07/15/15 9:37am
07/15/2015 9:37 AM |


Since this is my final art feature to appear in the print format of The L Magazine, it might have provided me with a meaningful platform to discuss the recent past tense of art in our fine city, with a likely focus on Brooklyn. Or it might have been a good place to tease out some conjectural notions about what the more-or-less near future might hold for art making, art showing, art supporting—and sure, art writing—around these parts. But looking back or forward right now in such contexts, however potentially meaningful or important, can lead one to worry, at least a fair bit, about the present, as our town’s rampant march into unaffordability seems now to resound louder than ever. I’m not exactly convinced, to be sure, that this march will continue its allegedly inevitable, indefinite stomp. It could march right off a bridge, for instance. We have several truly handsome ones in our environs, after all, and the march’s crashing splash therefrom would likely be a welcome noise for the great majority of us who live and work here—and who would like to keep doing so without constantly crafting new methods of wriggling away, one lease at a time, from real estate’s omnivalent, at times truly arbitrary grip. For the record, I’m not saying that anyone should be drowned. It would be great, though, if the thunderous din of ‘development’ were at least drowned out for a while. I reckon plenty of you out there might echo such sentiments. 


07/15/15 7:57am
photo via Jason Andrew and Julia Gleich

Norte Maar’s arts activities in recent months have included dance performances, book releases, readings and a number of group exhibitions—including a gargantuan installational feat in Manhattan, at the double-hangar-like 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery—so one could forgive its directors for taking it easy for a while. But they don’t really seem to know how to do that, so they’re not. Instead, they’re planning new iterations of annual productions with which local audiences are already familiar, as well as new programming that will spread their activities around from upstate New York to various neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and perhaps also to the Motor City. In the midst of all this, they’ve also just moved their home base of operation from Bushwick to Cypress Hills. We checked in with the non-profit’s directors Jason Andrew and Julia Gleich to see what they have in store for us in the coming weeks and months. Also, we figured we’d do them a favor and make them just a little bit busier, since ever-increasing activity truly is their trademark praxis.


07/01/15 11:19am
07/01/2015 11:19 AM |
Portrait by Adam Kremer, Courtesy of Topless

Founded last year by Jenni Crain and Brent Birnbaum, Topless Gallery is an estival exhibition project that has done an admirable job of contributing energy, enthusiasm and, of course, art to the many sorts of revitalizing activities that have come to define, at least to some extent, the life and commerce of Rockaway Beach since Hurricane Sandy. By setting up shop for a few months at a time in a different space each year—that’s the case so far, anyway, as last year they were in a former eye doctor’s office, while this year they’re in an abandoned two-story home—the gallery’s directors are as interested in rehabilitating damaged, vacated structures as they are in bringing some sort of regularly programmed arts initiatives to the beach town. The first Topless show of the 2015 season has just opened, and the rest of the summer’s schedule is all planned, so we thought it might be a good moment to check in with Crain and Birnbaum to ask a few questions about last year’s experiences and this year’s agenda.


06/28/15 1:03pm
06/28/2015 1:03 PM |
Photograph by Paul D'Agostino.

In A.F.O.T.D.T.D., Brooklyn artist Jeff Feld’s visually disjunctive, conceptually cohesive solo exhibition at Fresh Window Gallery (through July 26th), the artist presents viewers with a most curious, at first glance perhaps slightly humorous spread of objects that are now familiar, now fundamentally other. On a deeper level, the same pieces also operate as so many metaphors for critically damaged, if not utterly broken, states of affairs—and for how certain modes of communication, commerce, identity and conviviality, or simply life in general, seem to increasingly become, under the ever-questionable banner of progress, quite thoroughly gutted.


06/17/15 11:29am
06/17/2015 11:29 AM |


Part I of this two-part Summer Museum Preview was in our May 20th issue. It featured a selection of exhibitions at a number of Manhattan institutions, including The Whitney, The Met, The Morgan, The Frick, The Rubin Museum of Art, The Museum of Biblical Art, MoMA, and The New-York Historical Society. In terms of borough-related reach, Part II is a bit more expansive, but my operative disclaimer from Part I remains the same: I’m shooting for relative thoroughness, at best, because our fine town is so full of great art and interesting exhibitions—no matter the season—that aiming for exhaustiveness is a fool’s errand. That said, I am fond of walking on my hands, and I’m a decent juggler, and I rather enjoy the feeling of accomplishment attained by running errands… Anyway, read up, mark your calendars, enjoy!


06/03/15 12:10pm
06/03/2015 12:10 PM |


Perhaps you know Green-Wood Cemetery, a 478-acre expanse of rolling, reposeful, halcyon loveliness nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, as the place of rest for figures of certain historical import, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein, Bill “The Butcher” Poole, Samuel Morse and William M. “Boss” Tweed. Or maybe you know it as a particularly peaceful place to stroll around on circuitous roads and pathways until you find your way up to the grounds’ higher elevations, from which you can take in wonderful views of New York City and its surrounding waters. Did you know, though, that among Green-Wood’s 560,000 residents are over 5,000 Civil War veterans, including not only revered generals, but also Brooklyn’s first fallen soldier in the Civil War, the 12-year-old “Little Drummer Boy” Clarence MacKenzie? These latter facts are what make Green-Wood such a perfect setting for To Bid You All Good Bye, an exhibition of photographs, letters and other forms of memorabilia that, after 13 years of research and preparation, is now on view in observance of the Sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War. We spoke with Richard J. Moylan, the President of Green-Wood, and Jeff Richman, Green-Wood’s Historian, to find out more about how this exhibit came to be and what visitors can expect.

05/20/15 11:34am
05/20/2015 11:34 AM |
The Whitney Museum of American Art

With so many wonderful museums in New York City, and with so many of them planning particularly intriguing exhibitions and events for summer 2015, we’ve decided to break up our Summer Museum Preview into two parts—not to attempt to be exhaustive, which is all but impossible here, but to at least be able to lay some sort of claim to relative thoroughness. Maybe? Anyway, here is Part I, featuring some of our favorite Manhattan institutions. Keep an eye out for Part II sometime in June.


05/06/15 9:30am
05/06/2015 9:30 AM |
Photo by Arts in Bushwick

Bushwick Open Studios is now nearly a decade old, so it’s unlikely that you’ve never heard of it. But just in case, here it is in a nutshell: An all-volunteer-produced festival put together by Arts in Bushwick every year, BOS is a massively interdisciplinary celebration of art and artists that takes place in the ‘Wick (and its general environs) the first weekend of June (this year 6/5-6/7). But since BOS has always proven to be a differently huge beast from one year to the next, it’s likely that you’re curious about what its organizers have in store for you this time around. If so, here’s a bit about that from some reliable sources—the organizers themselves. (more…)

05/06/15 7:30am
photograph from Junenoire Mitchell

There are enough more or less massive, regularly scheduled, neighborhood-centric and open-studios-based arts events in Brooklyn for you to fill up a fair amount of space in a 12-month calendar. But there’s a big annual one in Queens as well—The Long Island City Arts Open, to be precise, which will be spread all around the general area of LIC this year, from May 13th to the 17th. What started out not too long ago as a simple open-studios event has now exploded into a whole lot more, so we asked some of its organizers, curators and artists about the maturation of LICAO, and about what this year’s visitors can expect. (more…)