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Monday, October 17, 2005

Current Chelsea Picks

A few hours wandering around Chelsea Saturday afternoon, and I was only able to come up with two and a half exhibitions worth recommending.

Adam Cvijanovic, UntitledAdam Cvijanovic’s latest show at Bellwether, Love Poem (10 Minutes After the End of Gravity), has received ample coverage since it opened. There’s good reason for that. His 14 x 75 foot painting on Tyvek (at right) feels like a reimagined, apocalyptic version of an early-1970s realist piece. The staples of suburban America (tract homes, cars, and consumer products ranging from bottles of Diet Coke to Pop Tart boxes to Glad trash bags) become weightless detritus as they float off into space, unmoored after the suspension of the law of gravity. This feels like a painting that would never have been done if it weren’t for the events of September 2001 when we realized that disasters did not have to be solely of the predictable, natural type.

Jeremy Blake’s newest film, Sodium Fox, is showing at Feigen Contemporary, and it shouldn’t be missed. Don’t bother with the static works in the front gallery, though. Head straight to the rear room where the film is being screened. Blake’s video work is all about mood, atmosphere, and the movement of color over time. The stills for sale out front do not, and cannot, do justice to the mesmerizing experience of watching his contemporary consumeristic landscape emerge and morph.

I also liked several things in the inaugural group exhibition, Set It Off, at the new James Nicholson Gallery. But since I already wrote about half the pieces in the show, I’m not going to plug them again. I’ll just say that it looks like someone took the advice in my final paragraph, cherry-picked the best work from last summer’s Artists In the Marketplace (AIM 25) exhibition, and stuck price tags on the pieces. That’s proof, I guess, that the Bronx Museum program works.

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