December 21, 2018

Who did it best? Two Artist Shows

Dual Artist Exhibitions. Liam Gillick, Adam Pendleton at Eva Presenhuber Gallery. Genesis Belanger, Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery. Jessie Makinson, Stuart Lorimer at Lyles & King Gallery
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Opinion

Two Artist Shows, Who did it best? 

Tis the season..for dual artist exhibitions. At the end of this...let me know what you think? Who did it best? 

The shows are the following

Liam Gillick and Adam Pendleton at Eva Presenhuber Gallery

Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

Jessie Makinson and Stuart Lorimer at Lyles & King Gallery

Liam Gillick at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York

Liam Gillick and Adam Pendleton at Eva Presenhuber Gallery

I've been meaning to see this show at Eva Presenhuber for ages..and when I was wondering the streets of East Village in 30 degree weather I almost gave up. BUT, I'm so glad I didn't.

The exhibition starts with a film by Adam Pendleton in a pitch black room. The moody soundtrack as well as the black and white cinematography is absolutely captivating.

After watching the film I ventured in to the second room where I was in awe of the scale of the black and white graphic artworks.

Liam Gillick at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York

Liam Gillick's works (above and below) reminded me of Radiohead's 'Fitter Happier' off of the album OK Computer.

Liam Gillick at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York
I'm operating in the gap between the trajectory of modernity and the trajectory of modernism. So what people think is design is not design, it's my attempt to engage with the trajectory of modernity. - Liam Gillick for Interview Magazine
Liam Gillick at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York

Before I did any homework on this exhibition I actually had no idea the room (below) was two artists. I kind of assumed that the film pieces were by one artists and the graphic pieces were by another.

I think that's what makes this such a powerful two artist exhibition is that it doesn't feel like one. The works each artist produces are so complementary it's almost impossible to distinguish between the two (even when the room is split in half).

Adam Pendleton at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York

Works by Adam Pendleton hang on top of a graffiti printed wall - offering an explosion of textures for the viewer to visually explore.

Adam Pendleton at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York
 I’m always thinking about the conditions of making a mark. Making a mark or a gesture that matters. Fortunately, and perhaps paradoxically, failure offers numerous opportunities for success. It’s a matter of perspective. - Adam Pendleton for BOMB Magazine
Liam Gillick at Eva Presenhuber Gallery, New York

The exhibition closes out with a video by Liam Gillick in the basement, with an equally meditative soundtrack as the first film by Pendleton.

So far the only public connection between the two artists I could find was that they're both represented by Eva Presenhuber's Zurich location. Regardless these two created some magic together and I was very lucky to experience it.

‍Artwork by Jessie Makinson at Lyles and King Gallery, New York

Jessie Makinson and Stuart Lorimer at Lyles & King Gallery

On a more colorful note (literally), the next two artist show is by Jessie Makinson and Stuart Lorimer at Lyles and King in the lower east side of New York.

Unlike the Eva Presenhuber show these two artists have very clear and distinguishable styles that are none the less, still complementary.

Artwork by Jessie Makinson at Lyles and King Gallery, New York

Both artists represent the UK - Lorimor from Scotland and Makinson from England.

Artwork by Stuart Lorimor at Lyles and King Gallery, New York

One thing is for certain is that both artist's use of color is brilliant.

‍Artwork by Stuart Lorimor at Lyles and King Gallery, New York

While Lorimer's paintings are certainly more realistic, both artists do an amazing job of transporting the viewer into their world (whether it be fictional or realistic).

‍Artwork by Stuart Lorimor at Lyles and King Gallery, New York

Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

Next up we have a two artist show of paintings and complimentary sculptures at Perrotin Gallery. Kind of weird how all of these are in the East Village or LES? 

‍Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

This exhibition is pure fun. It throws the viewer into a surrealism playground that I personally, didn't want to escape.

Mary Lynn Buchanan admiring details of works by Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

As you can see - cigarettes are a re-occuring piece of iconography in Belanger's work and there's a reason for that.

“I made a series of these cigarette marquees after learning that in the late 1920s a woman smoking a cigarette was a (male-orchestrated) feminist act of resistance,” she explains. “I find this to be a great historical example of how what we choose to consume can be used to express our values, and how our habits of consumption are manipulated by external forces such as the advertising industry.” - Genesis Belanger for It's Nice That
Close up of Genesis Belanger's sculptures at Perrotin Gallery

Consumer products (such as cigarettes) aren't the only things that Genesis Belanger wants to bring attention to. She often puts feminine stereotypes under the microscope (eg. fingers in flowers, makeup, ring fingers) 

“I wanted to build narratives that dealt with some of the ways that women are complex,” she says. - Belanger for the New York Times
Close up of Genesis Belanger's sculptures at Perrotin Gallery
“I’m not an academic; I’m not a preacher. So humour is, for me, a much better way to start a conversation.” - Emily Mae Smith for Elephant Magazine
‍Close up of Genesis Belanger's sculptures at Perrotin Gallery
"I want to undo all these dominant narratives that compartmentalize and streamline art history." - Emily Mae Smith for Elephant Magazine
Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

Emily Mae Smith, a painter from Texas (now based in Brooklyn) also takes on a humorous view of typically gender assigned objects such as a broom and chaise lounge.

‍Close up of Genesis Belanger's sculptures at Perrotin Gallery

She also echos the iconography of fruit that Belanger shows off in her sculptures.

"Placing her quirky signature characters in a traditional landscape setting, she creates a surreal atmosphere which envelops a complex narrative that regularly integrates feminist theories." - Juxtapoz Magazine on Smith's work
 Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin Gallery

So what gallery do you think had the best duo show? Email me your thoughts at contact@marylynnbuchanan.com or comment on my Instagram post.

Mary Lynn Buchanan next to a work by Genesis Belanger at Gallery Perrotin

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