Follow Friday: The July 4th Edition
This patriotically diverse edition of Follow Friday may feature all-American galleries, but the artists represented by them are as varied as the country itself, impossible to define or label. These galleries serve as a reminder that broadly loaded terms like ‘art’ and ‘country’ each carry with them endless nuances that are worth exploring with creative curiosity. Also worth exploring are the shows currently on view at these spaces.
Founded by pioneering Brazilian art dealer Frederico Seve, this gallery works to exhibit and promote Spanish and Latin American artists. Though the roster of artists certainly has a geographic focus, it aims to bypass the traditional limitations of these boundaries and champion artists with universal appeal. Among those represented are Minimalist marble sculptor Alicia Ehni, culturally charged collagist Carolina Gomez and human rights-conscious photographer Jose Tannuri. Currently on view through the end of August is “3,000 Years of Geometry”, featuring a variety of pre-Columbian art as well as contemporary works by Fanny Sanin, Elizabeth Jobin, Emilio Sanchez, and Omar Rayo. Included is Nasca Tunic, Middle Horizon, a work dated between 500 and 800, alongside Fanny Sanin’s modernized geometric abstraction, Acrylic No. 1, from 2010. The juxtaposition of new and old breathes refreshing color and historic beauty into this exhibition.
Also founded by a long-established dealer, George Henoch Schechtman, this Chelsea-based gallery features contemporary painters and sculptors that focus on representational work and realism. Such a niche could strike some as limiting, but Gallery Henoch’s powerhouse roster, which includes Eric Zener and Max Ferguson, proves the strength and timeless opportunities realism allows for. The vast potential of these varied styles, united under the umbrella of representation, is best exemplified by the gallery’s “Spring Group Show,” which ends this week. Included alongside one another are the oceanic wave studies of Chris Armstrong, the jazzy semi-abstractions of John Evans, and the bucolic Americana of Gary Ruddell. The combination of all of these works is a beautiful reminder of figurative painting’s limitless potential.
With locations in both Chelsea and East Hampton, Birnam Wood focuses on representing post-war American modernist painters as well as a select variety of both mid-career and emerging contemporary artists. Engaging with both the storied contemporary painting histories of NYC and the Hamptons, past solo exhibitions have included Elaine de Kooning and Susan Grossman. Other artists represented by the gallery are pop iconographer David Datuna, Hopper-esque city scene painter John Hardy, and William John Kennedy, known for his photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana. On view currently at their West 24th Street location is Datuna’s “Elements,” a series of fragmented ethereal portraits of storied pop cultural figures including Lincoln and Einstein.
This Atlanta gallery specializes in modern and contemporary photography. Jackson’s offerings include works by American classics like William Christenberry and Bruce Davidson, as well as Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Jackson regularly attends AIPAD, Paris Photo, and Art Miami thanks to their unique and in-demand collection of works. On view starting July 10th is an exhibition of now-revered 20th-century street photographer Vivian Maier, including some of the photographer’s 100,000 negatives auctioned off in Chicago in 2007. Maier’s black-and-white documentary works, many of which were not discovered until after her death, are remnants of an urban grittiness fast-disappearing in America. Her influence spans far and wide and her style echoes Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, and Weegee, among others.
Based in Chelsea, Rare focuses its attention on emerging artists, always allowing room for new talent even as some of their original artists gain massive international exposure. Among their artists are Maya Brodsky, whose portraits of urban domiciles and their sleeping occupants bring to mind Eric Fischl, and Jimmy Joe Roche, originally a champion of the Baltimore DIY scene who now creates multimedia works involving everything from digital glitch art to Norwegian black metal music. Open until August 7th is “Fin(n)ish: Fresh Contemporary Art from Finland,” an exhibition of artists mostly unfamiliar to American audiences. Included are blurry ethereal digital prints from Ville Andersson and Ea Vasko, as well as chaotic psychedelic abstract paintings by Katri Mononen and Hanna Kanto.