Today, the Brooklyn Museum held a preview for Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond, a survey of more than 100 artworks by 35 artists (or groups) who live or work in Brooklyn. The show feels like a culmination of sorts — or at least a mini-peak — in the museum’s recent efforts to ramp up its engagement with Brooklyn artists, after criticism from some camps that the institution was disconnected from the borough’s scene. The research and effort — curators Eugenie Tsai and Rujeko Hockley visited over 100 artist studios across Brooklyn — that have gone into CrossingBrooklyn show.
The artists included here work across mediums — installation, performance, social practice, photography, video, painting — but many of them share a penchant for hybridity and a compelling resourcefulness. Clear themes emerge across the string of galleries: an interest in nature and sustainability, social interaction and engagement, the processing of crafting and construction, and Brooklyn itself. Even as it sprawls, Crossing Brooklyn hangs together remarkably well.
This isn’t to say the exhibition doesn’t have problems — it does, but more on those later, in a forthcoming review. For now, here’s a first look at the show, which opens on Friday.
The answer to what happens next for City University of New York (CUNY) post-pandemic will depend on expanding the ideals of low-cost, high-quality liberal studies in which culture, self-reflection, and interdisciplinary learning enrich democratic values.