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.
Opening Thursday, June 22 at Asya Geisberg Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 11.
Ceramics occupy an interesting slot in the world of art. The medium is featured heavily in fine art, but is equally if not more present in the realm of practical objects like mugs, bowls, and other everyday things one might find in the home. Morph is a group show that seeks to exhibit the range of contemporary ceramics art that exists today, with 12 artists contributing a diverse body of work.
Much of these pieces are more offbeat than the perfection and conventionality expected from traditional works. They feature surprising shapes and textures, anthropomorphic creations, and even the odd hair or two. It’s a playful and fun show, with the works being described as “conceptual and visual pretzels.” Only, you probably shouldn’t try and eat them.
Coney Island Mermaids 1996-2017
Opening Friday, June 23 at Sunny’s Bar, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through July 22.
If you missed the Mermaid Parade this year (or just can’t get enough of it) and also happen to enjoy supporting classic neighborhood bars that have been around for 127 years, this is the event for you. On Friday, Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook will be unveiling an array of black-and-white film photographs by Luke Ratray that showcase the vibrant folk of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade over the past 20 years. The opening reception also includes live music, if you’re into that.
A statement on the show notes that these images don’t merely focus on the colorful costumes and characters the Parade draws. In the background, there are hints of the economic decline that has impacted Coney Island in recent years. The Mermaid Parade itself had to resort to crowdfunding this year to remain operational. Sunny’s, then, is a perfect place for this exhibition, as the beloved Red Hook bar has had financial troubles of their own lately and the community has similarly rallied behind them in efforts to save the place. Proceeds from purchases of Ratray’s photographs will go to the fund to save Sunny’s.
Opening Sunday, June 25 at Pierogi, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 12.
Sadly, this exhibition does not involve the East Village dive bar nor does it involve that wacky sandwich from KFC of the same name. And despite the gallery name, it does not take place inside of a huge Ukrainian dumpling. However, there will still be plenty of interesting stuff to see, as 15 different artists will be creating works that somehow involve objects that have a relationship to one another, whether that be harmonious or oppositional. That way, a gallery statement says, instead of a direct relationship between the piece of art and the viewer, there will be an added layer of the viewer observing the relationship present in the artwork.
The gallery notes that this theme is a reference to the advent of “fake news” and how there seems to be two realities existing at once, both believed to be true by different groups of people. Will you be able to observe the correct one?