy when picking up a prescription.

The use of neon is engrained in Americana, and was also brought to the art world by the innovative Dan Flavin in the 1960s into the contemporary context, and utilized by many artists since including light and space artist James Turrell, conceptual artist Glenn Ligon, and countless 21st century artists at every art fair around the world.  

Image courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery

When most hear of neon signs, it brings forward thoughts of Las Vegas, their infamous Neon Museum, Antique Road Show on PBS, or even any of the numerous shows on the History Channel where they buy and sell old goods.  Lewis’ show aims to change all the misconceptions and presents these signs who have seen better days in a documentarian style, with a heavy feeling of nostalgia that seeks to make one feel comfortable with the these familiar tropes.

The standout photograph in “American Neon” is clearly “Motel Pool”.  The image was taken somewhere in the plains of the United States, and depicts a dilapidated neon sign … Click here to read more

John Ruby “Impressionable”

John Ruby’s Textured Appropriation of the Late Greats

Image courtesy of Robert Berry Gallery

In his first virtual solo exhibition taking place at Robert Berry Gallery, Chicago-based artist John Ruby has appropriated imagery of the world’s most iconic musicians, and puts a renewed importance on the rock-and-roll side of Pop Art. 

For his new body of work, Ruby is creating digital recontextualizations of famous images of John Lennon, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, and other late greats.  Ruby’s inspiration behind the rock and roll motif seems to be one from the vantage point of an artist who clearly loves music.  Many artists listen to classical music when creating, but this artist clearly loves the electric guitar and all the culture surrounding it.   Every music fan has their idols, and Ruby certainly was inspired by what he grew up with in the 70s and 80s. 

The show is the first online only show at Robert Berry Gallery, which seems to be the new trend in the art world given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, and virtual exhibitions are quite a step forward over the already stale “viewing room” that have been making their way into the online strategies of other dealers.  Not having physical limitations allows Ruby to exhibit these fantastic new paintings during a time when collectors are craving new works to fill up all their free time between Zoom calls and emails.  

Virtual only might be a concern for some, but what is very apparent from the detailed images and video clips uploaded onto the gallery site, is the deep textured surfaces which look to be colored string woven across the surface of the canvas. One can clearly see that there is a handmade painted acrylic impasto as the structural foundation of … Click here to read more