The contemporary art galleries in New York and beyond can provide THE MOST ideal environment to visit art. Beyond a lack of distracting barrier ropes and wall text, galleries can literally move walls every month at an artist’s request. Some find them cold, but they’re my personal favorite place to visit on earth.
But right now, unable to provide a physical space to perfectly frame physical things, a number of galleries have invented new systems and ideas to experiment with how to provide something far beyond the jpeg. Here are my 3 favorite creative gallery exhibitions “on view”, that you can experience right now, wherever you are.
George Condo: ‘Drawings for Distanced Figures’ at Hauser & Wirth Gallery
George Condo’s exhibition of drawings at Hauser & Wirth Gallery tops the list because of the short “behind the scenes” video above, and just how quick this exhibition was created to respond to our collective feelings in almost real time.
Each drawing, created during our current quarantine, contains two figures who share overlapping and mixed mental states, but don’t occupy the same physical space – their eyes don’t make contact. Check out the exhibition link for more images and artist quotes. The gallery is donating 10% of gross profits from sales of all online exhibitions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
Richard Long: ‘Muddy Heaven’ at Sperone Westwater Gallery
Richard Long is known for his lyrically hand-smeared mud on walls. They are incredible in person, allowing a viewer to imagine their own hands, the time that passed, and their relatively tiny scale next to these massive “paintings”. Long’s newest 29-foot-tall work titled “Muddy Heaven” is on view at Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York, along with 4 full floors of additional artworks that reflect the artist’s solitary walks through nature.
But fear not, the gallery collaborated with Artland, a producer of 3D gallery walk-through experiences, to allow you to virtually explore the space in a fully-interactive, visually-captivating exploration. You’ll almost feel your neck strain as you look up at the overwhelming work.
I recommend going “full screen” and exploring the entire space here with the tools in the lower left – you can jump between floors and move through each room. That massive “Muddy Heaven” – with its six parallel bands meant to reference the Chinese I Ching hexagram for heaven… looks particularly great from the 2nd floor balcony.
Kate Shepherd: ‘Surveillance’ at Galerie Lelong & Co
These paintings are FAR more than they appear to be. Thankfully artist Kate Shepherd will walk you through the secrets of her reflective paintings at Galerie Lelong & Co in this brief video. Spoiler: Most of those reflections aren’t real!
Kate Shepherd has permanently captured reflections in these highly reflective paintings. Staring with a monochrome mirror-like painted surface, she propped them in her studio to capture the reflection of sunlight or fluorescent lights. She then photographed the white reflections and screen-printed their image BACK onto the paintings. Not only do you see a previous reflection that the surface once captured, but you ALSO see the current reflection it produces. Only a moving camera (check out the video above) can capture the experience. The exhibition includes a second group of reflective paintings with a different process and result that equally benefits from her words and walk-through.
Katherine Bradford at Adams & Ollman Gallery (bonus video)
My absolute favorite “video walk-through” of all time is something you just need to click/see. The joyous paintings of Katherine Bradford at the Adams & Ollman Gallery in Portland never received their “opening reception”, so the son of the artist visited the gallery alone, and called the artist (his mother) for a quick interview. The paintings, conversation, and title of the show (as they discuss) will make you smile. Check out the exhibition page here. Video below.