Anyone following the fashion world knows that New York Fashion Week is in full swing, with labels showcasing their Spring/Summer 2016 collections. RSVP was posted outside the show venues to capture the #NYFW15 attendees’ fits.
Our latest day at the gallery was spent at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for “Andy Warhol: ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ and Other Works, 1953-1967.”
The space welcomes attendees to Warhol’s work dating back to 1953, nearly a decade before his soup cans series. Freshly relocated from Pittsburgh, Warhol spent these years working as a commercial illustrator in New York. The relatively obscure shoe illustrations were used as advertisements for shoe manufacturer I.Miller and show the development of Warhol’s blotting line technique.
Guests are then guided to the centerpiece of the exhibit, thirty-two nearly identical canvases that make up Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans. The MoMA intentionally echoes the 1962 debut of the collection, presented at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, by displaying the canvases side by side as opposed to its typical grid layout. This series of work marked the beginning of Warhol’s transition into repetition style and uniform aesthetic of screen-printing. With Warhol working 9 to 5 as an illustrator, the uniformity offers a witty commentary on the mass produced commodity culture of America.
The final portion of the exhibition showcases Warhol’s pop years from 1962-1967. The works showcased offer the same commentary as the soup cans, except now the subjects are derived from media images, evidently seen on the famed Marilyn Paintings.
“Andy Warhol: ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ and Other Works, 1953-1967″ runs through October 18, 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan.
Words and photography by Joe Ro
Art aficionados ferried their way across the East River in New York this weekend for the biggest and (by popular opinion)best contemporary art fair. Now in its fourth year, the Frieze Art Fair held in Randall’s Island Park serves as an opportunity for New Yorkers to get a glimpse at what over 190 galleries from across the globe have to offer. We navigated our way through the eccentric maze to catch all of our favorite artists, from George Condo at the international Sprüth Magers to Kaws at the Galerie Perrotin. Call us biased, but it was at the Galerie Perrotin that we saw our most memorable piece from the art-filled weekend: Daniel Arsham’s “Rose Quartz Eroded Chicago Bulls Jacket.” Explore the iconic pulverized crystal 1993 Chicago Bulls starter jacket in our gallery above and all the other Frieze Art Fair 2015 pieces that caught our eye.
Words by Adriana Gaspar
Photography by Joe Ro
“Ladies and gentleman this is your announcer inviting you to another episode of ‘celebrity heroin addict!’ The show that says ‘Oh, no! Not him! I had no idea!’” This somber note, scribbled on a notebook page gives exhibition-goers a unique and never before seen look at the legendary, late Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features a rare look at a collection of his personal notebooks, related pieces on paper, and large scale paintings.
The New York artist is known for his graffiti origins that he carried over into the art world during the 1970’s and 80’s. His career ended tragically at age 27 by a heroin overdose in 1988, immortalizing him in the infamous “27 Club.”
You can check out Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum, which is running through the summer until August 23, 2015.
Words and photography by Joe Ro
Kieth Lemley’s first New York City solo exhibit “Arboreal” unites material, light, and architecture to create a scene contrasting natural and synthetic. One inspiration Lemley often seeks is the fundamental geometry that makes up the universe we live in. With his large angular neon installations, Lemley achieves the unity of space through light and line. According to Lemley, six years ago a large Chestnut Oak tree fell near his studio in Appalachia. He began to carve the wood uncovering close to two centuries of history; from there he shaped sculptures that come from the knots and imperfections of the tree. To compliment this natural beauty, neon extends from the shape of the carved wood to become an exaggerated narrative of the trees growth had it not fallen. The sturdy wood and the delicate neon play off each other incredibly to produce a captivating gallery experience.
We sat down with Lemley and he gave some insight on “Arboreal” and his love for neon:
Q: What is the inspiration behind your exhibit?
A number of years ago a large old oak tree fell on a ridge at my studio and since then I’ve been thinking of how to use it as raw material in my work. I’ve also been thinking about discovery and recent theories that may connect disparate notions of how the universe works through an underlying problem of geometry. With that in the back of my mind, I spent time really getting to know the particular architecture of Mixed Greens [Gallery] and everything began to come together in my mind for a light based installation.
Q: How does geometry play a role in your work?
I am interested in curiosity and discovery, and how the architecture of our minds and bodily systems connects to the architecture of the universe and the vast amount of information that is beyond our perception. Really, the systems or structures that are in place where there seemingly are none, and the paradox of discovery – that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know. I use geometry in a way that connects viewers, my work, and the site, in a fleeting momentary experience.
Q: Why neon?
All neon is made by hand, and I found it fascinating that I could form a glass vessel, and then process it into a working light source. Making neon is like drawing in space. Nearly anything that can be drawn as a continuous line can be made in neon. Inside the glass tube is a nearly a perfect vacuum with only a very small amount of rare gas. When electrified the gas becomes plasma, and if you look closely it appears as a fuzzy illuminated stream. With a few torches and some lab equipment, I can make glass microenvironments that emulate the plasma in a star.
Q: What makes neon an important medium for your work?
Light is both something and nothing. The neon tube becomes a sort of frozen moment; it gives a physical, tangible existence to something as intangible as light. Then, it emits that light into a space, expanding to fill whatever volume surrounds it.
Q: What does neon mean to you?
Neon allows me to manipulate light itself and create a phenomenological experience in a given space.
Keith Lemley’s “Arboreal” is on display from February 19, 2015 to March 21, 2015 at Mixed Greens Gallery in Manhattan, New York.
Writing and photography by JoeRo