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After a dreary transition into April, I took the sun-soaked opportunity to christen my Easter weekend with a tour around Chelsea's gallery district.
First stop was Sikkema Jenkins & Co who is exhibiting "A Word Like Tomorrow Wears Things Out," a group show with artists Kelly Barrie, Glen Fogel, Mariah Robertson, and David Benjamin Sherry. It's hard not to gravitate towards shiny things, right? Looking back at the entirety of my gallery visits, I think all the gallerists got together and said, "Spring shows need movement and lights. If we can get both, great!" That being said, my favorite work at Sikkema was a light and sound installation titled Glen from Colorado by Glen Fogel. Fluorescent lights, sculpted to spell "Glen," are synchronized to flash in response to a HAL 9000-like recording of self-reaffirming statements, presumably about the artist. However, a chair provides a place for the viewer to sit, be a friend to the author, and purloin the declarations. Click here to view a video of this work on ArtWeLove's YouTube channel.
Next stop, a photography exhibition that captivated my attention. On view at Sonnabend Gallery are the clean, symmetrical photographs of Candida Hofer. The artist captures architecture the way Edward Burtynsky views an environmental landscape. Her images are vast, hypnotic, and all-consuming. I could spend hours trying to detail the minutia of each image. Although stark and uninviting at times, I want to live, sit, stand, and walk around every room in her portfolio. Biblioteca dei Girolamini Napoli I (pictured above) is a selection from the show that I was particularly drawn to.
Another attention grabbing show, complete with lights, sound, interaction, and even a carousel, is up at Luhring Augustine Gallery. On view through May 1st are the collaborative works of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. As you walk in, a trio of rotary phones invite you to pick up the receiver and listen in on private conversations. Exit the foyer and enter into a blackened room with a life size carousel placed solo in the center of the room. Every 15 minutes, a gallery employee turns on the amusing sculpture. Warning: Those of you with a fear of clowns, beware of this work. Eerie sounds accompany its spinning childish figurines while flashing lights create swirling reflections of nursery nightmares. Continue into the third room and you're greeted by a chest of drawers. Each drawer has a speaker inside, which is prompted to play once opened. The whole show is sinister and intrusive, but familiar all at once. I wanted to play even when I felt uneasy. To get a sense of what I mean, watch a video of the chest of drawers and see the carousel in action.
There are many more shows to see at The Pace Gallery, Gladstone Gallery, Metro Pictures, ATM Gallery, and Max Protetch Gallery. For full photographic and video coverage of works by Barbara Kruger, Tomoo Gokita, and Catherine Opie, visit ArtWeLove's Facebook profile and our YouTube channel.