1107 Manhattan Avenue is the current exhibition at the Spencer Brownstone Gallery. The show, which opened last Friday, is a geographical/historical survey of work produced in an artistically rich studio building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn from which the show takes its name.
It’s difficult not to compare the Bushwick Open Studios (BOS) of two weeks ago and Northside Open Studios (NOS) this past weekend. Where BOS felt like a small, tightly knit group of art world wanderers, NOS was more dispersed; more approachable, yet also more isolated. Still, there were some great shows to see and studio buildings to check out. Here are my impressions through a photo essay and commentary.
This Friday kicks off a pretty epic weekend in Williamsburg. Along with the Northside Festival, Northside Open Studios will showcase our neighborhood’s art community, from artist’s studios to gallery shows and guerrilla events. Here are our picks for what not to miss.
I never would have imagined stuffy mathematics and playful chance could blend in peaceful harmony, let alone lead to the series of subdued yet provocative drawings on display in James Bills’ current exhibition Golden Parachutes and Tin Handcuffs at Yes Gallery in Greenpoint. Only an artist adept in the language of architectural drafting could manage to successfully transform boring data charts into appealing visualizations of randomly generated numbers produced by the throw of a pair of polyhedral dice.
Walking past Open Space Gallery’s temporary space on Franklin Street I saw several anthropomorphic boxes lined against the walls, their hyper-simplicity too charming to dismiss. I walked inside where, as fortune would have it, artist Raphaela Riepl was manning the show, titled Adorable Steamed Sea Urchin. We spent some time discussing her work and creative process, and then I explored the exhibition’s crew of energetic sculptures. These coy creatures are the results of spontaneous outbursts of creative energy, a haphazard layering of whatever materials are available, laying strewn about her studio.
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.
In organizing Greenpoint Open Studios, I was introduced to some 160 amazing artists producing a variety of works in their studios. Painters, photographers, sculptors, video artists and performers are all sprinkled around the neighborhood, but one collective whose studios I was most charmed by is Fowler Arts Collective. The 20-artist collective is housed inside the infamous Greenpoint Terminal House, once the largest rope mill in the world, a recent victim to a suspicious raging fire, and now host to film shoots, a wooden furniture shop and of course, artist and studio space not unlike that found at art school.
This past weekend may have artistically been notable for having three different open studio events in Brooklyn — Greenpoint, Gowanus, and Crown Heights — but it was also pretty significant because the first-ever Nuit Blanche event in New York, titled Bring to Light, took place in Greenpoint … sorry Gowanus and Crown Heights, you’ll have to wait for yours.