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Journey Through the Blizzard to See This Expedition Exhibition

(photo courtesy of apexart-nyc)

(photo courtesy of apexart-nyc)

What exactly is an expedition, who goes on them, and why? That’s what curators Shona Kitchen, Aly Ogasian, and Jennifer Dalton Vincent set out to explore in Setting Out, their exhibition of expeditions (say that five times fast) large and small, real and imagined.

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Alt Space is Moving to Bushwick, Rolling in an Ambitious New Project

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The past half-year has been a busy one at Alt Space, the gallery/boutique presence of Alt Citizenthe online/print culture mag devoted especially to music. They’ve hosted all kind of exhibitions, from sassy net-art shows to pop-up shops featuring their own lineup of hip, small-run clothing and goods curated specially by artists like photographer Anna Bloda (whose work is starting to look like it was shot by a Millennial Richard Kern). From this angle, Alt Space always looked packed with fresh, accessible art and covetable wares (they even went live with the stuff), but turns out their current space at 41 Montrose Avenue is no longer ideal.

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A Little Bird Told Me: Aleister Crowley and Genesis P-Orridge in Occult Art Show

Carol Bove "Legal Status of the Moon," 2015  (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Carol Bove “Legal Status of the Moon,” 2015 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people,” Aleister Crowley once said. That maxim echoes inside the walls of a new exhibit at 80WSE, Language of the Birds: Occult and Art. Even now, when dabbling in the occult has become morally ambiguous rather than universally derided, the work shown at NYU Steinhardt’s gallery is far from ordinary. Spanning the beginning of the last century to the present day, its authors range from avant-garde filmmakers (Kenneth Anger), to spiritual philosophers (Aleister Crowley), to industrial music makers (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), and “just” plain artists (Kiki Smith). Somehow these varied participants share a similar worldview, which they’ve communicated (at various points in time) through symbols and talismans that have remained fairly static throughout.

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Photographer Catherine Opie Has a Pair of New Exhibitions That “Humanize Celebrity”

Catherine Opie's "The Quest for Japanese Beef," 2010-2011.  (Photo: Gillie Collins)

Catherine Opie’s “The Quest for Japanese Beef,” 2010-2011. (Photo: Gillie Collins)

In the late 1990s, Catherine Opie drove across the country, taking photos of lesbian families in and around their homes. The resulting series, Domestic, (which Opie, who herself is gay, said was an attempt to document “the lesbian dream’’) contains a still life of a washer and dryer, which the photographer joked was “a lesbian washer and dryer.” Because, as she put it, “it’s the same thing.” An ongoing pair of solo exhibitions, Portraits and Landscapes and 700 Nimes Road, at the Lehmann Maupin gallery locations in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side, respectively, also readjust our expectations about the artist and her long-held role as a “provocateur.”

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Artist Literally Paints it Black With Photo Series Black Face, on View at Odetta

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Eva Mueller’s photographs, part of “Heliotrope” (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

To title a piece ‘Black Face’ is going to raise some hairs on the backs of some peoples’ necks [who] find that that’s a derogatory phrase,” acknowledged Ellen Hackl Fagan. Her Bushwick-based gallery, Odetta, is opening the exhibition Heliotrope tonight, showcasing the work of four mid-career artists. German-born photographer Eva Mueller, a New York City-dweller since 1989, has contributed a series of portraits depicting different people coated in dark, midnight-black paint.

“What she’s really aiming for is to show the similarity among us all, if we are all the same color, and explore: What does that mean now?” Fagan explained.

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‘The Bushwick 200’ Is Dead – For Now

An image posted in response to the event. via becausecapitalism.org.

An image posted in response to the event. via becausecapitalism.org.

A Bushwick-based photographer, hoping to drum up some hype for the nabe with a list of 200 influencers… what could go wrong?

Earlier this week Rafael Fuchs, owner of an eponymous gallery in The BogArt, launched an event page announcing a party to begin his newest project, an effort to highlight “the 200 most influential people in 2016” in Bushwick.

But after a heated debate erupted on the page about art’s role in gentrification and who gets to define the community, Fuchs backtracked and canceled the event. Per the Facebook page:

For the sake of peace in the community, we are canceling the event. 
We Don’t wish to cause any trauma to anyone and any grief to the community, neither to create a platform that will ignite unnecessary violence.
We cannot tolerate any racial and hate notions and comments from anyone.
Fuchs projects is an art gallery, not a social organization, and we will continue our program, exhibiting innovative and challenging works in different media, especially photography.

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Hear it Straight From Thomas Roma, Photographer Behind In the Vale of Cashmere

Thomas Roma, the author of In the Vale of Cashmere, is featured in the first iteration of a new video series spotlighting photographers and their work produced by the Steven Kasher Gallery, where Roma’s accompanying exhibition runs through December 23. The photographer, a Brooklyn native and founder of Columbia University’s photography program, has spent the last few decades of his career documenting Brooklyn with an inexhaustible passion for the people who make the borough such a diverse and fascinating place.

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Member of Pussy Riot Returns to Her Roots in Recycling Religion

"Punk Prayer" at WhiteBox Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Punk Prayer” at WhiteBox  (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It was nothing short of surreal seeing Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot — blonde curls, deadpan blue eyes and all — milling about by the wine table at WhiteBox this past Sunday. Alyokhina was not the only artist participating. In fact, there was a large group of artists, a number of them also Russian, participating in the group show, Recycling Religion, at the Lower East Side non-profit gallery. But she was certainly the most eye-popping of the lot.

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This Design Collective’s Debut Show Aims to Be a ‘Reactivation of People’

obsessive poster

This Friday, among the plethora of white-gallery shows opening in Lower Manhattan, an old metal shop originally meant for rolling noodles will creak to life on Ludlow Street once more. Only this time, instead of noodles, there will be painstakingly crafted patterns, lines, vectors, and collages.

Yes, this odd little space will be the location for Obsessive Tendencies, a exhibition of new graphic design work by multidisciplinary designers Claudine Eriksson, Andrea Johansson, and Darcy Moore. The opening reception will also act as a launch event for the trio’s new collective, 3xStudio. It will be hosted by Solie, singer and curator of Den Entertainment, who is also assisting the collective in producing the show. True to the “3” in the collective’s name, they will be showing three works each.

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Meriem Bennani Surfs Through Morocco in Gradual Kingdom

"Gradual Kingdom" at Signal Gallery in Bushwick (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Gradual Kingdom” at Signal Gallery in Bushwick (Photo: Nicole Disser)

To get a feel for Meriem Bennani‘s work, it’s best to look up @meriembennani on Instagram. After scrolling through the photoshopped weirdness and absurd takes on everything from Drake videos to the avant-garde hijabs of Fardaous Funjab, you’ll find that Bennani is really good at the internet. So good, that the Times was moved to highlight her, qualifying her as a representative “Millennial Artist” fluent in the language of post-Internet. Millennial accusations aside, she’s one of those people who makes the internet weird/smart and not just weird/depressing. In other words, Bennani’s work actually deserves that happy-tears cat emoji.

Gradual Kingdom is the artist’s most significant solo-installation presence yet; now on view at Signal Gallery, it offers an opportunity for people to see Meriem Bennani, for once, in slow motion.

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