Welcome Back Art New York

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Ok, tonight was the opening night for the art world in New York this season.

Approximately 86 shows opened tonight.

Everyone’s back with their biggest shows, brightest stars and money makers.

For the most part it was a lot of slick or schlock or both. Even James Cohan Gallery, one of my favorites and usually conceptually well-balanced gallery had it’s prettiest (easiest to sell?) foot forward. I was expecting vast floor drawings and got moderate-sized, very beautiful (if rather dull), drawings and paintings. They didn’t pull me in.  An apt description came from a friend, “I’d like it if my dentist had one of these on his wall.  Then I could spend some time with them, get distracted in the colors and shapes and not think about them once I left.” (paraphrase)

The rock star status was once again held by Jules De Balincourt’s show at Zack Feuer Gallery. It was what one would expect from the artist’s third (I think) show at the gallery – bigger, more expensive and more of them. While I liked the paintings for their style and color (I argued for Jules being the poster-child for his own style), they didn’t seem as challenging or thought-provoking as his earlier shows.

Overall, I think Wallspace Gallery won the night for me. I can’t explain exactly why, but the simplicity of the presentation (10 or so paintings hung together on a make-shift wall spanning the middle of the gallery) really worked with the paintings themselves. Wallspace has been consistently and somewhat quietly holding some of the more interesting shows in Chelsea without slathering their roster with pretension or obviously selling out to the most recent trend.

Anther notable was Chris Gentile at Jeff Bailey Gallery – beautiful, quirky photographs of…installations?

Next is Williamsburg (Friday) followed by another round in Chelsea.

-W

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