Armchair Traveler: Otherworldly Arrangements

Paul Thek, “Untitled (Meat Piece with Chair).” 1966, wax, bronze, formica and plexiglass, 16 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. Photo by Joerg Lohse, ©Estate of George Paul Thek, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York.

Is the art getting world too global for you? Each month, Armchair Traveler highlights in pictures the shows you’d want to see—if you could jetset from one international hub to the next. This month, Armchair Traveler is spotlighting four artists—past and present—whose eye-catching exhibitions bend, warp, and travel backwards in time.


Steven Shearer, “Feathery Carver.” 2020, Oil with traces of charcoal on jute; artist frame, 33 5/8 x 27 1/2 x 1 5/8 in. © Steven Shearer, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York, Private Collection.

Steven Shearer: Working from Life

Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

September 4 – October 16, 2021

Featuring 12 paintings made by the Vancouver-based artist from 2018 to 2021, Working From Life centers on Shearer’s interest in creating images of the artist at work. The result is an exhibition that makes stylistic references to Fauvism, Symbolism and Expressionism, while remaining Shearer’s most self-reflexive and introspective work to date. The sincerity and elegance of the artist’s craftsmanship makes for a strikingly intimate viewing experience.


Armchair Traveler

Paul Thek, “Untitled.” 1983, gouache on newsprint, 22 1/2 x 28 1/8 in. Photo by Joerg Lohse, ©Estate of George Paul Thek, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York

Paul Thek: Relativity Clock

Alexander and Bonin, New York

September 7 – October 16, 2021

The American artist Paul Thek was preoccupied with time—his work featured time-marking objects such as clocks, calendars, and organic matter in decay in an attempt to illuminate the mysteries of the human condition. This retrospective includes major works from all periods of the late artist’s career, including “Untitled (Meat Piece with Chair),” from his Technological Reliquaries series, in which Thek encased wax hunks of raw meat in plexiglass vitrines.


Armchair Traveler

Megan Marrin, “Studio Wall Unit.” 2021, oil on canvas on Styrofoam, 94 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist, Queer Thoughts and Efremidis.

Megan Marrin: Compliance

Efremidis, Berlin

September 4 – October 7, 2021

For her first European solo exhibition, Megan Marrin lines the walls at Berlin’s Efremidis gallery with life-sized paintings of wooden ballet bars and pilates equipment. The altered gallery space, framed by objects used to sculpt the body, allows the New York-based artist to explore questions of aesthetics and functionality. The human form is notably absent from this display, allowing Marrin to implicate the viewer as a future user of the machinery, or as a witness to abandoned relics of the past.

Megan Marrin, “Barre 3.” 2021, oil on canvas on styrofoam 15 x 90 in. Courtesy of the artist, Queer Thoughts and Efremidis.


Armchair Traveler

Ron Nagle, “Hot Prowler.” 2021, Ceramic, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches. Copyright Ron Nagle, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Ron Nagle: Necessary Obstacles

Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

September 11 – October 23, 2021

Ron Nagle presents eighteen new sculptures, each meticulously hand-crafted in his San Francisco studio, in this winking exhibition that examines the intersection of need and desire, form and function. The majority of Nagle’s works, sculpted from  clay, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and wood, are no more than six inches in size—a decision which the artist says allows the objects to “ allude to a much bigger place, because it’s so small your imagination has to fill in all that space that’s not there.” Indeed, Nagle’s eye-catching material combinations elicit a vast range of associations, from otherworldly landscapes to surreal architectural arrangements.

Armchair Traveler

Ron Nagle, “Sinister Disguise.” 2021, Ceramic, catalyzed polyurethane, and epoxy resin, 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches. Copyright Ron Nagle, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.


Armchair Traveler