New York: ‘Grisaille’ at Luxembourg & Dayan extended through January 28, 2012

January 26th, 2012

Rudolf Stingel, Untitled (2011)

Luxembourg & Dayan‘s Grisaille explores the use of a generally monochromatic color palette in works spanning multiple centuries. The exhibition is divided between the gallery’s new space in London and the 77th Street location in New York; the show began in London in October, overlapping with the New York show throughout November and December. Both shows feature a variety of artists including Albrecht Durer, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. The New York gallery also shows new work by Richard Prince and John Currin.

Gerhard Richter, Grau (1974)

Alberto Giacometti, Tete de Diego (1958)

Grisaille is the manner of painting entirely (or almost entirely) in monochrome, most often using a grey color scheme, a technique first seen in Europe during the early Renaissance period when painters attempted to imitate stone sculptures. Over time, however, the idea has been applied to a variety of subjects both literally and abstracted.

William Van de Velde the Elder, A Dutch harbour in calm, with small vessels inshore and beached among fishermen, a kaag at anchor and other ships (Late 1640s)

The exhibition is divided thematically, crossing both time and material. In ‘Naturescapes’ William Van de Velde the Elder’s A Dutch harbor in calm, with small vessels inshore and beached among fishermen, a kaag at anchor and other ships from the late 1640s is displayed alongside two 20th century works: Alex Katz’s Provincetown (1959) and Vija Clemins’ Ocean (1972). In their distinct representations of water, all three are unified by the grey hues. While Van de Velde’s painting shows modeled clouds and naturalistic shadows, but both Katz and Clemins seem to be less concerned with realism—though not necessarily abstract.

Alex Katz, Provincetown (1959)

Vija Celmins, Ocean (1972)

In the aptly titled category of ‘Eccentric/Religious Art Historical Figuration’ varying materials and mediums come into play. In Untitled (2011), Rudolf Stingel has painted the bust of a seemingly-cherubic child with a bloody collar. Nearby is Jeff Koons’ Italian Woman (1986), an actual bust made of stainless steel. Once again, the use of grey makes clear the differences not only in subject matter, but also in technique and intention.

Jeff Koons, Italian Woman (1986)

Being the second thematic exhibition by curator Alison Gingeras, Grisaille exhibits a select history of Western art, beginning in the early 16th century, winding through the Rococo, the early history of photography, Cubism, Abstraction, and up to today. Originally on view until January 14, the show was extended through January 28, 2012.

Jeni Spota, Giotto’s Dream, Grisaille (with Brunaille) (2011)

Agnes Martin, Untitled (1961)

Workshop of Albrecht Durer, Nuremberg, Two Wing Panels with Grisaille Painting (1510/15)

Francesco Clemente, Grisaille Self Portrait (1998)

Pablo Picasso, Nu debout et femme assise (1939)

Piotr Uklanski, Untitled (Luxmi) (2008)

Glenn Brown, Oscillate Wildly (after ‘Autumnal Cannibalism’ by Salvador Dali) (1999)

Cesar, Expansion (1970)

Dan Colen, To be titled (2011)

John Currin, L’Intimité (2011)

Joseph Dufour et Cie, Reconciliation of Venus and Psyche

Mark Flood, Respite (2011)

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1959)

Jan Lebenstein, Matrimonium I (1967)

Fernand Leger, Fumees sur les toits (1911)

Brice Marden, Untitled (Paris Study #1) (1973)

Robert Morris, Untitled (1967)

Christopher Murer, A Dancing Couple (1585-57)

Jean-Baptiste Pillement, River Landscape with a Ruined Tower (1804)

Sigmar Polke, Untitled (2006)

Richard Prince, Untitled (2009)

Rob Pruitt, Pjatteryd Oil Painting: Flatiron NYC II (2011)

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (1990)

Frank Stella, Slieve More (1964)

Betty Tompkins, Fuck Painting #4 (1972)

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Palette) (1964)

Andy Warhol, Shadow (Black and White) (1978)

Christopher Wool, Jazz and AWOL (2005)

Carl Andre, 15 Ace Zinc Corner (2007)

– G. Linden

Related Links:

Exhibition Page [Luxembourg & Dayan]
Grisaille [The New Yorker]
Grisaille Review [NY Times]
The Big Medium [Financial Times]