A Crash Course on the Brooklyn Art Scene

06/19/2013 4:00 AM |

Brooklyn’s 10 Most Important Galleries

Daniel Zeller Courtesy Pierogi

In the crazy gallery boom-and-bust that has been playing out in Williamsburg since the 90s, no dealers have managed to thrive while sticking to their guns like Joseph Arnheim and Susan Swenson of N. 9th Street’s Pierogi. In addition to representing a stable of emerging and established artists including Dawn Clements, William Lamson, Tony Fitzpatrick and Ward Shelley, they host a sprawling online flat file showcasing more than 900 artists, and in 2009 added a stunning annex space, The Boiler, on N. 14th Street.

13 Comment

  • you forgot Arts In Bushwick and El Puente, I think this crash course needs more research

  • Yeah, Arts In Bushwick is pretty major! They only organize prob the most successful art festival in Brooklyn!

  • I’m having trouble with the images in this article. The same images are repeating.

  • Very surprised to see that you did not think that Richard Timperio was one of the key members of the Brooklyn art scene. He’s done more to help and promote artists whether well known, un known, young or old by hosting the most democratic salon exhibition at his space for over 10 years. His eye and ability to place artists together is unmatched. Sit back and think of the careers which have been launched because of his great eye and compassion for other artists.

  • You definitely forgot English Kills. But El Puente? Nothing but nachus for this great community cultural center. And for many others throughout the borough that ran theater and arts programming for a decade or more before the specialized “art world” claimed the land. But let’s face it, this piece is about the art world in Brooklyn, not the arts in Brooklyn. Nothing wrong with that. Excellent work getting well-deserved kudos from L magazine. In another script, El Puente might have opened the “Roberto Bolan~o Gallery” and galvanized the newly-arrived art scene. But maybe they decided they didn’t need the aggravation.

  • Arts in Bushwick! A huge oversight.

  • I have piles of newspaper clippings of arts programming by local groups in G-point and W-burg going back to the 80s. And these will appear in my Facebook archives. (Worth a trip for readers who might like to see some background on the Brooklyn art scene.) But local arts programming is not the point of this story, nor should it be. For a community arts programmer to make the cut in a lineup such we have here, they would have to put out enormous additional resources and probably change much of their mandate. Just being around, getting grants, and making programs is not enough. Hence El Puente is not in the “top ten” and neither is, for example, that show that’s been taking place on a barge in Red Hook forever. My point is, this is a competitive sport. The stakes can be very high in this game, with money and fame in the offing. You don’t hand out Olympic medals to every Little League team just because they do worthy service for the community. And they DO such worthy service, for sure. But this story is about who’s cutting it, not about who’s been around.

  • Or Coney Island USA! Which brings us the Mermaid Parade and has almost single-handedly revitalized America’s greatest amusement park. 30 years running, and an immense infusion of creative energy into the borough. But not exactly what we’re talking about here. If it were just a matter of not being elitist, this matter could be settled in a day and we’d have a nice “top ten” list of popular arts organizations that would make Marty Markowitz happy. But that’s not what this is about, is it now, nor should it be.

  • For every gallery, editor, shaker and maker mentioned in L Magazine’s short list here, there are scores of bloggers and socialites chiseling and proof-reading around the discourse. The art scene is a remarkable self-generating kind of consensus that comes out of miles of screed and canvas. Stars and celebrities are pushed upwards by consensus and through gauntlets of scrutiny. This peculiar social organization is by no means a new species in the world. But that Brooklyn can now be said to possess one of its own, is something in which I think the borough can take pride, and something that perhaps many people Neva Wudda Thunk.

  • Finis. Thank you for your time.

  • @Louis P. Sloane. Richard Timperio IS mentioned, under Sideshow Gallery.

  • Virginie Sommet otherwise know as “Madame V” has been operating this illegal business in Chinatown for over 15 years and putting peoples lives in danger. Her gallery was a front for SRO Slum Lord Hotels, she had two huge lofts full of beds in Chinatown.These shady lofts according to many sources had rats, bedbugs and loaded with fire hazards . She is currently living in Brooklyn at 137 Decatur Street where she bought a brown stone building and creating more illegal SRO units in the building to rent to foreigners from European countries such as France in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan using different names and outside sources. thousands of dollars were ripped off from unsuspecting tourist & students who lived in horrible conditions, she has been committing fraudulent activity. The DOB has shut down her illegal business in manhattan so now her focus is to us the Brooklyn Brownstone to restart her operation. A full investigation in under way and her property will be for sale soon !

    Complete articles about her are here along with photos!