Chelsea

By Charles Kessler

Most Chelsea galleries are still exhibiting giant, expensive over-productions, but the two best shows I saw this time around were of relatively small work. Andrea Rosen Gallery has a group show, curated by Elena Filipovic, that the Whitney Museum should have done a long time ago: Counter Forms – Tetsumi Kudo, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Hannah Wilke (until November 16th). It's four artists from the 1960s and 70s who likely never knew of each other, but who nevertheless worked in a similar manner.
Installation view, Counter Forms at the Andrea Rosen Gallery.Their work is tactile, sexual, and often funny or disturbing – and about as different from the prevailing clean, minimalist trend of the day as you can imagine.
On the left: Paul Thek, Untitled (Dental Plate #3) from the Technological Reliquaries series, 1966-67, mixed media, 5 1/8 x 5 x 5 inches; and on the right: Tetsumi Kudo, Your Portrait, 1963, mixed media, 35 x 26 x 5 inches. The other show is also sculpture (ceramics), and is also tactile and has sexual overtones, but it's work done in the last year: Arlene Shechet, Slip at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery (until November 16th).
Installation view, Arlene Shechet, Slip at the Sikkema Jenkins Gallery. Maybe with the new popularity of Ken Prices's work, ceramics has become popular, or at least accepted. There certainly has been a lot of it shown lately, and I think that's a good thing – so far anyway.
Arlene Shechet, No Matter What, 2013, glazed ceramic, wood base, 36 1/2 x 17 x 17 inches.