On select Fridays, our writers review a few choice (New York) gallery openings from the night before.
Judith Lauand at Driscoll Babcock Galleries
by Elinor Case-Pethica, Staff writer
Judith Lauand: Brazilian Concrete Abstractions at Driscoll Babcock Galleries
Judith Lauand’s show at Driscoll Babcock Galleries offers a window into the Abstract Concretism of the 1950s and 60s—which still feels surprisingly relevant. Lauand’s work, operating within the framework of the movement, lacks reference to objects of the material observable world, and instead depends on the concepts of plane, line, and geometry to provide form. Despite Concretism’s devaluation of expressive marks, lyricism, and sentiment, the collection of pieces on show strike a satisfying balance of playfulness and elegance, while also possessing an unexpected undercurrent of femininity. Created for the most part before 1960, Lauand’s paintings and drawings are somehow more reminiscent of contemporary graphic design and digital art than they are of works by her contemporaries like Sol Lewitt or Lygia Clark. Judith Lauand: Brazilian Concrete Abstractions will be on show until July 28th.
Forage by Amanda Scuglia, Oil on canvas, 2016, 40x60 inches
Interlude: Amanda Scuglia & Wouter Nijland at Massey Lyuben Gallery
Interlude at Massey Lyuben Gallery pairs figurative painter Amanda Scuglia with conceptual Dutch artist Wouter Nijland in a diminutive yet impactful show. Scuglia’s gestural marks call to mind Sargent’s watercolor studies of the sea—here reimagined in an eerie nocturnal palette of blues and greens, with pale turquoise highlights that bathe the figures in pearly yet ominous light.
Wouter Nijland, 2015, Oil on canvas, 59"x59"
Nijland’s sculptural oil paintings deal with chance and the codification of process; he determines the number and location of the linear divisions in his pieces by rolling dice. The thick black oil paint is marked with neat directional brushstrokes that catch the light, creating a nice dialogue with Scuglia’s work. The two artists play off each other quite successfully in this tightly curated show. On view at Massey Lyuben until July 15th.