|todd camplin weekly...
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at Liliana Bloch Gallery
by Todd Camplin
What is risk taking in art? When do you know you see it happening in an individual artist?
Where do you find artists that take risk? The Bonny Leibowitz show at Liliana Bloch Gallery
is a good example to help flesh out these big questions of aesthetics.
|When an artist is taking a risk, some work might succeed while others might fail. I think Liliana Bloch
was careful in selecting the work for the show. I can tell that Liliana and Leibowitz make a good fit,
because both like to play with the edge of aesthetic experiences. I think on the whole, Leibowitz’
show was successful, but a piece like Suburbia with its vinyl grass print and leaf shaped cut outs,
really challenged my sensibility. I don’t know if the piece was a colossal failure, or a successful
pun, but I was still thinking about it after the show. That makes a piece of art a candidate for a
risky piece. The small pieces in the Remnant series reflect a similar process to that of the Suburbia
piece, which helped build a little extra context for the piece. All those little Remnant pieces were
fun to discover all over the walls.
|I am still debating a few individual works in my head, but works like On Hold or Spin Cycle were
very strong with the same amount of risk the rest of the show embodied. New Artifacts, featuring
Bonny Leibowitz will be up until July 23rd at Liliana Bloch Gallery.
|Risk taking is often associated with danger, opening oneself to ridicule, or attempting something
new. Bonny Leibowitz has been pushing the boundaries of her own art production over the past
few years by exiting her painting series and delving into a more hybrid form art. I can tell that her
recent travels to Miami art fairs and New York City made a huge mark on her new work. The best
risk taking requires that you see a lot of work in order to build a rich vocabulary. Leibowitz did the
work to see as much art as possible while building a body of work for a show. If you review her
Facebook account over the last year, you wouldn’t know when she even had the time to work.
I think this new body of work reached that edge of successful and failed work. That point where
everything could have been too kitschy or too sweet, or romantic, but Leibowitz pulls back just
enough to leave us with objects that make us pause.
|A risky place can be a commercial gallery. The function of a gallery is to first stay profitable, but
second to take a risk now and then to test their collectors. Galleries don’t always know what might
strike the fancy of collectors, gallery goers, and critics, so they sometimes show an artist or group of
artists to the public to test things out. Bonny Leibowitz’ first show with Liliana Bloch was a solo show.
Of course, this is still the summer, so the risk is a little lighter for the gallery, but still it is a risk. Any artist
that gets a solo show must also represent the gallery’s overall mission and theme. Both artist and
gallery played to the edges with their work and I think the show came out quite nicely.