Speed-Dating with Art: Fast Times at Bushwick Beat Nite
Beat Nite 10 boasted an artful evening any art lover would envy
Beat Nite 10 boasted an artful evening any art lover would envy. Hosted by gallery Norte Maar, February 28 became the premier gallery crawl with 11 exhibition spaces opening their doors to NYC art lovers. Painting, drawing, sculpture, multi-media installation, sound and performance art jam-packed into one night is sure to make even the most seasoned gallery hopper giddy. From gallery to gallery, art enthusiasts socialized over spirits and crudités in the accompaniment of cutting-edge art. A chaperoned evening complete with a well-curated tour by Austin Thomas and a charter bus to transport curious—and cold—press and collector from one gallery to the next, the evening was a premier occasion for a hustling art-filled night out on the town. Thanks to time-master Jason Andrew, each gallery was given a 10 minute grace period to peruse the art and indulge in cocktails and treats—think speed dating, but with art. While ten minutes was enough time to sneak in a kiss on the cheek, get a couple numbers and make sure to go back to give 'em a worthy second date!
1. Norte Maar
Beat Nite event host Jason Andrew’s gallery-home Norte Maar was the meeting place of the evening. Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts is a non-profit arts organization founded in 2004 by curator Jason Andrew and choreographer Julia K. Gleich. This intimate space exhibited a salon-style group show and was the perfect entry point to an eventful evening.
Clad with to-go cups of home-made hot cider, the Beat Nite crew walked from Norte Maar to the illuminated Schema Projects just around the corner. Elisabeth Kley’s exhibition at Schema is delicate and serene—her sometimes color-filled, sometimes black and white ink drawings on paper house tribal-like designs both meditative and meticulous. Her use of negative white space emphasizes her organic designs and places her bold drawings, vessels and notebooks at center stage for hypnotic revelry.
The first stop off the bus was Valentine, and our posse was energetic and ready for a carefully timed evening. With David Henderson's bulbous saturated forms growing from the white walls, and Jude Tallichet's gilded-gold crumpled clothes speckling a darkened hallway, Valentine houses a valiant punch of sculpture in the expanded field. The anthropomorphic sculptures emerge from the wall next to abstract paintings of Patricia Satterlee that mirror the undulating sculptural forms. Behind the main exhibition room is a low-lit corridor dappled with hyper-real clothes creating a surreal narrative questioning who occupied the space before excited gallery goers. Don't blink, kids, we're onto the next space!
Off the Wall at Parallel Art Space exhibits works by Gilbert Hsiao, Stacie Johnson, Alex Paik, Kim Tran, and Ken Weathersby. These artists explore painting beyond the confines of two-dimensionality, looking past the canvas towards materials including paper, wood and even neon record players to explore painterly space.
After a few scurried trips on and off the charter bus, Galleries became the much needed oasis from the hustling commute. “You have overcome much worse,” “They won’t try that again,” and “Yes you contribute” are a few motivating mantras dappling mirror-clad trophies by conceptual, performance and visual artist Lisa Levy at Auxiliary Projects. Mirror pinnacles top trophies nostalgic of little league games with bold typed inner monologues, at times endearing and personal, and at others, witty and sarcastic.
Smooth saxophone tunes, minimalist paintings, organic sculptures and not to mention delicious sandwiches and chilled refreshments made Orgy Park the perfect middle point of the Beat Nite gallery crawl. Alone Together exhibits new works by artists Elisa Lendvay and Adrian Ting which celebrates an artist's relationship with creating artwork in the studio. Beat Nite was an especially enjoyable evening in this bougie Bushwick gallery thanks to saxophonist Zuriel Waters who serenaded gallery goers sipping white wine and munching on tea-sized bites with smooth melodies inspired by the paintings and sculptures in the exhibit.
The packed crowd and flickering outdoor bonfire at Airplane revved up much needed energy after an hour cruising around the streets of Bushwick. Michael Stickrod creates sculptures, prints and videos that are part of an ongoing practice of mining his family history. He recreates moments from his youth by transforming his distant memories into large photographic prints juxtaposed with actual childhood artifacts. Airplane—a basement gallery with exposed wood, warm lighting and backyard fire-pit— is the perfect venue for a nostalgic return to infancy and rehashing heartfelt moments that dapple one’s past over Tecate and Smores.
Nothing compares to the calming powers of ambient noise to sooth the soul and level the spiked adrenaline from an evening of "speed- arting." Signal’s massive, raw interior space is the perfect backdrop for Tim Brunige’s sculpture-sound-performance Mirrors. Two gigantic cement concave forms mirror each other across a large open area where three musicians—one on saxophone, bass and trumpet—move throughout the space and play an atonal, dissonant score. Remember to move around the space as well so you are able to see new viewpoints and hear the different tones during this must-see sound performance.
Swipe at Studio 10 pays homage to images from art history that populates artist Adam Simon’s memory and consciousness. His large-scale paintings appropriate iconic images including Jeff Koon’s Rabbit and Robert Indiana’s 5 multiplied amidst abstracted backgrounds. Simon’s use of repetition does not dilute imagery, but instead illuminates the subtleties of visual language.
As Art-Highs began to slowly wind down, the energy of Centotto hyped the Bushwick Beat Nite crew for the remainder of the evening. Centotto shows new works by Ben Godward in Portfolio x Appunti 8: Walls Spoke. Godward’s new sculptural work fills this space with highly saturated organic shapes formed from billowing extraneous material. The exhibit coincided with an enticing artist talk where Godward explained his process and his inspiration behind his work.
Last, but certainly not least, the night ended with Bushwick and Beat Nite staple English Kills, housing artist Brent Owens’s fanciful sculptures and paintings. Enticing with a punch of surreal intrigue, his mixed media works are both humorous and fearful as the artist combines bright colors with jagged forms that aggressively engage the viewer’s personal space.
Rife with a dozen of art crushes, the crawl came to a halt at The Narrows for a long-awaited night cap. Still abuzz from the marathon of the evening, new and old friends, artists, and hosting gallerists came together to tell tails from a night that truly embodies the spirit and energy of Bushwick.
Sad because you missed this extravagant art event? No worries, because Bushwick Daily always keeps you up to speed on the latest gallery openings happening every week!