Art from Online: October 2018

Charlie Parsons, ROCKET staff member, compiles his favorite artworks from the galleries on his insta feed

Helen Frankenthaler
Flirt, 1995
Acrylic on paper, 60 ½ x 89 ½ in (153.7 x 227.3 cm)
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

God damn!! Would you look at that abyss of colors. Here, Frankenthaler tediously layers thin washes of paint to produce that deep streaky wall of stuff. I love all the colors here I love the way that violet runs down to the corner of the paper. Frankenthaler was also hugely influential in bridging abstract expressionism and color field painting, revolutionizing the field before artists like Mark Rothko painted their expanses of color.

Carmen Herrera
Carmen Herrera: Estructuras, Installation view
2018 Lisson Gallery
504 West 24th Street, New York

Excerpts from the Estructuras press release:

Based on paintings ‘really crying out to become sculpture’, Herrera’s Estructuras represent a rare break in Herrera’s insistent planarity and two dimensionality of her paintings.”

“Herrera envisioned the Estructuras in an environmental sense, using the surrounding walls as a part of the composition. These irregularly-shaped works technically remain her only monochromes, however Herrera envisions the white of the wall exposed in the negative space as the second color. The exhibition features a selection of new painted aluminum structures – eight wall works and four works which are installed on the floor – furthering the architecturally oriented abstraction into the wider gallery space. The dynamic composition of the floor-based Estructuras convey movement and rhythm though a careful geometric balance of lines, forms and color.”

Read more here.

Laura Owens
Untitled, 1997
Oil, acrylic, and airbrushed oil on canvas 96 × 120 in; 243.8 × 304.8 cm
Whitney Museum of American Art

“In an untitled 1997 abstract seascape that is mostly blue sky, she painted two thick black lines (birds) with drop shadows for a trompe l’oeil effect. In this and a number of other paintings, Owens is interested in degraded opticality – the meeting of Clement Greenberg’s purity with what he hated, kitsch. The result is a work that is affably perverse. The emptiness found at the heart of this painting is prevalent to a greater and lesser degree in all of the work, most often merged with self-conscious charm buttressed by a bit of theory. As if deflecting charges of elitism, Owens seems determined that her work not appear hermetic or difficult, and that entertainment is a constant feature of everything she does. These are perfectly catered works for a variety of discerning palates.” -Laura Owens and the Death of the Auteur, John Yau

Read more here.

Luiz Zerbini
Vênus, 2018
Acrylic on canvas 59 × 59 in; 149.9 × 149.9 cm
Sikkema Jenkins & Co

“While maintaining the modernist grid (a characteristic of his abstract work) as an organizing principal, Zerbini introduces new circular geometries in works like Vênus and the large-scale painting, Macaé. The linear and curvilinear areas overlap and intersect resulting in complex forms filled with vivid color and texture. In Doce Rio Zerbini uses a similar combination of geometry but to different ends. Here he has painted stalks of bamboo growing from the intersection of grid lines around which a series of circles radiate as if ripples in water.”

Read more here.

Hugh Hayden
America, 2018
Sculpted mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) on plywood 43 ¼ x 81 x 81 in
Border States at Lisson Gallery (15 September – 27 October 2018)

Excerpts from the Lisson Gallery press release:

“This lumber, gathered in highly politicized areas, has been combined to create forms that typify the idealistic US notions of family values and home ownership — a shared dinner table, the white picket fence, a baby crib and stroller. These personal components embodied the greater idea that dreams are attainable by all people through hard work and determination and that upward mobility can be visible through a series of material objects.”

“However, the exhibition arises at a time when America’s characteristic optimism is at a low ebb and when the widely-held ideals of the country as a land of opportunity, hope and familial togetherness, are similarly in crisis. In the current geopolitical climate, the works begin to take on a new, twisted relevance. The fence which is traditionally a status of having achieved a middle-class suburban life, is now a wall, erected to exclude. The table, the crib and stroller which once embodied the community and safe routines of an everyday life now sit empty — relics of the American dream.”

Read more here.

Nicole Eisenman
“Morning Studio” (2016)
Anton Kern Gallery

Excerpts from NYT Art Review:

“Unlike Polke and Mr. Schnabel, Ms. Eisenman is also committed to accessible narratives about life and its challenges. Her themes include hot-button issues like gender, race, economic inequality and guns, as well as timeless subjects like dread of the future, our relationship to technology and the comic-torturous life of the artist. At the same time, her works rarely fail to delight with surprising colors, lush paint passages, inventive textures and telling details. Her paintings are, in short, time-consuming in the best way: You want to study, enjoy and find comfort from them…

Ms. Eisenman’s paintings declare open season on painting, borrowing from past and present, possibly to build a new kind of future. She makes both the history and craft of representation painting seem remarkably underused…

In the extraordinary “Morning Studio,” two cuddling women are the occasion for several styles of representation, various paint textures and an amazing summoning of light.”

Read more here.

Ellsworth Kelly
Yellow White, 1961
Oil on cavnas
213.4 x 141.5 cm
Foundation Beyeler, Riehen Basel, Sammlung Beyeler



There’s a lot of books and theory on how Ellsworth Kelly’s paintings challenged prevailing ideas on what painting could be. To me though when I look at this it’s just like deep sigh breath of fresh air finally just color and shape and that’s all and I could look at it forever. The shapes are hand drawn also and their slight irregularities betray a human touch. Idk dude so sweet and peaceful.





Sam Falls
Untitled (Ozark National Forest, 1), 2018
Pigment on canvas
100 x 62 inches (254 x 157.5 cm)
SFA 148
303 gallery

“Sublimating the natural world in works that both defy and embrace the basic functions of art, Falls’ works record specific moments in time as well as the infinite human impulse to commune with nature. For the series of paintings on view, Falls brings large sheets of canvas into the deepest corners of America’s national parks, covering them with dry pigments and arranging bracken and found flora to create intricate patterns. These arrangements are then left exposed to the elements, where dewdrops, mist, rain, sun and atmosphere activate the pigments. This process, similar to a photogram, records not only the formal qualities of the plant life, but also a semblance of the psychological and climatic substrata that constitute a tenuous definition of ‘place.’ These works, large in a New York gallery but mere blips in the overwhelming space of nature, point to the inescapable omnipresence of the natural world in our lives outside society – the circadian rhythms and innate formal reflexes that determine what might be interpreted as beautiful, optimistic, pleasing, virtuous, ominous, or frightening. That nature itself has been perhaps the most pervasive concern of art since the beginning of mark-making should be no surprise.”

Read more here.


Judith Eisler
Candles, 2018
Oil on canvas 55 3/25 × 39 37/100 in; 140 × 100 cm
Casey Kaplan

“Judith Eisler paints cinematic close-ups sourced from her own photographs of paused film scenes. With a lifelong interest in flm, Eisler often returns to the work of filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Derek Jarman. In consideration of the formal properties of light, color and space within a single film frame, the artist considers an image’s capacity to exist as both real and fictional. As each image undergoes multiple layers of mediation, Eisler’s renderings shift between representational and abstract. Working with oil on canvas, Eisler directs our view to the visual optics of cinematic happenings”

“Jarman uses candles to illuminate the “17th century” studio where the painter works into the night. The candles burn as the wax melts and the expansiveness of the fame is tempered by the simultaneous diminishment of the material. Similarly, the film still contains the seeds for its own disintegration: what appears before our eyes in one moment will transition into something else in the next frame. That moment between what has happened and what is to happen is open to possibility and chance. Things still happen when one is not looking.”


Butterfly Moth In Transcendental State (2018)
Fabric, canvas, hardware, belt on shaped panel
65.5h × 53.5w inches (166.37h × 135.89w cm)
Chelsea Culprit DMing Purgatory at Queer Thoughts, New York

“…two new shaped-canvas works, Butterfly Moth in Transcendental State, and Black Widow Anarchist Hourglass, operate as logograms (i.e. a single character that designates an entire phrase or idea; a symbol enacting its own power). The upholstered legs and pelvises of these forms coalesce in imperfect tessellations, evoking blocks of a geometrically patterned quilt–an American aesthetic tradition that predates geometric abstract painting and is significant within the artist’s familial history. Like a handmade quilt, which as a tactile social artifact allows itself to be consumed by life’s processes, the hybrid bodies of these well-heeled femmes are composed of found and repurposed textiles and strung with the chains of bodily necessity. If they appear surrendered, it is only to the absolute exposure of being a thing itself, a self-engendered sigil of ones inherent freedom, and the liberating potential of a judgment day that can never come.” 

Read more here.

Derrick Adams
Young Woman In Violet
From the “Deconstruction Worker” Series
Mixed media Collage on paper
24 in x 18 in.
Titon Gallery

“Deconstruction Worker is an ongoing and evolving series of collage, painting and multimedia sculpture using pencil, ink, paint, fabric and printed shelf-liner to create minimal geometric constructions of angular human figures. These figures are meant to appear to live both in a state of deconstruction and in the process of being built.

Architectural processes and their different presentation strategies are important in the work. Building footprints, floor plans, elevation sections, visual renderings and the constructed object act as various developmental states and approaches, and serve as a comparative investigation into the physical construction of the figure.

The series is inspired by the philosophies of Deconstructivism , such as the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, and the marriage of complex and improbable forms. Through these techniques, examination is placed on the force of popular culture and the media on the perception and construction of self-image.”

Read more here.


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