September is upon us and with it brings the return of the artirati from their summer hibernation upstate or overseas to their fall haunts around Chelsea.
First there was fashion week, just to kick things off. It was, as always, a bizarre affair mixing commercialism with high art, haute couture, red wine, and cocaine.
Once Thursday rolled around most everyone was alive again, recovered from their hangover, so they made their way into the Chelsea to experience the first big opening night of the season.
The area was busy and we flitted from gallery to gallery searching for the best in photography, and there was a lot to sift through.
There were, of course highlights.
Mitchell Innes and Nash displayed Justine Kurland's series Sincere Auto Care. Which was well composed, beautifully lit pictures of mechanics repairing cars & their wreckage. It's a good series, especially the images of Kurland's son. Children were running around the gallery making the whole thing more adorable.
Yossi Milo was host to Marco Bruer's series of scratched, folded, overexposed, photopapers entitled Zero Base. Zero Base can be broadly classified as photography from the use of photopaper, but it really has more in common with mixed media, or paintings. Some of the folded patterns invoke the structural organization of a Mondrian or Rothko while others are hectic scratches. The series is abstract, but worth a couple views to make up your own meaning and impose it upon what is essentially, and deliberately, a blank canvas.
Similar to Bruer in terms of abstraction was Wallspace's exhibition of John Divola's ominous, dark prints in varying shades of black.
Laura Letinski's minimalist white works in Yours More Pretty are in the same vein as Bruer's but directly in opposition. Where Bruer wants the viewer to look for the subtle changes of black, Letinski's prints are delicate lines of barely there still life, ripped advertisements and scraps of other pictures forming the backdrop. Also at Yancy Richardson was Ellen Bartley's series Paperbacks. Paperbacks takes the most interesting part of the book, well the second most interesting part of the book, the cover, and deliberately avoids all possible recognition of what the books could be. She stacks them with just the paper showing, the interior of the book (the most interesting) is displayed visually and it avoids the problem of name dropping that most other book photography falls prey to.
A non photography highlight was Nick Cave's new work that was spread across two of Jack Shainman's galleries. The two separate series were a notable departure from the sound suits that have defined Cave for most of his career. The mixed media sculpture and found objects draw upon the same themes as his sound suits, but spreads them across entire walls and four-foot tall statues.
Moving from Chelsea to Brooklyn was The 2014 Tokyo International Photography Competition's opening reception, which was a salon style mixture of the best photographers chosen by the Competition's jury. For some reason Berlin, Brooklyn, and Tokyo have been chosen as the places where the work will be shown.
Finally, moving not only from Chealsea but to the Lower East Side and on Saturday were a couple of exhibitions of note. The first; Red Hot at Bosi Contemporary, was great if you like pictures of sexy red heads. The second was a combination of the work of Pierre Molliaire (whose ridiculous antics I wrote about in our previous issue) and Genesis P Orridge who has yet to be featured.
This exhibition was set to be exiting, P Orridge was in Throbbing Gristle, Psychic T.V and Pigface who were all hugely influential in the genre of noise music and industrial. P Orridge was also a performance artist and spent the last few years with her wife having plastic surgery done to look exactly the same as one another. They seemed to be a match made in heaven, two sexually charged weirdos with a penchant for high heels. However the show at Invisible Exports suffered from lack of context and most everyone I went with had no idea about Molliaire's work, and only a vague idea of what P Orridge has been doing. However, for someone who is into both the artists it's certainly worth a visit.
Text by john Hutt
Photographs by Polina Neshpor, Antonio Williams and Tatiana Kiseleva