Quinn vs. Quinn: Our Continued Review of Nature, as Marginally Present in Chelsea
(Photo by sad cat girl with small camera. Will Ryman’s “Bird” at Paul Kasmin Gallery)
Welcome to Quinn vs. Quinn, your review source for arts, culture, and whatever else we both deem acceptable to bring to your attention! Penned by Erica (Quinn) and (Quinn) Daly.
Last week we reviewed Alec Soth’s stellar “Broken Manual”, which closed March 11 at Sean Kelly Gallery. After seeing the Soth show, we went in search of other exhibits in Chelsea that opened an interesting dialog about the natural world. We didn’t have to go far.
EQ: It’s funny to wander through one of the swankiest urban neighborhoods and still find evidence of the natural world. There are trees outside of New York?? Might just be speaking for myself here, but I understand the impulse of the city-person to escape to the forest. I think these shows— Will Ryman’s “Bird” at Paul Kasmin and Hiroshi Sendu’s “Cliffs” at Sundaram Tagore— both discuss this in different ways.
QD: Yeah, I never realized how small a Ferarri is! Anyway, my favourite part of the Kasmin show was the professionalism of the welds, but that’s because I come from Places. Similarly, the Sendu show reminded me of spots that I have been. Like hiking on a rainy day - you see something in the distance, but you don’t appreciate the detail until you get up close.
EQ: I think you hit on a good point with the professionalism- both shows are technically very impressive, and, though we’re seeing them in an austere, objective gallery setting, they still feel personal and make me want to GO OUTSIDE. And, though they rely heavily on natural references, they are fairly other-worldly.
QD: Agreed. They did a good job of describing what my brain does when it recalls something - it’s rarely a pure and simple picture, but an image surrounded by thoughts and memories and feelings. I remember an image of the sun coming up over the hills in Wyoming, the cold wind coming in through the top of my collar, and the sound of the horses clattering across the road. Memories are rarely images, but complex webs of thoughts and feelings. These works did a good job of representing that idea.
EQ: Totally. Your great sensitivity is what prompts me to write art reviews with you in the first place. I will go on a misty Japanese cliff hike that ends in the sighting of a giant bird made from oversized nails. I will take you with me. Two thumbs! See ‘em both. They’re on the same block.
QD: Agreed. Thumbs all over the place! QVQ gives this business an A+, and a contemplative sigh.
QvQ gives both shows two thumbs up! We need to stop agreeing wholeheartedly.
(Quinn Daly is a retired horse trainer, writer, and photographer. He enjoys cocktails, food, and “art, in general.”)