The DART Board: 10.30.2019

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday October 30, 2019

The art of ceramic sculpture has lately become more visible in New York, thanks to works by the Italian master Lucio Fontana on view at The Met last fall, and Bay Area outlaws Peter Voulkos and Ron Nagel seen in galleries this year. A new exhibition of pieces by the French artists Andrée and Michel Hirlet, which opened last week at Dobrinka Salzman Gallery, brings mid-century modern ideas about abstraction to the fore in sculpture that is, at its core, both architectural and sensuous. Above, page from the catalogue by Alexandre Jolivet: the Hirlet's studio; photo of catalogue © Peggy Roalf

In the first exhibition of their work in the United States, a select group of modestly-scaled stoneware pieces reveals the tightly conjoined practice of a couple who found their shared artistic vision as students in Paris, in 1958. Over fifty years into their alliance, in art and in marriage, the bond that forms their approach to work in the 3D remains solid. And solidity is probably the word that best describes the result of their labor.

A piece about fifteen inches high by twenty inches, and nine-and-one-half inches deep [below], has the solidity of a habitable structure. Three separate geometric forms whose edges are softly formed deceptively interlock so that it is not immediately apparent why or how the glaze changes from a putty gray to a pale ochre. Round and V-shaped cutouts give the angular piece a figural attitude. On a shelf opposite, a rounded piece with a lapis-blue glaze, not much larger than a bowling ball, also made of interlocking hunks of clay, suggests the skull of a robot. 


Andrée and Michel Hirlet, glazed stoneware, 15-1/4 x 20-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches; photo © Riccardo Vecchio

Throughout the gallery, these twenty or so interlocking dynamic abstractions present a sharply realized expression of line, color and surface. According to the limited-edition catalogue, the Hirlets invented their visual language outside the established ceramics traditions of Vallauris and La Borne [think Picaso, then; David Whitehead, today]. Adopting the manifesto of Theo van Doesburg, founder of the De Stijl movement [1917-1932] they began creating volumes so apart from illusionistic practice as to seem out of place as well as out of time. 

The Hirlets’ vision, informed by travel to remote places, emerges first through drawing. In their spacious studio in Saint Cloud, west of Paris, they work from line on paper, to form as clay maquette [top photo], to full-scale [sometimes monumental], and color in enamel glaze. These precisely realized forms—and the artists’ palette of earth colors plus their signature blue—share the same decisive kind of execution found in the late still-lifes and landscapes of Giorgio Morandi.

Andrée & Michel Hirlet continues through November 24th at Dobrinka Salzman Gallery. 532 West 25thStreet, NY, NY Info The exquisite limited-edition catalogue, with photographs by Riccardo Vecchio Info and Alexandre Jolivet Info, is available at the gallery. The Hirlets are represented in Paris by Galerie Prism. Info  sculpture2019.18


Marsden Hartley, Mount Katahdin, Autumn no. 2, 1939-1940; talk by Randall Griffey tonight at NYSS

Talks / Book Events / Screenings / and Beyond

Wednesday, October 30

Ledelle Moe on Sculpture, 6:30 pm. New York Academy of Art, 111 Franklin Street, NY, NY Info

Randall R. Griffey | Through Line:  Marsden Hartley and Paul Cezanne, 6:30 pm. New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, NY, NY Info

Through Friday, November 1

The Magnum Square Pring Sale/with Aperture. Featuring: Antoine d'Agata, Robert Capa, Todd Hido, Daid Moriyama, Bruce Gilden, Mary Ellen Mark, W. Eugene Smith, Alex Webb and more. Online, Info

Friday, November 1 – November 24

Performa 19. The eighth edition at various locations around town. Info

Saturday, November 2

Anna Sui; Simon Doonan; Garren of the Plaza; Pat McGrath, in conversation, 4 pm. Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, NY, NY Info

Monday, November 4

Eleanore Carucci | Midlife, book launch, 6-8 pm. Foley Gallery, 59 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info

Tuesday, November 5

Horacio Salinas | Photographs 19 x 15, 6-8 pm. Dashwood Books, 33 Bond Street, NY, NY Info


Anish Kapoor, Tsunami, 2018; this week at Lisson Gallery

In Galleries

Wednesday, October 30

Ruby Neri | Ceramic Sculpture, 6-8 pm. Salon 94, 243 Bowery, NY, NY Info

Nicolel Awai | Envisioning the Liquid Land, 6-8 pm. Lesley Heller, 54 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info

Ebecho Muslimova | Traps, 6-8 pm. Magenta Plains, 94 Allen Street, NY, NY Info

Left: Ruby Neri; this week at Salon 94 Bowery

Anish Kapoor, 6-8 pm. Lisson Gallery, 504 West 24th Street/138 10th Avenue, NY, NY Info

Alejandro Cardenas | Antarctica, 6-8 pm.  Harper’s Apartment, 51 East 74th Street, NY, NY Info

Frankenthaler & Motherwell | The Art of Marriage.  Mnuchin Gallery, 45 East 78th Street, NY, NY Info

Friday, November 1

Twenty Years6-8 pm. James Cohan, 48 Walker Street/291 Grand Street, NY, NY Info

Sheetal Gattani | Unmaking Space, 6-8 pm. Aicon Art, 35 Great Jones Street, NY, NY Info

Karen Kilimnik, 6-8 pm. 303 Gallery, 555 West 21st Street, NY, NY Info

Philip Taafe, 6-8 pm. Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street, NY, NY Info

Jordan Casteel | The ractice of Freedom, 6-8 pm. Casey Caplan, 121' West 27th Street, NY, NY Info

Mona Brody | Distancing; Claire McConaughy | Not So Far Away, 6-8 pm. The Painting Center, 547 West 27th Street, NY, NY Info

Meleko Mokgosi, Pan-African Pulp, 6-8 pm. Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 West 24th Street, The social revolution of our time…., 6-8 pm. 513 West 20th Street, NY, NY Info

Saturday, November 2

Chen Fei | Reunion; Lee Bae | Promenade, 6-8 pm. Perrotin, 130 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info

Pat Passlof | Small Paintings 1999-2001, 3-6 pm. Elizabeth Harris Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, NY, NY Info

John Chamberlain and Donald Judd. Paula Cooper Gallery, 524 West 26thStreet, NY, NY Info


Women Out of Doors | Lois Dodd, Janice Nowinski, Kyle Staver, Joan Thorne, Jane Wilson. The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NY, NY info

Alina Szapocznikow, 1962-1972. Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, NY, NY Info


Rachel Feinstein, this week at The Jewish Museum; photo © Peggy Roalf

In Museums

October 30

An Emphasis on Resistance | CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibitioln. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info

Friday, November 1

Rachel Feinstein | Maiden, Mother Crone. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info

Sunday, November 3

Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011. MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY Info




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