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Art Notes – Automn in New York

After Labour Day, the art world returns to New York City and gears up for a series of art openings. Everybody meets the first Thursday of September to go gallery hopping. Lately, it has become complicated, with more important shows extending to the Lower East Side and Chelsea. Uptown galleries have moved their opening day to Wednesday, because it is impossible to manage a wider city itinerary in one evening. The museums generally open their new shows a few weeks later. Fall will be busy; here are a few things not to miss.

Unstung by Sam Jablon at Freight + Volume

Sam Jablon is an interesting young artist, to say the least. He is both a poet and a painter, interested in meaning and finding a way to slow down his audience by making them read. Unstung is the title of a poem Jablon wrote and then painted fragment by fragment on a series of individual canvases. The compositions are fun—vibrant even—but also thought-provoking and moving. Jablon has given himself a format where he can play freely with the vocabulary of abstraction while continuing to explore narrative content—something few non-representational painters have found a way to do. Clearly, Jablon is an agile thinker.


Unstung, 2018. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 127 x 96.5 cm. © Courtesy of the artist and Freight + Volume

A Street of Many Corners by Marela Zacarias at Sapar Contemporary

Marela Zacarias creates colourful sculptural wall pieces with painted abstract patterns that have natural movement to their folds. The sculptures are usually large, always bold and elegant. Zacarias knows how to create dynamic, balanced forms that could function in any size. Their beautiful surfaces evoke ceramics but are made from window screens, wood, and polymer. Zacarias often creates site-specific works and finds inspiration in the cultural and political histories that resonate for her. Her patterns evoke symbols from Mexico and the Middle East, the art of textile and pottery, as well as the history of abstraction. The title of this exhibition is an homage to Alice Mason, an American female pioneer of abstraction.


Marela Zacarias, Blue and Pink, 2018. Wood, window screen, plaster, joint compound, polymer and acrylic paint, 55.9 x 48.3 x 20.3 cm. © Courtesy of the artist and Sapar Contemporary

Franz Marc and August Macke 1909-1914 at the Neue Galerie

The Neue Galerie is fulfilling its mission to introduce New Yorkers to German and Austrian Art they get to seldom see otherwise. The exhibition opening in early October will showcase the artistic dialogue between two great German artists from the early the 20th century Blaue Reiter movement. Macke and Marc met in Munich and became fast friends. Marc’s work focused on animals because of his disillusionment with people. Macke had a delicate sense of colour and was fascinated by light. He travelled with Paul Klee to North Africa to chase Delacroix’s inspiration. Both artists’ work challenges the stereotypes that German artists lack finesse with colour and are too harsh. It is a feast for the eyes.


Mary Corse: A Survey in Light at the Whitney Museum of American Art

West Coast artist Mary Corse has dedicated her life to new ways of investigating light. Corse’s daring, adventurous and inventive spirit shines through room after room in this survey. Corse pushes the boundaries between scientific experiment and artistic work. Her minimalist light encasement containing tubes filled with argon gas are splendid and audacious. Their glow is steady and soft, unlike Corse’s glass microsphere paintings that change depending on the viewer’s position. After 10 years of working with white, Corse moved on to her Black Earth series. The works made with Malibu mountain clay fired and glazed in Corse’s studio are no less impressive. Their power and physicality bring perfect closure to a body of work that began in ethereal luminosity.


Mary Corse, Untitled (Space + Electric Light), 1968. Argon light, plexiglass and high-frequency generator, 115 x 115 x 12 cm. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. © Philipp Scholz Rittermann


Text: Barbara Stehle


Cover: August Macke, Donkey Rider, 1914. Watercolour, 28.5 x 24 cm. © Courtesy of the Neue Galerie – Samuel Jablon

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