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Art Beat- March 2011

by Lindsey Peckham

Andrew Jones

Known mostly for his beautiful “stoopscapes” that detail the ornate facades of West Village brownstones bathed in sunlight, Andrew Jones has recently branched out and begun painting breathtaking landscapes, recently on display at the Salmagundi Gallery. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of nearby Weir Farm in Connecticut (full disclosure: I have an admitted soft spot for Weir Farm as I grew up five minutes from this gorgeous haven for local artists), his renderings of the sun-dappled trees have a dreamy, maze-like quality to them. These new works retain the abstracted realism that defines his stoop-works, while taking it to a different level. Andrew Jones, city mouse, meet Andrew Jones, country mouse.

Picasso’s Guitars

One of the most high profile exhibits of the spring is certainly Picasso’s Guitars at MoMA. The fabulous collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and collages is awe-inspiring, rivaling the breadth and depth of his work displayed at the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris. The two exhibits seem distant cousins to me, as both explore short transitional periods in Picasso’s career, but we’ll focus on the gallery on our continent. MoMA has amassed hundreds of works that show Picasso’s brilliant construction and deconstruction of a classic, well-known figure - the guitar. The exhibit reads like a stream-of-consciousness of genius; walking through the gallery, you feel as if you can see his brain working, teasing apart and piecing together this statuesque instrument. Seeing these perfectly chaotically reassembled inanimate objects gives you a deeper ¬†understanding of and appreciation for what he does with the human form, on display downstairs in MoMA’s permanent collection.

Single Fare 2

After the smashing success of Single Fare last year, artists Jean-Pierre Roy and Michael Kagan have teamed up with Sloan Fine Art for Single Fare 2, an open exhibit featuring works by an incredible array of artists whose single guideline was that the work be created using a used MetroCard. There is true diversity in the exhibit, as the works range from abstract paintings to mini portraiture to even a video installation. For the true New Yorker, this is a can’t-miss display that highlights the potential beauty of those indispensable little yellow cards.

Iranian Art at the Grey Gallery at NYU

Given the most recent unrest in the Middle East, which inevitably evokes the memory of last year’s Iranian student protests, I decided to visit my alma mater, where the Grey Art Gallery has an impressive permanent collection of modern Iranian art. There’s a certain calm to the art here - both sculpture and painting - that is grounding, and it provides a timely reminder of the importance of art in spite of, or perhaps because of, turmoil in a region infamous for its political instability. It’s worth checking out (or revisiting), because the extensive collection is lovely and inspiring. I felt especially touched by Sumbat Kiureghian’s “Bazaar” and Morteza Momayez’s “Mythological Antics.”

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