Today my friend James and I did that very Chelsea activity of "the galleries." Of course, the whole time I was fascinated by the attitude of the galleryists. A friend in the business commented that the worse the art, the ruder the people who work the gallery. It's true. For some reason, those lucky enough to work in Chelsea Galleries have been given the license not to be pleasant to the rest of the human race. I have to say that George Henoch of Gallery Henoch on West 25th St was absolutely delightful. He came out of his office, introduced himself and generously offered his own and his assistant's knowledge and ideas on the paintings exhibited. As a result, being the sucker for social pleasantries that I am, the exhbition of Simon Nicholas' paintings get my no. 1 vote of the "must sees" in Chelsea. See my review at www.artslant.com next Tuesday.
I was struck - but not sure why it was such a surprise - at the amount of bad art. The show at Pace Wildenstein, Lee Ufan's paintings, were so empty and pretentious, I began to wonder if there was something I was missing. He took a stencil of a round edged square, swept the paint brush across it, three times on every canvas, again and again and again. And there you have it: "A successful dialogue ... characterized by the fact that it keeps activity (one's own utterances) and passivity (taking in, following, responding to one's counterpart) in a dynamic balance." So said the press release. It is all, apparently, influenced by Merleau-Ponty, with a philosphical and phenomenological complexity way beyond my level of dialogue.
There were a few exhibitions worth writing about, so stay tuned. In the meantime, don't bemoan the horror of the suddenly falling stockmarket, and start mulling over how profound your thoughts are, put them on canvas, and go make your own millions on the wave of the Chelsea scams.