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Alma Allen

Brooklyn Rail

February 15, 2020

The fluid, organic nature of Allen’s work argues for a sense of sculpture that is biomorphic and process-oriented. His sculptures are hardly urban, belonging instead to woods and fields and ponds—this despite the monumental tenor of the work on hand. Kasmin’s show, installed in a high-ceilinged gallery space in Chelsea, argues for a distinct perception of form. No work is very much like another, but the organicism of the overall project ties the discrete sculptures together in ways that generate meaning, in terms both of the individual works and also the overall gestalt resulting from their placement.

The Six Best-Designed Items of the Month

Wall Street Journal

February 13, 2020

A show of William N. Copley paintings opening March 11 at New York’s Kasmin gallery explores the surrealist influences and sexual politics in the artist’s work from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Once beloved by Duchamp and Lichtenstein, he’s now adored by Beyoncé.

The Collages of Max Ernst

The Paris Review

February 6, 2020

Few bodies of work represent the splintering of the twentieth-century Western psyche like the collages of Max Ernst. Striking and playful, the German surrealist’s clipped-together creations, produced throughout his life, attest to a roving eye for materials and a deep curiosity about harmony and dissonance. The art historian Werner Spies has said that “collage is the thread that runs through all of his works; it is the foundation on which his lifework is built.” A new exhibition of Ernst’s collages (on view at Paul Kasmin’s 297 Tenth Avenue location through February 29, 2020) presents approximately forty of them, some of which are being displayed for the first time.

Max Ernst "Collages"

Brooklyn Rail

February 2020

Well, the most wonderful things about this most wonderful exhibition—and goodness knows, we have all seen many exhibitions of this Dada/Surrealist/genius guy—are the “Lettrines". These are the illuminations of various letters, many D’s, some A’s, and some M’s. So many responses are elicited from the observers we are, going up close to the amazing small images whose impact and whose intricacies are enormous. Where to start to say anything? Perhaps with the repetitious details, for to me, this all felt like poetry, in its rhythms, its small figures, and its large resonance.

Artist Alma Allen’s Story Is Wilder Than Fiction. Here’s How He Went From Whittling Sticks in the Utah Desert to a Splashy Solo Show in Chelsea

artnet

January 31, 2020

Allen grew up in a landscape dotted with canyons, mines, and petroglyphs, which he describes as “the first things [he] understood as art.” He began creating small objects—carved stones or bits of wood—to leave behind in the hopes of communicating with the indigenous people he imagined might still be lingering nearby.

Raised in a Mormon family without television and with few outside influences, Allen spent a lot of time alone in nature, and it was against that backdrop that he forged an enduring relationship with the types of materials he still uses today: marble, wood burl, stone.

Saturday Selects: Week of January 27, 2020

Sight Unseen

February 1, 2020

Alma Allen’s new exhibition at Kasmin Gallery showcases the artist flexing his resplendent imagination in bronze, wood and stone at scales only achievable with the employ of a custom-built robotic arm. (Injuries sustained early on in his career necessitated getting crafty, in the highest-tech way possible.) The pieces, situated as in a spartan sculpture garden, look at first glance like elegantly oversized Pokemon. I’d glibly suggest you catch them all, but you’d probably have to take the gallery, too — where else could you store such a collection? Where else would you want to?

Alma Allen reaches great new heights in New York exhibition

Wallpaper*

January 26, 2020

Comprising 12 large-scale sculptures, including a bronze that measures five metres at its highest point, the new pieces create a unique dialogue with the architecture of the gallery. Ranging from bronze sculptures displaying an unnerving malleability to the use of unexpected stones such as peach onyx, obsidian and green cantera, Allen’s works are psychologically charged, yet effortlessly expressive and reflect the artist’s inherent curiosity about the life of objects.

Of his work, Allen reflects, "I’m interested in describing a moment or an instant, not necessarily an archetypal thing. I like to capture things in-between that are still progressing beyond the moment I make them. I’m interested in that split second. They are a moment in the life of something rather than a symbol for something, they are more a symbol for an idea or feeling."

10 Standout Dealers at FOG Design + Art

Architectural Digest

January 17, 2020

What appeared to be a patinated and rather charming cabbage with chicken legs sitting high on a pedestal was, in fact, Choupatte—a 2014 bronze sculpture by Claude Lalanne, from an edition of eight, and in a manageable size somewhere between grand and petit.

The Idiosyncratic Work of Sculptor Alma Allen

WSJ Magazine

January 15, 2020

Surfaces are highly expressive and specific for Allen, a result of the intuitive conversation he holds with each material. Forms may yield outcrops that suggest beaks, tentacles, nipples, stems, tails, though his references are never so explicit. Regardless of its final form, a piece always starts small, as a lump of soft clay or wax the size of a walnut.

“I like making new things every day,” he says. “When I was working by hand, I would often have a hundred pieces going at a time. I still do that, but I don’t produce all of them. And I don’t make drawings. Whenever I have a plan, I end up changing it. Maybe that’s why I have always loved working small.”

New York-Based Artist Ali Banisadr Presents the Beauty in Chaos

Harper's Bazaar Arabia

January 14, 2020

For American-Iranian painter Ali Banisadr, creating art is beyond a pure hobby or a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up amidst the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war during a time of upheaval, art became not only a coping mechanism, but a way to understand the world around him and organise his thoughts. “At a young age, the only way I could process that chaos was in a visual manner,” Banisadr says. “That same habit continued throughout my life. There are so many abstract thoughts that for me, can only be expressed visually."

Bernar Venet Frames Belgian Motorway in Monumental Corten Steel l’Arc Majeur

designboom

January 12, 2020

Exhibiting art as a challenge to technology, renowned sculptor Bernar Venet inaugurates his monumental work entitled ‘l’arc majeur.’ along a highway in Belgium. The installation of l’arc majeur began in <arch of 2019 along the E411 motorway, bordering the Belgian provinces of Namur and Luxembourg. the artist had initially conceived the corten steel project over 35 years ago in 1984 — intending for it to be sited along a highway in France — during a time when art was just emancipating itself from the museum space and asserting its presence in the public space to be enjoyed by one and all.

Why 2020 promises a revolution for women in art

The Financial Times

January 3, 2020

What a year it was for women artists — unprecedented, glorious, diverse. In New York, the Kenyan-American Wangechi Mutu’s towering caryatids currently front the Metropolitan Museum. In Shanghai, the Colombian Doris Salcedo won the inaugural $1m Nomura Art Award, the world’s largest art prize. In London no show compared, for memories of colour punching the eye, with the magentas, spring greens and shooting blues of Lee Krasner’s abstract paintings at the Barbican: a joyous revelation. Dora Maar’s photomontages and Nan Goldin’s photo diary “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” at Tate Modern, Cindy Sherman’s identity puzzles at the National Portrait Gallery, celebrate women as indomitable pioneers in photography. 

Peter Marino-designed Raleigh Gardens host immersive Les Lalanne's sculpture exhibit in Miami

designboom

December 23, 2019

Honoring the hotel’s epic past as an icon of culture and style, Les Lalanne at the Raleigh Gardens is a colossal public art exhibition featuring more than 40 sculptures.

The exhibition hosting Les Lalanne’s amusing creations includes anthropomorphized creatures that have been installed throughout the luxuriant gardens. It features famous works like Porte du jardin (1992) framing the entrance to the garden; The Choupatte, très grand (2008), a fantastical anthropomorphized cabbage with bird’s feet; and culminates with the imposing masterpiece, the large scale gorilla – Singe avisé très grand (2010).

Art Review: Edith Halpert and American Modernism

National Review

December 14, 2019

Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art is now at the Jewish Museum. If there’s a show to see in New York, it’s this one. It’s beautifully done, as are all the Jewish Museum’s shows, with great art and a majestic personality at its center. Halpert (1900–1970) was self-made, tough, kind, focused on the next buck, a charming woman with a canny sense for under-the-radar art. She took trompe l’oeil gun paintings, old weather vanes, American cubism, and Georgia O’Keeffe and made an American whole. As a young woman, at the start of the Depression, she opened the cutting-edge Downtown Gallery, which represented Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, and Jacob Lawrence through thick and thin.

Finally out of the shadows: the biggest exhibition trend in 2019

The Art Newspaper

December 13, 2019

One of the best painting exhibitions of the year was Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the artist’s first major exhibition in Europe since 1965, which would have surely left many visitors wondering why there had not been one sooner. Krasner is nowhere near as well-known as her husband, Jackson Pollock, the poster child of Abstract Expressionism, and although her show garnered near universal five-star reviews, most critics could not help but pepper their copy with “Pollocks”. Krasner was once told her work was “so good you would not know it was painted by a woman”. Hopefully this travelling exhibition—now at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (until 12 January 2020) and then the Zentrum Paul Klee Bern followed by the Guggenheim Bilbao—will lead to people thinking her work is so good you would never have known she was married to a famous artist.

The Critic's Notebook: On Józef Czapski, Elie Nadelman, A Christmas Carol & more from the world of culture.

The New Criterion

December 3, 2019

Elie Nadelman was one of those moderns who shaped the future by looking to the past. A sculptor who fused the classical and folk traditions, Nadelman dedicated his art to “salvaging the monumental by the miniature,” in the words of his champion Lincoln Kirstein. Now at Kasmin Gallery and curated by Priscilla Vail Caldwell, “Elie Nadelman: Significant Form” gathers together a wide selection of the artist’s figurative work assembled from his estate. “Nadelman’s craft was rooted in continuity he wished to extend,” wrote Kirstein. This show brings that extraordinary craft up to the present day.

Neon Maestro Keith Sonnier Talks Light, Life as New Show Opens in Chelsea: ‘I Sought Out Unusual People’

ARTnews

November 26, 2019

The light-and-glass sculptures on view at Kasmin (through January 11) come from Sonnier’s “Ba-O-Ba” series, which he started early in his career, making pioneering use of neon tubing. They are both new and old: freshly fabricated from drawings that date back more than four decades.

“I had always wanted to do the source of where ‘Ba-O-Ba’ came from,” he said, with vestiges of the twang he acquired growing up in rural Louisiana. 

Sketches Keith Sonnier Made 50 Years Ago Have Been Brought to Life in Neon Sculptures

Observer

November 22, 2019

From the placid turquoises of the blue moon to the scorching yellows of the southern sun, colors and their associations with nature still define Sonnier’s sculptures. All are inspired by deeply personal experiences, but retain a particular spot in the history of Post-Minimalist American art, following Pollock’s assertive splashes of paint and Judd’s painfully precise sculptures of reduced forms. On the brink of two such polar movements, Sonnier synthesized Abstract Expressionism’s unpredictable and dramatic conveyance of the artistic hand with Minimalism’ sleek and avant-garde assumption of tomorrow’s materials and forms.

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