As curated by Brooklyn Rail founder Phong Bui, “Bloodflames Revisited” riffs on the 1947 exhibition “Bloodflames” at New York’s Hugo Gallery. That show was organized by Nicolas Calas and mounted within an unconventional design by artist Frederick Kiesler. The look and ideas of the original show are recalled here by 25 contemporary artists and by Bui’s transformation of Kasmin’s two spaces into matching summer-themed installations. Each features bumblebee-yellow walls and red elevated walkways, taking viewers across a hay-covered floor.
Paintings such as Will Ryman’s crimson monochrome made of twisting bullets and Deborah Kass’s appropriation of Frank Stella are angled from the wall, like cabinet doors left ajar. Ryman’s palette and violent imagery are echoed by Daniel Joseph Martinez’s animatronic machine painting a mural with synthetic blood and by Roxy Paine’s animated neon sign of a man being beaten with a bat. Meanwhile, Bill Jensen’s painterly abstraction pays homage to Arshile Gorky, who was in “Bloodflames.” Intensifying the art-viewing experience, Bui turns up the temperature on his show until it virtually cooks.—Paul Laster