NEW YORK, NY.- Nyehaus
, Friedrich Petzel Gallery
and Metro Pictures
present SWELL curated by Tim Nye and Jacqueline Miroa survey of surf-themed art that opens July 1st at the three locations in Chelsea. Each gallery focuses on a different aspect of this work, Metro will be exhibiting many of the core group of Venice Beach artists associated with Light and Space or Fetish Finish (many of them surfers) including DeWain Valentine, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses, as well as the Ferus Gallery artists Craig Kauffman, Ed Ruscha, Wally Berman, Bruce Conner, and Llynn Foulkes, and associated L.A. artists John McCracken, Ken Price, Joe Goode, George Herms, Tony Berlant and Helen Pashgian.
Dave Hickey, in a recent essay writes: "In its initial vogue, these works spoke directly to a new kind of artistic decorumless aggressive than pop, less ideological than Minimalism, and less maidenly than post-painterly abstraction. It had a kind of gallantrythe cool courtesy of a well-born rake. California Minimalism created a gracious, social space in its glow and reflection; it treated us amicably, made us more beautiful by gathering us into its dance. It still does this today, so I am not amazed by the renewed interest in this work. I am still amazed, however, that my beach-bum pals could have created such a capacious and courtly art, although beach bums, I suppose, have dreams like everybody else."
Amongst the artist surfers and artists incorporating surfer references from both the East and West Coasts and Europe and from several generations, are Jay Batlle, Ashley Bickerton, Andy Moses, Blake Rayne, Raymond Pettibon, Roe Etheridge, Mary Heilman, Catherine Opie, Dirk Skreber, and Thaddeus Strode. Some 75 artists are divided between the three galleries.