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11.21.2009

An afternoon in Chelsea

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
What can we do during a sunny afternoon when all your friends are blocked in their offices?! Making a round in Chelsea! Twice a week, I use to walk in Chelsea. I love this area, close to the Hudson River, very quiet, with so many galleries...I recently went to the several exhibitions which were very cool...

Do you know the Winston Wachter Fine Art gallery?? In my opinion, one of the most interesting galleries in Chelsea. Opened in 1995 by two women, Stacey Winston-Levitan and Christine Wachter-Campbell. The gallery is specialized in contemporary and 20th century art. They represent more than thirty different artists, painters, sculptors, photographs... In the past three months, they organized two beautiful exhibitions: Edwin "Ed" Cohen and Andreas Kocks.

Ed Cohen lives and works in Chelsea. He has been painting for over 20 years and began to invite visitors in his studio a few years ago. He only had four solo exhibitions in New York in the past five years. The first time I saw his show I was wondering if he was from Japan or China. Then I discovered that he is inspired by the enso painting of 17th century Buddhist monks. Black flat covered backgrounds and garlands of multicolor points in the middle. Somehow it reminds us the Jakson Pollock's drippings. Paintings are very deep and very intense, more than decorative as the most of painters who paint this kind of works of art!

Andreas Kocks, born in Germany, lives and works in New York. New way of sculpting! Sculptures seem to be entirely integrated in the walls. The gallery itself takes a very important part in the exhibition. Far away from the gallery, walls seem to be tagged by the artist. But he covered walls with his favorite medium: heavy watercolor paper. His sculptures represent big inky graphite splashes which surround the viewer. Taking a look on his sculptures gives us a feeling of fulness, a "zen" emotion. Paper are cut, twisted, curved...to make an abstract form which organizes the space with a game between light and shadow.

Chiharu Shiota at Goff+Rosenthal!
Born in Japan, she lives and works in Berlin. Having a look on her work for the first time makes us very uncomfortable but it is a kind of convulsive beauty. We can't take our eyes of it. The most impressive part of her work are her installations. My favorite intallations are those which are made in black wool threads!! The viewer is entirely integrated inside the piece of art. She seems to woven the wool from one part of the wall to another one, like a spide's web. Sometimes she introduces dolls, beds, toys...inside her spider's web. Because of she studied in Germany, she was certainly inspired by the second world war and the genocide of a lot of innocent young children. She represents the memories.  In 2009, in Switzerland, she covered a piano surrounded with several chairs. Here she represented the memory of the sound in a silent room.

Taxidermy: a new medium for the artists? One of the past exhibitions organized at the Yossi Milo Gallery was about Simen Johan's works of art. On his pictures, we can see stuffed animals in the middle of real landscapes. Which gives us the impression to get into a world based on his own fantasy. It is a kind of mix between a real world, a nightmare or maybe a wonderland...There is no boundaries between reality and unreality. I don't know if I like it, I mean I don't know if I could buy one because it is a bit strange but I cannot say that is not interesting. Wim Delvoye already use animals as a medium. He tattooed the back of alive pigs whom have been killed, stuffed and presented as a piece of art. His project took place in China where there are less restrictions regarding protection of animals. We will in a few years what will be the future of this medium!

Sorry for the others! Next time, I'll maybe write about you...
Wish you a wonderful day.

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