2020 Year in Review: Unframed

Every month our resident art expert, David Behringer, searches for the best of what’s happening in modern art in New York City galleries. He seeks the best exhibitions and shows that most of us wouldn’t even know existed, and shares an up close and personal view of the artist and their work. If you missed any of his posts or just want to take another look, read on for a visual exploration of NYC’s art scene that David covered in our Unframed column in 2020.

Circuit Boards of Sound: The Sculpture of Steve Parker
The brass horns in the sculpture of Steve Parker make music… but not how you’d expect. In this electrified sculpture, a viewer’s touch activates beautiful and unexpected recordings. Several of his interactive works were on view at the Cue Art Foundation in New York in what was a must-see (and must hear) exhibition titled “Futurist Listening” curated by Assistant Curator of the Whitney Museum, Marcela Guerrero.

Jacob Hashimoto, The Windy Echo of Some Half Remembered Rage I, 2020 (detail)

9 Incredible Objects From Armory Art Fair Week 2020
Back in March, New York City hosted the annual “Armory Week”, with thousands of contemporary artworks occupying multiple massive art fairs across the city. Design Milk ran through 6 of the biggest art fairs to find the most creative and eye-catching artworks on view. We shared a recap of our “Top 9”, in the order of their discovery.

George Condo at work on ‘Linear Contact’, 2020

The 3 Best New York Art Exhibitions (You Can See From Home)
Due to the pandemic, art galleries have been unable to provide a physical space to perfectly frame physical things, leading a number of galleries to invent new systems and ideas to experiment with how to provide something far beyond the jpeg. We shared 3 favorite creative gallery exhibitions “on view”, that you can experience right now, wherever you are.

Kohei Nawa, PixCell-Telephone#3, 2020. Pace Gallery

The 9 Most Intriguing Objects from Frieze New York
Frieze New York is an incredible annual art fair that is accessed by a scenic ferry up the East River. Rather than cancel earlier this year, organizers converted the entire experience to a fully digital format. With over 200 virtual viewing rooms and thousands of boundary-pushing artworks, we clicked through every page to find our favorite material-pushing objects.

Rendering of “Together,” 2020. Neon, transformers, steel, concrete, tube supports, rich-lite. Variable dimensions.

Tavares Strachan: We Are in This Together
Artist Tavares Strachan planned a public art piece comprising five massive words in pink neon on a mountain in Telluride, Colorado. The glowing sentence spans 50 feet at its widest point and 10 feet off the ground. Though the work was conceived three years ago for this specific location, the message has suddenly gained greater weight, urgency, hopefulness, and uncertainty for us all.

Katsu ‘Dot” installation at The Hole, NYC

KATSU’s Spray Painting Drones Invade an Entire Gallery
The artist known only as ‘KATSU’ (most of his activities are illegal) used pre-programed drones to paint all 4 walls of The Hole gallery in New York. Before the robots took flight, the artist hung seven large white canvases in specific locations to create colorful abstract paintings that will live beyond the exhibition which ended August 23rd. “Dot” challenges the idea of an “artist” and blurs the line between “studio” and “gallery”. It also proves a solid understanding (and lineage) of art history.

Tourmaline, 2020 (detail)

The “Double Take” Art of Daina Mattis: Flocked Paintings and a Plate Table
Brooklyn-based artist Daina Mattis rewards those who look twice. Her second exhibition at High Noon Gallery in New York titled “Family Style” included fuzzy flocked paintings, surreal hybrid sculpture… and a plate of cookies. It was a collision of ideas, materials and objects that were a thrill to see in person while questioning ideas of “luxury” and “value” in our own homes.

Autonomous Drone (Labor Model) Designation: “Baby Doll”, 2020 (detail)

‘Oil on Canvas’ Meets the Future: The Paintings of Alex Dodge
Alex Dodge is pushing the future of painting. His signature raised patterns of oil paint are digitally sketched using 3D design software before landing on traditional canvas using laser-cut stencils and airbrushed backgrounds. His recent paintings were on view at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York and they continued to break new ground in digital tools, hand-craftsmanship and a passion for material and process.

Wild Flowers Gathered Along Route 80, 2009 (detail)

The Nailed Sculpture of Robert Kobayashi
Robert Kobayashi’s intensely nailed sculptures are a textural treat for the eyes. Each object radiates the inspiring spirit of an artist who blazed his own path to eventually find his home (and personal art gallery) in a former butcher shop in Little Italy. “Moe’s Meat Market”, a selection of sculpture and a documentation of his unusual art space, was on view at Susan Inglett Gallery in New York through November 7th.

Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2019 (detail)

Media “Buzz”: New Paintings by Fred Tomaselli
New resin-encased collages by Fred Tomaselli capture the friction of two realities: The drug-like buzz of reading the news with the consistent beauty of life and the universe. His newest works were on view at the James Cohan Gallery in Tribeca while a fantastic 8-minute mini-documentary of the process and ideas can be viewed in the original post after clicking the link above.

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