Rawson Projects Takes Root on Bedford Avenue

A view of Rawson Projects on Bedford, south of S3rd Street.
James Morrill and Christopher Rawson (click to enlarge)

On November 11, a small gallery opened its doors on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and caused a ripple of excitement in local art circles. Not only was this one of the first galleries to open on Bedford in ages, but many people are taking it as sign that a new generation of galleries are continuing to view Williamsburg as a central part of New York’s art world dialogue.

Named Rawson Projects, the gallery consists of Christopher Rawson, Julian Calero, and James Morrill. Their first exhibition, Fingers in the Sun, features the work of local painter Sam Martineau and it is a smart show filled with works that are nuanced and almost impossible to capture in photographs.

I asked Rawson why they chose Williamsburg for the new space and he replied,“We have been curating shows and making exhibitions in the neighborhood for a couple of years, so we feel really comfortable here. Also, we all live in the area and so do most of the artists that we are currently working with.” He says that his experience in the neighborhood gives him “confidence in Williamsburg as an arts center.”

Rawson has curated in alternative spaces for years, including at the local Camel Art Space, where he worked under his other curatorial project, Outside the Timezone, and he has also staged exhibitions on rooftops in the area. The small gallery space will allow the trio to try out exciting new shows. Morrill explains that while there is a strand of new abstraction they want to explore in the gallery program, they are also interested in conceptual photography and other types of work, particularly by artists they know are underrepresented.

Their next show is a poster project with Ben Berlow, where they invite the artist known for working in unique small scale abstraction to create an open edition print. Following that, they are planning to show five new paintings by David Malek.

I should mention that the group are no strangers to the art world and Rawson is employed at David Zwirner as the archivist, while Morrill is the comptroller at the same gallery. This gallery appears to be one to watch in the coming months.

Sam Martineau’s Fingers in the Sun continues until January 2, 2011 at Rawson Projects (339 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Sam Martineau's "In the Park" (2010) and "California" (2010) at Rawson Projects
A close-up of Sam Martineau's"California" (2010), and one of the smaller works by Martineau, "Russet" (2010) (click to enlarge)
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