Thursday, July 18, 2024

New York: 10 Gallery Exhibitions Feature Works by Artists Fred Eversley, Bob Thompson, Mark Bradford, Lisa Corinne Davis, Kehinde Wiley, Zéh Palito & More

BOB THOMPSON (1937–1966), “The Golden Ass,” 1963 (oil on canvas, 62 1/2 x 74 1/2 inches). | © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY


Bob Thompson: Agony & Ecstasy @ Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 100 Eleventh Avenue at West 19th Street, New York, N.Y. | April 1- May 26, 2023

Bob Thompson (1937-1966) invented a realm all his own. Working at the intersection of figuration and abstraction, form and color, Thompson’s dream-like images are informed by his personal experiences, passion for jazz, biblical narratives and mythology. Active for less than a decade in New York and Europe, he died at age 28. Following the recent traveling museum retrospective “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine,” this exhibition surveys each year of the artist’s brief, mature practice from 1958 to 1966. More than 15 paintings are on view with a selection of works on paper and a presentation of archival sketchbooks and photographs. A publication accompanies the show, which coincides with “Bob Thompson: So let us all be citizens,” a pair of exhibitions presented by David Zwirner in London and the gallery’s 52 Walker space in New York.


MARK BRADFORD, Fire Fire, 2021 (mixed media on canvas, 346.4 x 687.7 cm / 136 3/8 x 270 3/4 inches overall; Triptych – Left: 345.8 x 190.8 cm / 136 1/8 x 75 1/8 inches; Middle: 345.8 x 275 cm / 136 1/8 x 108 1/4 inches; Right: 345.8 x 191.1 cm / 136 1/8 x 75 1/4 inches). | © Mark Bradford, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sarah Muehlbauer


Mark Bradford: You Don’t Have to Tell Me Twice @ Hauser & Wirth, 542 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. | April 13-July 28, 2023

Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford is known for large-scale abstract paintings with underlying socio-political context. His latest exhibition is informed by European tapestry and its historic symbols of power and opulence, the Great Migration, and Blackdom, an African American homesteader settlement established in the early 20th century near the Chihuahuan desert in New Mexico. Eleven large-scale paintings made in 2021 and 2023 are on view. Many works invoke the figure in the form of obscured animal predators and prey lurking in dense abstracted landscapes—metaphors for societal and financial predation and vulnerable populations. The artist’s own body is also present in a rare sculpture and single-channel video.

Mark Bradford’s first New York exhibition since 2015 “features a deeply personal exploration of the multifaceted nature of displacement and the predatory forces that feed on populations driven into motion by crisis.”


BOB THOMPSON, “An Allegory,” 1964 (oil on linen, 48 × 48 inches / 121.9 × 121.9 cm). | Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Thomas Bellinger 72.137. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, N.Y.


Bob Thompson: So let us all be citizens @ David Zwirner | 52 Walker, 52 Walker Street, New York, N.Y. | April 21-July 8, 2023

Curated by Ebony L. Haynes, who leads 52 Walker, this exhibition presents a variety of paintings by Bob Thompson (1937-1966) that “spotlight the artist’s jazz-influenced style and how he used this method to engage new audiences within the history of painting.” The show’s title was inspired by a speech Thompson delivered in church when he was teenager: Building through Citizenship. Also curated by Haynes, a companion exhibition under the same title is being presented at David Zwirner in London. The shows coincide with “Bob Thompson: Agony & Ecstasy,” a survey on view at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York, through May 26.


BILL TRAYLOR, “Untitled (Man with Blue Torso),” circa 1939-42 (poster paint and graphite on found cardboard, 13 x 9 1/2 inches / 33 x 24.1 cm). | Courtesy Ricco/Maresca


Bill Traylor: Plain Sight @ Ricco/Maresca Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, N.Y. | April 27-June 3, 2023

Alabama artist Bill Traylor (1854-1949) was in his 70s when he began drawing figures, animals, and scenes he saw from his daily perch on a main street in segregated Montgomery and memories of the cotton plantation where he was born enslaved. Ricco/Maresca focuses on folk art and self-taught masters. The gallery has been engaged with Traylor’s work for three decades, presenting exhibitions and producing two publications. The current show is a survey of circa 1939-42 works produced with graphite, colored pencil, and poster paint on found cardboard.


LISA CORINNE DAVIS Phantasmagoric Rationale, 2023 (oil on canvas, 78 x 120 inches / 198.1 x 304.8 cm). | © Lisa Corinne Davis, Courtesy the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery


Lisa Corinne Davis: You Are Here? @ Miles McEnery Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. | April 27-June 3, 2023

Lisa Corinne Davis is presenting her first solo exhibition with Miles McEnery after joining the gallery in June 2022. Her graphic paintings are centered around color, pattern, and geometry, but the artist rejects the label of abstraction and references to maps, instead encouraging viewers to approach the work with an open mind. In the exhibition catalog that accompanies the show, scholar and curator Anita N. Bateman wrote: “Her works are about bodies (the experiences of bodies, of subjects) as much as they are about contexts.” New York-based Davis is co-director of the MFA program at Hunter College.


KEHINDE WILEY, Installation view of “Portrait of Yaima Polledo & Isabel Pozo,” 2023 (oil on linen, painting: 108 x 81 15/16 inches / 274.3 x 208.2 cm; framed: 118 3/8 x 92 3/8 x 3 3/4 inches / 300.7 x 234.6 x 9.5 cm). | © Kehinde Wiley, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly, Photo by Adam Reich


Kehinde Wiley: Havana @ Sean Kelly Gallery, 476 Tenth Avenue, New York, N.Y. | April 28-June 17, 2023

Kehinde’s Wiley’s powerful and dynamic portraits reinvent centuries-old European paintings with contemporary images of Black and Brown men and women from around the world against decorative, botanical backgrounds. The artist’s latest point of departure is Cuba. Wiley is presenting new paintings, works on paper and a three-channel film. The works invoke a spectrum of references from Picasso, Alexander Calder, Toulouse-Lautrec to Western European depictions of the carnivalesque and Afro-Cuban circus culture.


Installation view of “Uman: I Want Everything Now,” Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York, N.Y. (May 4-June 17, 2023). | Courtesy Nicola Vassell Gallery


Uman: I Want Everything Now @ Nicola Vassell Gallery, 138 Tenth Avenue, New York, N.Y. | May 4-June 17, 2023

Born in Somalia, Uman was raised in Kenya and Denmark and currently lives in Upstate New York. Uman’s kaleidoscopic patterns are influenced by her dreams, Arabic calligraphy, and the natural world. Her expressions are a delicate dance between intuition and ritual, abstraction and representation. The self-taught artist describes herself as a storyteller who loves color. Her latest body of work was produced in 2022 and 2023. Fifteen large-scale paintings and more than 30 small works on paper are on view at Nicola Vassell, a Black woman-owned gallery.


Installation view of “Fred Eversley: Cylindrical Lenses” at David Kordansky Gallery in New York. | Courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery


Fred Eversley: Cylindrical Lenses @ David Kordansky Gallery, 520 West 20th Street, N.Y. | May 6-June 10, 2023

Fred Eversley is associated with the Light and Space movement. His pioneering practice is a feat of engineering, drawing on his previous career in the aerospace industry. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., after living in Venice Beach, Calif., for 50 years, Eversley recently returned to New York. He is presenting his first solo gallery show in New York in nearly half a century. A new body of vertical works is on view—six tinted sculptures made from cast polyurethane that stand seven and nine feet tall.


RICHARD MAYHEW, “Mood Indigo,” circa 1995 (oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches / 76.2 x 101.6 cm). | © Richard Mayhew, Courtesy the artist and Venus Over Manhattan


Richard Mayhew: Natural Order @ Venus Over Manhattan, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, N.Y. | May 6-June 17, 2023

The last living member of Spiral, Richard Mayhew has said his electric paintings are all about emotion—love, fear, desire. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., he employs landscape as “a metaphor for the feeling of time and allusion” and to connect with nature. Inaugurating Venus Over Manhattan’s new space on Great Jones Street, this rare gallery survey, the artist’s first with the gallery, presents about 25 paintings and works on paper. Key paintings on loan from important collectors who have supported Mayhew over the years, including The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection (“Pamela’s Aura,” 2004), are on view with works available for sale. A catalog accompanies the exhibition, which is presented in collaboration with ACA Galleries.


ZÉH PALITO, “Assateague Island,” 2023 (acrylic on canvas, 150 x 271.8 cm). | © Zéh Palito, Courtesy the artist and Luce Gallery


Zéh Palito: Won’t You Celebrate With Me @ Luce Gallery, 365 Broadway at Franklin, New York, N.Y. | May 19-June 10, 2023

Brazilian artist Zéh Palito established himself as a mural artist, creating grand uplifting images on public facades, first in Sao Paolo, then around the world. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, his first solo exhibition in New York presents more intimate paintings in his signature vibrant palette, dominated by pink. Refusing to be defined by negative images of Black people in the media, Palito’s subjects are persevering, full of joy, and engaged in a variety of community and leisurely activities. The exhibition title (“won’t you celebrate with me”) is borrowed from the title of a 1993 Lucille Clifton poem about courage and perseverance. A brief poem, it contains 14 short, profound lines, all in lowercase. The poem begins “won’t you celebrate with me/what i have shaped into/a kind of life? i had no model” and concludes “come celebrate/with me that everyday/something has tried to kill me/and has failed.” CT


The exhibition catalog “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” accompanied the artist’s recent museum retrospective. Fred Eversley is featured in “Light and Space,” which was published earlier this year. Recent volumes dedicated to the work of Mark Bradford include “Mark Bradford” from Phaidon, “Mark Bradford: End Papers,” “Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge,” and “Mark Bradford: Tomorrow is Another Day,” published on the occasion of his Venice Biennale presentation. Also, Bradford is featured in the catalog “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” which accompanies the group museum exhibition in which he presented work with similar themes—migration and Blackdom, the Black homesteader community in New Mexico—as the paintings on view at Hauser & Wirth. “Transcendence: Richard Mayhew” (2020) is a career-spanning monograph of the artist. Earlier publications such as “The Art of Richard Mayhew: A Critical Analysis with Interviews” and “The Art of Richard Mayhew” also consider his work. A major volume, “Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor” accompanied the artist’s museum retrospective. Several recent publications explore Kehinde Wiley’s work, including “Kehinde Wiley at the National Gallery,” “Kehinde Wiley: A Portrait of a Young Gentleman,” and “The Obama Portraits.” “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” documents Wiley’s 10-year retrsospective and “Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence” is forthcoming in September. Available soon through Luce Gallery, a publication accompanies Zéh Palito’s exhibition.


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