The fall season is in full swing in the Chelsea gallery district, with more than 200 new exhibitions opening in the last two weeks. That's a lot of art to look at (with more to come next week!), and though we've already been twice, it'll take a few more visits to really soak it all in. But before we head back, we thought you'd like to know that of one of our surprise hits of the fall so far is a group show–which is in and of itself surprising; group exhibitions tend to be relegated to the slower seasons, especially summer, when gallery owners simply assemble works from their catalog–the fun, thoughtful and fully engaging Feverish Library at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery on West 22nd.
Feverish Library Features the Likes of Tauba Auerbach & David Hammons
Maybe it's because we love books, and, in fact, kind of miss books (we do most of our reading on Kindles these days) that Friedrich Petzel's Feverish Library struck such a chord, but, really, this show is a blast. The theme at this Chelsea gallery, obviously, is books, and the roster of nearly 40 artists is outstanding, and includes the likes of Tauba Auerbach, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, David Hammons, Richard Prince, Martin Kippenberger, Rachel Whiteread, and on and on. Organized in cooperation with British artist/writer/publisher Matthew Higgs, the Feverish Library plays with books as actual, physical objects (there are plenty of great mock jackets and assembled libraries and such) as well as more conceptually, and their role in our collective (and individual) psychology and culture.
Feverish Library Runs with the Book Theme Throughout
There's plenty of great pieces here among the "stacks" of the Feverish Library, but a list of our favorites would have to include Jeremy Deller and Nicholas Abrahams's rocking video of Manic Street Preachers performing Found That Soul; Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still from 1978; Richard Prince's hilarious After Darker 3/5, a riff on those "swinging" nightlife guides of the 1970s; Allen Ruppersberg's table of Remainders; and Sean Landers's tale of the "Circumnavigator," told via the spines of painted books on a painted shelf. It's unclear whether you have to be as book lover-ish as we are book lover-ish to really appreciate The Feverish Library, but it probably helps
The Feverish Library at Friedrich Petzel Gallery Details
The Feverish Library will be on display at the Friedrich Petzel gallery until October 20. Petzel is located on West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. For more information, please see the Friedrich Petzel gallery website, here.