Chelsea Galleries – Exuberant Is the Word of the Day

February 17, 2011

Larry Poons: Louisville, Nashville, Montgomery


Michael Reafsnyder: All the Way Tonight

Gillian Hansen: Large Section

This past Saturday was a lovely late winter day in New York. People were out and about and you could feel the excitement that winter was close to an end. Were Staten Island Chuck and Punxutawney Phil right? Or maybe the depression recession is really ending, people are going back to work, and there’s money to spend on food for the soul.

It certainly seemed so at Lori Bookstein Fine Art and Danese, which shared an exhibition of new paintings by Larry Poons. Poons is a very well established American abstract painter, showing in galleries since 1963, and well represented in public and private collections. Over the years, his work has evolved from spare to intricate, using intense colors and complex patterns. How to describe this work? Well, Poons is bursting with enthusiasm and is full of ideas. Each canvas uses the full color spectrum, and is both bold and restful, not an easy accomplishment. Curiously, a couple of pieces are reminiscent of Dorothy Culpepper. Through March 12.

Michael Reafsnyder at Ameringer McEnery Yohe is another example of this joyful exuberance. His paintings are large and small. He brushes, smears and squirts gloriously. You can see the 5-year old that he must have been with his finger paints. You can tell that he has a good time painting, that these paintings are a reflection of personality. Fabulous work. Look for the eyes in each painting – someone is watching you. (He also sculpts.) Through March 5.

On an entirely different not, Gillian Carnegie is showing lovely, elegant, shades of grey and black painting at Andrea Rosen Gallery through March 5. She has two wonderful paintings of bare tree branches and a fantastic circular staircase with an enigmatic cat. It’s tough to create dimension with such a dark spare palette yet Carnegie has succeeded. Simply wonderful. Through March 5.


  1. It is great to hear that people are out and about and getting back into the galleries even in NYC.

    I was at an exhibition opening on February 13, 2011 in Minnesota and it was the most packed opening I have been to in over 3 years. There were over 1000 people there for the 3 hour reception — they ran out of exhibit catalogs in the first 2 hours. Sales were brisk as well.

    I also heard that the Mesa Contemporary Arts Exhibit opening in January was packed as well and there were even collectors going toe to toe over making a purchase of selected artworks. I am hopeful that this is a sign of a recovering market.

  2. That’s great news, Jean. Art is life-defining and it’s wonderful to hear that people continue to realize and appreciate it’s value in spite of the economic atmosphere.

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