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Friday, July 01, 2005

More Proof that the Cutting Edge Cuts Elsewhere

I've been uncharacteristically negative here over the last week. Let me head into the long holiday weekend by getting a little bit splenetic on myself for a change.

If you read From the Floor for up-to-the-minute news and notes, you’re looking at the wrong site.

Case in point. The other day I walked past the former midtown home of art-loving Deutsche Bank. The building now has the law firm Clifford Chance as its marquee tenant. That’s the same Clifford Chance that was a major sponsor of this year’s Armory Show. It’s also the same Clifford Chance that is building an important collection of works on paper by emerging artists.

Fortunately for us midtown suits, Clifford Chance has kept the building’s small lobby gallery. Currently on view is an exhibition curated by the firm's art consultant, Dinaburg Arts. The show, entitled Woven, features work by ten artists who are either working with textiles or are using what are traditionally considered to be textile methods of production (e.g., weaving, crocheting, etc.) in other media.

What stopped me in my tracks as I walked by the lobby windows was a fantastic, gigantic piece by Lucky DeBellevue. I did a double-take, then a triple-take. I stopped and stared at it through the window. I turned around, walked into the building and looked at it in person. I managed to snap a couple shots of the untitled piece from 2004 before I was told by the lobby attendants that photography was not allowed. (Not that it mattered much as my camera is now telling me I have a memory card error, and the images are not recoverable. So no pictures here, unfortunately.)

I’m not always a fan of DeBellevue’s work, but this piece is stupendous. The contrast in color and texture between the chenille stems and the plastic pearl-like ball, the juxtaposition of forms on the right and left sides—everything about the work feels right.

When I got back to a computer I did a quick Google search to check a few facts before I wrote something on the piece for the blog. And what do I find near the top of my search results as I start reviewing them?


James Wagner saying exactly the same thing as I intend to say about exactly the same piece. But he says it seven months before I do. And he gets his digital camera to work so he has an image to show. (There's another available here, for the time being, at Artnet.)

DeBellevue's piece (Untitled, 2004), and the rest of the show, is on view in the lobby of 31 West 52nd Street through September 7, 2005.

Clarification (update): The lobby gallery of 31 West 52nd is sponsored by the building's management company, not by Clifford Chance. Dinaburg Arts, however, curates for both organizations.

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