More on Saturday's Chelsea visit -
Kim Simonsson at Nancy Margolis - Loved these eerie ceramic beings. They were like sci-fi ghosts, isolated and withdrawn, trying to silently communicate. Figures stood alone or gathered in groups of two or three; it was easy to imagine relationships or messages passing between them and I was surprised when the gallerist told me that a grouping of three together in a small circle was a random arrangement. They had very much seemed to be in a dialogue of gestures - a glossy all-white boy was making a gang sign, a matte-black girl held her arms stiffly at her sides, one fist clenched.
Remember the holographic projection of Princess Leia in Star Wars?
Patricia Piccinini at Robert Miller- I can't help but compare this show, unfavorably, to the Simonsson show. These creatures were more life-like, but also more life-less; stuffed, glassy-eyed specimens. I didn't think of another world or another place, these inert obvious things came from the studio. The hammy cloying tableaux were also irksome - one cuddling in bed with a little boy, one nursing a human infant, one leaping to attack a woman. No mystery, no subtlety.
I didn't like her stuff at Mass Moca's Becoming Animal either, but Roberta and Libby are into it.
UPDATE: Piccinini's website names Richard Mueck as a production assistant. This interview states that "Richard Mueck has been working as a sculptor in the film industry for years, even working on the original Star Wars film in the late 1970s." Is this guy related to Ron Mueck?
Jim Shaw at Metro Pictures - He had a comic-book narrative running along the wall, a discussion between two guys, one of whom is doubting his belief in O. O is the name of the female God of O-ism, Jim Shaw's made-up religion in which time runs backward and ink is evidently the cosmic discombobulator.
Why the chronologically-linear narrative format? The guy shoots up ink and their whole world dissolves, but only after he has the discussion with his friend and after he injects the ink. Hello, concept paging form. Come in, form.
If this tired lazy piece interested you at all I recommend watching Gary Hill's brilliant Why Do Things Get in a Muddle?.
Ludwig Schwarz at Freight + Volume - Catchy video of a frustrated paranoid guy insisting "get the zombies outta here" and if we "put the bed on the other side of the room" we'll get the zombies out. Some kind of crazy man feng-shui. It becomes like a song.
Didn't like his gimmicky painting project though, in which he has Chinese workers produce editions of his old paintings. TIRED.
Tracey Emin at Lehmann Maupin - Wonderful, tender, sensitive, fragile show. Lots of small fabric pieces, white-ish squares on white-ish squares (some just unprimed canvas), most featuring a single, barely-delineated embroidered figure kneeling, crying, or lying down. All of them include quiet, pathetic confessions like "I keep dreaming of you", "always on my own", "want be with u".
Eva & Adele at Claire Oliver - This show was a surprise because it was all paintings. Lots of layers, but everything is visible. A skull becomes a sexy lady becomes a double-portrait of the couple. These paintings are just like them - fun, formal, glittery, sweet, odd puzzles.
John Wesley at Fredericks and Freiser - I liked this one too.