The recent Greenpoint art studio open house weekend led me to get a fix on the overall art scene in Brooklyn. Knowing which part of Brooklyn a gallery is located in requires a working knowledge of its addresses. Luckily two sites cover Brooklyn’s art scene regularly: Wagmag or ArtinBrooklyn. Here are some links to good overview articles, starting with a June 2018 list of 15 top galleries: https://foursquare.com/top-places/williamsburg-brooklyn/best-places-art-galleries. This Dec 2017 article gives a gallery by gallery description + covers Brooklyn’s major art events: https://www.tripsavvy.com/brooklyns-indie-art-scene-4083821. Here is an Oct 2017 article for you on the transition from Williamsburg to Bushwick and beyond: https://www.departures.com/art-culture/bushwick-brooklyn-art-scene. Lastly, check out this Oct 2016 https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/new-york/articles/nyc-culture-guide-williamsburg-s-top-10-art-galleries/.
Company 88, Cooper-Hewitt, Distinguished Gentlemen Movement, fierce pussy, Harlem Haberdashery, James Cohan, Klaus von Nichtssagend, Krause, Leslie-Lohman Museum, Lichtundfire, Manhattan Graphics Center, Marching Cobras of New York, Moscovitch, Queer Photography, Queerpower, Richard Landis, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Tibor de Nagy
Art of Japan, artists of color, Edenic painting, folk art, James McClung, Kate Oh Gallery, Kyp, Kyp Malone, lace glassware, Mughal, Redlands artist, Sara Japanese Pottery, self-taught, Ushio Konishi, Utopic painting
Thursday is often a day when galleries on the Upper East Side choose to bloom. I was heading to the Kate Oh Gallery at 50 East 72nd Street, 3a – but on the way I came upon a glass treasurehouse at Sara Japanese Pottery (950 Lexington Ave), served with a delicious Saki. Here was the work of Ushio Konishi – justly famous for his delicate laced glassware. Trained near the Cape, then in Venice, Konishi produces incredibly delicate, finely tuned pieces. Indeed, there in the store buying up a storm, was a Fifth Avenue lady beautifully outfitted – fitting for such a splendid setting. (Dressing up for the Madison Avenue boutiques is definitely an UES thing to do.)
At Kate’s gallery the title of the exhibition, “Two Horizons”, was immediately apparent: the show features work of Kyp Malone and James McClung – two artists who are literally worlds apart. McClung is definitely a Redlands California artist whose mixed use of technique keeps your eye inside the painting – always the artist’s greatest hope, and greatest challenge. And there trying to choose which one she liked the most was my new acquaintance from the glass show.
Kyp Malone is a figurative painter whose paintings explore mythic, spiritual and psychedelic themes. Inspired by Mughal painting traditions in India, his work is populated by black and brown peoples and is often utopic, Eden-like. “I’m working towards something like a black fantastic [the quote of the evening!]. The conspicuous absence of people of color, or worse, their being relegated to caricature or background in the fantasy side of the western imagination troubled me. So I started painting what I wanted to see.” May we see more artists like Kyp and more galleries such as Kate’s – exploring not just the best, but the most advanced territories in the art world.
It is not surprising that Malone also works as a musician and video director in NYC. His work makes you want to dance – and his figures never seem to sit still. This tradition-smashing show recalls the recent opening at the Met Museum of “History Refused to Die” – the Met’s refusal to relegate art by brown, black and yellow artists – hell, artists of any color, including rainbow – as “self-taught” or “folk art”. Too long have museums -stereotyped artists of color as artists “informed only by experience rather than training”. The Met, by starting to put the work of contemporary artists of color smack dab into its Modern Art galleries, has welcomed this long-lost fountain of human creativity back into the Art Family as a whole. Welcome back, Kyp. May we all benefit from your visionary work.
Tonight’s activities – as is often the case – are clustered on the LES around Grand Street, with three far-out openings followed by the three grand Grand Street Galleries:
Bortolami 39 Walker St reception: Ben Schumacher The China Chalet Group 6-8
Situations 127 Henry St reception: Andres Bedoya Still Life with Others 6-8
Krause 149 Orchard St reception: Oliver Hibert Infinite Rainbow of Doom 6-8
Peter Freeman 140 Grand St reception: Summer David Adamo, Geoffrey Hendricks, Shara Hughes, Stephen Pace, Emily Mae Smith, Ned Smyth, Pat Steir, curated by Ugo Rondinone 6-8 – dependable
Peter Blum 176 Grand St reception: Excavation Zahoor ul Akhlaq, N. Dash, Josephine Halvorson, Corin Hewitt, Erik Lindman, Stanley Rosen 6-8 – a very fine gallery indeed
Marc Straus 299 Grand St reception: Stereo Love Seats Hot Wheels Mark Manders, Joel Otterson, Huma Bhabha, Red Grooms, Rona Pondick, Michael Brown, Sandra Tomboloni, Woody de Othello, Jeanne Silverthorne, Folkert de Jong, Paloma Weiss 6-8 – Very LES….
Gallery 131 Eldridge St reception: SYE Retrospective: A Solo Exhibition by SYE: An Uncut Look at The Experiences of a Woman Coming into Adulthood – 2011-2017 7-10
AEG Underground 212 Bowery reception: Maiden Form curated by Heather Benjamin 6-8
But we’re going to the Nieue Museum at 86th and Fifth which is not only free Fri night but at night looks far better – and is far more full of far more interesting people. After? the Met Museum – open nights all weekends promises music, snacks, art and interesting people.
This is the link to BushWig. They did a two hour show at the Brooklyn Museum in the May First Sat evening extravaganza – which took the crowd by storm. They do a festival each year. Their twist is putting the gay and the macho back into drag – and it’s about time! https://bushwickdaily.com/bushwick/categories/arts-and-culture/4960-oops-is-east-williamsburg-s-hottest-free-drag-show-on-wednesday-s
Be Steadwell, brklyn boihood, Brooklyn Museum, Circle of Voices, DapperQ, Femmescapes, Gay Men's Chorus, Gay Words, Gay Worlds, Jeanne Vaccaro, LGBTQ, My House, Pop-Up Poetry, Queer, Rimarkable, Trans Oral History Project, Viceland
Overview: On June 2, Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday celebrates the stories of Pride with LGBTQ poets, artists, and performers. Highlights include the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus; the premiere of an episode of Viceland’s new docuseries My House; a screening of the documentary The Revival: Women and the Word, followed by performances by Circle of Voices, Be Steadwell, and t’ai freedom ford; and a conversation with Jeanne Vaccaro of the New York City Trans Oral History Project.
Logistics: Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday events each have a theme. The last one had a spectacular two hour gay drag show that blew everyone’s socks off. The films and the Hands-On-Art events marked with an * in the listing below have limited space and are ticketed on a first-come, first-served basis. GET THERE EARLY to get tickets to them. Subway connections to the museum are good; the 2 & 3 trains deposit you right at the museum’s door – the only entry to use for these First Sat nite live events. From the UES it’s only 40 minutes with the new Q. The address for GPS is 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. Plenty of parking.
What’s on, in detail: At 5–6:30 pm Music: The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus kicks off the evening with their ineffable sound while Tati 007 battles on the ballroom floor. At 6 pm there’s Community Talk: How do queer zines and archives build community? At 6 pm there’s a *Film and Performance: The Revival: Women and the Word (2016, 82 min.) documents the creation of a U.S. tour by poets and musicians led by queer women of color – and is followed by poetry performances Also at 6–8 pm is *Hands-On Art: Design your own pride notebook inspired by David Bowie and Radical Women’s Virginia Errázuriz. And at 6:30–7:30 pm there are Pop-Up Gallery Talks: Teen Apprentices host ten-minute talks about LGBTQ artists in Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985. At 7–9:30 pm DapperQ hosts a Drink and Draw celebrating the diversity of LGBTQ fashion, bringing femmes to the forefront and celebrating a range of New York–based designers and gender presentations. And from 7–10 pm bklyn boihood and Rimarkable will be presenting JOY, a multigenerational event celebrating queer and trans people of color, featuring board games, Spades tournaments, dance-offs, a performance by Nappy Nina and a DJ set by Rimarkable. (bklyn boihood is a collective that creates visibility within the LGBTQ community, crossing barriers of gender, race, class, age, and sexual preference.) At 8 pm there’s a Community Talk given by Jeanne Vaccaro of the New York City Trans Oral History Project, a community archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing trans histories, presents stories from, and leads a conversation about, the Project. And at 8:30 pm there’s Pop-Up Poetry, with readings by Brooklyn-based poets, including Wo Chan, a nonbinary drag performer and Charles Theonia, author co-editor of Femmescapes. At 8:30 pm there’s another *Film, the premiere of an upcoming episode of Viceland’s new docuseries My House, which chronicles the competitive underground queer ballroom scene in NYC from the perspective of voguers and commentators. The screening is followed by a talkback with cast members.
Thousands of teens from New York’s five boroughs will descend on The Metropolitan Museum of Art—many for the first time—tonight from 5 to 8 p.m., for Teens Take The Met!, a teen-centric evening devoted to art and culture through interactive programming in workshops, performances, art making, demonstrations, photography, and more. Teens 13 and older from both The Met’s high school internship program and 40 partner organizations play an instrumental role in planning the twice-yearly event.
“In today’s world of vanishing safe spaces and increasing youth activism, it’s more important than ever that institutions like The Met are conveners for young people to connect, celebrate, and explore. This year, we have seen the extraordinary power young people have to instill and inspire change and at Teens Take The Met!, students have the unique opportunity to not only consume art and culture, but to creatively share their voice on the key issues facing teens today,” said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, The Met’s Chairman of Education.