Meryl Meisler, the New York-based photographer known for her images of the city in the ’70s and ’80s, will show previously unseen photos of the Lower East Side during those years in an upcoming exhibition. Opening May 3 at The Storefront Project, “LES YES!” focuses on the rich cultural history of the neighborhood and takes an unflinching look at the daily lives of the working-class people and immigrants who lived there.
Opening Wednesday, March 28 at Elizabeth Houston Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 5.
Though digital photography (whether on fancy DSLRs or iPhones with portrait mode) is inarguably king today, there are still people out there shooting film. Though not quite a relic yet, the chemical-laden process of developing and printing your own film in a darkroom is something many people may not understand or even be aware of. One of the key components of doing this is laying the soon-to-be photograph in a tray filled with developer chemicals, which steadily brings the photo to life. Artist John Cyr, a photographer and printer himself, has latched onto the developer tray as an integral object to the working photographer. His images, portraying developer trays that belonged to notable and unknown photographers alike, cast these practical objects in a light usually reserved for more “important”-seeming items. Their unique textures, stains, colors, and designs documented for posterity illuminate film development as a historically-significant art practice in itself. Keep Reading »
Home Away From Home
Opening Wednesday, March 14 at Aperture Gallery, 7pm to 8:30 pm. On view through May 10.
For some people, home is the place they have lived for their entire lives. But for immigrants, it’s not always so clear-cut. Photographer Taysir Batniji is originally from Gaza, in Palestine, but he is also French and splits his time between the two places. Members of his family, on the other hand, have ended up in America, in places like California and Florida. Batniji paid these people a series of visits, photographing and interviewing them about their sense of home and experience living in America. His new solo exhibition at Aperture Gallery combines these new images with archival material, such as old photographs and sketches of their family home made from memory, creating a portrait of generational memory and history contrasted with current lives. Keep Reading »
Opening Tuesday, February 13 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm.
Everyone’s favorite Navy Yard industrial icebox turned gallery is at it once again with a new exhibition by artistic duo Chiaozza. While their show’s name, Chiaozza Chapel, may sound like an old piece of ornate architecture you’d learn about in art history class, their work is certainly very modern. However, it’s still an actual chapel, at least in the formal sense of the word. The duo has transformed a small 6’x7’ section of the space into a colorful, geometrical space for contemplation and gathering. If you’re old-school, think of the structure within as a kind of modernized, minimalist stained glass. Personally, I think it kind of looks like a nice, stylish condo for birds. Keep Reading »
This Is My Home (Too)
Opening Monday, October 9 at Casa Mezcal, 7 pm to 11 pm. $10 suggested donation. On view through October 28.
Today, according to my iCal, is Columbus Day. But for years upon years, many have called into question how much a man who accidentally found some land and was unrelentingly cruel to its Indigenous inhabitants deserves an entire day named after him. This is why many cities, including Austin, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles, have elected to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.
Analog v. Digital
Opening Wednesday, August 16 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 26.
Nowadays, it’s common to hear that film photography is dead and that anyone can be a photographer who has enough money to get the iPhone with that fancy Portrait Mode built-in. Nothing like automated depth of field to convey the illusion of skill and craft! However, this group show at Foley Gallery seeks to uplift both analog and digital forms of photographic art.
The gallery defines “analog” as “the photographer using light sensitive paper or film in the process” and “digital” as “using hardware requiring a digital component (point and shoot, cell phone or dSLR cameras) regardless of how it was printed.” Fifty artists in total, approximately 25 in each category, will demonstrate the wide range of photography that’s still out there. It’s one of the rare times that focusing on the merits of “both sides” isn’t a totally useless thing to do.
Center for Book Arts Summer Exhibitions
Opening Wednesday, July 12 at Center for Book Arts, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 23.
This Wednesday, The Center for Book Arts will unveil their two summer exhibitions, titled “Protest ≠ Profest: Global Burdens” and “Animation + Printing.” Though the institutions focuses on books (obviously), the exhibitions themselves span a variety of disciplines. “Protest ≠ Profest” is their annual Artist Members Exhibition, with the timely concept of showing work dealing with activism and “current societal concerns.” In order to narrow down the type of theme that could easily fill multiple rooms worth of art (and to keep with the book focus), works on display will either be artist’s books or works relating to the book arts.
“Animation + Printing” is predominantly a short film showcase, but all films have been created using techniques typically applied to the creation of books, such as etching, moveable type, and silkscreen. A whopping 50-ish artists will be partaking, and the exhibition theme invites a cross-discipline experience for many, as several printmakers will be attempting animation and vice versa. Keep Reading »
Just Under 100
Opening Thursday, June 22 at International Print Center, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 16.
This show marks the 56th edition of the International Print Center’s New Prints Program, the result of an open call for fine art prints created in the last 12 months. Curator Katherine Bradford has selected 98 of them from artists all over the world, and they will all be on view in the self-proclaimed “small” gallery space of the IPC on West 26th Street.
While there isn’t necessarily a unifying theme for all the prints, several seem to have a political bent. On the gallery’s website, I observed at least one pussy hat reference and one print involving a woman in an American flag hijab and ripped jeans skateboarding on top of the head of a man with very orange skin. Which isn’t surprising, as nowadays it almost seems like more effort to avoid referencing the current political climate than not. Keep Reading »
A Structure For Hope And Survival
Opening Tuesday, June 6 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through June 30.
Artist Huy Bui has a penchant for constructing environments, and his latest creation to be brought to life at Navy Yard-adjacent art space Cooler Gallery is timely in its name: A Structure For Hope and Survival. Deemed a “framework of organizing artifacts, objects, art, tools, books, games, supplies, seeds, plants and provisions,” this “modular ecological unit” serves as a structure and container for anything you might need, from plants and seating areas to how-to books and emergency snacks. An artist statement indicates that a manual is in the works for anyone who might want to build one themselves. The opening reception on Tuesday will begin with a panel discussion entitled “Art and Architecture in the Anthropocene” with Bui, fellow artists, and people who have worked on projects like Playlab and the Lowline.
Subtext II: Meditations
Opening Wednesday, May 17 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 25.
I would remark on the humor inherent in exhibiting artist Wyatt Gallery’s name, who is indeed showing artwork in a gallery, but it seems he’s already got that covered. As soon as you visit his website, the very large and very green phrase “a person, not a place” is followed, literally, by a trademark symbol. So, guys… he gets it.
For this show, Gallery is displaying a series of works using foundational material quite truly ripped off of the city streets, in that they are portions of the endlessly-stacked-and-glued mountains that are NYC street advertising and flyering. He transformed these found object compilations into “UV cured photographic plates,” making them even more abstract in the process. Interestingly, Gallery sees these dirty, aged poster creations as relevant to his practice of mindfulness and meditation. So next time you’re saddled with a 20-minute train wait, maybe you should try deep breathing while staring at the many advertisements on the walls. Perhaps inner peace will crawl out from in between the pages.
Cube, meet spikes.
The Alamo returned in November and now another piece of monumental art is being installed outside of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. The sculpture, a nine-foot-by-nine-foot cube with spikes mounted on top, is by John Hejduk, an artist, architect and former Dean Emeritus of Cooper Union.