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Cement Greenberg #13: Cool Kids

Cement Greenberg #13: Cool Kids

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Tara Downs Kim Farkas
Exhibition view: Kim Farkas. “Master stock” at Tara Downs. Courtesy of the artist and Tara Downs. Photo: Jason Mandella.
Kim Farkas Tara Downs
Kim Farkas. “23-14,” 2023. Custom composites, UV print on composite aluminum panel, aluminum extrusions. 511/4 ×391/4 in/130×100 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tara Downs.
Kim Farkas Tara Downs
Kim Farkas. “23-32,” 2024. Custom composites, PETG, LED, electronics. 751/4 ×91/2 ×71/2 in/191×24×19cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tara Downs.

Kim Farkas: Master Stock at Tara Downs

This show is very fun. Although the elegantly stunning mega clits that are also light fixtures spread the kind of simple joy that comes from looking at a pussy—a source of sensual pleasure—the objects also have a flow. The press release reveals that Kim Farkas worked on the show together with a feng shui master, which perhaps is the source of such harmony in the space. The sculptures shine soft light, light voth passes through and bounces from them. Alongside the clipt-lamps are a series of fountains and a series of wallworks. The fountains are fairly boring and even slightly ugly. The wall works are digital collages printed on aluminum panels and finished with a layer of something glossy. The imagery in the collages ranges from pictures of dumplings, hot sauce wraps, and pearls to a face roller. Everything is mashed together in a messy swirl, united by paint into seductive bright monochromes. Do not miss the Budd Hopkins solo show in the next room in the gallery, which has a very different vibe and deserves generous attention.

Matt Belk The Hole
Matt Belk. “Blue Dog,” 2023. Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 49 inches/101.5 x 125 cm. Courtesy of the artist and The Hole


The Hole Belk
Matt Belk. “Tulum,” 2023. Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 47 inches / 101.5 x 120.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and The Hole.

Matt Belk: Sunset at The Hole

The Hole is having a good moment, especially amongst the young and the hot. The show in their Tribeca location is aiming to ride that wave, showcasing Matt Belk’s work. The gallery walls are painted in intense dark colors, and heavy vinyl curtains separate the rooms. Maybe we are supposed to be reminded of a nightclub or a laboratory. It’s unclear how this untraditional viewing space serves the paintings. Belk’s work is cartoonish and falls under the category of Bad Painting. There is nothing inherently bad about that, but this collection of airbrush-painted sunsets is not good. These works are depictions of the sun setting on bodies of water, probably mostly the ocean, where the perspective shows skies and the ground underwater. Belk brings a visual vocabulary of the animal world, mixed with boy stuff like cars. Everything is out of proportion, like an Orca whale that is smaller than a grizzly bear’s paw, or maybe perspective just is not a thing here. These disorders do not add anything to the themes of the work. Surely, there are beautiful moments too, like the way Belk paints the dark and grimy bottom of the ocean when everything is closer to abstract and the colors are humble, unlike the oversaturated upper half of his views.

Ulrik Hélène Fauquet Helene Fauquet
Installation view: Hélène Fauquet. “Nuit de Cellophane” at Ulrik. Courtesy of the artist and Ulrik.
Hélène Fauquet
Detail from: Hélène Fauquet, “Nuit de Cellophane” at Ulrik. Courtesy of the artist and Ulrik.

Hélène Fauquet: Nuit de Cellophane at Ulrik

At Ulrik, we learn that not all shows are created equal. Right after the well-covered and warmly accepted Bettina show at the gallery, they opened a solo by Vienna-based artist Hélène Fauquet. The gap in quality between the shows hurts not just because Bettina is an exceptional, rare artist with whom it is hard to compete. Rather, it is the formal similarity between the bodies of work that makes it hard to give Fauquet a chance. Both artists have consistently photographed windows, reflections in windows and glossy surfaces. Only in the case of Fauquet, there seems to be no content to speak of. The show is an installation of tables that have a heavy and random presence. On top of them, we see many different frames made in mass production, and inside of them photographs of bubbles in extreme close-up. The frames belong in their aesthetic to living rooms of elderly people, the kind one uses to frame a picture of a beloved grandson holding a basketball. There is a problem with shows that have no clear motivation. There is a problem with multiplicity that does not add up. Still, the opening was packed with cool kids, who maybe know better.

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