Called “the most aristocratic bohemian on New York’s contemporary art scene” by the New York Times, known for an ability to “pinpoint who and what in art will matter next”, influential New York curator Clarissa Dalrymple shows no signs of slowing down.
In her latest curatorial project, Luther Price displays unearthed slides, 87 year-old Alfred Lesliedigitally rearranges his own paintings, and Tommy Hartung presents eerie moving images inspired by cultural relics as diverse as Anna Karenina and the Gnostic gospels. Jay Heikes’s ‘Drawn and Quartered’ is a collection of 18 tools, while his minimal ‘Fields’ is constructed with the help of Purpurissum, a mixture originally used by ceramicists in Pompeii, made up of Murex, Indigo, and Madder. Murex has its own fascinating history; more expensive than gold by the gram, the dye is extracted from a rare Mediterranean mollusc and was used to signify royalty in the time of Pliny the Elder.
The chosen pieces work well within Hufkens gallery, supporting one another rather than dominating the space, but the highlight is undoubtedly Ryan Sullivan’s experiment in naturally occurring phenomena – sedimentation, rust, and cracking – resulting in a topographical surface reminiscent of a military landscape.
Brie Ruais’s ‘Circle Game’ is also a standout piece. Ruais pushed 350 pounds of clay in a circle until its starting point was imperceptible and the colours had spread and blended. It’s a kind of ‘Drawing Restraint’ à la Matthew Barney, in which momentum is hindered. Rather than ceramics, Ruais uses the clay to explore both its and her own limitations. Her other piece, ‘Five Ways Out from Center’, is a glittery-grey explosion, lying on the ground as if a marker on a map. Both pieces take this demarcation of territory as a starting point.
Along with six American artists, Dalrymple has selected British artist Sarah Lucas to exhibit her new work. Well-known for her avant-garde and occasionally confrontational output, Lucas uses her lively sculptures to explore misogyny and exploitation as expressed by the language of consumer culture. Rather than working with typical materials, Lucas’s mobile sculptures make use of everyday, seemingly unremarkable objects with which we are in perpetual engagement, like garden furniture, tights, and buckets. Originally created for the Britten studio at Snape Maltings, their friendly humanoid shapes warm the space and lighten the mood.