Uncool is cool

Caleb Considine at Essex Street, 114 Eldridge Street, NYC



Spare, elegant, bordering on obscure, Caleb Considine’s show at Essex Street is pitch perfect. How refreshing to get a press release for an exhibition that is an excerpt from a novel. In this case Varamo by Cesar Aira, an under-appreciated Argentine writer who in this instance is telling the story of a civil servant in 1923 who has just been paid his monthly salary in counterfeit currency, his mother has cooked his latest embalming project, a fish playing the piano, for dinner and the novel itself turns out to be an improvisation on the part of the author.

Given that to whet the appetite we move on to the art. It’s a relief to have no artspeak to decipher, just paintings to view. Standing in the gallery, devoid of labels, signage or cultural pointers, not even the name of the artist or the gallery, we confront the simple canvases that hint at narrative but avoid pushing too far. Actually they don’t push at all.

The accordion (Hutschelli, 2013) is great.

Hairdryer, 2013 is brilliant.

Patrick, 2013, is subtle, a moment capturing a moment.

Untitled, 2012 is like a blue puddle.

Pared to a minimum perhaps it’s better to be pared.

My question is: Did they paint the floor to match the paintings or the other way around?

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