There are only a paltry handful of lesbian-specific spaces left in the city, but many initiatives exist to inform of the bars, venues, and collectives that make up lesbian and queer history in the city and beyond. The Lesbian Herstory Archives in collaboration with EFA will be presenting an archival exhibition that shines a light on the Salsa Soul Sisters, a collective of lesbian and bisexual Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian-American women founded in NYC in 1976. If you can’t make the opening reception on Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion and open mic on June 1 and a closing reception on June 29.More →
“Summer Sisters” 2018 by Rebecca Leveille (image via The Untitled Space)
The End of Love Opening Tuesday, May 1 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 13.
For an exhibition sporting as foreboding a title as The End of Love, Rebecca Leveille’s paintings are so entrancing as to inspire a sort of optimism in the viewer. In addition to being strikingly beautiful, her paintings portray feminine beauty, bliss, and sexuality in a way that’s playful and mixes elements of realism and mythology, allowing for a mental break from the seemingly constant barrage of nonsense coming from the world. Leveille is no stranger to the realm of the fantastical, as she has previously created illustrations for Magic: The Gathering under the name Rebecca Guay. Looking to how the artist herself has spoken of this show, the connection between the title and the content begins to feel more clear. “What comes after delusions of ‘love?,’” she writes. “Feminine power and sexuality find new ground, as does an urgency to assert the female gaze.”More →
Sometimes you want to go to a Chelsea gallery to silently stare at art alongside a bunch of people who probably have more money than you, and sometimes you want to stay in Bushwick and see some art while a local trans punk band plays. You can do the latter on Thursday at The Living Gallery (which just celebrated its sixth anniversary) at Neu Show, a showcase of nine local underground photographers, painters, experimental mixed-media artists, graphic artists, and more, with live tunes from local punk outfit Library and tracks from DJ Drew Redmond to keep the mood nice and energized. There is a $5 cover at the door, but the show is a mere one night only, and these artists need to be supported somehow.More →
“Ring Toss at The Lower East Side Street Festival, NY, NY June 1978” (Photo Meryl Meisler / Courtesy of The Storefront Project & Stephen Kasher Gallery
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.
Some photography is staged, utilizing the lens to create a fantastical scene that would very likely never be encountered in a candid sense. Rather than doing that, Mexico City-born photographer Amanda Gutiérrez seeks to document her surroundings as she ventures through Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, focusing both on her “subjective experience as a Mexican woman living and working in New York” and painting a photographic portrait of the neighborhood’s Mexican immigrant community. In addition to photography (shot with a 35mm disposable camera), Gutiérrez’s solo show will also feature videos of her working in the darkroom, animations created from her own prints, and binaural audio tracks of her walking through various environments, welcoming you in on multiple sensory levels. More →
Beryl Korot, Babel 2 (detail), 1980, Pigment on linen woven by the artist, 72 x 38.75 in (image via bitforms gallery nyc / Facebook)
A Coded Language Opening Thursday, April 12 at bitforms gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 20.
As a child, perhaps you tried to invent a new language with your friends, or merely came up with a new phrase so that parents or teachers or what have you didn’t get to know the kind of stuff you were actually getting up to. Codenames and made-up, just-for-you languages have made an appearance in nearly everyone’s lives, even if yours just consists of you doing a gibberish vocal warmup in an acting class once or something. Technologically-inclined artist Beryl Korot has also created her own language, but it’s inspired by something a little more mathematical: the grid pattern formed from woven cloth. Her solo exhibition A Coded Language will showcase work made between 1980 and 2017, many of which utilize this language of the grid, initially created in 1980. In addition to this language’s presence, she also pays tribute to others who have forged their own way of communicating, such as Dutch Jewish writer Etty Hillesum, who wrote to her friends in code during the Nazi invasion in Holland. More →
Origins Opening Tuesday, April 3 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 19.
What is a Fuzzy Dude? I have some theories, but so does artist and director John McLaughlin, whose solo show Origins will give you a thorough introduction to these wacky creatures that have sprung from his brain. Appropriately, Fuzzy Dudes are beings covered in a stringy, colorful fur that recalls silly string, shaggy dogs, household mops, or something else entirely. They come from a “space-like” dystopian world, or so I’m told, but you can see them come to life on Earth by way of sculpture, video, and more. Watching these curious creatures feels almost like a psychedelic experience, as their multicolored, textured bodies run, jump, and sway. Their actions are humanlike, but their appearance is a lot more interesting. Why not take a break from the dreaded news cycle for an evening and go meet some otherworldly beings?More →
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.More →
Image: Jenna Westra, Mariana Sits on “The Complete Photographer, An Encyclopedia of Photography” (1949), Volume 6, Pages 2178-79, ‘Best Fashion Study and Best Action Production Still Taken in a Studio’, 2018. Archival pigment print, 26 x 21.75 inches (image courtesy of Lubov)
Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits Opening Saturday, March 24 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 6.
The Tribeca gallery Lubov is small, tucked away on the second floor of an office building, but within it you’ll find none of the monotony typically associated with such work. Instead, you’ll be greeted with contemporary art of all sorts, including their newest exhibition Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits. In addition to being a very good exhibition name in my opinion, it’s also an assortment of analog photography by Jenna Westra that focuses on what happens when you don’t shy away from the act of purposefully trying to create an engaging scene ripe for the snapping. The scenarios recall a kind of captured choreography, such as an amateur model (or maybe a dancer?) kneeling with their dirt-dusted feet squarely sitting on (what else?) a book of photography, simultaneously desecrating and establishing its position as subject.More →
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.More →