Whenever we plot a course through Chelsea galleries, we plan to hit some major shows but it’s always the other things we stumble into that make the trip worth it. This time we were of course aiming for Edward Burtynsky’s Oil, but unexpected bits (big and small) made the day.
Take, for example, New York Then and Now (above), a fabulously varied group show that captures the city along so many dimensions. Susan Malloy’s Visions of New York (in the same space) provided an understated refrain.
High Altitude. Michael Najjar’s mountain scenes might look like typical nature photographs, but they’re actually fully synthetic charts of stock market data. This one shows the Dow from 1980 to 2009. Note the precipitous drop at right. The kind of cliffs we can all relate to falling off, then.
Picture of Fate. Murakami and his crew are perennial favorites in these parts (the retrospective at BAM last year was stunning) so turning a corner to see a piece so distinctively his — especially where you don’t expect it — is a treat. And so it was.
Three Ways of Looking at the Earth. Having traveled out to Storm King to see Maya Lin’s massive outdoor work Bodies of Water a few months back, seeing her new indoor project was a lovely counterpoint.
Monochrome Age. Gorgeous or gaudy, Anselm Reyle’s sparkling latticeworks turn every head that happens in to the Gagosian.
Flowers For America. Stéphane Calais’ show was a bit hit and miss, but I was fascinated by these blurred ink blot paintings that overlay faces at once menacing and beautiful.
Quick minds among us remembered Tesla Motors has a home in Chelsea. It was our duty, then, to gawk at the EP2, Tesla’s second electric car prototype (sadly decommissioned).
Night and rain fell, providing the perfect cover for an intimate dinner at sake drenched Izakaya Ten (closing time 3am).
So it’s been nearly one year since our last Chelsea journey. Too long. And now that gallery season is starting up again, let’s hope we can break the trend.