By Tod Roulette
No one has ever taken the time to explain football or basketball to me. It was
kind of assumed that you’ve got to feel it in your gut or catch the enthusiasm
around you. Stick around, study and learn.
The artist David Hammons is a rogue intellectual and visual craftsman using
mostly odd pairings of objects and thought. In 2003, he presented, “Concerto in
Black and Blue”-a Gathering of the Tribes at Ace Gallery. The gallery was pitch dark and Hammons provided a bowl and turns on a blue glowing flashlight… walking around making your own light, creating in the dark.
At L&M Arts on East 78th street in an intimidating townhouse is where several
people on a Tuesday late afternoon ‘kicked it’ albeit silently to study and learn.
Once the ice was broke between folk in the 10ft ceiling rooms there was even
some enthusiasm expressed. But again, its art viewing not sports watching.
On two floors are installed 12 works mostly covered canvases of abstract work,
who knows if they were painted by the artists? There is no press release and
none of the works have titles. There are two works which consist only of the
construction worker/renovation plastic that seemed to drape lots of new
properties just a couple of years ago during the real estate furor. Now we just
look at the plastic and appreciate it for the way it hangs on the wall or drapes
the intuitively valuable work underneath.
In the back gallery on the first floor the 1980′s decorative painting
expressionist painting is protected by a large dresser turned away from the
viewer straddling the middle of the work from the eye. Across the room is a
splashed metallic canvas with plastic covering that screams Pop. There is even
dirt and dust hanging in the folds of the coverings.
At the top of the landing a large painting is covered by a black plastic covering a
white smaller one is underneath a hole is ripped where a mouth might be
showing us the same color palette of the other stretched inaccessible works.
True to Hammons style of excavating and reusing we see a concrete cube
propping up one end of the canvas.
An almost slick red plastic is artistically draped over one end of a canvas in the
next room, the other dusty protectant is black-and this time a bit of green and
black strokes on the work is visible a gray or is it green? third layer
successfully stops us from seeing beneath. But, wait no it’s black, green and red
and it doesn’t matter what’s underneath. The art is in the drape of the fold.
Catch it before it leaves March 6th.
The David Hammons exhibition continues through Friday at L&M Arts, 45 East 78th Street, Manhattan; (212) 861-0020, lmgallery.com.
Photos by Tom Powell