Exploring New York Galleries
Simone Subal, On Stellar Rays, and Miguel Abreu
By: Amanda Parmer - May 14, 2012
Towards a Warm Math
Curated by Chris Wiley
On Stellar Rays
133 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
April 22- June 3
Towards a Warm Math offers up a set of densely packed narratives in paintings, video and sculpture. They are held together by an affective engagement and corporeal articulation of the seeeming rigidity and inhumaness of new technologies.
Motored by a tongue in cheek humor, the work is well worth the studied investment necessary to unpack the backstory of each work's relative contribution to the show.
Works from Yayaoi Kusama and Mel Bochner debunk viewers expectations of those canonical practices. In this context by including unfamiliar pieces that are inconsistent with their signature styles, the tropes of repetitive mark making, and personal narratives presented in a fetishized typographical rearrangements, are taken up by artists like Guy de Cointet, Thomas Bayrle and John Houck. This lends a dynamic flow of exchange in the ideas that are floated across these works.
Rey Akdogan, Antoine Catala, Florian Hecker, Sam Lewitt, Paul Pagk, Raha Raissnia
Miguel Abreu Gallery
36 Orchard St # 1
New York, NY 10002
May 4 - June 24
Taking its cue from a critical analysis of the affective capacity for objects to communicate content, the works in the exhibition Surface Affect at Miguel Abreu Gallery shuttle uncomfortably between a tentative reluctance on the part of the artists to fully engage with the materiality of their paintings, video and installations. There is an unrestrained reciprocity between the components of the work and its somatic resonance as a piece.
Rey Akdogan's rough hewn sculptures of quotidian objects and materials, such as light gels and carpet samples, read as a inventory of affective tools not yet deployed. This is similar to the painterly inventory of mark-making and textural variations accrued in Paul Pagk's simple, monochrome paintings.
Conversely, Sam leWitt's raunchy use of thick, industrial magnets and electrical wire that hold together credit cards in one work, and debit cards in another, give form to the crunch and conformity our monetary systems have consumers sutured into.
Antoine Catala's Terminatoresque installation as well gives rise to a corporeal thrill and horror in seeing the television images on two facing flat screen monitors reflected along the shaft of a large Mylar tube that invades the viewer's physical space. This offers up a paranoid fantasy or prescient proclamation, depending on one's perspective, about the state and future of the media in our everyday lives.
The Engraved Plane:
Simone Subal Gallery
131 Bowery, 2nd floor.
New York, NY 10002.
May 2 - June 10
The objects in this exhibition are surprisingly deceiving, though without the gallerist's prompt, the visitors to the space have no incentive to explore these small sculptures strewn across the floor. They are also placed along the windowsill beyond a polite sidestepping and conscious avoidance while viewing the large framed works on paper and film projects interspersed along the gallery walls.
Though the suggestion–given at the behest of the artist–to approach the work offers an unexpected encounter with seemingly everyday objects (knobs, wooden shelves, etc.) that are in fact cast in iron. Holding them in one's hand kicks a habitual habit and presumptive loop that jumpstarts a fresh interaction. It sparks curiosity with the objects, and by association, images in the of the show.