sperone westwater


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.

Having her cake and eating it too?

Untitled (Birthday), 2007, from Kim Dingle’s show of slightly demented and possibly drunken childrens’ birthday parties. The image dissolves, just like the frosting does, as one assertive and naughty-looking brushstroke detaches itself from the existentially challenged celebrant and drifts into the ocher ground.  

In another daring gesture, the press release explains nothing–but it least this time it’s the artist’s choice.

It was ostensibly hijacked by Dingle, who, pronouncing that she has erased the bio the gallery wrote for her, issues a coy disclaimer. "Subjects are useful for paint and for using line,“ she writes. "If what is depicted makes the artist laugh then all the more fun for the artist and maybe for the viewer, too – but it is usually an accident. That is all it is." 

Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York


Wim Delvoye 
10 April 2013

New York, NY - Sperone Westwater is pleased to present an exhibition of recent laser-cut stainless steel and bronze sculptures. 

This show is really good.  I can’t say I’m massively interested in religious iconography, but the quality of the work is to be noted.  Stop by to view the exhibition in one of two of Norman Foster’s NY buildings. 

Show Me What You Got

From the collection of Gian Enzo Sperone & Angela Westwater come over 60 sculptures & paintings spanning from 350 B.C. to last  week. The works are spread out in this narrow and challenging building designed by architect Norman Foster ( also credited for The Reichstag Building, the Beijing airport, and the Hearst Tower in New York).

Infinite, 2011 by Fabio Viale-Marble 25"x57"x57"

The marble exhibition outdid the portraits by far. Beautifully displayed -white on white-and with enough breathing space to absorb and engulf on each artist’s craft at digging in stone. 

From Greek and Roman antiquities, Neoclassical sculptures, and works by modern and contemporary European and American artists, one of my favorite works was Not Vital’s Untitled ( Binoculars), 1988 White marble+leather case. This Swiss born talent is Sperone Westwater’s upcoming exhibition artist-One to watch…

Bust of A Young Lady by Filippo della Valle ( born in Florence, 1698-1768) marble 30"x19"x11.5"

Installation view

Marble Doors by Superstar ( and now FREE!) artist AI WEIWEI

This Mondino piece is so great, fun, beautifully carved- it almost looks like real flesh. It would look great in my house!

Trophy, 1996 Aldo Mondino ( Turin, 1938-2005) marble 33.5"x44.5"x12.5"

Portrait of a Man Crowned with Laurel by North Italian artist, XIX century -marble

Installation view

Now moving on to the 3rd and 4th floors of the toothpick building where the self-portraits & portraits are poorly displayed. All the Contemporary works are hung like sardines in a can. The best in the can where Francis Picabia’s, Francesco Clemente’s, and George Condo’s paintings. Although some other works would get an honorary mention like Schnabel’s & Duong’s works. Most where self-portraiture and some seemed to be out of place and hard to digest.

Portrait de Suzanne, 1942 by Francis Picabia (b.Paris 1878-1953) oil on panel 25"x20 3/8" I LOVED seeing this painting which inspired Julian Schnabel to paint this:

Large Girl with No Eyes, 2001 by J Schnabel ( not in this exhibition)

Installation view

The Cubist lady, 2004 by George Condo -Oil on canvas 20 ¼"x16"

Portrait of Cardinal Niccolo Gaddi, 1547/49 by Jacopino del Conte ( Italian, 1510-1598) Oil on panel 25 ¾"20"

The 16th & 17th century works where inspiring and great to see in a Contemporary gallery and available for acquisition. As we, the mundane, are used to seeing works of this caliber in a museum or as cultural patrimony.

Portrait of a Young Man, 1580-1590 by Santi di Tito (Borgo San Sepolcro 1536-Florence 1603)

All in All I applaud Gian Enzo Sperone for being a risk taker and presenting us an exhibition with historical value and I think…sense of humor….

Marble & Sculpture from 350 B.C. to last week / Portraits, Self-Portraits from 16th to the 21st c at Sperone Westwater on view until February 25th, 2012 ( 257 Bowery NY NY 10002)

On April 28, New York-based artists Alexis Rockman and Mark Dion will share how the Museum’s Library collections have influenced their work. Library Director Tom Baione hosts the event to mark the launch of a new online database of digital images from the Museum Library’s collections.

Browse the rich collection of digitized archives and find what inspires you!

Image credits (from top left, clockwise)

-Bear (Mark Dion):
Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
-Rice, H. S. and Dutcher, Irving, “Children viewing Polar Bear Group, 1927.”
-Forest floor (Alexis Rockman):
Courtesy the artist and Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York
-Rota, Alex J., “Installing models for the Forest Floor exhibit, 1958.”