Reinhold Ponesch is back in New York working on his next work series and is also writing for the Austrian newspaper "DER STANDARD" in a weekly online art blog about the New York art scene, art fairs, exhibitions and artists.
The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and opened its doors in 1931. The Museum moved to a bigger site to Gansevoort Street in 2015.
From March 17th till June 11th the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eight installment of the longest-running survey of American art, features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design.
The 2017 Biennial spans the entire fifth and sixth floor.
Of all the displayed sixty-three American artist two stood out the most for me.
Jessi Reaves: born in 1986 in Portland currently living and working in Brooklyn.
With her material arsenal of found objects industrial products, fabrics, and foam Jessi Reaves assembles objects that challenge the boundary
between furniture and sculpture. Although designed for use, her works summon a lyrical – rather than functional – association with the body.
The combination of the material like painted plastic, wire, wood and
the technique of fixture appears to me as a remarkable art composition I have never seen before.
Samara Golden: born in 1973 in Ann Arbor, lives and works in Los Angeles.
Samara Golden addresses the idea of psychological space through disassembled interior architecture, often creating illusions with reflective
surfaces and upended objects and rooms. Here, her site-specific Installation adjoins the Museums formidable west-facing windows. Golden works incorporates these windows as well as the river and sky beyond, with mirrors placed on the ceiling and floor creating an infinite visual abyss.
On the first impression, it did not touch and excite me. However, on
the second glance, I wanted to know how this installation works. And I discovered more and more layers of spaces and I was fascinated how the mirror reflections opened up more and more new perspectives. In the end, I still didn’t figure out how it works.
Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan, NY 10012
Despite of the perishing of galleries in New York Eva Presenhuber is opening a new gallery space in New York presenting the
Austrian painter Tobias Pils.
„Even the art market has created some large galleries because of the globalization“ says Eva Presenhung in her interview.
A lot of small and average sized galleries have vanished in the art scene in New York. A lot of them had to give up. The rents have gone sky high and the demand in this art segment has gone down. Only the ‚big ones‘ like Gagosian, Zwirner, White Cube or Ropac are able to retain their spaces or even to prosper because of their financially strong private collectors. It seems like only those determine the art market.
Therefore, it’s astonishing and against all market rules, that the internationally acknowledged Swiss Top-gallerist Eva Presenhuber has opened a gallery in Noho, in the cenre of Manhattan. She is representing Wranz West (AT) and Joe bradley (USA) and the Austrian painter Tobias Pils whom she is showing in her opening exhibition in New York. It’s the first solo exhibition of Tobias Pils in New York.
Up to this moment, when I saw the paintings of Tobias Pils at the exhibition, I always thought that painting also has to do with
colours. Grey and drab and even grayer. Not for me, but the image composition do sometimes succeed and Tobias Pils has developed his own picture language.
In celebration of the opening I metup with Eva Presenhuber for an interview.
Alongside two great locations in Zurich you have just opened a gallery in New York. Why New York?
Since 70 percent of the artists I represent are living in the US and mainly in NYC and LA it was a long-cherished wish to have an exhibition space in NYC. The location on 39 Great Jones in NOHO seemed to be ideal to spend more time in NYC.
For the opening exhibition you chose the Austrian artist Tobias Pils. Why did you choose an Austrian and not an American artist
like Joe Bradley whom you also represent?
Tobias Pils hasn’t had a solo exhibition in NYC so far. Tobias Pils is an artist who develops an artwork calmly and which generates great presence and therefore lasts. For me the idealconditions to support an artist and his art.
What makes Tobias Pils art so special?
Pils, underestimated in Vienna for years, receives now the appreciation, but this can only happen when his work is shown internationally.
How do you generally view the development in the national art market? The globalization and the crises haves cooled off the market. Several galleries even in New York have closed down. Would you say, the large, well connected galleries are surviving, the small ones perish? How to do it right as a gallerist?
Sure, there are deferrals in all markets and also the art market has developed some big galleries because of the globalization. Those galleries seem dominant. Still artist, especially in their first decade of their career, are promoted by small or average sized galleries. Without those galleries there wouldn’t be artists.
Some people have difficulties finding access to art. How would you lead someone to art and which medium would you choose?
On the one hand it’s easy to find access to art because it has never been so popular nowadays. However, the only right access is through galleries and museum visits to sharpen your sensorium.
What should good art be able to do – trigger in your opinion?
Art which still attracts even if you have visited 10 exhibitions of the same artists. Only this kind of art as a change to survive in the long-run.
What is your life motto?
Never be comfortable and smug.
Tobias Pils,exhibition continues till 17th June 2017.
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012.
Tobias Pils, born 1971 in Linz/Austria, „Akademie der Bildenden Künste“ Vienna
From 5th till 7th May 2017 more than 200 galleries from all over the world showed giants of the contemporary art on Randall's Island an island between East Harlem and Queens. It was my first "Frieze-Visit". I planned one and a half hours for the journey with public transport - in the end it took me 3 hours, usual for New York.
I found remarkable galleries with rather roomily big booths in the overdimensional tent. A lot of them tried to present art in a different way. Like the gallery “Eigen + Art” who covered their floor with flat rhinestones from the artist Olaf Nicolai. The Swedish gallery Magnus Karlsson streched a polyhedral net and artwork was hanging from it. Or a female sculpture was simply lying on the floor on the aisle and animated children for a curious investigation.
I was positively surprised what new ways the galleries created to present their art. Art should be an experience for the spectator and should allow an interaction with the audience. It was often done very well and sometimes not. The art scene is only starting out of what I think is a necessary development – art should also be alive and be made for ‘touching’.
A special feature, so I found, was compared to other international art fairs the neatly arranged and spacious arrangement of the gallery booths. You were also allowed to bring your food and drinks while walking through. The catering was superb, but the prices definitely too high. Anyway, a unique experience.
The Artist Dawn Kasper was showing an installation which seemed easy in its arrangement. The comoposition is perfectly laid out and matches perfectly. Looks easy, but is difficult to make. Dawn Kasper is a participant of the Biennale Venedig 2017.
The Gallery White Cube has surprised me insofar as that they only showed art made of recycled materials.
The gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash is for me one of the most impressive and important international gallery globally, representing tremendous and terrific artists like Keltie Ferris and Eddi Martinez.
This art work from Laura Lima kann be a picture but also an sculpture. It was hanging on the wall. Several objects made of leather, metal and fabric were added to a veil of brown fabric. You could recognize leather straps and yarn. Sold for $ 35.000,-.