Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Decline & Fall of The Art World, Part 1: The One-Percenters @ Freight + Volume

Man, fuck, do I love Alex Gingrow. I have a huge art crush on her. Even when she is taking shots at Laurel Nakadate (whose work I am a fan of), I still find Gingrow’s work utterly amusing. I mean “Nicole Klagsburn is my greatest nightmare” is pretty harsh / funny. Gingrow’s paintings of wall labels are also excellently executed and almost become a subtle minimalist exploration of the color white, and the pairing of her work with her (if I am not mistaken) real life significant other and fellow bad ass artist Michael Scoggins is rad. Now granted, the show relies heavily on what Scoggins is most known for, the gigantic sheets of paper, where in the past he has made epic doodles. These now feature the most over the top Ruscha / Prince text art ever, where he declares his greatness, mocks his own art and declares its decorativeness in a very pleasuralably snarky, ironic tone. Now the text work makes sense with Gingrow’s work, but I loved the styrofoam fingers and the Fat Head from the superbowl show at Small Black Door, and I am looking forward to seeing where Scoggins is going artwise. With Gingrow, I am a tad worried how she is going to follow up the critical wall labels.

Also in the show is the Brooklyn institution that is Loren Monk. I loved his appearance on the Bad At Sports podcast and enjoyed his somewhat critical take on what he described as crappy painting or a genre of painting where the final result might not always be as important as the process that went into it. It took me a long time to realize he wasn’t talking about his own work, which, despite its excellent use of color, always seemed more about documenting recent art history in a rather idiosyncratic manner than about making a painting in any kind of traditional sense. But I have to say, I think the work in this show is his most painterly to date. The largest one even seems to be aggressively playing with font and type and also engaging in the history of sign painting. If he wants to distance himself from Brooklyn’s infatuation with crappy painting, I think sign painting is a legacy I can see Loren Monk more than happily claiming.

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