Opened on the Lower East Side; Monya Rowe, Sargent's Daughters, and Untitled
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Winter art season opened in New York mid-month, and if you’ve already seen the garage funk band at Zwirner. Then head down below Delancey where gallerist mix it up, get inventive and take some chances on the emerging generation.
While we think of the Lower East Side scene as something new-ish, the dealers who've populated on and around Orchard Street have cut their teeth elsewhere migrating out of the high-rent 20's into Chinatown. Monya Rowe whose run her gallery for a decade moved in just last fall and continues her program of cultivating a small group of emerging and unique voices.
Up through March 9 are Natasha Bowdoin's cut-paper constructions, "Gyph." These works are amorphous, cell-like structures attached to primed board, reminiscent of the shaped canvases of the late Elizabeth Murray. These raised works are decorated with hand written text by literary giants such as Lewis Carrol and Herman Melville. The undulating tightly placed, cut papers almost seem to breath. Step close and look deeply into the layered crevices of this work and follow the narrow pathways on a maze like journey.
The current show at Sargent’s Daughters, "Interior Dialogue" features works by Karen Heagle, Lonnie Holley, Sarah Kurz, Matvey Levenstein. The newly minted gallery co-directed by Allegra LaViola (formerly running her own gallery by the same name in the same space) and Meredith Rosen (formerly the director of BravinLee Programs in Chelsea) have been focused on group shows, displaying works predominately by emerging and more established painters, such as Karen Heagle. LaViola and Rosen are interested in the works by artists who draw upon the history of art using traditional mediums of drawing, painting and sculpture.
Its been a good run for Heagle whose one-person show last year at Churner and Churner piqued critical and collector interest. Here, she's got several acrylic on paper, robust still life paintings glimmering with her signature gold leaf and deft brushwork.
Also a nod goes to new comer Sarah Kurz, whose Florentine styled figures have a vibrant tone yet a loose brushy feel reminiscent of Karen Kilimnik. [Kurz's images are featured on the promo of this piece.]
Of the lone sculptor in the "Interior" group, Lonnie Holley, whose found object assemblages of piano parts, chairs and frames are no nonsense interpretations of modernist, albeit slightly Dada, predecessors. Nevelson would be proud.
Lastly, and perhaps my favorite show on the strip, is Kour Pour, an English born Persian artist living in Los Angeles whose first solo show is on view at Untitled. Pour's large scale canvas are recreations, warp and weft, of antique Persian carpets. Pour's father, a rug merchant living in London, unwittingly inspired his son simply because Kour grew up around these lush, decorative narratives. Each of the seven canvases is an actual antique rug that has its own provenance dating back to the 16th C., which Pour researched and recreated. In looking at this work it is clear there is a level of intimacy that goes beyond mimicry.
Pour uses a combination of heavy gesso for texture, silk screening for accuracy in detail, in-painting and sanding to accomplish these ghostly yet powerful vignettes of the old world. "Oriental" carpets from India, central Asia, the near and middle east are adorned with literary or historical narratives; stories from the medieval silk routes, or symbolic places and holy objects taking the the sitter on... do I dare say, a magic carpet ride.