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Islands of Art at Northside Open Studios

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.

Posted inArt

Back to the Future, the Williamsburg that Waz

After watching Bushwick’s visual arts scene grow and usurp the energy of Williamsburg’s two decades of dominance as the epicenter of the city’s artistic edge, curator Larry Walczak decided it was time to put together an exhibition that investigates the neighborhood’s recent art heritage. The show, Williamsburg2000, opened on March 12 and includes 68 artists. Taking place at the small artist-run indy space Art101 on Grand Street, the exhibition focuses mostly on Williamsburg’s “second wave” that began in 1998 and continued until 2002, coincidentally its the same time period that Walczak ran the Eyewash gallery space with the late Annie Herron.

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Sideshow Gallery’s Annual Art Yearbook Opens Tomorrow

In 1996, someone mentioned to Richard Timperio that he should mount a Christmas show at the Planet Thailand cafe on Bedford Avenue. While Timperio isn’t a big fan of Christmas shows, he gave it a try and organized the first in what has developed into an annual tradition of inclusive exhibitions that continue to grow. This year’s incarnation is titled It’s All Good (Apocalypse Now).

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Margrit Lewczuk’s Patterned Abstractions

I’m kicking myself for not getting to painter Margrit Lewczuk’s vibrant show in the heart of Williamsburg sooner. I stepped into the fantastic show on its second to last day. Located on a stretch of Metropolitan that is quickly being transformed by new developments, the show is in a low-rise warehouse fitted with fantastic skylights that, on the day I visited, bathes the gallery with an even light.

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Rawson Projects Takes Root on Bedford Avenue

On November 11, a small gallery opened its doors on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and caused a ripple of excitement in local art circles. Not only was this one of the first galleries to open on Bedford for ages but many people are taking it as hopeful sign that some energy was returning to a neighborhood that used to be a central part of New York’s art world dialogue.

Named Rawson Projects, the small gallery consists of Christopher Rawson, Julian Calero, and James Morrill. Their first exhibition, Fingers in the Sun, features the work of local painter Sam Martineau and it is a smart show filled with works that are nuanced and almost impossible to capture in photographs.

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Two Must-see Sculpture Shows in Williamsburg: Barsamian at Pierogi, Mendelson at Sideshow

I attribute it to serendipity that there are currently two fantastic sculpture shows in the Williamsburg galleries. One is by Greg Barsamian, who creates simple sculptural forms filled with Eadward Muybridge-like animations out of metal, and the other by the masterful Shari Mendelson, who always finds a way to transform banal plastic refuse into beautiful things.