Stairwell and Skylight

David Zwirner Gallery, West 20th Street, New York

The James Baldwin exhibit was in Zwirner’s 19th Street gallery. At the 20th Street building, stairwell shown here, we saw an interesting Josef Albers exhibit. Many of his green and grey square paintings reminded me of the work of friend of the family, Gert Berliner.

We saw the incredible work of Charles White upstairs, four monumentally scaled ink and charcoal drawings made by the artist as studies for the figures in his mural Mary McLeod Bethune, completed in 1978 for the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library in Exposition Park, Los Angeles… more

Perfect Pie

Hales Gallery, 20th St and Eleventh Avenue, New York

Last weekend we went down to the Zwirner Galleries to see Hilton Als’ exhibition on James Baldwin, long a hero of mine for The Fire Next Time and Go Tell It on The Mountain. Watching old YouTube videos of him in debates or on talk shows is another good way to see his rhetorical brilliance displayed and enjoy watching his white interlocutors squirm. Unfortunately we went down on the last afternoon and the place was packed (with old white people) making it almost impossible to appreciate the exhibit. In particular it was hard to get to the tiny explanatory placards here and there to understand the context, so we abandoned it and went into a number of other Chelsea galleries.

I confess to a certain Philistinism when it comes to this kind of work (Richard Slee’s Perfect Pie at Hales Gallery).