Drop into the Andrew Edlin Gallery this summer and you might think you’ve come to the wrong place: in lieu of the Chelsea gallery’s reception desk there’s a messy tiki bar that will come alive this Thursday, and then again July 24.
The bar is part of a two-part exhibition curated by Sam Gordon. Up front is Gone Fishin’, a Jimmy Buffett-inspired pop-up of Lower East Side bar Cafe Dancer, where you can sip a tequila sunrise and watch an hour-long documentary, Contemporary Dancing.
Cafe Dancer is no stranger to art. Jessie Gold and Elizabeth Hart, veterans of the city’s dance and music scenes, opened the slender, semi-subterranean bar and restaurant on Orchard Street in November of 2012, and collaborated with Gordon on a dance program for the 2013 Nada Art Fair. Since then, Dancer has become the type of place where singer-violinist Mark Golamco might perform against the backdrop of a Naomi Fisher mural while artists and gallery types snack on hummus and quaff red wine.
For their part of the Edlin show, Gold and Hart imagined a “best party you just missed” vibe, complete with what Gold described as a “collection of empty drinks, the Eagles record skipping, someone’s bikini top strung over the bar stool, spilled drinks, laser effects and a blown out flip-flop.”
The show continues through a small hallway, modeled after Dancer’s own slim space and featuring the work of Fisher and other artists associated with the bar (Gordon describes them as “an interconnected group of peers and friends with relationships going back years, some over a decade”).
In the second room, Gordon has organized Purple States, an exhibition that matches 25 art-world “insiders” with 25 outsider artists. Pairings like Lonnie Holley & Lizzi Bougatsos and Katherine Bernhardt/Youssef Jdia & The Magic Flying Carpets are all hung salon-style on the walls. The show mirrors the larger insider/outsider mix of gallery and bar, which, says Gordon, “raises the questions as to who the insiders and outsiders may be and the many different relationships to the larger art world.”
To visit the gallery when the bar is in action, stop by on July 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a night of poetry readings, video projection and music co-presented by BOMB magazine and the NADA. A night of screenings and performances will follow on July 24.
Andrew Edlin Gallery, 134 Tenth Ave., Chelsea; exhibits run through Aug. 27.