Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sepulchral - a gallery visit

Perhaps appropriate in an age of permanent global wars, market meltdowns and post Katrina traumatic stress is an exhibition underway at Cheim and Read that features the skeleton as the subject of artwork/artists. Creatively titled 'I am as you will be', the show draws upon a variety of artists from Hirst to Picasso in an eclectic mix of pieces that has one pondering on our calcium framework. Munch and Ensor - the two artists who dealt very closely in morbidity, mortality and our perceptions to the same are appropriately represented here. Maybe because skeletons are simultaneously morbid (our ultimate fate) and banal (used and appropriated everywhere from horror movies to the skull & crossbones), I remember not being affected too much by the subject. Was it a case of my somewhat dour disposition towards this subject or was it because of a mild odor of formaldehyde permeating the gallery (my fevered suspicion given all the bones in close proximity), I am not too sure, but I walked out of the gallery not too depressed and not too happy. Maybe that was what the curator of this show (James Ensor scholar Xavier Tricot) had in mind - reflection.

Some photos I took of the show are below.

Jenny Holzer 'LUSTMORD TABLE', 1994, 149 bones, 17 with engraved silver bands, 50 teeth, drop leaf wooden table ca. 1800, 34" x 70" x 44"

Kris Martin, 'I AM STILL ALIVE', 2006, Bronze, 7" x 5" x 4"

Tony Matelli, 'SAD SKULLS', 2003, Polysterene, Dimensions variable

Jenny Holzer and Lady Pink, 'TEAR DUCTS SEEM TO BE A GRIEF PROVISION', 1983-84, Spray paint on canvas, 90" x 115"

Jan Van Oost, 'SALOME', 1990, Cast silver, 5" x 5" x 11"

Angelo Filomeno, 'THE PHILOSOPHER'S WOMAN', 2007, Embroidery on silk, stretched over linen with crystals, hematite and stainless steel, 117" x 42"

Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), 'UNTITLED (SKELETONS)', 1976-1986, Stitched gelatin silver prints, 27" x 31"


Jafabrit said...

I will admit this publicly, I am jealous! Yes, I am jealous of not being able to see this exhibit. I miss living near New York and being able to visit the galleries and cool art exhibit. sigh!

Jafabrit said...

on the positive side though, I can come here and get a birds eye view and your opinion.