Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kanevsky, NYC, & Friends

I met with my favorite artist, Alex Kanevsky, in Philadelphia last week. Upon entering the studio at St. Patrick Hall, I was immediately confronted with two large canvasses - a hunting hounds scene, and one of the bathtub images. There was really nothing to say, as the work speaks for itself....and clobbers you with its imaginative and mindbending virtuosity. How often I have been disappointed seeing an artist's work in the flesh, but I have always sensed this is not the case with Alex, and I was right. The texture, brushwork, scale, the color harmony....all of it beyond reproach. And he is an extraordinarily nice guy! He grew up not far from my wife, in Rostov, and it was fun trading stories. I look forward to visiting Alex again, and also to meeting his wife, Hollis Heichemer, a fantastic painter. Thank you so much for your time, Alex, and I stand - even moreso now - in awe of your artistry.

In New York I met an internet friend, Javier Oña, from Cádiz, Spain. Javier bought my painting from the Hispacuarela exhibition that was recently there, and when I heard he was visiting the States, just had to go meet him. Javier is a retired doctor and watercolorist. I rendezvoused with him and his beautiful family at the Whitney museum to see the Hoppers, and we spent much of two days checking out the NYC art scene.

We saw recent work by Joseph Raffael (below) at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery. Also on display were some wonderful pieces by Hung Liu.

My good friend Debra Halprin, a fab watercolor portraitist from D.C. joined us. That was a blast, and she speaks great Spanish!

We went to the J. Cacciola Gallery to check out the Kanevskys they have on hand. Then on to the Franklin Bowles Gallery to see Gottfried Salzmann's work, and also several pieces by another of my current favorites, Zoya Frolova (below).

I spent the next day with Debra and her daughter at Ellis Island, a fascinating place. The ferry ride was a great chance to get some shots of the lower Manhattan skyline.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

what a big surprise has been seeing at me and my family appearing in your blog !

We spent two fabulous days together with you and your nice friend Debra.

I hope the next time we shall meet in Spain.

Many Thanks !

Mike said...

Hey Nick . .

It looks like we traced each others steps in NYC . . .right down to Nancy Hoffman gallery! Would like to bounce a few things off you . . .would you please shoot me an email so we can chat 'off line?'

W. K. Moore said...

Nicholas .. what a great travel guide you are. I feel I've been part of the adventure. Nice you had the opportunity to rub elbows with the current top talent and see the places where art is happening. And the food? Keep up the pace my friend.. something is always around the corner.

Rosa said...

Nick, the good friendly are a great treasure and I see that your you are lucky and you have many and great friendly… they also are lucky of being your friendly.

David Lobenberg said...

I'm familiar with Alex's work. He is phenomenal! Sick! Amazing! And you met him! Good show!!

Jose Antonio G. Villarrubia said...

That luck!
I want to go to New York!!
Un abrazo Nick

David Burge said...

That was a wonderful expedition Nick. You know too well my thoughts about the Amazing Kanevsky,
a magician by any measure. Now you've been in his very impressive studio you can attest to the absence of smoke and mirrors with this class act.
I think of AK often as I'm trying to paint something that has organicity. It's almost a necessity to be prepared to destroy a painting to make it live. In fact I think it is essential. Alex has that nailed.
Thanks for the insight into his domain and for the pictorial of your adventure.

Nick said...

Javier - I wouldn't have missed meeting you, Teresa, Irene, and Blanca for anything. And I say again, what the world of medicine gained, the art world lost. But there is time, and you have become an accomplished painter very quickly....I expect your renown to spread through Spain and elsewhere as did your groundbreaking surgical techniques. Afterall, that world of medicine is an art in itself. Looking forward to resuming our Spanish-English Improvement Seminar!

Mike - that's a well-traveled sidewalk. I also met Jamali, but art world celebrity seems pretty ridiculous after being in the presence of the real deal.

Bill - next stop, Chicago!! It's been a few weeks since D ink....there must be something huge brewing, yes?

Rosa - it's always a pleasure to hear from you, and I love your portrait in the El Puerto catalogue!

David - Dake (David Burge, below) makes a very accurate assessment re the absence of smoke and mirrors. Look for Alex's paintings in the new movie, "Synecdoche, N.Y."

Jose - come to the city, I'll be happy to meet you there! I was very impressed by the large diptych you had at El Puerto, wish I could have seen it in person.

Dake - I've got you to thank for turning me onto him. Nothing has been the same since. Thanks...I think! When you get here, we'll be making a beeline for S. 20th street in Philly. Of course no introductions will be necessary, Alex knows you. As you also know, I have many pics from the studio, only posted a few here. Maybe I'll do another more in-depth post about him. There is a fantastic interview here, one of the best artist interviews I've ever read:

Jose Antonio G. Villarrubia said...

Hi Nick, serious a pleasure to know yourself. Ah, the diptych of the port, makes me happy that you liked it, is a work which I enjoyed very much.
Un abrazo!

Nick said...

Jose, we might be meeting, I have an exhibition opportunity in Paris next year, it would be easy to come and see all my friends in Spain. The recent work on your blog is tremendous!!

Don Gray said...

Nick, I'm envious of your meeting Kanevsky. He is a fantastic artist! Thanks for posting studio shots.

I'm envious of your foray through the NY museums and galleries, too. I guess I'm just eaten up with envy! :)

Nick said...

Don, he's the baddest guy there is right now IMO, and I can't wait to go back to Philly to get another shot of inspiration. I've been talking to lots of people about AK, and I get questions from those who don't know his work. I tell them to think of a contemporary Sargent, and to imagine one of the wet paintings propped up in their living room...then falling over and sliding across the coffee table. Might be something close to a Kanevsky?! Alex liked that. :)

HELENE J said...

Thank you for sharing !

Nick said...

bon jour Helene, I couldn't find a comment function on your blog. Email me if you get a chance.

Anonymous said...

Kanevsky! I'm green with envy! (cadmium green pale). That shot of you and Kanevsky sitting next to each other in his studio is priceless. I admire your social prowess.

Nick said...

Sil - I have a feeling he'd rather be photographed with you!