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Women Getting Lit, Plexiglas Playgrounds, and More Art

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Female Behavior
Opening Tuesday January 10 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through January 31. 

Firstly, let’s discuss this gallery’s name. Sure, it sounds sort of pompous, in a cooler-than-you kind of way, and maybe that’s what they think of themselves. But the origin of this gallery is actually, well, cool. It exists within a “repurposed industrial icebox” in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, so it really is a cooler gallery. Plus, it seeks to display work that involves elements of manufacturing, so it’s aware of its roots. But enough about the gallery, let’s get to the show: artist Kate Hush makes massive sculptures of neon light, and what she is particularly trying to capture in her solo show, Female Behavior, are women and their so-called “wicked ways.” She writes of light being produced when bonds are broken, such as the cutting of a diamond, so she has crafted female silhouettes to portray those who are seen as cruel and conniving simply for being “sharp” or for cutting ties with a man who will then call her crazy. May women burn bright and powerful as much as they can, especially now.

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Art that is ‘Vapid and Screaming,’ Philosophical Collage, a Solo Show Duo, and More

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

Vapid & Screaming
Opening Monday January 2, 6 pm to 9 pm at 208 Bowery. On view through January 4.

Nowadays, gallery space in Manhattan is pricey, yet art is still being created left and right. For those still clinging on to the last kernel of hope that there is hope for the island, well, there might be something there. At least, for pop-up shows.

Take 208 Bowery–a former restaurant supply shop-turned-pop-up hub which recently featured a Drake-themed event, among other art shows and will now be the site of Vapid and Screaming, a pop-up show of work by “emerging fag, femme, and queer artists.”

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A Bed-Stuy Biennial, Nina Simone Self-Defense, and Other Art Events This Week

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy / Crown Heights
Opening Wednesday, November 9 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 15. 

BRIC’s largest exhibition to date is centered at Downtown Brooklyn’s BRIC House but also taking place in portions of Crown Heights’s FiveMyles, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. The show’s sprawling spread reflects the artists represented in the show, as all 40 are local to Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. The theme for the exhibit is “Affective Bodies,” placing a focus on “bodily experience rather than on learned knowledge,” a somewhat subversive move in the world of art exhibits, as so many are grounded in theory, explained using highly academic terms, and/or featuring high-class educated folks. Each non-BRIC venue will showcase a different sort of work: Weeksville Heritage artists are focused on the “emotional resonance” people give urban spaces, the Brooklyn Public Library artists use preexisting documents as their source material to create new works, and FiveMyles will focus on performance art. Keep Reading »

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This Week’s Art: A Fish Market Repurposed and Many Types of ‘Graphic Art’

Mike Taylor (image via Idio Gallery)

Mike Taylor (image via Idio Gallery)

Mike Taylor: Condensed Flesh
Opening Thursday October 13 at Idio Gallery, 6 pm to 11 pm. On view through October 30.

East Williamsburg space Idio Gallery put out a call for crowdsourced financial support several months ago, which very well could have signaled that it was beginning to scale down. However, with a show at Bushwick Open Studios and another show opening shortly after, they don’t appear to be going anywhere. This one is a solo show, presenting works on paper and paintings by renowned graphic artist Mike Taylor, created between 2012 and now. Finished works won’t be the only thing on display in this show, as Idio’s downstairs basement space will be transformed into a showcase of the artist in-process, with drawings not yet done, prints, and “printmaking debris” on view as well. Taylor’s work is bold and bright, often utilizing neon colors and mixing abstract patterns with notes of realism and the human form filtered through the style of the illustrator and comic artist.

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Artist Lorna Simpson Brings Her Arresting Collages to the Bowery

'Soundlessness,' 2016 (Courtesy of Lorna Simpson and Salon 94

‘Soundlessness,’ 2016 (Courtesy of Lorna Simpson and Salon 94

Lorna Simpson is returning to Salon 94 for her third exhibition at the Bowery gallery. The Brooklyn-born artist became well-known in the mid-’80s for her large-scale works combining photography and textual elements with watercolor, ink, or acrylic paint, and creating nuanced statements on contemporary society’s perception of race, gender, and identity. Her show at Salon 94, opening September 8, will feature a number of paintings that premiered in the 55th Venice Biennale.

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Artist Blowin’ Up IUDs with a Show About ‘Sacrificing’ Body and Mind for Baby

Closeup of "Baby Mobile," 2016, wire hangers, fishing line, copper, 3d-printed plastic. (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Closeup of “Baby Mobile,” 2016, wire hangers, fishing line, copper, 3d-printed plastic. (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

You’ve heard the saying: “Don’t let people walk all over you.” If you’re a woman, this has probably been said to you especially often. But how often is it meant literally? At Kristin Smallwood’s debut solo exhibition IUD, now on view at American Medium in Bed-Stuy, the only way to access the art is by walking over scores of women (including photos of the artist herself), adhered endlessly and stickily to the gallery floor. The female figures are grinning lipstick-painted grins while your boot presses into their torso and your sweat drips onto their breasts.

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Art Hearts: Daughters of Mercury + Pieces of Women + Liar, Liar Art’s on Fire

(Image via Sharon Spell)

(Image via Sharon Spell)

Close Hamm
Opening Monday August 15,  7 pm to 9 pm at ROOQ Fine Arts and Framing. On view through January 17.

Artist Sharon Spell seems to have each one of her hands equally in art and comedy: she’s worked with UCB since 2007, performs at The Moth, and has illustrated comic strips for the freaky people at The Onion, just to name a few bits from her resume. These two worlds unite in her “Close Hamm” diptychs– paintings depicting two distinct people joined together to create one image, much like the fine art of balance an improv-comedy duo’s always aiming for.

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Get Consumed By A Death Womb at This Bushwick Art Show

(image courtesy of Club 157)

(image courtesy of Club 157)

Tonight, loft apartment turned art gallery Club 157 will be transformed into a tribute to the life of Mary of Cain.

Who’s that lady?, you ask.

Well, she’s the creation of multidisciplinary artist and model Jane Cogger, who birthed the character four years ago when she wanted to write more from a place of fiction, rather than autobiography.

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Powrplnt Grows Its ‘Outsider’ Space for Contemporary Art

Raul De Nieves "Fat Man" 2010 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Raul De Nieves “Fat Man” 2010 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Over the weekend fancy people in an “acquisitive mood” milled around Frieze Art Fair, discreetly making it rain while rubbing shoulders with art dealers, the dapperly dressed, and a donkey named Sir Gabriel– an animal brought there by an artist who  recently broke a personal record when his statue of Hitler sold for $17.2 million at auction.

Back in Bushwick, however, less absurd things were going down at a very different kind of art happening. As far as we can tell, there wasn’t a VIP section at the opening night of Body Language, the second art show to happen at Angelina Dreem’s art and technology educational hub, Powrplnt, and the first one dedicated to paintings and other 2D works by emerging and established artists.

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Many Nudes, None By Dudes, at This Art Show Dedicated to the Female Gaze

Amanda Charchian "Ana in Costa Rica," 2012 at "In The Raw: The Female Gaze on The Nude" Exhibit, (Courtesy of Untitled Space Gallery, New York)

Amanda Charchian
“Ana in Costa Rica,” 2012 at “In The Raw: The Female Gaze on The Nude” Exhibit, (Courtesy of Untitled Space Gallery, New York)

Opening night for In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude (on view now through May 21 at The Untitled Space) was predictably packed, and not just because it’s Frieze week and the gallery was giving out free booze. I’d like to think that people were there for the actual art exhibition, which was billed as an all-female, all-nude art show where 20 women artists, aged 21 to 60-something, from Russia, Chile, and beyond, “explore a perspective less chartered, that of a woman’s eye on another,” and in the process “challenge the status quo with a liberating and authentic beauty.” Or maybe they were there because Victoria de Lesseps (daughter of Real Housewives “star” Countess LuAnn de Lesseps) is also on the roster of participating artists. Who could tell?

Indira Cesarine, who curated the multimedia art show along with Coco Dolle of Milk and Night, told me that she felt the exhibition was a “timely” one. Dolle told Whitehot magazine that the work is “saleable.” They’re in no way wrong.

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Seven Badass Things Said By ‘Fuck Paintings’ Artist Betty Tompkins

"Word Paintings" by Betty Tompkins, on view at FLAG (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Word Paintings” by Betty Tompkins, on view at FLAG (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Since we last caught up with Betty Tompkins– the downtown artist best known for her “Fuck Paintings,” she’s been doing what an established artist should be doing, showing her work at art shows and galleries galore. But for most of her career, as we learned, Tompkins was subject to censorship, sexism, and flat-out rejection not just from gallerists and the art world, but from first- and second-wave feminists too. Nevertheless, Tompkins kept painting nether regions and money shots, all of it sourced from porn. “The problem is, I’m a slut for painting,” she said.

We heard all this and more at “A Woman’s Greatest Weapon is Her Tongue,” a Q&A held in conjunction with Tompkins’s new solo exhibition of “Word Paintings,” which depict some of the “awfully familiar” words used to describe women. (“WOMEN Words Phrases Stories” is on view at the FLAG Art Foundation through May 14).

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Blurry Backpage Girls and Liquor Bottle Swirls: Paintings for Bukowski

"Bather" (2014) by Walter Robinson (Image courtesy of Owen James Gallery)

“Bather” (2014) by Walter Robinson (Image courtesy of Owen James Gallery)

We’ve all seen the “massage girl” advertisements lurking at the back of alternative weeklies and the grainier budget versions of escort ads spamming the nether regions of the internet– signs that a legitimate underworld of body-business is still solidly stuck to the underside of the white market. It’s ever-present, and in some ways unchanging. These familiar “backpage ads” are the source images for art-critic-turned-artist Walter Robinson‘s blurry acrylic renderings on view at There’s a Bluebird in My Heart, a new show opening Friday, April 8 at Owen James Gallery in Greenpoint.

The paintings depicting doe-eyed girls wearing slinky loungewear, long tresses, and pouty demeanors, account for about half the show, while the rest consists of still-lifes of liquor bottles, cigarettes, and pill bottles. “It’s basically a two-artist show,” explained Owen Houhoulis, owner of Owen James. “One is a longtime New York artist and the other is the well-known poet Charles Bukowski.” Really, though, the show is a three-way effort between curator, painter, and the late, great drunken poet, as well as a way for Houhoulis to realize a longtime dream of putting together a curatorial homage to Bukowski.

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