In Praise of Shadows

Lyles & King
21 Catherine Street
New York
Lower East Side
Jun 5th 2021 — Jul 2nd 2021

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In the curatorial statement for “In Praise of Shadows”—a group show up now at Lyles & King—Ebony Haynes writes that “shadows cast light on things almost forgotten.” To be sure, the paintings and prints on view —which represent work by almost 20 artists coming out of Yale’s 2021 MFA program— make visible those very things that could well slip away. Danielle De Jesus’s Carmelo’s Garden (2021) is a sun-dappled painting of a kindly man bearing palms full of peppers—the scene apparently evoking a sweet memory. Curtis Welteroth’s sculpture In Memoriam (2021) is an altogether more ambiguous memorial, a tableau morte of a cockroach that met an unfortunate end.

Speaking of shadows: Nearly all of the selected pieces incorporate a 3-D element. See, for instance, Welteroth’s Forest with Asshole (2021), a bucolic forest scene out of which emerges a puckered clay anus, glazed to a shine—or Emma Safir’s “Stretch” series, which include ruched, appliqued, smocked, and threaded elements of silk, neoprene, and upholstery foam. In Jonathan Rajewski’s Untitled (2020-2021), the space of the gallery itself is reconfigured into the experience of the work. A set of crumpled balls, constructed with a range of found materials, is arranged on the space's floor into a square formation, echoing the footprint of the window beneath which it is directly situated. From that window, one can catch a view of the second part of the same work, organized neatly outside within the tiled grid of the floor.

Chibụike Ụzọma, GRACE (2021). Oil on canvas in artist frame. Courtesy of the artist and Lyles & King, New York. Photo: Charles Benton

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.