The DART Board: 06.26.2024

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday June 26, 2024


Wednesday, June 26, 6-8 pm: John Ahern and Rigoberto Torres at Salon94

Walton Ave & Friends unites nearly three decades of sculpture made both independently and in collaboration between sculptors John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres. In 1979, Ahearn was artist-in-residence at the South Bronx alternative art space Fashion Moda and quickly drew attention for his public life-casting workshop, resulting in The South Bronx Hall of Fame, a suite of radical busts of everyday people from the community. There he met a teenaBelowged Torres, whose idea to bring the casting onto the streets changed the community and resulted in numerous collaborative public mBelowurals, including the seminal Back to School (1985), recreated at Salon 94 and joined by portraits from across both artists’ practices. BelowRigoberto Torres, left, and John Ahearn casting at a block party on Walton Avenue, Bronx, 1985.Credit...Ivan Dalla Tana; via John Ahearn, Rigoberto Torres, and Alexander and Bonin, New York


Unlike contemporaneous sculptors whose realism manifests as allegorical subjects like Liberty or Justice, or whose figures underscore ideas of power or beauty, the works of Ahearn and Torres undeniably express the distinctive identity and spirit of the subjects from which they are cast. Their humanistic approach to portraiture is based in trust (the casting process is unpleasant and vulnerable) and is also reciprocal (each subject receives a painted sitter’s proof to keep). These proofs are a point of pride for those who choose to live with them and reaffirm the idea that all lives are worthy of representation. Read the comprehensive accompanying text by Joe Lewis, an artist, writer, professor of art at the University of California, Irvine, and founding director of the South Bronx art space Fashion Moda here

Salon 94, 3 East 89th Street, New York, NY Info



Friday, June 27, 6-8 pm: Linda Kamille Schmidt: Fiber Space at Garvey Simon

In the artist’s third exhibition with the gallerty, a selection of her recent semi-transparent fabric collages is featured, ranging from installation scale, to intimate, window-sized works. Schmidt’s collages are a mélange of memory, culling together personal and universal experience, all the while challenging the distinction between craft and fine art. 

The artist vacillates between precise machine and loose, wobbly hand-sewn stitches. Her subtle use of pins in the works act as focal points for the eye as it dances around the celebration of color and texture. As a result, her works refuse the sterility of manufacturing, and challenge the reductive elision of perfectionism and femininity. A hot frenzy of geometric forms, Schmidt’s fabric swatches abut and overlap to form a kaleidoscopic play with depth and recession

Schmidt’s larger installation work also places her squarely in a tradition of subversive feminist art. At this scale, her collage method is evocative of quilting, a generational passion in her family. Like her predecessors, Schmidt’s use of immensity and hard geometric abstraction works to undermine the association of quaintness with craftwork. Furthermore, it disrupts the notion that femininity is small and subdued

Garvey Simon Gallery, 547 W 27 Street, Suite 209, New York, NY Info


Last chance, June 28: Ricard Diebenkorn | Figures and Faces at Van Doren Waxter

A must-see for aficionados of Richard Diebenkorn, the show marks the first time his rarely seen Two Nudes (left), 1960—a beguiling, seven foot tall oil that anticipates the scale of the monumental Ocean Park abstractions he would begin in 1967—has been on view in 60 years.

“A meandering blue background,” enthuses art historian Stephanie Lebas Huber in the show’s accompanying essay, “sculpts the figural pair by cutting into the flesh-tones with layers of blue, in some cases even defining their bodies with a contour line of the same hue.” Huber writes that Henri Matisse’s “long-standing influence over Diebenkorn’s color palette and subject matter is evident,” noting that Diebenkorn had closely studied works he had seen in a 1952 Matisse retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Art.

Van Doren Waxter, 23 East 73rd Street, New York, NY Info


 Last Chance, closing June 28: Maurizio Cattalan | Sunday at Gagosian

Sunday, Maurizio Cattelan’s first solo gallery exhibition in more than two decades, confronts the contradictions of American society and culture, and also touches on a sensitive issue confronting the world at large. Panels of stainless steel, plated in 24-karat gold, have been “modified” by gunfire.

Visitors to Gagosian’s 21st Street location are immediately confronted by a towering, 17-foot-tall wall of the gilded panels that stretches some 68 feet wide (above). In front of it is November (2024), a marble fountain that portrays a slouching figure urinating on the ground. Cattelan characterizes the work as “a monument to marginality,” an image of a reality that we habitually ignore. 

Gagosian, 522 West 21st Street, New York, NY Info



Saturday, June 29: Survival Piece#5 | Portable Orchard at the Whitney

This multi-dimensional exhibition explores alternative, sustainable food systems in an imagined future where natural farming practices are obsolete. Artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, often referred to as “the Harrisons,” conceived and designed the project in 1972, a period when environmentalist movements in the United States were taking shape. 

Inspired by the growing social awareness of vulnerable ecosystems, the Harrisons developed “Survival Pieces,” proposals for installation projects that served as works of art and calls to action. The instruction drawing for Portable Orchard, which is in the Whitney’s permanent collection, details the build plans for the self-sustaining indoor garden and offers tips on tree care as well as creative recipes for celebrating the grove’s yield. This installation marks the first standalone museum presentation of the fully realized grove of eighteen citrus trees in over fifty years.

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY Info



Continuing through August 18: Painting Deconstructed at Ortega Y Gasset

Painting Deconstructed explores ideas and motivations behind the concept of deconstructed painting, and the vital role that women, immigrants, LGBTQA artists and POC artists play in questioning, rethinking and restructuring what painting can be, what counts for painting. Working across sculpture, photography, ceramics, painting and installation, while employing fiber, paint, ceramics, film, paper pulp, fur, plaster, hydrocal and many other materials, the artists in this show examine and transgress the various conventions of painting such as the rectilinear shape of the support, flatness, continuity, framing, verticality, the use of only paint and having an individual maker for each painting. Although not all artists in this show insist on being painters their practices and strategies are often in reference to, inspired by, or painting-adjacent, exhibiting the tremendous elasticity of painting and the sheer ingenuity with which contemporary artists are testing its limits.

Painting Deconstructed, curated by O-yG co-founder and artist Leeza Meskin, received support from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Andy Warhol Foundation. A catalog designed by Gretchen Kraus of Space Sisters Press will accompany the exhibition, to be launched at the closing event in August. 

Ortega Y Gasset Projects, 363 3rd Streeet, Brooklyn, NY Info