Songs and Shadows
Galerie Lelong / NY
(through April 29)
When Jay Sanders and I curated Poetry Plastique, we were looking especially for poems that moved off the page into three-dimensions, and in particular word works that did not use paper or other flat surfaces for their material support. These remarkable works by Barcelona artist Jaune Plensa fit the bill: the current show consists of two body sculptures made of metal letters and the sensational alphabet curtains made from the text (in English) of "The Song of Songs." For "Song of Songs," you can read the text vertically downward, column by column, but the best effect is just walking through the sheets of words, diagonally arrayed in the main room of the Lelong gallery. It's lettristic sublime.
2003 / Ink on paper / 31 x 22 1/4 inches
The other great show of "Poetry Plastique" this month is by Beatrice Riese (1917-2004), on through May 6 at the Walter Randel Gallery, also in Chelsea. In her last years, Riese made a a number of sublime colored alphabetic and quasi-alphabetic veils, generally with grid format (a sort of cross between Agnes Martin's painitngs and Carl Andre's poems) . A full digital display of these late Riese is available on PEPC.
Recently Seen & Recommended
Rona Pondick at Sonnabend (till April 30)
Judith Linhares at Edward Thorpe (through April 22)
Susannah Heller at Magnum Projects (through May 13)
Tara Donovan at Pace (thorugh April 22)
Amy Sillman at Sikkema Jenkins (through May 6)
Julie Hefferman at PPOW (closed)
- Samuel Palmer (1805-1881): Vision and Landscape. Palmer's visionary landscacpes have something of Blake, whom he met while still a teenager, and something of Turner as well. Many of the works exhibitted are based on Milton and Palmer's own translation of Virgil's Eclogues (through May 29)
- David Smith at the Guggenheim Museum — much of this show was curated by Dominique Fourcade. While the earlier work is of mixed interest, the final work on the upper ramps and floors, from the time of Smith's trip to Italy and after, is magnificent (through May 14)
- Klee and America at the Neue Gallery (through May 22)
- Edvard Munch at MoMa (through May 8)
- "Motor Immobile" at Green Naftali (closed): curated by Jay Sanders. Stuart Sherman shines in this conceptually acute show that also includes Marcel Broodthaers, Ulla von Brandenburg, Tony Conrad, Rachel Harrison, Lee Lozano, Seth Price and ChristopherWilliams
- Betty Cuningham Gallery has a website that enables you to scroll through their full exhibitions. Recommended: Joan Snyder, Jake Berthot, Rackstraw Downes, & Fairfield Porter (esp. for his portrait of John Ashbery and James Schuyler writing A Nest of Ninnies in 1967 -- fifth column at the top, flash setup does not allow specific URL).
[April 15, 2006]