In case you haven’t heard, Bushwick Open Studios, always a great big event, is very seriously, this year, gargantuan—a proper Nimrod to the hood’s resident Himrod.
As such, try though one might, it’s really impossible to narrow down recommendations for the weekend to anything along the lines of manageable, for recommenders and recommendees alike. Unless one limits oneself to one night, perhaps. And to more or less one of the festival’s various aspects.
So that’s what I figured I’d do by putting Friday alone in the spotlight, and by focusing on gallery openings and inaugurations and other launch-type things. That way, perhaps, if you make it to a bunch of these at the get-go, you can then spend the weekend milling around and about the hundreds of wide open artist studios.
Below are some spaces and shows and so forth. For at least relative navigational ease, I have split the list into a couple big groups according to the L stops implied by the broader area’s unofficial (and extremely, indeed gravely unpopular) moniker, Jekalb’s Morgue.
Near or around the Morgan L stop:
The forecast at the 56 Bogart building is nothing short of diluvial. Openings there include Text at Studio 10, a show of works by Justin Berry at Interstate Projects, an inaugural show at Robert Henry Contemporary Gallery, and a group video exhibit at NURTUREart. Dumitru Gorzo’s show, Reality’s Nostalgia, will be open at Slag Contemporary; works by Chris Moss and Scooter La Forge will still be on view at Theodore Art; and Agape and Momenta Art will have their doors open as well.
On the Grattan side of that building you won’t be able to miss Truck Yeah!, an ‘exhibit’ of sorts of mobile food vendors outside Pine Box Rock Shop. Eat, drink, move on. Right on up Grattan, really, up to Sharon Butler’s studio, where Austin Thomas has curated a group show of painters to commemorate the 5th birthday of Butler’s art blog, Two Coats of Paint.
Not too far off from there is Ingraham Street, where you’ll find people celebrating the grand opening of Ethan Pettit Contemporary Art on one block, while further on you’ll find others checking out new exhibits such as Sea of Fire and Usual Suspects, at Brooklyn Fireproof.
Johnson Avenue is near there, so head that way to find Active Space, which will be in something like total tilt. Vegan Pizza Party, the anti-New Aesthetic exhibit (or pro-New Aesthetic, or some sort of quasi version of both, or maybe just the neutron form of it all) curated by Katarina Hybenova and Ashley Zelinskie, will have its opening party. The new show of works by Deborah Brown, Freewheeling, will be open as well, as will a group show, Invisible Furnace.
If you don’t spontaneously combust at that latter show (which might mean that your visit to Brooklyn Fireproof really paid off, no?) and plan to stick around the Morgan area, some other things you should seek out include an opening at Storefront Bushwick, a reopening of operations at Fortress to Solitude, and a group show over at Airplane. If you’re in the area late enough, AIB’s BOS 2012 Launch Party, featuring comedy, art, music and “shenanigans,” will be happening on Wilson. The comedy troupe Murder Fist will take the stage at some point. They kill it (obviously).
Near or around the Jefferson and/or Dekalb L stops:
The 1717 Troutman building will be one of 56 Bogart’s biggest competitors in the busiest building contest this weekend. On Friday you’ll find, among other things, an opening for Lauren Portada’s exhibit at Regina Rex, as well as a group show at Parallel Art Space, where gallery administrators Rob de Oude and Enrico Gomez will also have their own studios open. Put them on the spot.
Although I don’t recommend jumping out one of the north-facing windows of the 1717 building, if you were to do so, and with just enough northward thrust, you would land in the sprawling yard of the Onderdonk House, where Lesley Heller and Deborah Brown have assembled Sculpture Garden. If you don’t feel like crash-landing it or practicing your parkour roll, the proper entrance is on Flushing Avenue.
Heading back toward St. Nicholas and Wyckoff, check out a mixed-media exhibit at Bodega Wine Bar (where some of the mediums are clearly inebriatory), then move on to AllTogetherNow, a group exhibit assembled by Julie Torres. From there, take a few steps over to Norte Maar to check out the solo show of works by Pass Kontrol’s Oliver Ralli, the music- and drink-heavy afterparty for which will be held later on at Tandem.
Other gallery openings in those thereabouts Friday evening will be at Valentine Gallery, back up on Seneca, where works by Cathy Nan Quinlan and Kurt Hoffman will be on view, and over at 950 Hart Gallery, at 950 Hart.
Gallery Enticements Elsewhere or Else-Timed:
A few other gallery-type gatherings you might look into on Friday are Holy BOS, at the Bobby Redd Project Space, a group exhibit at a new space called Skeffington House, and Exquisite Fucking Boredom, a show of Polaroids by Emma Bee Bernstein, curated by Phong Bui at Microscope Gallery.
If all that isn’t enough for you, there are about 200 other things to sift through for Friday night. Go for it.
Or if you’d like to see gallery shows in fair-like collective curation as well, then be sure to check out Bushwick Basel on Saturday or Sunday. A number of the galleries mentioned above will have booths there.
Anyway, and overall, have fun navigating the artsy Nimrod of Jekalb’s Morgue this weekend. As you do so, bear in mind that some of the best work you’d never expected to see might be behind the door of that studio you almost passed by, or in the one that somehow wasn’t on your list, or in the space that was one door further on, or in the tiny corner studio that almost escaped your eye.
In other words, poke your head into whatever creative space you find.
And do so with an open mind.
You can follow Paul D’Agostino on Twitter @postuccio