The 2015 Armory Show delivers pretty much what you’d expect of the 2015 Armory Show: some quite good art, some pretty bad art, and a lot of completely harmless stuff in between.
Between the proliferation of galleries in Bushwick and, to a lesser extent, Greenpoint, the small cadre of Dumbo galleries sticking it out, longtime heavyweights including the Brooklyn Museum and BRIC mounting ambitious shows, and Creative Time parachuting Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx into the Domino Sugar Factory, it’s been an exceptionally strong year for art in Brooklyn.
Normally when art lovers want their fill of domesticity, they might head to somewhere like the Brooklyn Museum’s fourth floor, where the decorative arts galleries are filled with a series of dark but striking, low lit period rooms, and even two full-scale 18th-century Dutch farmhouses from Brooklyn. But contemporary art seems to be having something of a love affair with domesticity right now, too.
Last Friday’s celebration of Hyperallergic’s Third Anniversary far exceeded our expectations, and we were delighted that everyone joined us for the birthday of the World’s Greatest New York Art Blogazine. Over 400 people arrived over the course of the evening to raise bottles of beer, provided by Brooklyn Brewery, or Jell-o shots, provided by Pernod (thanks for donating those, guys!), making our unique House Party event a rousing success.
At 8 PM, things were maybe a little awkward at Brooklyn artist Andrew Ohanesian’s “House Party” installation at Pierogi’s The Boiler space on a heavily industrial street on the border of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. The beer was just beginning to flow and guests congregated in small groups, chatting about this or that fall opening, but the sparks weren’t really flying. By 10 that night, however, the scene had changed completely. Ohanesian’s perfect replica of a suburban home’s ground floor was getting completely destroyed.
“This is the biggest dumb idea I’ve ever had,” Andrew Ohanesian told me late one night over Budweisers at Pierogi gallery’s massive auxiliary space, The Boiler Room, in North Williamsburg. “There’s nothing I hate more than a good idea.” Ohanesian often selects “really stupid” ideas for his art that are, in reality, incredibly complex and expensive to realize. For his two-month-long solo engagement with Pierogi opening this Friday, he has made his most outlandish project to date.
Never have I been so happy to see a portrait of Betty White. After three trains and two shuttles, and a few failed attempts to get a taxi, I was finally in Bushwick for the 2011 Open Studios.
Perhaps going directly from the Armory to Scope was a mistake. At a significantly smaller scale, lower budgets, and complete with an indoor smoking room and a cash bar manned by none other than Bushwick artisanal pizza powerhouse Roberta’s, Scope Art Fair New York was very much like a Bushwick opening after a day at MoMA. The editorial lens of the significantly more exclusive (and expensive) art fairs do, in fact, produce better art viewing experiences.
Earlier this month, I sent out a call for comments on #Rank, a project created by artists William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton, who were the masterminds behind #Class (Winkleman Gallery, February 2010).
The following are the responses we received from across the country and around the world. Some are by event participants, while others from observers (both in Miami and remotely). They represent various perspectives on#Rank (with minimal editing and in no particular order).
Also, tonight there is a post-Miami #Rank discussion (6-9pm) at Winkleman Gallery for those who would like to continue the discussion.
This indie fair of seven galleries with solid programs — and some art stars among them — have created a wonderful little side fair that has a well-organized area for video works (which is both inviting and well spaced), a space for the #Rank event (which we’ve mentioned before), rooms for work by various artists to talk to one another (some better than others), but most importantly an attempt to collide gallery stables to see what they could come up with together (most notably on one wall covered salon style with pieces from the whole constellation of “Seven” artists).
Did all the artists fit perfectly together? No, but this is an art fair and not a curated exhibition. It was good to see some galleries try something that felt interesting and less commercial than the run-of-the-mill art fairs.
There’s no excuse not to come out to New York’s greatest up-and-coming arts neighborhood this weekend. Not only is our own #TheSocialGraph show opening this Friday night (6-9p) at Outpost, but emerging gallery Famous Accountants will be hosting a solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Andrew Ohanesian as well.
This two-for-one deal, plus upcoming events at the Outpost space and Beta Space’s Sunday art extravaganza are an all-encompassing opportunity to catch up on the contemporary art world you’ve been reading about. Continue on below for a comprehensive schedule that will guide you through the best weekend in Bushwick arts’ recent history, from Friday night through Monday morning.