ART CRITIC ANDREW RUSSETH'S TOP 10 PICKS MTV RE:DEFINE 2014

Photo courtesy of Christina Giaccone

Photo courtesy of Christina Giaccone

Andrew Russeth is an art critic based in New York. He edits The New York Observer’s art website, GalleristNY.

1. Joshua Abelow, Untitled Click here to view

Can you imagine how lovely it would be to have this little Abelow avatar dancing away on your wall? Very lovely, I think. But as with everything involving this Brooklyn-based impresario, there’s always some darkness lurking. Why exactly are those hands so big? And why can’t we see his face? What is he up to? My favorite Abelows are the ones with cartoon characters (they’re often self-portraits of a type) sporting gigantic erections, but this is a nice family friendly number.

2. Michelle Grabner, Untitled Click here to view

Supremely elegant work. I’m actually finding it pretty depressing to sit here looking at it on a computer screen, as a JPEG, instead of in person. But you, dear reader, can see it in person for the rest of your life if you are willing to step up to the plate, and defeat the other bidders. Good luck. (A tip: one of the PR professionals organizing this auction is a known Grabner fan, so look out for a dark-haired besuited man bidding ferociously. I would not be surprised to hear he’s on the hunt for another one to add to his collection.)

3. Jim Lambie, Metal Box (Tahiti) Click here to view 

Man, I love Jim Lambie so much. Which is why, even though I’m not entirely sure what is going on here based on the photo, I’m going to give it a big thumb’s up. It looks like what Anselm Reyle would make if he heard about (but had never seen) those gritty Klara Lidén poster paintings. Sometimes you just want some slick and sexy art. Here it is.

4. Margaret Lee, This is not a Telephone Click here to view

Tight, crisp, deadpan, and a little bit spooky. Stare at it for a while. You can sort of feel the keys, right? Do you remember pressing keys like that? Stroking that handle for the phone? Really handsome and uncanny. I’d buy this, and then pair it with one of Lee’s telephone sculptures, maybe start building a little Lee collection. Just my two cents. It’s intensely peculiar work that keeps getting more and more intriguing.

5. Mariah Robertson, 306 Click here to view

MoMA recently acquired Robertson’s work, but I’d still rank her as extremely underrated. She’s pushing photograph in all sorts of weird ways, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

6. Julian Schnabel, Theory of Relativity Click here to view

I think this one speaks for itself.

7. Jonas Wood, Green Star Clipping 1 Click here to view

Wood shows in New York last year, at Anton Kern and Lever House, had him in top form—positively confident, almost gallant in his continued defense of, and romance with, figurative painting. This is a humble little beauty. I’m swooning.

8. Scott Indrisek, Jim Thorpe Never Really Lived Here We Just Bought His Name (From the Collected Works of Peter Indrisek, 1953- Ongoing) Click here to view

Indrisek is an indefatigable art writer, gadfly and gadabout. Recently it seems that he’s picked up the brush. Looks cool.

9. Eddie Martinez, Untitled Click here to view

I’m feeling a little Dubuffet, a little late Guston, maybe a dash of Gorky, even Frankenthaler. The man is not playing around. Also loving how dirty it looks, like Martinez left it on the ground of his studio and stomped over it a bunch of times while making his big, brash paintings. Damn. It’s a drawing and an artifact, a study and a relic of sorts.

10. Sarah Lucas, Tit Teddy Aids Click here to view

If I had the cash handy, I would buy the f**k out of this. It’s obscene and yet almost classical, luscious and yet restrained, hilarious and completely terrifying. Man, Sarah Lucas is a good artist. If you’re in New York, I heartily recommend going to see her current show at Gladstone.