Finally, the big incredible snowstorm or blizzard makes me doing things I should have done for a long while. Ok, I´ve to confess that I recently have been kind of neglecting this blog regarding my explorations of New York City; instead I´ve not been laid back, but quite actively checking out the diverse, overwhelming and endless cultural production in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
As one of the new artists at ISCP told me that she actually has been following my text on the never ending art story, I would love to share my recent experiences with you. I´ll give you some insight into my visits of art institutions, museums, galleries, artist-run and project spaces through a compact overview and a summery about what´s going on here ...
First of all, what I come up with represents a tiny little part of what´s all year round going on in this city.
One thing I very quickly learned here - New York is not the city that never sleeps. Concerning the art world there are very strict rules - opening receptions are restricted to a two hour session mostly between 6 and 8pm. Then you are kindly ask to leave ... What a difference to Austria.
Let´s dive into it ...
In this city there are several areas where you can go from street to street and into one exhibition after the other. I show you my personal favorites at the moment.
Before we go to Manhattan we have a view onto it via Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, a great public space which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016. Each year it hosts young emerging artists to experiment with building permanent as well as temporary installation and sculpurtes in a wonderful park on the riverside.
Off to Manhattan.
Though I am not a big fan of the Chelsea galleries as this area looks like a large scale art fair - each buildings hosts a massive gallery which appears like a booth - naturally there are many exciting solo shows on display. Lucy and Jorge Orta just opened their first solo exhibition in New York at the Jane Lombard Gallery. Antarctica leads you via highly aesthetic installations into the unknown world of their expedition to the south pole in 2007 and for me is a must see.
To the south of Chelsea, we can´t pass it, the huge Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum arises on the Hudson Riverside. Even though it´s far too monumental and overloaded with too many works the Frank Stella Retrospective is more than worth seeing. I am especially attracted to his early (black)paintings and the small wall installations of the 1960s - appearing as kind of scetches for the large ones which were following.
What really attracted me was the the video installation Everything and More by the extremely young and perfectionist artist Rachel Rose; the site-specific work is not only aesthetically appaling but takes you beyond the beautiful onto a journey rethinking human´s voracious desires
To Soho we go.
Starting with a visit of the Donald Judd House in 101 Spring Street, which completely blew my mind. This visionist spacial and artistic thinking is crazy. Judd bought this five story, former textile factory in 1968 for $ 68.000 and made an incomparable working, showing and living space out of it. This building limited to guided tours by appointment is an absolute must for art and design lovers visiting New York.
Louise Despont´s latest work is presented at the Drawing Center in a very thoughtful architectural intervened space. Entering the exhibition you are invited to take off your shoes and linger. I especially appreciate Despont for inviting the conceptual artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner for perfectly complements the drawings.
Next street, the Collective Total Effekt consisting of three Swedish artists is currently hosted by Recess working process-oriented on their Living magazine. You are welcome to visit them in there working and presenting space throughout their residency.
Peter Freeman Gallery shows the New York based American artist Alex Hey´s works from the 1960s to the present in the large scale but really worth visiting exhibition Circumstances.
My Lower East Side of town.
Well, Gallery128 does not currently convince me with its program, but I really appreciate this space, as it is run by an impressing Japanese artist, who has been the former assistant of Sol LeWitt. She takes risk in her space showing diverse people and told me that her gallery is the oldest in the Lower East Side - the area I love most for exploring contemporary art in New York. Among other shows and spaces which are currently worth to see there is Chuck Manion`s work at Turn Gallery. The adventurous gallerist celebrates this tiny but very welcoming gallery´s first aniversary right now. Manion, who turned to commercial fishing not willing of being part of the art world game, was now invited to show his quite unique abstract picture language at Turn; there he shows oil paintings on different kind of nets over selfmade wooden strechters. Turn Gallery´s next opening is on February 24th presenting the first solo show by the wonderful Swedish sculptor Carl Boudart, resident at ISCP.
Just around the corner, the New Museum interacts with it´s audience through the Mexican artist Pia Camil´s show A pot for a Latch. More or less daily objects of life are installed in the ground floor´s gallery and will be developed through Saturday and Sunday exchange sessions.
Back over the Williamsburg Bridge.
Besides, the many spaces I have been introducing to concerning Brooklyn´s vast exhibition scene at the moment there is Nona Faustine´s solo show at the studio program Smack Mellon. I have seen one of her White Shoes pieces before at the Studio Museum and love this work dealing with New Yorks past and present of slavery and everyday´s racism in a very sensitive vulnerable way.
Sad but true in times like these where daily informal as well as institutionalized racism is flourishing again and (not only) in the center of Europe we need works like those - facing social realities!