I've been going to Chelsea galleries lately. When I worked in an art gallery, I wold go to gallery openings once or twice a month, usually on Thursday nights. I would often zip through 6 or a dozen galleries and only linger in the ones with work that spoke to me.
Yesterday I visited about 6 galleries, with the intention of mainly going to see Ellsworth Kelly's shows at the Matthew Marks galleries before they came down. Although I liked the green and orange painting, I came away feeling unmoved and cold, as I often do with with such linear work. I like color field painting and minimalism for the intellectual reasons, but Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt, for instance, can evoke an emotional reaction for me. Kelly does not. So I went gallery hopping and found Damian Loeb's photo realist paintings at Mary Boone and Jean-Luc Mylayne's large format photos at Barbara Gladstone.
Loeb's cropped renditions of cells/screens from movies were so realistic it took me a second to realize they were painted. The cropping and realism reminded me a little of Anthony Petracca. The cropping and the subjects are so dynamic in some shots, moving abruptly out of the frame to reveal a leg, a wheel of a bike. Coupled with the saturation of the colors, the effect is so energized, it was captivating.
Contrast this with the quiet reserve of Mylayne's photos. What I liked most was the interesting depth of field. Some phtos capture a focused subject in the foreground, may have some blurriness in the middle ground and then become focussed again in the background. Mylayne is apparently a self-taught photographer who spends incredibly long hours trying to shoot his subject matter. Birds in this case. I imagined him sitting patiently like a wild life photographer, waiting for his shots. Something about that spoke to me.
Saw Francesco Clemente in Gaggosian's enormous gallery as well. Enormous scale, but the play of religious and sexual subject matter didn't interest me (bored me?).