Lawrence van Hagen's Pop-Up & What to See in Chelsea

One of the most refreshing exhibitions in Chelsea right now is Whats Up New York the Pop Up three story show at 132 10th Avenue, curated by Lawrence van Hagen. Unfortunately I only learned of it a week before its upcoming closing on Thursday the 25th. Amazing stuff, with work shared between Americans and Europeans, most of the latter group unknown to me previously, but who made me glad to have come. For instance, the Larry Bell painting seen in the photo that includes van Hagen, is mirrored by two works by Martini Basher while the Daniel Turner reflects similarly paint slashes by Johnny Abrahams. There’s a really unusually configured Kenneth Noland and a super small John Chamberlain that appears to be in an argument with a crushed metal work by Ernesto Burgos. All in all, an exhibition worth visiting.

Another amazing show at Friedman Benda, a leading design gallery, combines cleanly carved work by Wendell Castle and wildly inventive furniture by Ron Arad, Humberto & Fernando Campana and a host of other designers that make a trip to this site fanciful fun. And at David Zwirner there is the never ending shock of the late conceptual artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres with a huge room bordered by wrapped candies and two small electric clocks as the only display on the opposing wall. At Lisson Gallery paintings by the centenarian Carmen Herrara show work from the last six years and at Matthew Marks the last work by the late Ellsworth Kelly document that he was still engaged in his work until the end.

Saw lots of other not always so interesting shows, but did want to mention Charlie Ahearn at P-P-O-W. Ahearn combines film and wall art, documenting street culture and the rise of hip hop in New York City, with videos like Bongo Barbershop and Dancing industry. There’s life in these works and he makes the most of it creatively. Just one last scene – at Allan Stone Projects there is a one man show of James Havard that is quite amazing. Without describing it I suggest you pay a visit. Havard hasn’t been seen in quite a while and I wonder why now that I’ve seen this exhibition.

There’s a lot going on in Chelsea that you will never see at the big fairs.

Curator of  Whats Up New York , Lawrence van Hagen adjacent to a Larry Bell painting

Curator of Whats Up New York, Lawrence van Hagen adjacent to a Larry Bell painting

Walking Off Art, Just Off Madison

On Wednesday night, in the now arctic Manhattan, during an art walk entitled “Just Off Madison,” American Art dealers opened their doors to give art lovers who actually work during the day an opportunity to view some pretty good art that art journalists seldom report about these days. Seduced by All Contemporary Art All the Time, they would have missed the fabulous “Bal Martinique,” a 1928 oil by William Glackens of an exuberant and wildly colorful dance hall, traveling to the Barnes Foundation. The coy response by the Kraushaar Gallery assistant when the price was asked was “above $500,000.” I had guessed closer to a million. Why the secrecy?

Pamphlets from participating galleries

Pamphlets from participating galleries

 Graham Gallery was showing two Norman Bluhms, vividly colored and exciting paintings at $150,000 for the 72 x 48 inch, and $65,000 for the 30 x 22 inch from 1961. The Remington “Bronco Buster” from 1895, 23 x 20 inches, was priced at $285,000. There was a room filled with rather wonderful sculpture, definitely worth a visit – or two. Debra Force showed Wyeth, Conner Rosenkranz displayed pieces that included Paul Jennewein, and Menconi + Schoelkopf had a really beautiful “Little Girl in Large Red Hat,” circa 1881, sitting opposite the entrance of their space, as if waiting patiently for some kind visitor to take her by the hand and out of the madding crowd. 

Cold weather may have kept many away, but the good thing about this art is that it is still there and right off Madison Avenue.

Written by Elin Lake-Ewald