A general view of the “Landing Jam” show on Dupont Street in Greenpoint.

I’ve already expressed my affection for apartment shows but hallway — or landing, to be more precise — shows I’ve been mum about … until now. This past weekend curator Martin Esteves pulled off a smart, small pop-up exhibition on a friend’s landing on Dupont Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Doug Melini, “Splendors of the Sun and Moon” (2008) (click to enlarge)

Organized under the auspices of the always interesting Ugly Art Room, the one-day only exhibition, titled Landing Jam, featured the work of eight artists (Erica Baclawski, Joe Ballweg, Erik Dalzen, Rosy Keyser, David Malek, Douglas Melini, Jamisen Ogg and Audra Wolowiec) and was surprisingly well-suited for the compact space both in scale and concept.

Esteves explains that the central idea for his show was space and its “insular self-awareness.” Mounted in this well lit top floor space you couldn’t help but notice a sense of compression and spatial tension in many of the works. Even in Erica Baclwaski’s painting “Mirage” (2010), which looks through a train window to a landscape, the effect is more like looking at a postcard rather than nature.

“For a while I wanted to do a show based on sentient art work that was aware of its [sense of] space. Then I started to look at people’s studios and realized that after a while that it wasn’t just about this walled off tension space, they all offered this next dimension. There was this next space that was going to transporting us to another dimension, which was perfectly appropriate for a landing jam, where you’re almost there but you’re not quite there,” the curator said.

Looking at the east wall at the “Landing Jam,” while artist Doug Melini (right) checks out some of the work.

Visitors were greeted by Audra Wolowiec’s low-volume sound piece as they walked up the stairs and the adventurous could climb the ladder to see Rosy Keyser’s “Electric SkyCatherdral” (2011) arranged in a small hatch that led to the roof.

There was a great deal of geometric abstraction on display, including Doug Melini’s exciting little painting “Splendors of the Sun and Moon” (2008), which vibrated off the wall, or Baclwaski’s “Honeymoon Sweet” (2010), which feels as familiar as a room with a wall of curtains — or in this context hallway wallpaper — but clearly created out of the language of abstract painting.

I’m a big fan of art in unorthodox locations, and this small show is a good example of the how experimental installations often challenge us to look in new ways.

Curator Martin Esteves shows off Audra Wolowiec’s “Abitare” (2011) sound installation that greeted visitors to the pop-up show. The piece included the sound of breating and the static at the end of a vinyl record.

I recorded a brief interview with the curator (02:54) that I’ve posted below. Also, check out more photos of the installation on my Flickrstream.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

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