By PAUL LASTER, MAY 2016
The School, Jack Shainman Gallery’s upstate outpost, opened its third year with four solo exhibitions of artwork in a variety of media by Pierre Dorion, Hayv Kahraman, Richard Mosse and Garnett Puett.
Nearly 1000 visitors — including Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry, Brooklyn Museum Curator Rujeko Hockley and Jewish Museum Director of Digital JiaJia Fei — viewed the quartet of shows unfolding throughout the 30,000-square-foot exhibition space in Kinderhook, New York. Formerly the Martin Van Buren High School, which moved into the Federal-style building in 1929, the structure was redesigned as an exhibition space by Spanish architect Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas and opened to the public in May 2014.
"A Change of Place: Four Solo Exhibitions," which runs through the summer, features Canadian painter Pierre Dorion’s realistic renderings of details from the School’s actual space, Irish photographer Richard Mosse’s vibrant color photographs of conflict zones, Iraqi émigré’ HayvKahraman’s paintings and sculptures referencing the military’s utilization of sound as a weapon and American sculptor Garnett Puett’sassemblages of found objects that have been altered by the action of bees.
Dorion photographed the interiors of two of the School’s unfinished classrooms and their surroundings, which he then skillfully transformed into sublime, paintings on linen that flirt with the look of minimalism. Contrastingly, Mosse dynamic images, which dominate the galleries, are bursting with color as they surrealistically capture war-torn Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo through infrared film.
Equally concerned with issues of military intervention, Kahraman’s canvases depict Middle Eastern women affected by the piercing sounds of sirens penetrating their bodies and minds, while her sculptural pieces echo the reference through cutouts taken from cross sections of a 3D scan of her body. Relatedly, Puett uses an army of collaborative bees to beautifully construct beeswax and honeycomb structures over the armatures that he adds to everyday objects.
Outdoors, on the grounds of the School, the lively celebration continued throughout the afternoon. Food trucks provided a tasty feast of local fare and the drinks seemed to never stop until the urban dwellers finally poured back on the buses to head back to the city and the local guests trekked home. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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