The New York Times

Review: Bloodflames Revisited

Ken Johnson

August 8, 2014

To view “Bloodflames Revisited,” an incendiary show of works by more than two dozen artists, you step up an inclined plane onto a wooden runway painted red. At 293 10th Avenue, the runway forks into separate adjacent galleries; in the shoebox-shaped 515 West 27th Street space, it goes straight from front to back. In both galleries, the floors are strewn with straw, and the walls are painted yellow. You’d think this environment would overwhelm the works in the show, but it has the opposite effect: Everything looks great.

At 10th Avenue, there are abstract paintings by Bill Jensen and Dorothea Rockburne and a sculpture resembling an outer space satellite by Lee Bul. A mural-scale, animated neon light sculpture in which a man clubs another with a board is by Roxy Paine, working under the influence of Bruce Nauman.

At 27th Street, an eye-dazzling painting by Deborah Kass that riffs on early Frank Stella features big block letters that spell “Daddy I Would Love to Dance.” There’s also a lovely painting of roses by Alex Katz, from 1967, and a big photograph of blurry, swirling body parts by Cindy Sherman. In a darkened space at the end, a video of a burning car by the Danish collective Superflex brings things to a satisfying, apocalyptic conclusion.

Organized by Phong Bui, publisher of The Brooklyn Rail, the exhibition is inspired by a futuristic 1947 exhibition called “Bloodflames” that was organized by Nicolas Calas and designed by the architect Frederick Kiesler. But you don’t have to know any of that to enjoy the show. 




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