Company’s Picks from PULSE NYC Art Fair

Company’s Picks from PULSE NYC Art Fair

The PULSE New York fair has it all --- sculpture, photography, mixed-media, painting. The layout this year with 63 booths was th4ematically cleaner and better curated than recent PULSE shows. Not to mention that the layout and size of the Metropolitan Pavilion was perfectly suited to the current PULSE NYC. And you know what else…….it was fun and friendly, not at all imposing, a nice mix of hedge-fund deep pockets and young people, some even changing babies on cardboard arty corrugated stools. At the Opening Day, Bellinis, champagne solo, coffee and snacks were freely distributed. This is in stark contrast to the no-fun policy of the Armory Show whose galleries were trying to pry significant dollars from our wallets with very pricy offerings. Not even free water? On VIP Opening Night?? C’mon…..

In an effort to support both established and up-and-coming artists, PULSE NYC divided  itself  as it has in the past into two sections – the main section and the IMPULSE section, which features galleries invited by the fair’s committee to present certain artists’ work in solo fashion similar to VOLTA. I always prefer this presentation to get a better understanding of the artist’s full oeuvre.

Below are my picks from PULSE




Painting: Gwen Martin @ Luis De La Jesus

“The tendrilous lines Martin employs, and the bulbous but brittle shapes she describes with them, appear in other contemporary painting and drawing, as does her palette, especially its almost painfully vivid chromatic levels. But nobody—nobody—else employing these now-commonplace formalisms makes them work this way, or even achieves quite this level of power, allure, and eloquence. …Her intense colors—and, especially, her raucous color combinations, sliding close hues and values almost painfully upon one another—owe a debt to the '60s-era hard-edge painting of such artists as Ellsworth Kelly, Leon Polk Smith, Jack Youngerman, Nicholas Krushenick and Deborah Remington. I have no idea whose work Martin knew previously…but in this case we're not talking influences, we're talking shoulders of giants. This is the panoply of American painters in which we can already place Martin.



Photocollage: Jasper de Beijer @ TZR Galerie

In his works, the young artist deals with the possibilities of the mediation of history by the media, which is accompanied by the influence of one's own notion of the past and of foreign cultures. Themes of the Dutch colonial history make up the focus of his curiosity, as well as other noticeable events, the many times described discovery of the sources of the Nile for example or the happenings of the First World War.

Under the premise of his own temporal and emotional dissociation to the events and places, Jasper de Beijer travels to these sites. Impressions gathered in these places stream into his work - as reconstructions and photographic scenery. Countless photographs of scenes of the First World War, carried together from different sources, constitute the foundation of Jasper de Beijer's current series Le Sacre du Printemps. Following this extensive footage, a detailed, elaborately reconstructed miniature setting is created by the artist, which is later documented photographically. Assisted by digital picture manipulation techniques, de Beijer places images of extras, of himself and of cardboard- or plastic models into the previously photographed miniature landscape.




Drawing: Catherine Bolduc @ Galerie SAS

Catherine Bolduc's vibrant drawings and delirious sculptures at Montreal's Galerie SAS booth were blinking, baroque visions of excess. She creates works about imaginary worlds and in the process invite viewers to consider the points at which reality and fiction meet to create the environments we inhabit internally and externally. Definitely on the map is Japan, where Bolduc traveled for a residency. The works produced during her time there—watercolors of a landscape awash in vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and blues—comment on assumptions she held about Japan prior to her arrival and how the reality of the country squared or did not square with those preconceptions once she stepped off the plane. Not surprisingly, the watercolors that resulted don’t offer a recognizable Japan, but neither do the images stand wholly apart from the corporeal everyday. One offers an expertly rendered life-size, nude female form shod in socks and slippers and surrounded by volcanoes and pearl necklaces, oblique references to Japan’s natural resources. Fantastical as the image may be, it still locates a (headless) figure in a landscape, prompting the question: what does an objective reality look like? Who is doing the looking (and imagining) in that image?



Mixed Media: Kevin Bourgeois @ Causey

Contemporary – one of my faves of the whole week and all the shows! Kevin Bourgeois takes as his medium, graphite and adds to it colored pencil along with found objects.   He combines formal drawing techniques with strong socio-political messages while experimenting with form and content.  The themes of his extremely detailed drawings are centered around the juxtaposition of technology and human nature, individuality and consumer culture, superficiality and altruism.   The writings of Jean Baudrillard, Hakim Bey, Allen Ginsberg and Arthur Rimbaud appear frequently, interwoven with the drawings and often influencing the subject matter.



Mixed Media:  Cedric Smith @ Zidoun Gallery 

Homey, nostalgic and inspiring. Think Norman Rockwell with an African American heritage and statement.



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