10 Trickiest Trompe L’oeils in Summer Gallery Shows

The practice of tricking viewers to think an artwork is something else dates back to antiquity, but it never gets old. Indeed it’s one of the top trends of the summer art season, judging by the number of gallery shows featuring objects that flaunt mad technical skills–and a deadpan sense of humor–to make you do that double-take. See if you can guess the materials of these trompe l’oeil works currently on view in Chelsea and the Lower East Side.

From top: David Adamo, “Untitled (orange peel),” 2014, bronze, at Kai Matsumiya; Nicolas Party Blackam, “Stone (orange),“ 2012, acrylic on stone, at Salon 94 Bowery; Hannah Cole, "Safety Fence,” 2015, acrylic on canvas, at The Lodge Gallery; Bill Adams, “Balls,” 2015, clay, acrylic, and marker, at Kerry Schuss; Matthias Merkel Hess, 3 of his “5 Gallon Bucket,” 2015, stoneware, at Salon 94 Freemans; Martha Friedman, “Loaf 1,” 2010, cast rubber, at The Hole; Leslie Wayne, “Paint Rag 57 (Adinkra),” 2015, oil on panel, at Mixed Greens; Lauren Seiden, “Cloaked,” 2015, graphite on paper, at Louis B. James; Bertozzi and Casoni, “Cestino della discordia,” 2012, glazed ceramic, at Sperone Westwater; Sarah Harrison, “Rug 13,” 2015, oil on panel, at Mixed Greens.


just opened:

Hooray For Hollywood!
 Nicholas Africano, Laurie Anderson, Jared Bark, Robert Barry,
 Ed Baynard, Christo, Brad Davis, Donna Dennis, Tina Girouard,
 Mary Heilmann, Lisa Hoke, Julia Jacquette, Valerie Jaudon,
 Christopher Knowles, Robert Kushner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt,
 Jean Lowe, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gordon Matta-Clark,
 Virgil Marti, Melissa Meyer, Richard Nonas, Nam June Paik,
 Izhar Patkin, Judy Pfaff, Barbara Pollack, Jon Rappleye,
 George Schneeman, Alexis Smith, Ned Smyth, Andy Warhol,
 William Wegman, Rob Wynne, Joe Zucker and others.
Mixed Greens Gallery, 514 W24th St., NYC
in collaboration with Pavel Zoubok Gallery

Holly Solomon (1934-2002) began her journey in the art world during the early 1960s, collecting Pop Art and quickly establishing herself as a “Pop princess.” She was the subject of iconic portraits by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Christo. In 1969 she transformed her loft at 98 Greene Street into an exhibition and performance space that introduced New York audiences to Gordon Matta-Clark, Donna Dennis, Robert Kushner, Laurie Anderson, George Schneeman and others. In 1975, the Holly Solomon Gallery opened with a group exhibition that immediately distinguished the gallery’s program through its unapologetic embrace of anti-modernist values.

Hooray for Hollywood! features important works representing the gallery’s 30-year history and pays homage to a program that launched major careers and influenced subsequent generations of artists. What emerges is a portrait of a complex and courageous woman who left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape.

This exhibition is co-curated by Mixed Greens’ Heather Bhandari and Steven Sergiovanni (a former director of Holly Solomon Gallery), and Pavel Zoubok, whose program of contemporary collage and mixed-media was profoundly influenced by Solomon’s example.

Katie Bell is interested in the way materials and surfaces associated with the home–such as linoleum, wallpaper, and carpet–relate to abstract painting, as well as how the process of building can relate to constructing a painting. Bell has shown her work at venues including Mixed Greens Gallery in New York, Nudashank in Baltimore, PLUG Projects in Kansas City, and Okay Mountain Gallery in Austin.  She currently has work included in PAINT THINGS at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA as well as Parallel Art Space in Brooklyn. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Bell graduated in 2011 from RISD with an MFA in Painting. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Katie BellA Night’s Mission, 2012. Vinyl, wood, foam, plastic, carpet, paper, glue, rope, drywall spray, linoleum, and acrylic on wall. Photo Credit: Carly Gaebe.

If you’re in NYC this weekend, stop by Mixed Greens Gallery, 531 W 26th St. 1st Fl (between 10th and 11th Ave).  Curtis Carman and I will be discussing our collaboration on the COLOR DOT CONNECT installation - our talk will be moderated by Alex Fialho, the new Programs Manager at Visual AIDS. 3:00-4:00pm. (this is going to be a FUN conversation…I PROMISE!)

See you there!


Read my interview with curator Jordan Tate on his exhibition Color Shift, which looks at the principles of modernism and minimalism in contemporary art, at Mixed Greens Gallery on WhiteWall Magazinehttp://whitewallmag.com/all/art/curator-qa-jordan-tates-color-shift-at-mixed-greens

Images Courtesy of Mixed Greens Gallery, New York

Last days to see Sonya Blesofsky’s: Tenement @ Mixed Greens! Runs through Saturday, June 11th. Don’t miss it!

We could all live in paper houses if Sonya Blesofsky was building them. Catch the last days of Tenement @ Mixed Greens in Chelsea and you will be wowed by the precision & sheer construction of Blesofsky’s building details, architectural moldings, and interior fixtures. You’ll be asking yourself how on earth can this all be made out of paper? 

Blesofsky spent some time as an Artist-in-Residence in the Open Studios program at MAD Museum where she made paper magic there too. MAD hosts one heck of a studio artist program & hand selects some of todays newest and innovative artists around. 

More images of Sonia’s exhibition & paper magic. Artist’s Website


Deconstructing the Confederate flag

The Confederate flag — or more accurately, the battle flag of the Confederacy, which is the rectangular version most of us are familiar with — symbolizes many things. For some, it may celebrate their Southernness. For others, it may represent the Civil War and its ties to the legacies of race, slavery and economics.

For artist Sonya Clark, the flag’s most intriguing aspect is how polarizing it is.

Clark takes an intimate look at that symbol in her latest work, “Deconstructing the Confederate flag,” debuting at New York’s Mixed Greens gallery this month as part of the “New Dominion” exhibition.

The performance is not an aggressive act, Clark says. But set against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, necessitated by recent events in places such as Ferguson and Baltimore, she hopes it will inspire interesting dialogue.

“The performance of it is almost a meditative kind of ‘what does it mean to undo the symbol?’” Clark said. “What does it mean to then use the raw elements that came together to make this symbol? To take them apart and potentially make something new again out of that?