A new year is here, and I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to ride high on that fresh-page-of-the-calendar feeling for as long as I can. And what better way to appreciate the blank canvas of 2023 than spending a day visiting new (and new-ish) art spaces in Brooklyn? In our roundup below, we highlight galleries, nonprofits, and project rooms in the borough. Many of these opened their doors to the public in the last year or two; others have been around for longer but recently moved to the neighborhood or debuted additional locations. They all have something different to offer and are living proof of Brooklyn’s thriving, ever-changing art community. Happy gallery-hopping! — Valentina Di Liscia
What is immediately striking about Swivel Gallery in Bed-Stuy is its design, with sinuous, undulating walls like loving clouds that hug the artworks on display. Swivel’s founder, Graham Wilson, refers to it as “an incubator” for emerging and up-and-coming artists, and since its opening in January 2021, exhibitions of works by Kajin Kim, Kiah Celeste, Aris Azarmsa, and many more have shown the endless possibilities of the unconventional space. For Celeste’s solo show last year, fittingly titled The Right Side Down, the Louisville, Kentucky-based artist presented her recycled material and found-object sculptures in a topsy-turvy arrangement that appeared to defy gravity. Opening January 26 is Potheads, a group exhibition featuring works by Derek Weisberg, Anousha Payne, Charles Snowden, Debra Broz, Wade Tullier, and more. According to Wilson, Swivel Gallery donates 10% of sales proceeds to local nonprofits and has pledged to continue doing so indefinitely. — VD
Swivel Gallery (swivelgallery.com)
329 Nostrand Avenue, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Tucked away in a basement-level Williamsburg space — which is miraculously drenched in natural light — Danielle Dewar and Marlee Katz opened Tchotchke Gallery’s first permanent location after two years of a maintaining an online and pop-up presence due to the pandemic. The exhibition Homecoming, on view through February 11, is their 20th show but only their third physical one, and features paintings by Tchotchke’s four artists — Josiah Ellner, Debora Koo, Elena Redmond, and Rachael Tarravechia. While their works depict vastly different subjects, Homecoming is a cohesive ode to color and personal memory. Ellner’s vibrant large-scale pieces consider humans’ connection to nature, and Koo’s careful paintings portray specific moments from her life (all centered on eating desserts) with painstaking attention to light and time of day. Redmond’s figures meld fantasy and reality, and Tarravechia’s bright still lifes illustrate her own interior spaces. Founders Dewar and Katz both live near their new space, and most of the artists they work with live around Williamsburg, too. “We’re excited to be part of the neighborhood we live in,” said Dewar. “We really wanted to focus on providing a community and space for our artists versus just our collectors.” — Elaine Velie
Tchotchke Gallery (tchotchkegallery.com)
311 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Italian curator Paola Gallio opened Tappeto Volante Projects in May 2022 after relocating from the Lower East Side, where she co-ran the feminist gallery Assembly Room. A product of the pandemic era, Gallio’s new project space on 13th Street blends exhibition and studio, hosting a rotating cast of local artists, many of whom contribute to their yearly survey, La Banda. “Tappeto volante” means “flying carpet” in Italian, and the gallery leans into the fantastical and conceptual in its explorations of collective identity, including the metaphysics of submersion and creative dreaming. As such, Gallio hearkens to the lofty and often itinerant tendencies of New York’s many art communities. On view now is a solo presentation of works by multidisciplinary artist Sig Olson, curated by Ksenia M. Soboleva and up through January 22. — Billy Anania
Tappeto Volante (tvprojectspaceship.com)
126 13th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn
Field of Play Gallery
Park Slope artist Matthew Logsdon repurposed the front room of his Gowanus Creative Studios space in October 2022 to create his new gallery, Field of Play. With Astroturf lining the floor, this “field” — or “green cube,” if you will — aims to bridge the gap between art and sport, reflecting Logsdon’s professional background as a personal trainer. Within a small space, Logsdon and the artists he shows address larger issues around the meaning of masculinity and power, often relating the works on display to specific workouts. While welcoming community members at opening receptions, Field of Play also hosts all of its exhibitions online to heighten accessibility. — BA
Field of Play (instagram.com/fieldofplaygallery)
56 2nd Avenue, Gowanus, Brooklyn
In the living room of her Bed-Stuy apartment, April Zhu has created an intimate gallery space named Tutu (which is also the name of her cat), covering nearly every inch of wall and ceiling space with art. She told Hyperallergic that while at college in Pennsylvania, she improvised exhibitions in basements and residential buildings. “That’s really how I feel the most comfortable with art,” Zhu said. After she moved to New York City, Zhu wanted to recreate the informal and tight-knit community she had experienced during her college days, so she decided to cultivate it right in her living room. Currently, she is focusing on international artists and using Tutu to help them break into the New York art scene. — EV
Tutu Gallery (tutugallery.art)
Willoughby and Stuyvesant Avenues, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
(contact gallery for exact address and to schedule a visit)
A motorized train putts along an angular track in the center room of Kaje beside a display case of ancient artifact replicas made from Dial soap bars — which contributing artist Josephine Sundari Devanbu describes as “the everyman’s marble.” This high-camp intervention is currently on display at the Gowanus nonprofit space, which inaugurated its new two-floor outpost in November 2021. The exhibition, titled Just About in the Round, was curated by Elizaveta Shneyderman and also includes works by Nicholas Cueva, Gregory Kalliche, Ignas Krunglevicius, and Huidi Xiang, on view through February 12. Blurring distinctions between creative expression, advertising, and consumerism, Kaje sneaks artworks and ephemera into every crevice and corner, from tiny video screens embedded in walls to a random concrete mound jutting from the floor. In this way, they cleverly obscure where Art with a capital A both begins and ends. — BA
Kaje Gallery (kaje.world)
74 15th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn
“B” Dry Goods
In December, Gabe Boyers opened his gallery “B” Dry Goods on the same Crown Heights block where his family operated a storefront from 1920 to 1969. Boyers’s background, and “back-of-the-house-business,” is in rare books and manuscripts, but the current exhibition, The Masks We Wear, features mediums ranging from painting to sculpture. The show, on view through February 23, has the feel of an expertly curated museum exhibition. Some works are by living artists, some are a few hundred years old, but all feature people wearing face coverings. Boyers said the idea originated with the COVID-19 pandemic mask. “It became such a feature of our existence to look at each other and not see the whole picture,” Boyers said. “And how that transforms how you see people and how you look at the world and know that’s how people see you.” — EV
“B” Dry Goods (bdrygoods.com)
679 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Footnote Project Space
Located on the first floor of an artist-owned building on Union Street — which, according to founder Sasha Chavchavadze, has helped keep its doors open since October 2021 — Footnote Project Space grounds its programs in memory, forgotten narratives, and the work of women-identifying artists. Paintings and installations from fellow building tenants, incarcerated artists, and local feminist collectives address fashion stereotypes, Gowanus’s industrial culture, and lesser-known icons of Brooklyn’s African diaspora, among many other subjects. Presented as an ongoing series of exhibitions and installations, the organization uplifts those all too often relegated to the “footnote” of history. Footnote also collaborates with Artpoetica, another project space, run by artist and curator JoAnne McFarland in the same building. — BA
Footnote Project Space (footnoteproject.org)
543 Union Street, #1F, Gowanus, Brooklyn
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