The lobby gallery at the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed midtown office tower at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, with its partitioned walls flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows on the north and south sides of the building, is unusually well-suited for both casual and concentrated encounters with art.
Wandering the halls of two buildings on Troutman Street on Saturday during Bushwick Open Studios, I was struck by the large number of artists making outstanding sculptures in a broad range of styles and media.
On Saturday evening about 300 people descended on the tiny People’s Garden under the elevated J and Z tracks in Bushwick for the opening of Paintings in Trees, a group show of paintings, drawings, and sculptures installed in every available space in the park, including the trees.
I approached the massive GO Brooklyn open studios event, which was organized by the Brooklyn Museum, with some hesitation. I was unsure about the sinking feeling I had that the Brooklyn Museum may be trying to co-opt the borough’s massive visual arts scene in order to give it a much needed PR boost. Why did Brooklyn’s premiere fine arts museum need to consolidate this DIY tradition into open studio sprawl? Adding to my trepidation was the notion of checking-in and voting that made the whole affair seem more competitive and trendy.
I admit it, sometimes I’m slow to post something. Case in point, my article on the 2011 Bushwick Open Studios was published in the summer edition of the Brooklyn Rail but I never got around the publishing in here. So, here I go. Posting this piece I wrote before summer started right before the season ends. I’ve also uploaded a whole bunch of photos from my tour of the neighborhood.
Yesterday, I convinced curators Ali Ha and Jason Andrew to give me a peak at the Surrealism show that opens tonight at Factory Fresh as part of the 2011 Bushwick Open Studios.
Artist Julie Torres hosted two months of collaborative drawing nights at Hyperallergic HQ in February and March of this year. The project generated 100 drawings that are currently on display at Norte Maar in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The resulting show, titled So Happy Together: Forty-five Artists and Their One Hundred Collaborative Drawings, opened last night during the first night of the 2011 Bushwick Open Studios.
Entirely new work was made for New Monuments. “Artists were selected for the show, not specific works,” says show-organizer and participating artist Ben Godward, who basically commissioned the other four participants. They all have deep ties to the Bushwick art scene, and are all transplants from the Midwest.
When the Verge art fair launched Verge Brooklyn, many Brooklyn galleries were peeved that the DUMBO-based event would take away from local galleries scenes. Why would they have to pay to be in an art fair in their own borough when Armory week was the only time they could get out of town collectors to their spaces? Even if the Verge Brooklyn fair began with a bumpy start it was able pull of something no one has tried before, an art fair in Brooklyn