A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Allison Schulnik: Mound

This holiday week take the older kids to the ZieherSmith Gallery in Chelsea.   LA based artist Allison Schulnik  presents her paintings, ceramic sculptures and an animated film entitled MOUND.   The ceramic work depicts cats, possums and other small fantastical creatures.  The cat and possum sit on their hind legs with front paws up much like the all too human Beatrix Potter forest friends.  The paintings, are mostly floral displays and brooding hobo's, that are almost three dimensional with their thickly layered oils, popping out at you from black or neutral backgrounds.  The centerpiece of the work is the animated short film MOUND that runs continuously in the gallery space.  The gallery write up perfectly describes the film as a moving painting.  The claymation wonderland that enfolds before your eyes is a sea of imaginary creatures passing each other as if at a rail station all in their lonely worlds.  Sometimes they connect and engage in an emotional dance only to move away again.  The sound track of the film is the bewitching 1969 ballad of lost love "It's Raining Today," by Scott Walker.  It's haunting melody drives the movement of the imagery.  The characters and moving landscape is a culmination of labor-intensive work requiring 2 hours to create a single frame of nearly 100 hand-sculpted and sewn puppets.  There's something very Tim Burton about the work but without the gore.  Perfect for the pre-tweens too.
The exhibit runs until December 17
ZieherSmith 516 West 20th street
Images: Top: Allison Schulnik, "Flower Mound," 2011
Left: Allison Schulnik, "Standing Gin #3," 2011
video:  "Mound" 2011,  Allison Schulnik


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Burning Bright: A Short History of the Light Bulb

Zhang Xiaogang
Lamp No. 2, 2009
The venerable Light bulb as icon gets the spotlight this month in at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea.  Making a debut in 1880, the incandescent light bulb gave artists an alternative light source to work by day or night and inspiration as a subject in and of itself.   The roster of artists represented at the exhibit is stellar,Picasso, Calder and Rauschenberg to name just a few.  There are oils, inks,  photographs, sculpture,installations and mixed media on view.  We especially liked Alexander Calder's "Cat lamp," circa 1928.   You'll enjoy comparing the different techniques, styles and viewpoints presented by the artists. The exhibit runs until November 26 and is perfect for all.  Take care to keep the smaller children from the irresistible urge to touch. 
Alexander Calder
"Cat Lamp," 1928
The Pace Gallery 545 West 22nd street
Alexander Calder "Cat Lamp," 1928 The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of the artist, 1966
Zhang Xiaogang "Lamp No. 2, 2009
Courtesy The Pace Gallery