Taka Ishii Gallery New York published “Land and Sea 1970” to accompany an exhibition by Tatuso Kawaguchi in September 2015. Since that time his book has consistently stood out from the other gallery publications and art books on my bookshelf as being an exceptionally good one. It manages to function not only as documentation of a specific show but, in a sense, is practically a work in its own right. In that regard, we could refer to it as an artist’s book though it was not intended as such.
For those fond of making lists, Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, a large-scale solo exhibition of paintings currently on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York provides a fertile stomping ground: Catrami, Gobbi, Muffi, Bianchi, Sacchi, Combustioni and Legini, Ferri, Combustioni Plastiche, Cretti. Tars, Hunchbacks, Molds, Whites, Sacks, Combustions and Woods, Irons, Plastic Combustions, Cracks. Ground pumice stone, tar, discarded linens, burlap sacks, wood veneer, cold-rolled steel, plastic sheeting off factory rolls, Celotex and blowtorch.
Bookshelves line the walls of the American sculptor Barry X Ball’s compact office and, while walking me through the blueprints depicting his new Greenpoint, Brooklyn production facility and studio, he directed my gaze up to some palm-sized sculptures resting on them.
“So,” began the New York sculptor Barry X Ball who was kind enough to allow us a visit to his Brooklyn studio some months back, “we bought a 200 foot by 100 foot piece of land.” And, while I couldn’t have imaged it at the time, this was a highly appropriate beginning to telling his story. It was a story that began at the end: the land in question was purchased in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to house Ball’s new studio and production facility.
“Limelight, 1983,” is the title of one of the prints that opens Ken Schles’ show at Howard Greenberg Gallery of gritty, grainy, high-contrast prints of downtown New York. ‘Entering The Palladium, 1985” is the title of another. “Chair 619 East 5th Street, 1984” is another. (That’s pretty damn east by the way, 619, even by today’s standards). “View From 224 Avenue B, 1983.” “Boy on East 5th Street, 1984.”
On making the first turn of the spiral up the Guggenheim ramp you too might question whether there is going to be enough to keep this exhibition of On Kawara going. It is one thing to walk the thirty-six Date Paintings permanently on view at Dia:Beacon, where the mind has been primed for the experience, and a whole other matter to walk in fresh off Fifth Avenue and immediately hit the ramp with three months of consecutive Day Paintings (“Everyday Meditation” 1971).
The Upper East Side outpost of L.A.’s Blum & Poe gallery takes up the top floors of an unprepossessing brownstone and is easy to miss. That said, you will most likely have the place to yourself, which is a special way to get to walk through the first New York solo show of Kishio Suga that takes up the gallery, including its courtyard-facing terrace.
I had forgotten that Doubleday editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis originally commissioned the photographs from Unseen Versailles by the late Deborah Turbeville that are on view at Staley Wise in 1981. The mind at first could not, perhaps did not, want to reconcile the withdrawn, intimate vision that is Turbeville’s with the stately, public and, one imagines, rigid New York of Kennedy Onassis.
The hard-hitting, ruptured, scarred, molten, carnal sculptures of the Belgian sculptor Berlinde De Bruyckere await those of you who will be in London and/or Ghent this winter.
De Bruyckere’s show, “Met tere huid/Of tender skin,” comprised of gorgeous (and intestinal) wax, leather, cloth, rope, iron and epoxy resin hanging wall sculptures, drawings, and hulking encaustic and wood sculptures are up at Hauser & Wirth in London for a couple of more weeks, while a 100-plus piece mid-career retrospective is on at S.M.A.K., Ghent through the middle of February.
An exhibition of work by the sculptor Barry X Ball opens today in Stockholm at McCabe Fine Art, serendipitously for us as we are currently preparing a lengthy profile of the artist based on a recent studio visit to be published soon. The last time Ball showed in Sweden was in 1993, so the McCabe Fine Art exhibition is an opportunity for Ball’s fans to access his work in person and for the minting of new fans among those new to Ball’s work. And access in person you should if you can.