Art Beat - JANUARY 2011

Art Beat

By Lindsey Peckham

keith tyson: 52 variables

Keith Tyson: 52 Variables

Keith Tyson's latest exhibit "52 Variables" is at the Pace Gallery through February 5th, and it's ingenious in its simplicity. The 52 paintings that line the green gallery walls are all recreations of the backs of playing cards produced over 200 years. What makes this particular show incredible is that despite the astounding diversity of the images, they all manage to feel familiar and comfortable, from an American Airlines logo to the ubiquitous Bicycle cherub. It's well worth a first or even a second trip.

ezra stoller, yosi milo gallery

Ezra Stoller, Yosi Milo Gallery

Ezra Stoller's architectural photography is an arresting look at how the world around us is put together, and how and what and why we've decided to construct buildings that are often presented as being at odds with the nature around them. The stark black and white images perfectly capture our restless spirit of innovation, which touches on the particular relationship of architecture and time. These photographs depict manmade landmarks such as JFK airport and the Guggenheim museum as imposing and immortal; it is a brilliant time capsule of an exhibit.

matthew benedict: dramatis personae

Matthew Benedict: Dramatis Personae

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Matthew Benedict's exhibit at the Alexander and Bonin Gallery is 100 years older than it actually is. His sepia photographs are indeed old-fashioned, and the effect is beautiful: decidedly contemporary actors in deliberately antique costumes and poses. What struck me most was how, despite the artist's best efforts at traveling backwards in time, the subjects and the characters they play are unmistakably modern. I spent hours staring at these pieces; I invite you to do the same.

alfred stieglitz at the seaport museum

Alfred Stieglitz at the Seaport Museum of New York

Apparently I'm on a time-capsule photography kick this month, because the last exhibit that I insist you check out is Alfred Stieglitz's show at the Seaport Museum, featuring pictures of New York City from the 1890s through the 1930s. Maybe it was this authentic look at our beautiful city that made it difficult for me to buy into the atmosphere of Matthew Benedict's work. In all fairness, there is no comparison between the two exhibits. Stieglitz's work is the perfect cure for the holiday season hangover: he simply depicts what is most beautiful and least cliché about this city, and manages to perfectly showcase how admirably efficient we (and our relentless pursuit of industrialization) really are


Lindsey Peckham is a recent graduate of New York University with degrees in both Liberal Arts and Business.

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