Art Hearts

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Art This Week: Cinema of Transgression and Outdoor Oddities

Image: Other Wise from “Mirror Mirror, Daylight Cinema” at The Old Shul for Social Sculpture, Tessa Hughes-Freeland.

Passed and Present
Opening Thursday, October 17 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 17.

One of the pioneers of the Cinema of Transgression—an New York-based underground movement active in the 80’s that focused on low-budget subversion—was Tessa Hughes-Freeland, an experimental filmmaker who utilized psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals in her work, as well as found footage. This exhibition at East Village space Howl Happening acts as a “cinematic survey” of her work, featuring sculptures, videos, and an “interactive kaleidoscope.” Beyond the opening reception, there will be several special events throughout the course of the show, including film screenings and filmmaking workshops led by Hughes-Freeland herself.

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Art This Week: Pastels, Flowers, and Queer Abstraction

(image via Equity Gallery / Facebook)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Opening Wednesday, October 9 at Equity Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.

There are plenty of exhibitions nowadays that spotlight creations by queer artists of present and past, but this show at Equity Gallery organized by critics and curators Christopher Stout and Eric Sutphin narrows its focus even more to zero in on what they call “queer abstraction.” Deeming the exhibition a “visual essay,” it (and the six artists participating) aims to explore how the subgenre has been showcased both locally and abroad, and the power (or lack thereof) of abstract art that doesn’t have an overt political statement to it.

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Ridgewood Open Studios, Satellite Fair, and More Art This Week

(image via Satellite Art Show / Facebook, pictured artwork by Julia Sinelnikova)

Satellite Art Fair
Opening Thursday, October 3 at 630 Flushing Avenue, 5 pm to midnight. On view through October 6. Tickets $10 for one day, $15 for the week.

Art fairs have a bit of a reputation. Namely, they’re associated with the types of people with enough money to buy expensive art (and who can take a break from their jobs to browse for it). The Satellite Art Fair strives to break from this model, offering an experience that’s less about the money and more about the artists, with a focus on the independent and experimental. Also, it’s in one of the most unique structures currently housing art: the Pfizer Building on Flushing Avenue, a huge mazelike place that used to be a pill factory and that currently also provides space for anything from food businesses to music studios. From Thursday to Sunday, it’ll be filled with art and performance from Satellite’s roster of 40+ creators from around the country.

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Art This Week: Questioning Borders and a Brazzers Collaboration

(image via The Lower Eastside Girls Club)

Love No Border: An Artist’s Call for Action
Opening Monday, September 23 at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 6 pm. On view through November 30.

It’s always been common for art to intersect with buzzy political topics, for better for for worse. Of course, not everyone is just trying to capitalize on the latest news item; some artists have more noble intentions. One show that fits more into this category is Love No Border, a group show at the Lower Eastside Girls Club featuring artists from New York, Guatemala, Mexico, and New Orleans who are “questioning the value of borders in 21st century society.” The show includes a wide variety of artistic disciplines—from a sculpture of stuffed toys referencing ICE to a contribution by performance art activist group Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir—and there will be events throughout the run of the show to raise funds for immigrant aid organizations. 

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Art This Week: Downtown Luminaries and Iridescent Sculpture

Martin Wong
TV Party, 1988 
Acrylic on canvas
34 x 47.5 in. (86.4 x 120.6 cm)
Private Collection
Courtesy of the Estate of Martin Wong and PPOW, New York

Glenn O’Brien: Center Stage
Opening Tuesday, September 17 at Off Paradise, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.

Off Paradise, a loft located on Soho’s Walker Street, is both a new and old space. As a gallery, it’s brand new, and the exhibition opening Tuesday it its first. As a more general space, it’s been around quite a while—the show’s curator, Natacha Polaert, has been there for the past ten years. Off Paradise’s gallery debut celebrates the life and legacy of Glenn O’Brien, a producer, writer, and creative director who worked with Andy Warhol at Interview magazine, among other projects. The show features work by Warhol, as well as contributions by luminaries like Eileen Myles, Rene Ricard, and Richard Prince.

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Art This Week: Black Portraits, Robotic Architecture, Neon Pleasure

Amy Sherald
Sometimes the king is a woman, 2019
Oil on canvas
137.2 x 109.2 x 6.4 cm / 54 x 43 x 2 1/2 inches
Photo: Timothy Doyon
© Amy Sherald (image via Hauser & Wirth)

The heart of the matter…
Opening Tuesday, September 10 at Hauser & Wirth, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 26.

As a painter, Amy Sherald focuses on portraiture that captures the human spirit, specifically the African-American spirit. She achieves this by taking inspiration from the classic American Realism style, popularized by the likes of George Bellows and Edward Hopper (both, unsurprisingly, white men), and imbues it with a distinctly contemporary energy and eye-catching pops of color. They’re tall, too, with a typical painting spanning over four feet tall and three feet wide. A collection of Sherald’s paintings will be on view at Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street gallery space, at an exhibit that takes its name from within the pages of a bell hooks book.

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Art This Week: Cuban Abstraction and Tender Collaboration

(image via Sean Kelly Gallery / Facebook)

Constructing Her Universe
Opening Thursday, September 5 at Sean Kelly, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 19.

Most of the exhibitions in New York’s galleries center living artists who are actively making work today, but not always. This week, Chelsea art space Sean Kelly will be presenting the first American retrospective of Loló Soldevilla, a Cuban artist who predominantly made work during the abstraction heyday of the 1950’s. Though Soldevilla has been at times overshadowed by more well-known (and male) artists, her contributions to art in Latin America and beyond were groundbreaking and noteworthy—in addition to her innovations in the field of geometric abstraction, she also curated shows, co-founded a gallery, and advocated against political corruption.

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Art This Week: Morph Suits and Sex Workers

(image via @the.olympia.project / Instagram)

Orchid.Summer
Opening Wednesday, August 21 at The Olympia Project, 6 pm. On view through September 12.

When you think of art having to do with particular colors and seasons, you might think of formal pieces of fine art depicting sunsets and foliage and other such subjects. Matthew Morrocco’s work, on view at The Olympia Project in Williamsburg, does in fact dabble in such imagery, but that’s not all. The star, appearing in front (and sometimes lurking in the background) of sun-dappled beaches and parks, is a person wearing a bright yellow morph suit (remember those?). Faceless and monochrome but more fun than creepy-looking, this figure injects a certain surreality to otherwise fairly standard photographic scenes. It makes one wonder how classic still lives and landscapes might look with this mustard-tinged individual added to the mix. More →

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Art This Week: Seinfeld Tributes and Scene Kids

James Gregory Atkinson, Hypersensitive (Blowing things out of proportion) II, 2017, Archival pigment print on dibond. 65 x 43 inches. (image via Lubov)

Rawr means I love you in dinosaur
Opening Thursday, August 15 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through September 22.

If the title of this exhibition at Lower East Side space Lubov brings back memories, particularly ones involving Myspace and Hot Topic and straightening your hair too much, it’s meant to. No matter if you look back on scene and emo subcultures with embarrassment, pride, or total confusion, artists Riley Hanson and James Gregory Atkinson want you to revisit these tender, oddly-fashioned times through art. Hanson has painted a series of portraits of scene kids from back in the day, while Atkinson has contributed an array of large-scale photos of eyes wearing novelty contact lenses while feeling all sorts of emotions.

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Gender Fluidity, Artistic Anger, and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Dacia Gallery / Facebook)

Non + Binary
Opening Thursday, August 8 at Dacia Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 10.

Gender fluidity seems to be trendier than ever lately, which of course means that big companies and brands are rushing to make money off of the latest marginalized identity seen as “cool.” However, these people, whether they be non binary or genderfluid or have another term that feels better to them, are actual people with hearts and minds who are more than just a buzzword. Photographer David Scoven’s latest solo show at Dacia Gallery seeks to showcase that, featuring portraits of four models who identify outside of the binary in some way. Through various outfits, poses, and expressions, they show that one person’s gender doesn’t have to always look like one thing.

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