While music stores seem to be getting close to extinction in NYC, I was glad to have discovered Other Music, an independent music store selling CDs, vinyls and MP3 downloads, specializing in underground, rare and experimental music. I was there looking for Atom™'s Winterreise, with no success. I later figured that Winterreise has only been released in playbutton format, not in CD. But then I found Kangding Ray's latest release Or. I first started listening to Kangding Ray on last.fm a few years ago. Never expected to find his CDs. Thank you, Other Music, for the nice surprise. I will definitely make Other Music my mandatory stop when I visit NYC again.
Grosvenor's Tenerife was mysteriously floating in mid-air - some might even argue that it's speedily flying - despite its seemingly heavy components. Chan's 1st Light slowly unleashed its melancholic power as silhouettes of things and human figures appeared on the floor, where the video was projected. Things (mobile phones, laptops, cars, sunglasses) were gloriously rising while human figures were tragically falling. Both Grosvenor's and Chan's works are very powerful indeed.
August is the month of group exhibitions. While not every group exhibition is necessarily appealing, I would stumble upon some nice surprises from time to time. I visited Toronto's the DepARTment yesterday and saw some interesting collages by Jacob Whibley. With his geometric and organic forms posing next to each other, Whibley's compositions exploit the contrast between found and intentionally crafted elements.
Collages seem to be the hottest thing this summer. Also at the DepARTment are Laurie Kang's collages of abstract forms. I love the imaginary spaces Kang created.
I visited Toronto's Show & Tell Gallery today and found myself impressed by New York artist Greg Lamarche's hand-cut paper collages. Inspired by the dynamism of his native NYC, Lamarche's works show clear traits of graffiti art while playing with font styles and rhythmic repetition.
Also at the show was another American artist James Marshall (aka Dalek). The vibrant colours of Marshall's paintings resonated perfectly with Lamarche's urban scribbles.
Back to Toronto ... so my whirlwind trip to NYC is now sadly over. Of course, my New York experience would have been terribly deficient without seeing some architecture there. I actually did not have time to walk around the city to dig out the buildings I like. But I did get the chance to casually encounter some. I'll share those here and in my future posts.
Frank Gehry has greatly enhanced the coolness factor of NYC by bringing "icebergs" and "ice columns" to this awesome city ...
Gehry's "icebergs" - IAC HQ Chelsea completed in 2007, New York:
Gehry's "ice columns" - 76-storey Lower Manhattan New York by Gehry apartment building completed in 2011, New York:
My day started with frustrations. I made an unforgiven mistake assuming that the art galleries in Chelsea are open on Saturday. I was wrong! I forgot that the galleries are now open for summer hours, which means that they are mostly open Tuesday to Friday only. Since I am leaving on Monday, I am going to miss the galleries this time.
While I was blaming myself for my sloppiness, I tried to make my day as well spent as possible. I visited the New York City Hall Park to see the temporary display of Sol LeWitt's legendary structures. My day finished on a better note than it was started. But I guess it won't be long before I visit New York again.
Thursday nights are free nights at New Museum. I went there on Thursday but it was too crowded. So I decided to visit again on Friday. They were showing Ostalgia, a survey of the art produced in and about the former communist European states. Sharing a similar but slightly different theme of new art from central and eastern Europe is the Power Plant's current exhibition Rearview Mirror in Toronto. I visited PP just before coming to New York. So inevitably I have to compare the two shows. I must say that I have enjoyed the NM show much better than PP's. There are a few artists showing at Ostalgia that I intrinsically like. Too bad photography was not allowed. So I cannot show you.
Friday nights are free nights at Whitney Museum. I went to see one of their featured shows - Cory Arcangel's Pro Tools. When I was in Berlin last month, I saw another Arcangel exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof. In fact, the two shows carry Arcangel's works from the same series. So it's just like seeing the same show again - this time at a larger scale. Arcangel has been exploring the interplay of digital technologies, internet culture and art in various media. All his exhibited works here have incorporated the use of technological tools - either newly innovated or obsolete.
Arcangel at Whitney, New York 2011:
*Hello World is the title of a series of Arcangel's pen-plotter drawings shown at both exhibitions.
Talking about Bernd and Hilla Becher, I found a lot of vintage industrial constructions outside my train window that looked as if they had appeared in the Bechers' photo album. They made my train ride even more enjoyable.