Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chelsea outing on a warm January day

Yesterday was one of the warmest days in January. I decided to take a quick jaunt through some promising shows in Chelsea and here is what we have...

Stellan Holm gallery had a group exhibition of oil and acrylic paintings from international artists that were larger than life titled, well: 'Larger Than Life'. The black and white face of Emilie (picture below) painted by Martin Borowski stood out from the other paintings on display there for its attention to detail and a Chuck Close type airbrushing that must have been done to attain this level of realism. Of course, it would not have looked any different from a large scale blowup of Emilie’s face using a high definition black and white photograph, but a self same attempt in acrylic takes balls.

George Billis Gallery is showing the works of Daniel Phill. The works are primarily wild flowers done in lush acrylic. For some reason, I tend to detest flower pictures because of the repetitious and cloying sense of the subject… However, this one stood out for its artful transition between the abstract and the figurative accentuated with the help of heavy impasto. The artist is said to pour, drip, smear and scrape paints of varying viscosities (that was from the gallery statement - sounded original and clichĂ©d for some reason)... I guess too much of abstraction is not playing too well with a lot of people... hence, a safer and a more understandable bet for potential buyers might be to look for artists who work in the middle ground of 'abstraction and realism'. I see a lot of this kind of 'middle ground' work nowadays… All said, I did like these paintings a lot…

Gallery Henoch is showing the paintings of Stephen Wright. After seeing Lucian Freud at the MoMA last week, I must say that it takes quite a bit to be awed by more paintings of white peoples’ skin and flesh, but, I must say: I was still taken in by this one. White epidermal bounty with all of its attendant frailties, garnishes and warts reveled by the harsh gaze of the studio lamp rendered in full frontal display on canvas is in abundance here. His style reminded me of academic painters for some reason – just the right tones and the workmanship on canvas…

Kent Gallery is showing works by Mike Cockrill who continues his explorations of children’s psyche as they pass the transitions between youth and adolescence. The correct lingo for that stage is now defined by the word tweens – (guess they are growing into a market segment all by themselves – otherwise why coin a new term for them?)... The works are sexually charged and aims to bring back repressed childhood memories. With the ever present danger of advertisers trying very hard to get young pre-pubescent girls (and sometimes boys) to strut their wares, it is indeed a statement that the artist is making with these paintings. The effects of innocuous indoctrination of sexual mores veiled under adverts for items of mass consumption into the younger minds doubtless will have real consequences for the future when we would live in a world governed by them. Get ready for more cultural cataclysms in our old ages. Mike Cockrill’s style was a bit sloppy but high on ideas and surrealism.

Pictures from Group exhibition at Stellan Holm
Martin Borowski, 'Emilie', 2007, Acrylic on linen, 74" X 132"

Brendan Cass, 'Dutch Landscape', 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 84" X 132"; Note: Heavy impasto. Between abstraction and the literal. Full of color, the artist is said to draw from photographs in travel brochures. Not too sure what is up with the blue gash in the middle of this huge canvas. Not very appealing, but the rest of it was lush enough for me...

Till Gerhard, 'Holle der Saison', Oil on canvas, 90" X 118"

Pictures from Daniel Phill at George Billis
Daniel Phill, ‘Banksia’, Acrylic on canvas, 41” X 61”

Daniel Phill, ‘Frisson’, Acrylic on canvas, 37” X 61”

Daniel Phill, ‘Ipomoea’, Acrylic on canvas, 61” X 49”

Pictures from Stephen Wright at Gallery Henoch
Stephen Wright, ‘Figure’, Oil on Canvas, 66” X 30”

Stephen Wright, ‘Mid-Century Modern’, Oil on Canvas, 46” X 44”

Stephen Wright, ‘Figure, Robe, Sofa’, Oil on Canvas, 66” X 44”

Pictures from Mike Cockrill at Kent
Mike Cockrill, 'The Best Pumpkin', 2006, Oil on canvas, 56" x 44"

Mike Cockrill, 'The Broken Fence', 2007, Watercolor and pencil on paper, 19" x 25"


ysartist said...

Thankyou for sharing these, I really enjoyed looking at them. I am thinking the blue slash on the Brendan Cass 'Dutch Landscape'painting is sky, yes? I don't mind it, but I do enjoy agree the rest is very lush. I loved looking close up at the black and white portrait. The detail is fabulous and makes me drool.


Sujith said...

Those paintings are great. The one by Martin Borowski, Till Gerhard and Stephen Wright have lot of work and details to it.