Articles

Bushwick September Preview: Group Shows, Figurative Art, and Reinvigorated Programs

by Stephen Truax on September 5, 2012

This September, every gallery in Bushwick is opening with some of the strongest shows the neighborhood has ever seen. Here, we outline the best shows to see (which, oddly enough, is almost all of them), and when and where to see them. Bushwick has certainly grown into its own as New York City’s youngest art district, and this powerhouse lineup of September openers proves it.

We see three distinct themes running through the neighborhood’s exhibition offerings: one, a predominance of three-person, multidisciplinary thematic shows; two, a surprising number of straightforward, representational painting shows; and three, galleries making sweeping changes to their spaces and programs to reinvigorate their reputations.

Below, we start with a provocative bunch of group shows.

Group Shows

Work by Santiago Mostyn (courtesy Studio 10)

Studio 10
56 Bogart St. 1st Floor | L Train Morgan Avenue
Image and Objecthood organized by Annelie McGavin
Santiago Mostyn, Peter Sutherland, Jai Lennard
September 7–30, Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 7–9 PM

Image and Objecthood, organized by Annelie McGavin at Studio 10, explores the aesthetic experience of the unmonumental and the ordinary. Employing the sensibility of photography, all three artists — Santiago Mostyn, Peter Sutherland, and Jai Lennard — explore the intersection of ready-made sculpture and the photographic image, using these parallel practices to capture powerful moments in their quotidian experience. Mostyn, currently based in Sweden, presents photography and folded paper photo-sculpture; Lennard will show photographs and a window installation composed of chairs; and Sutherland will show wall works in glitter as well as a freestanding sculpture. The works realize a kind of poetic beauty through their interrelation but remain strong independent of one another.

Rosemary Mayer, “Amphora” (1984) (Courtesy Regina Rex)

Regina Rex
1717 Troutman Street #329 | L Train Jefferson Street
Yesterday Amphoric
Ginny Cook, Rosemary Mayer, David J. Merritt
September 8 – October 14, Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 7 – 10 PM

Yesterday Amphoric, also a three-person show, takes on the oh-so-lighthearted subjects of history, memory, and death through the disparate projects of three artists. Continuing the Regina Rex tradition of pairing young artists with established one, and capitalizing on the space’s large, open floor, Yesterday Amphoric will show senior sculptor Rosemary Meyer’s 1980s-era sculptural fabric works based on Neolithic or Classical vessels. These are compared to David J. Merritt’s “totemic ritualistic objects” of plaster and clay and Ginny Cook’s ghostly photography of memorials and relics. Once more, at first glance the works have little to do with one another, but with an expert curatorial touch, they gain more meaning standing next to one another.

Representational Works

Taking a totally different tack, three small galleries – Theodore Art, Centotto and Parallel Art Space – will present representational painting and drawing this weekend. With varying levels of abstraction, each artist included reinvigorates these age-old traditions with stunning color combinations or odd, unexpected compositional choices in modest, earnest handmade works. Emphasizing what might be called conservative artistic production sets these three galleries apart from their peers.

Peter Krashes, “Some Letters Have To Be Written, But Are Best Not Sent” (courtesy Theodore Art)

Theodore Art
56 Bogart St Basement | L Train Morgan Avenue
Make It Work In Brooklyn!
Peter Krashes
September 8 – October 14, Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 6 – 9 PM

In his vivid gouache paintings, Peter Krashes expounds on his daily political life as a community organizer in Brooklyn. The paintings are all in the small format typical of the medium, save Some Letters Have To Be Written, But Are Best Not Sent, 2010, a seven-foot-wide oil painting of a glowing, red-purple computer screen displaying an open MS Word document. Krashes locates a luscious beauty and a joy for color that politically-driven art rarely displays.

Drawing by Thomas Micchelli (courtesy Centotto)

Centotto
205 Moore St #108 | L Train Morgan Avenue
Portfolio x Appunti 4: Thomas Micchelli
September 7 – close date not yet set
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 7 – 10 PM

Thomas Micchelli, artist and one of the editors of Hyperallergic Weekend, makes drawings and paintings that are curious, unique interpretations of the male figure that twist and knot limbs into dynamic, abstract compositions. His pencil lines are sensuously eerie, recalling the work of Egon Schiele, but they have the clarity and structure of a flattened Euan Uglow. Micchelli will present new figurative drawings and paintings at the fourth edition of Portfolio x Appunti, organized by Paul D’Agostino. The exhibition will be accompanied by other appunti (notes), including various forms of artist statement, an artist talk to happen during the opening reception, and studio shots, to give a more holistic view into Micchelli’s portfolio and practice.

Painting by Deborah Brown (courtesy Parallel Art Space)

Parallel Art Space
1717 Troutman Street #220 | L Train Jefferson Street
Land Escape
Deborah Brown, Kerry Law, Rebecca Litt, Garry Nichols
September 8 – October 7
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 7 – 10 PM

Four painters represent unique approaches to representational painting in this small survey. Perhaps their only similarity is their engagement with the abstract image. Brown, Litt, and Nichols disrupt the picture plane with high-velocity color and pattern, belying a close relationship with abstraction. Law provides a counterpoint with well-observed beach landscapes in chromatic gray.

And Now For Something Completely Different …

After a soft opening over the summer, all eyes are on Tom Weinrich, director of Interstate Projects, after he opened his new 5,700 square foot space on Knickerbocker a block from Luhring Augustine’s new Bushwick location. At English Kills, Chris Harding will present work that is totally outside the gallery’s regular repertoire. Known for massive paintings, violent performance art, and large, heavy sculptures, the gallery will instead present a private collection.

Work by Cheon pyo Lee (courtesy Interstate Projects)

Interstate Projects
66 Knickerbocker Avenue | L Train Morgan Avenue
Medium is the Same
Cheon pyo Lee
September 8 – October 14
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 6 – 9 PM

In Interstate Project’s new two-level gallery, Cheon pyo Lee presents a number of works in multiple media that revolve around problems of the global trade economy. Common symbols of international industrial production  – such as a clapping monkey toy – are reinterpreted as kinetic sculpture with custom-fabricated gears, bill counters, and conveyer belts, and a palette that recalls graphic and industrial design. In the basement project space, an installation takes as its theme the journey of a container ship which has neither destination nor owner. The headiness of the premise, the size of the subject matter, and the massive scale of Interstate’s galleries make Lee’s project incredibly ambitious.

Barry Hoggard and James Wagner’s private collection (courtesy English Kills)

English Kills
114 Forrest St | L Train Morgan Avenue
Selections from the Hoggard Wagner Art Collection
September 21 – October 28
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 21, 6 – 9 PM

After over 20 years of collecting, Barry Hoggard and James Wagner (who have been partners since 1992) have amassed somewhere around 900 works of art. Not being exceptionally wealthy individuals, a significant percentage of the collection was acquired at art auctions benefiting not-for-profit art institutions such as NURTUREart and Momenta Art, as well as sales benefiting AIDS research, such as ACT UP. Gallery director Chris Harding contacted them and is selecting works for this exhibition directly off of the wall of their Chelsea home (pictured above), which displays over 300 works framed and in constant view. Over thirty works will be on view at English Kills in late September.

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It’s going to be a busy week and an even busier fall in Bushwick.

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