We drop by Lawrence Van Hagen newest show, “What’s Up New York”, three floors of art to browse, just in time for fair week.
Lawrence Van Hagen latest edition of his well-received “What’s Up” show opened last week in NYC, at 134 10th Ave. This is not a small show by any measure- it’s a three-floor behemoth of an effort, contained by thoughtful arrangement and keen use of the space. Lawrence Van Hagen, 23 years old, has sold a responsible number of works by recognizable names, but his heart is in validating young artists and creating a space for them. What’s Up in NYC proves to be a suitable environment for this approach- the idea of “high” and “low” art fall apart here, and the works become conversations- perhaps the aesthetic stillness of the world, but probably not.
If anything, Van Hagen’s show never really veers toward political, which has become the de facto mission of nearly every show. This is more of a close study of sensible love for individuals – a little more attention to the artist for once. It’s a high pitched drumming at a regular interval- “look at me!” Then a final timpani to remark, this is what you’re looking at. With political undercurrent missing, Van Hagen’s show felt like the comfortable space to enjoy the art for technique above all else- Martin Basher’s elegant strokes are deeply controlled and aware of direction- gradients in the dark mode, but not oppressively so. These communicate naturally with Larry Bell’s ovular stylings and early toying with gradient. On view, it invites a second look- a chance to compare- possibilities are swirling.
Though there was a clear, logical progression to Lawrence Van Hagen’s arrangement through the three floors (some transcending; like Christopher Chiappa’s LIVESTRONG, resin eggs dripping down the void of a stairway), a trend was sensed through the show: a sensitivity toward the canvas. Dean Levin’s “Dream Baby Dream” is a gently puffing work in a gray, rising like a duvet or something more sinister. Christopher Page examines illusionary painting with a green and pink work with a convincing but uncertain shadow. Daniel Turner’s glossy, metallic works feel like some sort of unusual and beautiful piece of industrial design before painting, perhaps a piece of a rusting automobile. Claude Viallat’s elegant abstract expressionism is executed in repeating images of human quality, a predictability- but imperfection. Kenneth Nolan’s color field work incorporated the canvas in its geometric way that would be replicated by artists well into the future.
What’s Up NYC taps most mediums, including thoroughly modern virtual reality. It’s a comfortable and exposing show that really does answer the question of “What’s Up”?
“WHAT’S UP NEW YORK”: Link.
Curated by: Lawrence Van Hagen
2ND MAY – 26TH MAY 2017
132 10TH AVENUE, 10011, NEW YORK