Natalie Frank‘s paintings are worlds in which both form and formality have been melted away. Faces have been disintegrated into their constituent parts, held together by goopy swathes of color; subjects are diving into free love, violent and vulnerable states. One thing you might notice when looking at her work is that however distended every other part of a body may be, at least one eye is always in sharp focus. This may or may not have to do with the fact that until this last summer, Natalie could only receive optical sensation from her left eye, causing her to see a two dimensional world. How you theorize about that information in relation her work is up to you, but if you want to do it in person, she has a show up at Fredericks & Freiser until November 3. Check it out!
Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-born artist who grew up in the US, and coming from such rich backgrounds, it is easy to see why her work deals with the disintegration of power and history. Melting statues and monuments, paintings that look like they were left out in the rain for centuries, the work in her show at the Marianne Boesky Gallery looks more like anthropological pompei-like discoveries than they do precious art objects, which is kind of the point. It encourages you to wonder what kinds of remnants our empires will leave behind for the future to dig up, or for others, maybe it is a call to arms to incite some cultural anarchy. Her show also closes on the 20th of this month, so stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!
Julie Heffernan‘s paintings take all the tropes of Northern Renaissance painting, combines them, and makes them into absurd works that feel like art history collages rendered by one of the masters themselves. She has a show coming up at the Mark Moore Gallery on November 3, so if you like what you see, make sure to check out her opening, it sounds great!
At age 72, Mernet Larson is having her first solo show in new york right now. Her show Three Chapters is slated to be shown in three consecutive bodies of work– Heads and Bodies, Places, and Narratives. The first two have already come and gone, but if you’re in the NY area you should check out her Narratives chapter at the Johannes Vogt gallery before it gets taken down on the 27th . “These works navigate the divide between abstraction and representation with a form of geometric figuration that owes less to Cubo-Futurism than to de Chirico, architectural rendering and early Renaissance painting of the Sienese kind. They relish human connection and odd, stretched out, sometimes contradictory perspectival effects, often perpetuated by radical shifts in scale.” – New York Times (via)
If you’re trying to cut back on caffeine, try replacing it with Ali Smith‘s paintings; they are pure visual energy. “With their rough edges, fractured compositions and unpredictable scale-shifts, the L.A. artist paints energetic pictures whose wild swipes and slashes are not expressive — in any way, shape or form. Rather than standing in as authentic emblems of inner turmoil or heartfelt emotions, the whiplash gestures in Smith’s paintings take on lives of their own.” – Los Angeles Times
Peter Scherrer is a Washington (state) based artist and makes amazing paintings about the woods he grew up around. His newer work feels like a combination of fauvism and DeKooning, but his older stuff is 100% woods and it makes the woods feel like a whole other kind of jungle. If you find yourself in Seattle in the next two days, check out his work at the Cornish College where he is hanging until the 13th. “You have to love the paintings of Peter Scherrer. They’re perfectly serious, thick and virtuosic and painterly and dark, and funny at the same time.” – Jen Graves of The Stranger ( via )
Marcie Oakes is a young painter dwelling in the suburbs of Chicago. Her voluptuous, deeply layered abstractions often reference landscape but can often turn into something un-namable. These explosive images are penned using a wide variety of applications and painting techniques that build a surface that can only be truly appreciated in person. Jump.
I grew up in rural Indiana, but Justin B. Hansch’s exhibition GIRLS & GRILS gives me a sense of nostalgia for a beach-based coming of age story that I never lived. Hazy memories of lazy days and sexy babes drive the content of the show, and a similarly instinctual application of paint is the perfect pairing for this type of imagery. Tight edged graphic elements punctuate luscious gestural moments with a natural ease. It is clear that Hansch has a solid grasp of what a well-designed painting is capable of.
The exhibition is organized in a Pac-man-esque timeline of girl, grill, girl (and so on) – which allows the paintings to operate individually and collectively as one larger installation. As summer comes to a close GIRLS & GRILS functions as “the last word” from America’s most romanticized season, and a welcome reminder that days like those portrayed will be back again next year with the same casual expectations as years past. The show will be on view at Steve Turner Contemporary until October 6th, and I encourage you to make time for it during these busy opening weeks of the fall gallery season.
P.S. I’ve included a few examples of Hansch’s previous work to give you a more well rounded representation of his practice.