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Amanda Millet-Sorsa

Amanda Millet-Sorsa is an artist and contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.

In Conversation

Koho Yamamoto with Amanda Millet-Sorsa

We discuss the life and work of Japanese American artist Koho Yamamoto through several conversations over sushi and tea in her apartment above Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village, in anticipation of her centennial birthday in April 2022. After seeing the artist’s first big show at the Noguchi Museum, Koho Yamamoto: Under a Dark Moon (May 2021), I started as her student to learn Japanese calligraphy. Though she is a dedicated teacher of traditional sumi-e subjects and has taught for over fifty years, her own work stems from the ideas and thoughts developed in Postwar Abstract Expressionism in New York, where she has lived since 1945 after being held in the internment camps in Utah during WWII.

Zeshan Ahmed and Yasi Alipour: to bleach, to fold

Transmitter gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn has put together an exhibition of works by artists Yasi Alipour and Zeshan Ahmed curated by Martha Fleming-Ives and Kate Greenberg. Both artists’ works consist of photographic images created without using a camera: Alipour favors cyanotype and inkjet prints while Ahmed uses RBG pigmented C-prints on transparency sheets. Alipour folds paper as one might origami, carving out straight horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines that unfold geometric forms. Ahmed, on the other hand, erases printed sheets of pigment with bleach, blocking shapes using masking tape. Both artists challenge the flatness of photography and drawing, whether we’re engaging with Alipour’s reliefs of undulating paper or Ahmed’s transparent sheets, hung off the wall in layered curtains that allow light to shine through.

Tamara Gonzales: Horrible Beauty

Tamara Gonzales has spent her life living, experiencing, understanding, and connecting with the indigenous cultures of the Americas, spiritual and ritual practices from India and the Caribbean, and with Magick, as well as undergoing healing journeys facilitated through psychedelic plant medicines, without forgetting her early years professionally decorating cakes while being immersed in counterculture and the punk music circles of the 1970s in New York.

Jorge Galindo & Julian Schnabel: Flower Paintings

For whom are the lush roses found in Jorge Galindo and Julian Schnabel’s recent works at the Vito Schnabel Gallery painted? In this two-person exhibition, their first together, they share this subject and express their mutual love for painting and roses, yet their interpretations are drastically different from one another.

A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and a Century of American Art

It’s heartwarming, and a real rarity, to see so many works by an artist in his hometown—and in a whaling museum, which adds context to both Ryder’s life and the seascapes prevalent in his work.

Koho Yamamoto: Under a Dark Moon

At the age of 99, master calligrapher and sumi-e artist Koho Yamamoto is having her first museum show at the Noguchi Museum. Curated by Dakin Hart, 10 paintings are exhibited in an intimate gallery and reflect a humble selection from her life-long practice.

Naudline Pierre: Enter the Realm

The James Cohan Gallery has organized Naudline Pierre’s first solo exhibition in New York at its two spaces on Walker Street, featuring a selection of oil paintings on linen, painted triptych panels and three-dimensional structures adorned and supported with wrought-iron details, a room-sized iron gate, and small- to large-scale mixed-media works on paper. This exhibition affirms the presence of a promising artist whose nascent aesthetic language is becoming recognizable, with its vivid colors and mythological subjects featuring nude Black women and fantastical winged and feathered angels from religious iconography. Pierre’s spiritual upbringing with her father as a Haitian minister can be felt in the visionary and biblical subjects that weave in and out of her work.

Rosy Keyser & Joseph Montgomery: Wrecked Angle

In their two-person show at Ceysson & Bénétière, the abstractions of Rosy Keyser and Joseph Montgomery take us through an eclectic journey of Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Arte Povera, assemblage, and Minimalism into their own personal synthesis of painting and sculpture as frictional yet unified objects.

Willie Birch: Chronicling Our Lives: 1987–2021

Willie Birch has exhibited his work in New York for the first time since 2000 at the Fort Gansevoort Gallery located in the Meatpacking District. Originally from New Orleans, Birch is no stranger to New York City. Aside from Broken Dreams (Tattered White Picket Fence) (2020–21), the exhibition centers on Birch’s New York period (1983–1997).

Tomas Vu: The Man Who Fell to Earth 76|22

The Boiler in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened during the pandemic in 2020 as an extension of the ELM Foundation’s programming, and invites contemporary artists to create installations and exhibitions in its space, previously run by Pierogi Gallery from 2009–2015. The current show, The Man Who Fell to Earth 76|22, by artist Tomas Vu, is his first solo show in New York since 2008. The raw industrial space exudes an extraterrestrial feeling, perfect for a show whose title recalls David Bowie’s central role in the eponymous 1976 movie.

Bill Jensen: Stillness/Flowing

Bill Jensen’s new body of work, largely made in the last three years, is displayed in all four rooms of Cheim & Read gallery in Chelsea. These paintings embody both the wisdom and maturity of a sage, while maintaining the energy and vulnerability of new life.

Stanley Whitney: TwentyTwenty

Stanley Whitney’s recent exhibit of new paintings presents his lifelong exploration of an endless oasis of color.

McArthur Binion: Modern:Ancient:Brown

The paintings in the exhibition bring together Binion’s agility with color, a study that he has deepened for 40 years, as well as minimalism and geometric abstraction.

Myeongsoo Kim and Cy Morgan: Classical Mechanics

Below Grand is a gallery in the Lower East Side with a twist. This space is a closet-sized gallery nested into the storefront of Fortune Line Trading Corporation, a Chinese owned restaurant supply store. We are charmed by the concept, which is quintessentially New York in its spirit and scarcity of space, but also by the pairing of six works by artists Myeongsoo Kim and Cy Morgan and curated by Wangui Maina and Mo Kong.

Joan Mitchell Foundation

In order to understand the motivations and mission behind the Joan Mitchell Foundation, it is helpful to first understand that artist Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) placed art above all else, both at the center of her own life and through supporting her artist peers—thick in the battle and euphoria of the studio—who surrounded her during her lifetime. Mitchell was a pioneer artist in Post-War New York, earning an esteemed reputation among her Abstract-Expressionist cohort while also creating a dialogue with the French Impressionists of the previous century.

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The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2022

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