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Best of 2014: Our Top 10 Brooklyn Art Shows

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.

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Painting as an Occult Practice: Philip Taaffe’s Recent Work

There is something subversive about Philip Taaffe’s interest in how information can be preserved and transferred from one medium to another. Since the early 1980s, when he first began gaining attention, he has mastered a wide range of processes — including collage, linocut, woodblock, rubber stamp, silkscreen, marbling and decalomania — to capture images, symbols and signs from various sources and convey them to paper and canvas. Although many discrete steps go into making one of his layered paintings, the collection, preservation and transmission of bits of information are central from start to finish. Through his imaginative repurposing of minor art forms — collage, printmaking, and marbling — Taaffe has dissolved the barriers separating artisanship from painting, effectively redefining the latter.

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Go with the Slow: Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors”

Behind a curtain in the darkened gallery space at Luhring Augustine nine screens, each equipped with its own speaker have been arranged into two somewhat discreet areas. Eight of the screens feature the image of a single musician — a guitarist, pianist, banjo player, cellist, and so forth — and one screen offers a view of the porch of a large house where other instrumentalists, singers and assorted folks have gathered. Ragnar Kjartansson’s video installation titled “The Visitors” documents in a single take the 64-minute-long performance of one song.

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Bushwick September Preview: Group Shows, Figurative Art, and Reinvigorated Programs

This September, every gallery in Bushwick is opening with some of the strongest shows the neighborhood has ever seen. Here, we outline the best shows to see (which, oddly enough, is almost all of them), and when and where to see them. Bushwick has certainly grown into its own as New York City’s youngest art district, and this powerhouse lineup of September openers proves it.