Crossing Brooklyn, Without Leaving the Safe Parts

Let’s begin with the obvious: to attempt a comprehensive exhibition of contemporary art from across Brooklyn would be not only impossible but foolish, a kind of Tower of Babel of artistic practice. And so the Brooklyn Museum’s eagerly awaited Crossing Brooklyn is not a sweeping survey but a tight, thematic show, focused mostly on one specific type of art making manifest throughout the borough.

Past Actions, Past Gestures: Conflux 2012

Expectation and experience seldom end up at the same destination, especially when you walk down a subway platform and see a sign that reads “To Breuckelen” and realize — no, no, the MTA hasn’t sold the L line back to the Dutch to save money; rather, you are seeing a sign hung by artist Daniel Bejar (not that one) as part of his Get Lost! installation.

Bushwick Basel, a Very Small Art Fair

Despite Bushwick Basel’s tongue-in-cheek name, the title suits this new art fair, as it is an art fair, albeit a very, very small one. Bushwick Basel, which consisted this year of 11 local galleries, is the kind of fair you could imagine Nada or Pulse being like when they first began — a fair that features fresh work made by young artists, presented by small galleries in a somewhat casual fashion. Standing in Bushwick Basel, you can also imagine this fair growing exponentially, if it continues in subsequent years.

Risky Business

A liver shot in boxing is a short, quick body punch delivered to the liver with a left hook. The effect can be devastating. (Bernard Hopkins knocked out Oscar De La Hoya with such a shot.) Unfortunately, the tool is often overlooked in today’s prizefights, as boxers prefer headhunting with right-hand crosses aimed at the opponent’s chin. What does the liver shot have to do with Nuture Art’s new show, Systemic Risk? Not much. The exhibition, unlike the body punch, exists in the realm of ideas; it’s a cerebral affair.

More Art in Odd Places

My weekday exploration of Art in Odd Places had required a careful eye for small acts of ritual, the theme of the 2011 edition of the annual art event that takes place along 14th Street and in Union Square. Two Saturdays ago the art was impossible to miss, even if it was still in unexpected places.

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