June 5, 2019
Harlem: Manhattan’s Newest Art Zone
Where Traveler
June 5, 2019
Jean Lawlor Cohen

Harlem: Manhattan’s Newest Art Zone
Where Traveler
June 5, 2019
Jean Lawlor Cohen

A must-see art show in a just-opened gallery north of Central Park
Attention pilgrims of the ever-changing Manhattan art map! You’ve got more reason to turn eyes north, thanks to gallerists relocating from SoHo, Chelsea and points as far away as Santa Fe. The New York Times advises tracking both sides of Harlem—on the west, for example, MBnB project space and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and on the east, David Richard Gallery and the nonprofit White Box. New arrivals are joining a scene already set by the respected Studio Museum and dozens of independent galleries tucked in the neighborhood’s brownstones.

Not to miss: “Polychrome Polygons,” nine large, high-impact paintings by Mokha Laget at the newly arrived David Richard Gallery. In her first New York solo exhibition, Laget presents her signature shaped canvases in colors so radiant, one critic says, they “should be assigned an atomic number.” For all their heraldic, retinal power, however, the works are meant to reveal themselves over time. So pause, and be surprised as the geometric elements intersect to create internal tensions and advance from flatness into 3D illusion.

Laget offers ways to enter all of this pure abstraction. Sometimes she suggests seeing stripes, wedges and triangles as syncopated jazz chords and colors as lyrics. And she admits to being inspired as well by the mosaics of Morocco, the atmosphere and mountains of the American Southwest where she works “off the grid,” and the places she has lived and visited as an international translator. Yet now, more than ever, her forms relate to architecture, its shifting planes, scale and reflectivity. She finds that her childhood memories—the mud villages of North Africa that alternated with Parisian skylines, their shadows and mirages—have resurfaced in these paintings of sensuous ambiguity.

The show (through July 13) opens with an artist reception June 12, 5 to 8 pm.

David Richard Gallery, 211 E. 121st St., 2nd fl., 212.882.1705, www.davidrichardgallery.com

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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