Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Chelsea Shows

Saw two interesting shows on Friday.

First, a show of Burt Barr’s videos at Sikkema Jenkins. I had never heard of Barr, but he’s had solo shows at the Whitney and PS1. Somehow, he’s been off of my radar, though.

The show is quite still and not noisy (aside from gun shots – but they’re soft). There are a few projections of continuous loops - for example a frog swimming in place or a two channel piece with a donkey's face in a thunderstorm - and one piece on a monitor. Everything is black and white, and feels like moving photographs. This is how I like my video – pretty much uneventful. I hate when I walk into a long narrative piece and am under the impression that I’ve missed something very important.

Then at Perry Rubenstein, there are small scale, luminous paintings by Gabi Hamm that have an old-master-technique meets contemporary-subject-with-a-tinge-of-morbidness feel. I recommend.

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