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04/09/15 11:35am
04/09/2015 11:35 AM |

Works by John Giorno at Elizabeth Dee Gallery. Image courtesy Elizabeth Dee Gallery.

JOHN GIORNO: SPACE FORGETS YOU
Elizabeth Dee Gallery, 545 West 20th St., through May 9th
Slashing vigorously through the aesthetically poetic chromatic splendor and poetically aesthetic array of compositional modes in this exhibit is a razor sharp blade of now humorous, now salacious, now touching, now devastating, now arhythmically off-kilter candor that might well slice into the variably receptive reaches of your mind to leave entire sequences of words behind—as much for their pliably scrutable meanings as for their tangibly pliant forms. If you’re familiar at all with this storied artist’s many decades of creative productivity—at times in collaboration with fellow artists, poets and kindred creatives including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Vito Acconci, Philip Glass and John Ashbery, among many others—then this description is likely rather unsurprising. Either way, take due note of the run of Giorno’s much anticipated show, and prepare yourself for an artful smackdown. From an all-but-octogenarian.

AFTER MIDNIGHT: INDIAN MODERNISM TO CONTEMPORARY INDIA
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, through June 28th
Featuring dozens of artists as well as several arts collectives, and described as the first truly extensive exhibition of Indian Modernism to be mounted in the US, After Midnight seeks to point both to and away from two watershed moments in 20th-century Indian history: Indian independence, in 1947; and the nation’s 50-year anniversary in 1997, around which time a rapidly globalizing economy and a variety of sociopolitical developments began to significantly reshape the subcontinent. For the show’s curator, Mumbai-based Arshiya Lokhandwala, as important as such moments are in Indian nationhood, they furnish more of a backdrop to Indian art of the era rather than primary subject matter. In other words, Indian Modernism and contemporary Indian art should not be tethered, at least not exclusively, to “stereotypical nationalist presentations of India.” Lokhandwala clearly has something of a historical-revisionist’s axe to grind with this show, and she makes her case by presenting a great deal of exceptionally sharp work.

A glimpse of the politicized spread at Schema Projects.

PAPER JAM: EXPLORING VISUAL STRATEGIES FOR SOCIAL CONCERN
Schema Projects, 92 St. Nicholas Avenue, through May 3rd
All art is perhaps crucially, perhaps fundamentally, perhaps invariably a reflection of the times in which it is made. Or it isn’t. Or it is always, in some way, political. Or not necessarily. Or it is eternal, somehow, and gravely so. Or it’s as ethereal and fleeting as we are. Ponder all such broader-ranging questions while you look through the works in this show, all of which engage with sociopolitical concerns qua current events on conspicuously bivalent grounds: on the one hand, curator Larry Walczak assembled his group of artists because their work tends to engage thusly; on the other hand, he also asked many of them to craft new work for the exhibit while bearing in mind its politically leaning thematics. The result is a visio-lexical Op-Ed section of sorts, and its insights are as keen as its topicalities are arrayed. Featured artists are Phil Beuhler, Thomas Broadbent, Pam Butler, Jane Dickson, Elise Engler, Patricia Fabricant, Eve Andre Laramee, Ellie Murphy, David Pierce, Aubrey Roemer, Jim Torok and Michael Waugh.

EVERYTHING IS DESIGN: THE WORK OF PAUL RAND
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, through July 19th
Design without consistently reincorporative innovation of various forms of visual communication, especially with relation to advertising, is tantamount to a stifled, even castrated version of the same. Visit Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand to get a comprehensive glimpse of this Brooklyn-born designer’s efforts to continually broaden advertising’s sources of cyclical recyclings, from art movements rooted in painting to advancements in computer technologies. If you’re also planning to (wait in really long lines to) see the Mad Men show over at Museum of the Moving Image, you might want to check out this one as a further-research-like aperitif or digestif. But really, just check it out anyway, because it’s as full of charms and wit as any TV show with which you might be in love.

Follow Paul D’Agostino on Twitter @postuccio

03/11/15 6:43am
03/11/2015 6:43 AM |

JUSTMAD, an annual art fair based in Madrid, Spain, has been showcasing the works and activities of emerging artists and galleries for several years now. The fair has always been international—and rather justifiably Euro-centric, at that—but for this year’s sixth iteration of the event, which ran from February 24th to March 1st, JUSTMAD director Gregorio Camara worked with Nurture Art’s Marco Antonini to assemble a section of the fair devoted entirely to spaces based in our fine borough. The section was dubbed JUST BROOKLYN, and its featured galleries were Fresh Window, Nurture Art, TSA New York, OUTLET Fine Art and Schema Projects, all based in Bushwick, along with Owen James Gallery, a relatively new space based in Greenpoint.

So then, how does an art fair in Spain end up with a Brooklyn-specific section of its program? What kind of art do the Brooklyn galleries bring along? How do the Brooklyn galleries fare at the fair? Does being based in our thoroughly buzzed-about borough fare them well? We reached out to some of the exhibitors at JUSTMAD 6 to get answers to just such questions.

Photo courtesy Schema Projects

Enrico Gomez: Schema Projects

I was approached by Mary Judge, the director of Schema Projects, about the possibility of sharing a booth and splitting costs in this art fair under the auspices of her gallery. I was just about to launch The Dorado Project, a new project space of my own, so I gladly accepted the opportunity! Mary selected four artists from her program—Robert Otto Epstein, Scott Espeseth, David Ambrose, and Nina Bovasso—and I selected four others from my curatorial endeavors—Lee Lee Chan, Paul Loughney, Aaron Williams, and Frank Zadlo. Common elements among all the works are pattern, dazzling colors and rich, warm grays, and we selected a variety of sizes and mediums including collage, painting, and drawing. There was a lot of interest in the Brooklyn section, and it’s really rewarding to not only sell work, but also to engage a diverse audience on these artists we believe in, and to extend the conversation about their work to a new public.

 


 

Courtesy Owen James

Owen Houhoulis: Owen James Gallery

I was introduced to Gregorio by Marco, whom I have known for a while. The fair wanted to be an a showcase for what is new and interesting as opposed to tried and true. As a new gallery, I thought that this was a good opportunity to meet clients outside of the normal New York collector/gallery base. I chose to present in my booth an array of emerging artists from the Philippines. My gallery has an international focus, and a large part of the program is dedicated to artists from Southeast Asia. I wanted to promote this aspect of my program to stand out a little from the other Brooklyn spaces, while still exhibiting the energy of young artists that Brooklyn galleries are known for. Since many of these Filipino artists deal with the influences of both the US and Spanish cultures on the Philippines, this seemed like a unique opportunity to present and address those issues in their work. The response in Madrid was mixed. Younger visitors were quite interested in the work, but they don’t seem to buy much art. The older collectors didn’t seem to be interested in artists that are foreign to them. In this way, the edginess of the Brooklyn scene appeared to be lost on the older clients. That said, one of my artists in particular, Dina Gadia, was extremely well received. Most of her works sold very quickly.

 


 

Alma Egger: Fresh Window Gallery

Gregorio approached me with this idea about JUST BROOKLYN, and I was definitely interested. When I heard that Marco would be helping him coordinate the galleries, I thought it was great. My husband is from Puerto Rico, and my sister lives in Barcelona, so I speak Spanish. And Spain is close to my heart, so I was excited that my first art fair with Fresh Window would be in Spain. As my father’s work is stored in Barcelona, I decided to bring his work to minimize transportation costs. I also brought work by Alexa Hoyer, Jen Gustavson, Andrea Suter and Victor M. Sosa. We had very positive reactions to our booth. I actually closed it off to be able to turn off the lights for the glow-in-the-dark works by my father, Marc Egger. People were really fascinated and happy to get some New York art in Madrid. They see Brooklyn as something cooler than New York, which was perfect for an emerging art fair.

 


 

Courtesy TSA New York

Yin Ho: TSA New York

We showed artists that have shown at TSA in the past, along with a few of our Flat Files (our annual open call) winners. This was our first fair, and we were compelled to participate chiefly because Marco had organized this specific JUST BROOKLYN section—and because so many of the invited galleries were, like us, artist-run spaces. It seemed like a great way to present TSA-affiliated work to a larger audience and show it in a different context. As a cool surprise, TSA ended up with a “ganador” sign on our booth! Anna Kunz’s paper work took home the fair’s ICON Grand Prize. It’s so great that her beautiful, vibrant work received such attention and accolades!

You can follow Paul D’Agostino on Twitter @postuccio