Saturday Afternoon Chelsea Gallery Crawl

Yesterday, the weather may have warmed in New York but the art scene on W 25th & 24th Streets was rather dull and bizarre.

George Rickey at Marlborough Chelsea, NYC

The one bright spot on the two great white ways of blue chip art was the George Rickey show at Marlborough Chelsea. The steel kinetic sculptures are as marvelous today as they were when they first appeared in the 1970s. I found it strange that many of the objects on display were constructed in the 1990s even though they are indistinguishable from works created during the proceeding decades. Rickey may have been a one-trick (kinetic) pony but what a trick!

Well placed fans allowed the metal contraptions to sway in a gentle breeze. The movement (a necessity for kinetic art) accentuated the objects’ assets and (for many people) justified their six-digit price tags.

The only other notable show was the new George Condo show at Luhring Augustine, which I found intriguing but confusing. Why did the painter look to Christian iconography to explore the “subjective nature of objective representation” in organized religion–as if there aren’t other religions which would have been useful in triangulating the answer. I think it was bad judgment on Condo’s part but the canvases were well painted with intriguing surface details. Another case of bad judgment by Condo was the off-center crucifix canvases.

“God” (pictured above) was appropriately in a Care Bear-like haze of rainbow colored light and securely walking on cotton ball clouds.

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