Belott 'What's Going On'
By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: June 4, 2004, Friday
Kenny Schachter Contemporary
14 Charles Lane
132 Perry Street
Both through June 12
You can kiss Kenny Schachter goodbye, or you can just wave.
Either way, when these exhibitions end next week, he will
relocate his business to a new gallery at an epicenter of
the London art scene: fashionable Hoxton Square. The final
New York shows, both of young artists, are worth seeing,
as is the gallery space on Charles Lane, designed by Vito
Acconci, that will be destroyed when the building housing
it is torn down. (It will be replaced by a nine-story condominium
designed by Zaha Hadid; later Mr. Schachter plans to open
a gallery in the building's ground floor.)
At Charles Lane, Brian Belott, a collagist, musician, sound
artist and scavenger extraordinaire, is displaying his skill
at painting and finding. Downstairs are cartoonishly endearing
portraits of boom boxes; their graffitoid style harks back
to Keith Haring but is redeemed by the wonderfully quaint
medium of reverse-glass painting. Mr. Belott handles it with
flair, jewel-like colors, bits of colored foil and a modicum
of experimentation. (These are also evident in a small maplike
collage that stands out in ''California Earthquake,'' a group
show at Daniel Reich.)
Upstairs is a poignant display of family photo albums Mr.
Belott found in thrift shops. He sometimes makes collages
of such photographs and has also made a sound piece of messages
found on the tapes of old answering machines. Here he presents
the images as they were found, in frames or albums, which
is both more respectful and lazier.
At Kenny Shachter/Rove on Perry Street, the paintings of
Elif Uras make their solo debut and fit a little too easily
into a familiar faux-naïve niche. They depict elaborate
fantasy landscapes and interiors: a busy skating rink, the
atrium of a big department store, a small plane flying upside
down over a world of pink patchwork, and a stylish penthouse
apartment whose walls are covered with paintings.
Ms. Uras paints with gleaming, stained-glass colors in an
awkward, storybook/cartoon style that owes something to artists
as diverse as Amy Sillman, Thomas Trosch, Dexter Dalwood,
Dana Schutz and Hilary Knight, illustrator of Kay Thompson's
''Eloise.'' These works don't seem as promising as the small,
simpler images that Ms. Uras has exhibited in recent group
shows, but they definitely ante up the ambition of her art.