Follow Friday: The New York vs London Edition
This week’s Follow Friday includes five galleries spread out across the U.S. and U.K. but united under a common passion for championing modern and contemporary works. These galleries’ offerings remind us that contemporary art’s roots in New York and London run deep and have since impacted the creative processes of artists around the globe.
Located in the first floor of a massive Jean Nouvel-designed Chelsea building, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has been around since the late-’80s and specializes in 20th- and 21st-century modern and contemporary American art. The gallery offers a diverse array of American artists, ranging from celebrated collage pioneer Romare Bearden to Ukrainian-born surrealist Boris Margo. On view currently is “Nancy Grossman: The Edge of Always, Constructions from the 1960’s.” Grossman’s gritty multimedia pastiches are reminiscent of both Robert Rauschenberg and Kiki Smith.
With a uniquely gigantic two-million-square-foot complex in Jersey City, Mana Contemporary takes full advantage of its ability to experiment with large-scale immersive exhibitions, and is a perfect summer day trip from New York. The space also houses more than 100 artist studios and a variety of other facilities to incubate and encourage artistic practice. Currently on view is a major survey of paintings by Milton Resnick and a rare exhibition of all 26 of Picasso’s “La Tauromaquia” etchings—including an ink drawing by the artist never before shown in public. Also showing is the “Mana Exhibition,” a massive cross-disciplinary show curated by Ray Smith and including works by Ai Weiwei, Rhys Gaetano, and Alex Katz, among dozens of other artists both established and emerging.
Based in Philadelphia, Locks Gallery represents a diverse group of international modern and contemporary artists. Past surveys have included Louise Bourgeois, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, and George Segal. The gallery is also deeply rooted in the city of Philadelphia, helping to champion local artists like Edna Andrade and Thomas Chimes. On view right now is “Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib: Mirrors, Marks and Loops.” Hironaka and Suib have worked collaboratively since 2008; these new works, a departure from their usual large-scale video installations, combine digital and analog technology and move toward proposing a new framework for creating and interpreting images in the 21st century.
This brand new space in London inaugurates itself with a retrospective of Igor Mitoraj’s eerily ethereal sculptures, which are rooted in mythical traditions and draw from classic figures like Eros and Venus. Città Perduta II (2005) shows two mummy-esque figures, both gazing despite their vision being obscured by bandages. An earlier work, Ithaka (1991), stages a winged (but legless) Romanesque female figure punctured by nails. The gallery also shows dancer-photographer Mikhail Baryshnikov and Pop pioneer Robert Indiana.
This gallery was founded in 2011 and recently participated in London’s PINTA Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show. Currently on view are several works by Iranian painter Mehran Elminia. These massive abstract paintings are windows into a world that feels both earthly and digitized, balancing calmness with chaos. The gallery also represents surrealist Gideon Kiefer and Italian minimalist sculptor Roberto Almagno.
– Charlie Ambler