I am so impressed with what’s going on in the Chelsea art galleries. There’s an excitement on the streets I haven’t seen in a long time. The construction of galleries goes on at record speed with new European and American spaces opening up almost weekly. The art world has come together with it’s best artists, and I for one feel extremely lucky to live so close to it.
While there’s no distinct art movement as in earlier years, there’s a sense of something new and fresh in the air. I found the galleries busy and friendly, and if I saw any theme overall, it was a sense of exploration. There was an equal amount of abstract art as well as realistic work. Much of what I saw seemed to be influenced by collage and photography, although I was also taken by the art that explored process with an obsessive usage of materials.
For example, at the Von Lintel Gallery, Rosemarie Fiore’s large works on paper are created with brightly colored smoke from live fireworks. She uses rolling devices to distribute tinted smoke to the surface of heavy paper while the fireworks burn inside these machines. Fiore adds cut and torn paper as a second layer. The effect is visually exciting. This exhibit is on from Sept. 5- Oct 19, so there’s still time to see it. The gallery is located at 520 West 23rd Street.
Another of my favorite shows was at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery at 531 West 26th Street. The exhibit Money, Power, Sex & Mark Wagner, is an intriguing exhibit of work using a dollar bill as the source of inspiration. The dollar is reproduced in various sizes and used to create these complicated compositions. This gallery shows primarily collage inspired art.
A day in Chelsea is not enough to see all it offers, but it is enough to inspire and fill the mind with ideas. We are very fortunate to have such an art scene so close by.