With the end of summer comes the beginning of the new gallery season, and my first pass (after Thursday’s insanely crowded evening of openings, which was unusable as far as actually seeing art goes), offered some worthwhile things, some shows worth checking out, and one particularly wonderful show.
Jennifer Dalton’s “Would You Rather Be a Loser or a Pig?” (Winkelman/Plus Ultra Gallery, 637 W. 27th St.), is a fascinating installation that deals with the plight of artists in today’s society—particularly women. The pieces turn studies into art: a slideshow that shows the results of an internet study about how artists live and survive; a look at two months of the “Chelsea Art Guide” that highlights the disparity of men vs. women that have solo shows (there are more men than women, at a ratio of almost 2:1); and an installation that highlights the number of women graduating from art schools (more than half) vs. number of success stories (much lower).
The highlight of the afternoon was Vik Muniz’s “Pictures of Junk” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. (530 W. 22nd St.). Muniz uses of cast-off items that all look like what you’d traditionally find in a junkyard (such as tires, telephones, bits of machinery, an old army jeep, and even a rocket), and arranges them in an area about the size of a basketball field to be photographed. Muniz captures the dichotomy between “waste” and beauty, creating almost unbelievable recreations of famous mythological paintings. In this age of Photoshop, it’s wonderful to see something so creatively real.
Also worth checking out:
Sonamu by BAE Bien-U at Galerie Poller (547 W. 27th St., 2nd Fl.)
Walter Niedermayr at Robert Miller Gallery (524 W. 26th St.)
Andrea Robbins & Max Becher: “Brooklyn Abroad” at Sonnabend (536 W. 22nd St.)
Nathan Lyons: “Trilogy” at Silverstein Photography (535 W. 24th St.)
Alessandra Exposito at Mixed Greens Gallery (531 W. 26nd St.)