BOMB Bits is BOMBlog’s frequently updated outlet for ephemera, notes, and thoughts about culture. Enjoy and check back soon for more!
Hernan Bas exhibition, Occult Contemporary, presents a tarnished and transitory landscape where storytelling occurs in a realm of stillness. Bas frequently deals with supernatural and fantastical elements (fairies, vampires, and chimerical creatures), and this body of work introduces the allegorical habitation of fallen angels. Within his radiant and gothic paintings, pervasive forces and shadowy figures are languidly positioned within faintly illumined woods, oddly eerie and serene. Bas’s fabrication of wilderness, with massive twisting roots, severed trunks and fallen timber, depicts oblivion and the contemplation of loss. In the midst of this doom and meditation is an irreversible passage of time (symbolized by the passage of water). The beings and situations within the narrative renderings seem nearly petrified, and beyond the entangled woodland enclosures there are suggestions of action, movement, and possibility: we see rivers and bridges leading somewhere, revealing a timeless allegory of choice and potential for change. Bas asserts that the works are not autobiographical, but he acknowledges that recently moving to Detroit may have influenced his depictions of nature overcoming idleness, of collapse, and of decay, leading to an entangled and chaotic quasi-naturalized genesis of wreckage.
Hernan Bas: Occult Contemporary is at Lehmann Maupin Gallery from March 15 to April 21 2012.
The supernatural and the everyday converge in Trini Dalton’s writing and curatorial practices. On the occasion of Homunculi, her most recent curatorial project at CANADA, she selects work that transmutes one’s awareness of the unconscious forces of the mind via fantasy and figuration. Trinie Dalton explores her tendency towards alchemy in both her writing and curation in conversation with Kari Adelaide.
Kari Adelaide reflects on the site and exhibition at the New York Public Library that explores Frederic Church’s art and life through photography.
As we slowly near summer, many of our gazes will be set on the Hudson Valley. Outdoor highlights from last summer include Jack Hanley’s ferry runs on the river and Cleopatra’s 24-hour satellite performance, Eye in the Sky, with barnyard camping to accommodate revelry beneath the night sky. The New Art Dealers Alliance will again host NADA Hudson (on July 28 and 29). But even in the dead of winter, there are ample opportunities to contemplate landscape and consciousness in the Hudson Valley.
The Hudson Valley’s appeal includes Frederic E. Church’s idyllic home, Olana, which beckons all year round with 250 acres of bucolic grounds that are open daily from 8 AM to sunset. As an ecstatic mid-19th century landscape painter of the Hudson River School, Church may be considered a maestro of terrestrial revelation not only in his paintings but also in his landscaping for Olana, a collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Central Park. The exhaustive plotting of nature that is Olana allows us, much like Church’s paintings, to perceive heavenly beams of light that seem to emanate from bygone fantasies: volcanoes, icebergs, rainbows and double rainbows, mountains, rivers, meteors, and aurora borealis. The sublimity of nature, painted or planted, had no separation in Church’s art and life. His vision remains at every turn of Olana.
BOMB Bits is BOMB’s frequently updated outlet for ephemera, notes, and thoughts about culture. Enjoy and check back soon for more!
In Nigel Cooke’s fourth solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery, a vanishing distinction between foreground and background involves a tempestuous and heartbreaking swirl of subconscious material. Cooke’s brushstrokes (of oil on linen backed by sailcloth) dominate the canvases with wide and darkened sweeps, as though a wind-shield wiper is eliminating a thick substance, making the pathway to clarity only more murky and dangerous. The sentiment of the imagery portrays some sweet aspects, such as flowers and semi-innocent silhouettes, but the dominant feeling is fury. This floating, non-situated activity produces smoke, storm winds and lush green foliage that is both seductive and choking. Cooke’s motifs include mysteriously closed books titled UR, CRAP and UUURRGGH in the paintings Wordless, Hawaiian Tropic (The Honeymooners) and Nature Loves You—summoning thoughts of a nightmarish vacation. Throughout the works, we see an odd repetition of clown noses (variously attached and detached), dramatic skulls or teeth of skulls, men and women in swimsuits, petaled faces, and eyeballs that seem to momentarily hover within gusts of sinister winds. Threadlike tendrils with long invasive reaches could be vines, lightening, or fissures of cracked glass (perhaps all at once). The powerful obscurity within Nigel’s body of work may serve as a metaphor for thought and memory becoming aggressively swept into a smoldering mist of absence, leaving only shards of exotic matter shrouded by mystery.
The Andrea Rosen Gallery is exhibiting Nigel Cooke’s work through May 12th.