[and a classy one-two punch, delivered by Bill and Jen]
via NYTimes, Art in Review, 5-8-09:
‘The Writing Is on the Wall’
637 West 27th Street
Through May 16
William Powhida, art world vigilante, virtuoso draftsman, compulsive calligrapher, fantasist autobiographer and recently self-announced gallery owner and art dealer, has a semi-solo show at Schroeder-Romero well worth catching.
As in the past, Mr. Powhida, who lives and works in Brooklyn, provides an updated rogues’ gallery of New York art world celebrities in a salon-style display of dozens of deft graphite portraits based on Internet photos of openings, parties, galas, etc. Wall of fame? Wall of shame? He refrains from comment. But art speaks for itself, or so we’ve been told, and you can make of these tawdry-looking types what you will.
The rest of the main gallery is given over to a first-person, handwritten account by a William Powhida who may or may not be the artist (the gallery’s news release addresses the confusion), about a stint in a Thai jail where the writer undergoes chemical detoxification, among other indignities. The report makes for sorry reading, though the technical skill and stamina that must have gone into producing it are awesome.
This leaves the artist’s role as co-director of a start-up gallery to reckon with. (His partner in the enterprise is Jennifer Dalton, an artist who has an excellent solo show next door at Winkleman Gallery, through Saturday.) The new space, currently housed at Schroeder-Romero, is called SchroRoWinkleFeuerBooneWildenRosenGosian Gallery, and exists a few years in the future, after the Chelsea art world as we know it has been wiped from the planet by bad economics, low morale, shifts in fashion and public indifference to the latest tweak of a tweak called “new work.”
Looking exceedingly D.I.Y., the gallery insists that it will have its debut with a group show called “Art-Pocalypto 2012” featuring only crummy digital prints of “real art” in unlimited editions, available for preposterous prices.
Ambitiously, Mr. Powhida and Ms. Dalton will also be exhibiting their stable of artists — basically anyone who walks in the door — at ArtBaselMiamiDocumentaSiteSantaFeWhitneyBiennialeVeneziaNadaPulseScope the same year. It all sounds a bit iffy, I know, but it’s a plan. So if you’re still hanging tight with art three years hence, be there. HOLLAND COTTER