Warning: Standing before Erik Benson’s massive canvases, you may experience feelings of secession. Tapping out at 72 by 90 inches, they are the kind of vividly detailed paintings that totally envelop you, enabling your mind to drift. Experience for yourself at Edward Tyler Nahem where Detouring explores the harmony and conflict between nature and urban development. In Benson’s landscapes the vibrant colors do not come from the flora and fauna but from the playground jungle gym, the fence, the plastic bag caught in the tree branches. So, where is this detour taking us? And is it a temporary diversion or a permanent shift?For an entirely different perspective on urban representation, visit Frederico Seve (two floors up in the same building) for Emilio Sanchez: Shaping Light. Sanchez focused on the geometry of the form and the relationship between shadow and light. His New York is abstracted and simplified to its most basic elements. The resulting compositions are powerful and beautiful. Plus, he achieved these straight edges and perfectly even shades using watercolor!! How did he do that?!
From rigidity to full tilt quirkiness: head to Nohra Haime for a massive Niki de Saint Phalle retrospective. Maybe you’re a fan of Saint Phalle’s whimsical furniture or vibrant assemblages, or maybe you’ve never heard of her before. (She made that incredible “Monster” slide in Jerusalem… that’s how I always think of her.) Whatever your association, now is your chance to get fully acquainted. This vast, effervescent show has it all!
Since there isn't time to trek out to Red Hook, you can get your lingonberry fix at FIKA. Try the Göteborg. It is the embodiment of what you envision would happen to IKEA's Swedish meatball sandwich if it moved to the Upper East Side, and it's a pretty great option for a day when you're feeling like "something different." Embrace the adventurous eater within!
Venues: Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; Frederico Seve; Nohra Haime
Artists: Erik Benson; Emilio Sanchez; Niki de Saint Phalle
Streets: 57th St & 5th Ave