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Posts by Howard Hurst

Chris Duncan: Patterns and Light

by Howard Hurst on July 23rd, 2011

Prism Schizm

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of taking a visit to the Hamptons to escape the oppressive New York City heat. Brooklyn based painter Ryan Wallace was my host and showed me around the latest exhibition at Halsey Mckay Gallery, a new summer long gallery venture. Their second show, Patterns and Light is a solo exhibition of work by San Francisco artist Chris Duncan. It’s funny that I came to escape the heat; walking into a room full of Chris’s work is like staring into the sun.  The largest work in the show, Prism Schizm is the most obvious in this respect. The yarn construction is like a tapestry of homespun summer air erupting from a tiny quicksilver pyramid. Two floor level mirror constructs feel like pooled quicksilver set out to collect strings of color that ooze lazily from its grinning wall sized façade. Continue Reading More »

Mia Taylor at Toomer Labzda

by Howard Hurst on July 9th, 2011

When it comes to Art Galleries in New York, I have to admit, I have a crush on the Lower East Side. Perhaps that’s trite, but I don’t care.  I have been watching with cheerful expectations the last couple of years as one after another small, independently owned gallery moved into the neighborhood. The gritty, DIY aesthetic of the storefront gallery is something that appeals to me on a visceral level. There is something more personable here.  I no longer feel the need to rally against the white cube aesthetic of museums or larger Chelsea galleries when standing in the charmingly askew planes of a gallery that’s walls have begun to sag.  There are a number of incredibly well curated, exciting contemporary galleries in this neighborhood. Needless to say, I can’t resist excitement when a promising new one joins their ranks. Continue Reading More »

Featured Artist: Ryan Wallace

by Howard Hurst on June 5th, 2011

Courtesy of the Artist

Ryan Wallace is a painter and mixed media artist who lives and works in Brooklyn.  His body of work spans a range of influences, re-purposing a variety of art historical and popular references into a fluid vocabulary of rough, playful abstraction. His paintings vary in size and medium but are united by their alternating notions of fragmentation and unity and by a moody, often diffuse tone. His compositions reflect the payload of modernism viewed through the dust covered lens of a gritty, sun bleached kaleidoscope. His interest in the way information is presented, transmitted and stored results in a sensibility that is equal parts science, mysticism and high fives. I had a chance to stop by the artists Greenpoint studio recently to talk with the artist.

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Unrest: Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman

by Howard Hurst on May 31st, 2011

Courtesy of Morgan Lehman

To be honest, I haven’t found myself spending very much time in Chelsea as of late. For one reason or another I find myself chasing the promise of art in the Lower East Side along Orchard Street, or running through the galleries scattered across Williamsburg.  This said, I was happily surprised when I walked into Andrew Schoultz’s opening last week at Morgan Lehman gallery. The gallery features primarily young, emerging artists and the exhibition felt all the more vibrant considering its 23rd street environs. Continue Reading More »

Featured Artist: Chelsea Knight

by Howard Hurst on May 3rd, 2011

"Don't Tread on Me" Three Channel Video installation. Performance still, Momenta Art, 2011 (Photo: Alesia Exum)

Chelsea Knight is a New York based video artist. She recently completed residencies at the Whitney Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and was a 2007 Fulbright Fellow in Italy. She is a current resident at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program.  Her video installations tackle the dynamics of political and social control. Her narratives blend fiction and reality in a singular fluid motion. Her subjects have included professional dancers, military instructors, prison inmates and the artist’s own parents. She encourages her characters to improvise, creating a tension between the personal and the scripted.  The artist’s videos examine the ways in which both governmental and domestic forces control our emotional, political and social reality. It is Chelsea’s great strength to lay bear the wires by which humans manipulate and entrap one another. I recently had a chance to stop by her studio in lower Manhattan to chat about her work, recent projects and future plans. Continue Reading More »

Joseph Kosuth at Sean Kelly Gallery

by Howard Hurst on April 19th, 2011

Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery

At the risk of generalizing, I’ll admit that I am often suspicious of art that presents itself as “conceptual.” What frightens me is the disconnect that often exists between concept and experience. Discussing this idea with an acquaintance at a party several years ago I was asked mockingly “do you seek to be moved?” I do, and firmly believe that successful conceptual art can elicit not only a cerebral, but also a visceral physical response in the viewer.  With this in mind, I had few expectations when I wandered into Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea last Wednesday. What I found was a mixed, but ultimately satisfying exhibition of works by Joseph Kosuth.

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Featured Artist: Vince Contarino

by Howard Hurst on March 21st, 2011

Courtesy of the artist

Vince Contarino is a New York based painter. His multi-layered canvasses explore the  language of abstraction.  From first glance there is something illusive in Contarino’s canvases, a tension between the forthright and the concealed. The artist often repurposes forgotten brushstrokes and colors, pasting them into his collages and works on paper. The result is something both beautiful and challenging, a floating soup of the painterly. Contarino’s belief in the ongoing relevance of abstraction is mirrored in his extracurricular activities. His most recent curatorial project, “The Working Title”, organized with painter Kris Chatterson, opens at the Bronx Art Center next Friday. I recently had the chance to speak with the artist over the phone. Continue Reading More »