Terminology is slippery, and using it as the premise for an exhibition can be slipperier still. But the concept underlying Metamodern, a group show at Denny Gallery on the Lower East Side, actually holds the potential to enrich an already strong array of works with a few additional, if speculative, layers of meaning.
The exhibitions that rippled through our cultural fabric over the past year, at least those occurring in and around New York, have registered the predictable number of highs and lows, though 2014 did manage to plumb one nadir unlikely to be matched for a good long time.
It seems a little unfair to encumber an exhibition with a title like OK Great REALLY this is ALSO RIDICULOUS. With its overtones of exasperation and disparagement, the phrase sends confusing signals about what’s in store and how seriously to take it. But the show hooks you in an instant and holds you for a good, long time.
There’s something about Russell Tyler’s new paintings that just shouldn’t work. Elements reappear, with minor adjustments, from canvas to canvas, suggesting that the artist assembled his compositions according to a set of rules instead of entering each new process free of preconceptions. And yet, despite their apparently imposed uniformity, or perhaps because of it, the paintings do work, and for the most part they work splendidly.
The recent resurgence of interest in contemporary painting has posited the unique object — especially the handcrafted, the slapped-together, and the aggressively tactile — as yin to neo-conceptualism’s yang, a raggedy-edged refutation of the factory-finished, the reproducible, and the overly cerebral.
Do you like your art hot or cool? A summer show at DCKT Contemporary brimming with youthful energy splits the difference, serving up a carte du jour of candy-colored formalism or post-neo-conceptual Pop, depending on how you look at it.
Three current exhibits focusing on recent MFA recipients show that painting is still being utilized by young artists for experimentation, even if they have to totally destroy the canvas with a hammer or fill it with cement.