Returning to New York on Air Fair Weekend, I missed Independent, the Armory and Spring Break while nursing an airplane cold (luckily, not covid). However, as I recuperated, I visited several local downtown galleries, abounding with great autumnal energy.
I began with a clothing and supplies delivery to Tribeca. I was thrilled when P.P.O.W. sent out an e-blast requesting much-needed donations for the recently arrived asylum seekers shipped from Texas to New York by the vile Governor Greg Abbott. P.P.O.W.’s well-organized drive resulted in neat piles of necessary and much-needed supplies. And there was performance legend, Martha Wilson, helping out! Kudos to Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington for creating an opportunity to help in this humanitarian crisis.
P.P.O.W. “La Jardienera’ Astrid Terazas “Staircase to the Rose Window” Chiffon ThomasThe recently enlarged P.P.O.W. celebrates their expansion with two stellar shows. “La Jardienera” is an immersive experience redolent with Mexican imagery, accented with an intriguing dose of contemporary surrealism. Astrid Terazas combines mixed media paintings and ceramic sculptures in her first knockout solo show. Rich in mysticism and magic, verdant winged angels, serpentine women and a pair of especially appealing nude women intertwined with bovine companions, cousins to Chagall’s emotive cows. (“Watching Skin Scab Over”) The sizeable ceramic fountain “La Fuente” epitomizes the artist’s opulent visual vocabulary – a pomegranate mouth spouting water, hand-painted tiles illustrated with zoomorphic females, and a fantasy fruit tree awaiting harvest.
Downstairs, an equally intriguing show’ "Staircase to the Rose Window,” introduces another debut show for Chiffon Thomas. The interdisciplinary artist explores “impossible bodies” with sculptures, which begin with Nevelson-influenced stair spindles and transmute to trippy creations made of torched tweed fabrics, chalk, pastel, embroidery thread and reconfigured iron grates. I loved the last room, the 19-part “Etheric Plane,” where threaded and sewn bible skins create a flotilla of miniature domiciles. A close-up reveals a house built of bibles, where windows open to limitless possibilities.