NEW YORK JULY 2015
14 – 22 July 2015
Tue. Arrived late in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Ate Chicken and Waffles at Sweet Chicks – trendy little place, as is the whole area.
Wed. Rainy day, spent it in MoMA. An overwhelming amount of iconic pieces of work. I felt as though I was back at York 6th form in Simon Morris’ class taking my first art history classes. Walking through the rooms which each covering a different modern movement or influential artist, was like going from one class to the next.. Futurism: Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) .. Suprematism: they’ve only gone and got Malevich’s ‘Painterly Realism of a Boy with a Knapsack – Color Masses in the Fourth Dimension‘. I’d never seen any of Monet’s water lilies paintings and there was a room full of them. seriously starstruck.
The Dream, Henri Rousseau, 1910
Walked down 47th St for kicks and my new ambition is to have a SourPatch watermelon Slurpee.
In the evening we went up to the Standard Hotel Rooftop Bar for drinks and a view. Then to … need to remember the name… a restaurant which reminded me of Gringotts bank vaults ..from Harry Potter.
Thur. Took the $4 boat across to Manhattan Island. Took a detour to walk through Grand Central Station, which was wow. I wasn’t expecting such grandness as G had explained the reason we should go look is because of the cool arrival time board. It is cool, with its original digital flicker system still in action but on this description, I wasn’t half expecting such a cavernous space, marble everywhere and the never seen anything like it turquoise ceiling with room-sized chandeliers.
Did Wholefoods salad bar. Walked around Central Park and read for a while in the sunshine. Looked at the big rocks. Came across Central Park’s 212 Paths in One Public Sculpture by Tatiana Trouvé.
After, we went to the Guggenheim but it is closed on Thursdays so I just sat outside and thought of Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle. We headed to La Birreria, rooftop bar for beers and manzo. Then headed back home stopping off at the bar below our apartment Teddy’s Bar & Grill, where we have chats with a guy in a top hat. Dinner at El Amacen really great Argentine grill 10/10.
Fri. Morning shuffle around Rough Trade. Bakeri for a cinnamon swirl. Walked along the Highline, disused tramlines now transformed into a garden walkway. Art is dotted in and around the wildlife, including also, an interactive Lego installation by Olafur Eliasson. Getting involved G build the best bridge and I built the best spring. Not far from the exit (or possible the entrance?) we happened upon Chelsea Market, full of food stalls, sushi was had, half cookie half cake rainbow birthday cakes we’re spotted.
Chelsea Galleries: David Zwirner – Richard Serra and De Wain Valentine where we have a conversation with one of the invigilators .. historical context was explained .. plastic was new, obsession with surface.. the Light and Space movement.. how it compared to colour field painting.
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery – Objects Food Rooms, dead pleased to see work by Laure Prouvost, romantic conversations between inanimate objects.. all worlds of imaginings: soap and sponge, e-cigarette and the butter. I’m also over the moon to find someone else, Roula Partheniou, who has the same affinity for industrial styrofoam as I do. G begins to hate all art as we’re dehydrated so we go to buy all the liquids and also have a break in Printed Matter, a bookshop full of artist books, fanzines and flick-books.
Kaufmann Repetto – Nicola Martini, Morgan Lehman – Paul Wackers, Leslie Tonkonow – Dean Byington [go to all Chelsea Gallery photos]. Cannibal beer house for beer and beef jerky. Meet up with Julie and co. at Spuyten Duyvil. End up dancing to rock and roll music in Rocka Rolla. ‘I don’t need no cardigan so I throw it in the bin.’ a silly idea.
Sat. Went to Smorgasburg food festival, where the longest queue was for chips. Stuck to chicken wings. Strolled around exploring Williamsburg. Found a record shop with little notes on each of the records, favorite one “Anamanaguchi – Completely tripped out 8-Bit music for nerds only”. Sat down at the bar in Allswell and ordered chips. Nice wine, Ulibarri Txakoli, Hondarribi Zuri 2013, Biscay, ES. Failed at going to Brooklyn Brewery because of the queue. Instead went for lunch at Five Leaves, ordered a massive Brooklyn Brewery beer. Checked out Dirck the Norseman, wish we could have spent longer here – massive old converted warehouse with one side open to the outside, loads of interesting beers, like Flannel Shirt.
Next MoMA PS1: Warm Up Busy P and Boys Noize. Amazing space! MoMA PS1 is housed in an old school and the gig took place in the school yard, right underneath COSMO by Andrés Jaque, a gigantic architectural water purifier installation.
Sun. We take the Metro North into the Bronx to go to the New York Botanical Gardens. There’s a Frida Kahlo exhibition, some of her paintings and a recreation of her garden in Mexico. Also, the gardens are just .. for a none garden person I was wowed, especially in contrast to the city scape. I was massively into the main greenhouse, full of tropical tree and plants, making drawings and taking photos.. potentially to be used in future paintings.
Mon. Had another Mother F*#%in’ Fireball Raw Juice for breakfast. Explored the Lower East Side galleries. After a bad start and accidentally navigating our way into a flower shop looking for Flowers East Gallery (I must have been half asleep) we found one space and picked up a map for local galleries. Whitebox, Jack Hanley Gallery – Atsushi Kaga, 47 Canal – Eirik Sæther, Nathalie Karg group show – really liked a painting by Kristine Morgan, Carl D’Alvia sculpture, Linus Bill + Adrien Horni painting. [all lower east side photos]
Meet Ilana, a Trelex Residency contact, for a coffee. Whirlwind conversation, about our art practices and Miranda July’s new novel The First Bad Man. Then we hurry off to meet Jocelyn at PS1, via biggest bucket of salad. Jocelyn is the nicest of people and shows us around the current exhibitions, pointing out along the way older pieces such as Cecily Brown’s 1997 piece painted across the walls of the stairwell.
We see Math Bass: Off the Clock and have an in-depth conversation about the exhibition Jocelyn assisted in curating Simon Denny: The Innovator’s Dilemma. Observing a whole array of current virtual linguistics, gestures.. the displaying and understanding of information… shrinking of technology, how flat screens might compare to artist canvas.. the concept of internet start-ups.. where do artists fit into this picture..
Fail at eating BBQ at Fette Sau because everything is too big and I am already full of king-of-all-salads. Though it smells wonderful and the beer pumps are made from old butchers knives, all you need to know.
We get tickets to go see The Hollows at the Knitting Factory but first, go next door to Spuyten Duyvil for wines. another one I like and have all of: Zestos Blanco 2013 Malvar ES. The gig is great and the band has a banjo. George & Jack’s Tap Room… for all the beers.
Tue. Meet up with Barbie on the Highline for chats then food at Chelsea market again. Then disaster day happens. No details but almighty George & Jack’s hangover kicks in, we failed at getting into four exhibitions/museums and G does much weight lifting in the form of suitcase handling. Ended up at The Jeffery which was somewhere we wanted to go but man no energy to do anything! Had a beer and beef jerky and then headed to the airport, four hours early.