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April 21, 2010


modern rugs

I love Amy Sillmans work.Sounds like a good plan.Just so your not sad,have a good trip


I was blown away by William Kentridge, but he's at MOMA. I am totally embarassed that I did not make the Met this trip, but I hope to go back sooner than later.


Hi eva! Kentridge makes MoMA sound more attractive, that's for sure, but I just don't think I'll be getting there. My first day in town Chelsea (or elsewhere downtown) just makes more sense given my schedule. After that I'll be on the Upper East Side, but with so little time that moving even as far as MoMA won't make sense. I also must admit that the general zoo-like atmosphere there, along with the whole Abramović thing, makes me less inclined to visit. I would like to see the Kentridge (someone I work with also loved it), but I've been able to see things by him a couple of times in the past couple of years. With so many possibilities and very little time, I have to be a bit ruthless.

I am very much looking forward to the paintings from Oberlin at the Met (and as much else there I can see) and those from Dulwich at the Frick.

And thank you, mr. modern rugs. I have to say that your comment looked like spam at first, but hey, it's a real comment with a real email attached! So thanks for the good wishes and for not letting that big "0 comments" hang out there.

Chris Rywalt

Hey, man, don't feel bad. My blog is mostly visited by people searching through Google Images, usually for phrases like "naked girls".

My recommendations: If you're in before May 10, you could try John Griefen at Gary Snyder. The show didn't excite me a lot, but if you like minimalism and color field, it might work for you. Piri Halasz liked it a fair bit more than I did. You might try Daniel Rozin at bitforms -- the show's supposed to be closed but it may have been extended. I love Daniel's work: it's pure magic. Piri was not as impressed. (I keep mentioning her because she's the only one who saw these shows with whom I've spoken about them.) I always stop in Valerie McKenzie's when I'm around. I'm not sure about what she's got now but it could be good. And, on the completely opposite end from Griefen's minimalism, I liked the show at Jonathan LeVine's. Eric White's two paintings are good -- I'm not sure but the big one he has there now might be really good; I need to see it again before I decide -- and Nicola Verlato's okay (I liked his last show much better than this). Fulvio Di Piazza I could do without and Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez, I'm pretty sure, are there just to make the other painters look better. But if you're in the area it's worth dropping by for Eric's work.

Chris Rywalt

I'd also add, anything Martin recommends, avoid.


Thanks for the recs, Chris. I hadn't realized where the Griefen show was, I think I will add that to the list. I may try McKenzie's, but the current exhibition images online don't look like my kind of thing (same for the LeVine, I'm afraid, though that may reflect some of the same caveats you mention.)

I realize that you and Martin don't exactly see eye-to-eye these days, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to check out at least those exhibitions on his list that I already mentioned (though not necessarily the others.) While I'm not sure there's anything relevant up at the moment, I also share his taste for the whole High Times, Hard Times-type freaky '70's abstraction. So I'm not necessarily inclined to head the other way from anything he recommends, though of course I'll make up my own mind.

At one point in time, this blog was the number one search result in Google for something like "the most enormous breasts I have ever seen." I may have the exact phrase wrong, it's been a while. It was one of the site's few marks of distinction.


This is all funny.

I also saw that show at Bitforms - I loved it.
AND the number search phrase for my blog is "naked women."

Chris Rywalt

If you're into freaky '70s abstraction then maybe Zarvin Swerbilov at Noho would be up your alley. I wanted to see it. I'm not sure from the JPEGs if it'll actually be any good but the work looks like jazz album covers. It closes tomorrow (Saturday April 24), though, so you might not make it.

Both Sillman and Von Heyl look like very wan, weak abstraction -- the kind of paintings you can see anywhere these days -- but I'm just looking at JPEGs. They could surprise me. Let us know.


Oh, the Swerbilov looks fun. Unfortunately I won't be down until after it closes.

I'm interested in Sillman because I've seen very little of her stuff while hearing about it all the time, while von Heyl is someone I may be seeing more of in my area, I think. So I'm curious. I've seen some things online by both that I like but I don't have any real opinion yet.

I know a lot of Chelsea gets a big "ho-hum" if not worse from a lot of people, but you have to understand: it's a ho-hum that I very rarely get a chance to see.


I'm with you about your last comment. When I visit, people would suggest I see almost anything not in Chelsea. But there's nothing like Chelsea at all where I'm from. It almost feels dumb to go to a show like the ones I see in Portland, even if they're "great."

Chris Rywalt

It's certainly true that, if you're going to be around Chelsea and you're an artist or someone who cares about art, you should see what's there. Most of it is crap, the rest of it is ho-hum, but just being in the area is enjoyable. And you may, occasionally, find something really good. It's worth the trip.

Check and make sure Swerbilov will be down when you're here. Call the gallery that day or the day before, maybe. Shows get extended all the time, and if it looks as if it might even be a little bit interesting to you, it'd be a shame to miss it. If the gallery is open, even if the show is down, the staff may be able to show you some stuff in the back room. I've had some galleries do that for me. I guess it depends on how nice they are. It's worth asking, anyhow.


hi jl, googlebot is my #1 all-time visitor so at least you and i are in good company (wink wink)

please let us know what you end up doing in nyc! if it were me, i would lose myself in the bowels of the met and only come out for air to go people-watching in the park


Hi rb! I do hope to post a bit on whatever I see once I'm back. I'm definitely going to be at the Met, perhaps not long enough to get lost, and certainly not as long as I'd like to be there, but I'll be there. I today will be mostly Chelsea, though.

And with that, I'm off to get ready to catch a train. Thanks to all for the comments, suggestions, etc.


Hi. I would like to invite you and your readers to the Lower East Side NYC to see an exciting new work from painter Gregory de la Haba, Dawn of a New Era.
This Friday evening April 30th there will be a party hosted by Kathy Murphy, publisher of Modern Painters; takes place from 7-9pm at the gallery and Gregory de la Haba will be there.

All the details are here:

And you can see some of de la Haba's work here:

Chris Rywalt

Oh good god it's that wacko with the big fucking horses.


the googlebot is a mysterious creature.

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