• PICKS – Christopher Hart Chambers

    Date posted: August 17, 2007 Author: jolanta
    I remember my first time online well. It was my first year living in the United States and an acquaintance who was ordered to keep me entertained for a couple of hours sat me in front of a library computer, opened a browser window for me and told me to look up something… anything?
    I typed in the name of my hometown in Germany and spent some time reading facts that I already knew about. Click, click, click…
    Kaela Chambers - nyartsmagazine.com

    PICKS – Christopher Hart Chambers

    Kaela Chambers - nyartsmagazine.com

    Kaela Chambers, Untitled (From Hillary A. Baldwin’s Installation at Sunday) 3” x 6” Pencil on Paper, 2007


    Linus Corragio’s exhibition at Michael Steinberg Fine Art contained 206 artworks at the opening reception, and Corragio was thinking about bringing in more. There were sundry paintings and assemblages, but the bulk of the show consisted of his signature, welded rusty scrap metal sculptures. They have a dangerous intensity like free form jazz or deadly industrial punk rock because they’re pure anarchistic, super-charged improvisation. It damn sure looks like he has something to say and an urgency to get it out of his system. Some wind up as chairs, tables, or chess sets, but most are frenetic scrambles in space. There were several mish-mash motorcycles, a few crazy exploding tenement buildings, and a farm house with a bomb sticking in the roof like it just dropped out of the sky and is momentarily lodged there in the process of blowing up, like time standing still in that last gazillianth of a nanosecond before the white flash. But plenty time enough for your whole life to play out before your eyes. ~ The works on display comprised as much of his output from the last twenty five years or so that could be rounded up, borrowed from various collections or otherwise, bringing together a retrospective ranging from his ornery youth on the Lower East Side, and up to quite recent, distinctly recognizable Corragios, most of which are very strong works of art in any setting or timeframe.

    Eeyaagh!! My daughter and I shrieked in horror when we stepped into Hillary A. Baldwin’s nightmarish installation at Sunday – Stir Us Free Us, a new gallery on the ultra hot (especially in August) Lower East Side. Ghoulish, life sized, Night of the Living Dead plaster (or some such) teenage zombies stood frozen and messy in their creepy tracks; there were also rows of pine cones on the floor and a poster of Black Hatted messiah Mernachim Schneerson. Well, after the initial shock it was more goofy than frightening. My daughter loved the collection of peanuts with little googly eyeballs as well as the selection of videos in the project space in back curated by Erik Michaud. There were also a bunch of drawings (if you will) by the late Royal Robertson – who was a reclusive commercial sign maker in the Southern section of these United States – excoriating his ex-wife. ~ The next two exhibitions scheduled at the gallery for the fall will also be installations, and we have to give the owner/director Sean Horton credit for his program. It takes a lot of guts to be showing installations – which are notoriously hard to sell – in his new gallery. But, he does have a group show planned for late fall and there are also some very saleable items lurking in the office area.

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