Ryan E. Steadman

  • Anthony Campuzano, Forecast, 1998, newspaper, tape, projector. Installation view, 2013.
    picks April 11, 2013

    Anthony Campuzano

    Many artists today attempt to remove any evidence of their hand from their work, but Philadelphia-based artist Anthony Campuzano chooses instead to flood his otherwise reductive compositions with a compulsive scribble. Areas are densely filled, sometimes thrice over, with colored or black pen lines, reminiscent of a certain vein of outsider art like that of Adolf Wölfli. But what puts Campuzano in a unique class is his deep understanding of the history of abstraction and his ability to negotiate it around his unpretentious handicraft.

    The Storm, 2013, for example, is a jumble of amorphous ink

  • Vera Iliatova, Let Themselves Be Sad Songs, 2013, oil on canvas, 24 x 18".
    picks March 25, 2013

    Vera Iliatova

    “Nostalgia—it’s delicate, but potent,” says Don Draper of the American period drama Mad Men. “Nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.” This particular brand of manipulation is familiar territory for painter Vera Iliatova, who in her third solo show at this gallery is proving herself a consummate craftsman of this complex emotion.

    Her eight elegiac paintings on display each take the rough form of a landscape, but what drives this artist’s moody remembrances is the figurative element within each work: a nostalgic

  • Jackie Gendel, Party Line, 2007–13, oil on canvas, 64 x 51".
    picks January 28, 2013

    Jackie Gendel

    Jackie Gendel is currently having her second show at this space in three months. The first opened eleven days before Hurricane Sandy deposited half the Hudson River on the gallery district of West Chelsea, and while Gendel’s initial exhibition, “Comedy of Manners,” managed to remain intact, the artist decided to view the flood as an opportunity to create a largely new exhibition.

    The reinstalled show, which includes a subterranean viewing room, is a commingling of new flood-inspired works and selections from the previous show. All of the images on display exude an almost carnivorous appetite for

  • Doug Rickard, #39.177833, Baltimore, MD (2008), 2011, digital print, 26 x 41 1/2”.
    picks November 10, 2012

    Doug Rickard

    By simply rephotographing printed advertisements in the late 1970s, Richard Prince unleashed a powerful new type of critique in contemporary art, while exposing the powerful resonance of commercial photography. Thirty-one years later, as web publishing began to supplant print media, Doug Rickard started to focus his camera directly at his computer screen, on images of impoverished American neighborhoods taken from Google Maps’ Street View, in order to reexamine the dusty genre of social documentary photography.

    Like Prince, Rickard is an obsessive collector of pictures, which he sifts through

  • Eric Brown, Untitled, 2012, oil and spray paint on canvas, 18 x 24".
    picks October 24, 2012

    Eric Brown

    It is a formidable challenge in the twenty-first century to craft an original and complex emotional response to modernism, but that is exactly what Eric Brown, for his first solo exhibition with this gallery, has done in this unique series of sixteen modest abstract paintings and two knockout sculptures. Brown’s work is deeply indebted to a long lineage of modernist designers, from Kazimir Malevich to Marcel Breuer, and he swims in multitudinous versions of their aesthetics while traversing a circuit of harmoniously designed airports, hotels, and museums while working as an artist’s assistant.

  • Eugen Schönebeck, Majakowski, 1966, graphite on paper, 38 1/4 x 28 3/4".
    picks October 07, 2012

    Eugen Schönebeck

    In our politically divided country slowly recovering from a costly war, it is unsurprising that inward-facing abstraction has become the language of choice for many artists wanting to escape their circumstance. In 1961, two fledgling art school graduates named Georg Baselitz and Eugen Schönebeck were in a similar situation when they decided to countermand the German art establishment by publishing their Pandämonium manifestos (two rambling, poetic diatribes on the state of German art), while their brash figurative paintings and drawings became some of the first to reference the bitter realities

  • View of “My Own Private Angkor,” 2012.
    picks August 10, 2012

    Simryn Gill

    “My Own Private Angkor,” Simryn Gill’s ethereal series of ninety photographs taken between 2007 and 2009, is a project as serendipitous as it is rigorously crafted. Gill, who will represent Australia at the 2013 Venice Biennale, shot this series in Port Dickson, Malaysia, where she found herself living near a large postcolonial housing development that has been sitting abandoned since the 1980s. In the series, she methodically and meditatively investigates the interiors of this complex, depicting leaning plate glass windows and gouged walls that have been stripped of their precious metals by

  • View of “Stretching Painting,” 2012.
    picks July 14, 2012

    “Stretching Painting”

    In sharp contrast to James Cohan Gallery’s current show across the street from this exhibition, “Everyday Abstract-Abstract Everyday,” which emits a now-ness through its panoptic materiality, “Stretching Painting,” curated by Veronica Roberts, feels almost historical in its numeration of styles that deconstruct the wall-hung painting. “Stretching Painting” seems born from its dual senior iconoclasts: James Hyde and Donald Moffett. The former is known for negating painting through a host of processes, while the latter is celebrated for humorously challenging the medium’s conventions through a

  • Albrecht Schnider, Untitled (Red Orbit), 2012, felt-tip pen on paper (with UV protection), 8 1/4 x 5 3/4".
    picks June 21, 2012

    Albrecht Schnider

    Albrecht Schnider’s aptly titled exhibition, “Melancholia of the Verge,” reveals an artist who is mourning painting’s slow and fitful loss of power over the collective consciousness. According to Freud, the melancholic turns against the object he has bonded with once he discovers that object is not infallible. Schnider’s conflicted relationship with his medium has produced a solemn show of memorials to three genres of painting (portraiture, landscape, and abstraction) via sinuous arcs and curves that divinely form his distilled yet seductive images.

    What lures one deeper into this body of work

  • Molly Smith, Sure, 2012, Hydrocal, pigment, weight, rocks, wood, 75 x 4 x 6”.
    picks March 17, 2012

    Molly Smith

    When Franz Roh coined the term magic realism in 1925, it was to herald a return to the obsessive replication of objects in Golden Age Dutch painting, particularly still lifes. It is amusing that nearly a century later, during the isolating reign of computer interface, many artists are finding solace in Roh’s desire for a sincere materiality, but through the actual objects instead of their two-dimensional likenesses.

    Helen Mirra’s Minimalist displays of blankets and wooden pallets are one example of this, as is Molly Smith’s current exhibition, “Tidal,” her second at this gallery. Smith’s seven

  • Ridley Howard, Nudes, 2011, oil on linen, 24 x 30”.
    picks January 31, 2012

    Ridley Howard

    “Young girls? I don’t give a damn. I like small feet, I like my fabulous house with cool stuff in it.” This was John Currin’s impression, from a 2001 interview, of the staunchly antimodern painter Balthus. Currin enlists Balthus on behalf of his own postmodernist gambit, yet it’s Ridley Howard in his second exhibition at this gallery who brings Balthus’s earnestly sensed joy full circle after modernity’s linear exhaustion.

    In “Slows,” Howard’s twenty paintings jubilate through thrumming color planes and a slight drafting curvature that owes as much to Botticelli as it does to Adrian Tomine.