'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
NEW YORK, NEW YORK–MILES MCENERY GALLERY is pleased to announce High Rises and Double Vision: Images of New York, a presentation of new works by Brian Alfred. The exhibition will open 5 September at 525 West 22nd Street and remain on view through 5 October 2019. A public reception will be held for the artist on 5 September from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by Pac Pobric.
Brian Alfred’s paintings celebrate everyday imagery of New York City and bring new perspective to the evolving histories of some of its greatest landmarks. By recreating iconic structures, like the Empire State Building, as well as more ordinary encounters, such as a flower shop or storefront, Alfred observes a New York that is ever-changing and developing. Taking note from renowned architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier—'New York is not a finished or completed city.'
Among Alfred’s subjects are monuments whose cultural significance and actual fruition differ: the Statue of Liberty frowns down on the city for which she serves as a beacon of hope; a subway stop entitled 'West 4th Street-Washington Square' is accessible from neither West 4th Street nor Washington Square. The city is riddled with peculiar locations that deceive the eye and the mind. In this new series of works, Alfred captures the duality of New York life—appearance versus application—and examines this double vision by calling into question the sights and scenery we experience daily.
Alfred navigates these complex themes using an approach characterised by sharp lines and blocked colours. Tightly-cropped compositions manipulate the viewer’s perception of space, conflating overlapping buildings, signage, and other urban elements. These vibrant, city-shaped configurations capture ephemeral moments: the view through the gap between two skyscrapers, the contour of a passing storefront from a car window, and a downward glance into a subway entrance. While they might not last long, these unique fields of vision are fundamental parts of the experience of the city.
The exhibition at 525 West 22nd Street presents a city both grounded in history and rapidly changing. Alfred implores the viewer to see beyond its singularity. With this new body of work, Brian Alfred welcomes us to his New York.
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