Now is the winter of our discontent. Made glorious summer by this sun of York – Richard III

You know them. They are everywhere. Summer nihilists are all around us. They sound as if they walked out of a Richard III play, griping that after summer comes only the bleakness of winter. Well, no offense to Shakespeare, but here in Bushwick, September marks not the beginning of the “winter of our discontent,” but the beginning of art, art, and more art! Check one or all of these shows and you’ll be able to shout to all these summer nihilists that there is something at the end of the summer to look forward to. The beginning of fall is the time of ripening, where the haze of summer is transformed to a mature gold of the changing leaves. Just like nature, for human beings it is the time for thinking and reflection after a passionate summer. These ten provocative shows will make you appreciate the beauty of fall in the passage from the summer to winter. Rejoice in the fall. Don’t let the summer nihilists win.

Dumitru Gorzo, “Walking a Porous Border, 2013 (courtesy of Slag Contemporary)

1. Dumitru Gorzo: Walking a Porous Border @ SLAG Contemporary (FRI 6-9PM)

Brooklyn-based, Romanian-born artist Dumitru Gorzo never fails to present his viewers with a sense of suspense, as his work toes the line between dualities of darkness and light, reality and surreality, never giving up too much. The works will force us to fall into his manifested world where we are enveloped in his invented sense of reality. While maintaining a strict interest on the materiality and surface of his works, Gorzo’s art is characterized by this sense of presence (in the actual art object) and the possibilities beyond this physicality.

2. Will there be any Stars in My Crown? A group show curated by Todd Levin @ Storefront Bushwick (FRI 6-8PM)

This highly anticipated show features three artists whose only desire seems to be to jab and poke at the art world and commonly held tropes of aesthetics and beauty. Well-known Chicago Imagist Jim Nutt’s work recalls cartoon and doodle-like imagery of often nonsensical, stream-of-conscious exquisite corpses. Bordering on bizarre and even grotesque, Nutt’s paintings push our boundaries of what we might consider beautiful or even art. Jennifer Wynne Reeves’ work tends to be more abstract, as she often invents objects that fit into her surreal landscapes. Working in a number of media, Reeves is drawn to materials that bring texture and depth to her work and they often defy the confines of their frame. In contrast to Reeves’s profound landscapes, Donald Roller Wilson’s work borders the line of kitsch, turning typical artistic conventions on their head, such as transforming a dog into a Baroque-esque Madonna. The three artists are bound to communicate together as their various styles both resist cohesiveness and resonate as one show.

Liz Sweibel, “Floor Study #1,” 2013, courtesy of NURTUREart

3. Liz Sweibel: Fragments of Our Own @ NURTUREart (FRI 7-9PM)

Characterized as “monumentally diminutive,” Liz Sweibel‘s small sculptures and drawings give a new sense to utilized space and the presence of the object in the gallery setting. Sweibel uses the negative space of the white wall gallery itself and allows it to affect her work and vice versa. By confusing our common expectations of space and scale, Sweibel compels the viewer to interact with her objects in a different way while questioning these commonly agreed upon norms of size being paired with importance.

James Cullinane, “Trap Painting 6,” 2012, courtesy of Robert Henry Contemporary

4. Limbus by James Cullinane @ Robert Henry Contemporary (FRI 6-9PM)

Directly referring to the Latin root for limbo, James Cullinane‘s upcoming exhibition Limbus delves into the multiple dualities of implied pictorial space versus actual space, meaning versus non-meaning, and structure versus improvisation. The flatness of drawn images of objects like snares, traps, and boxes is emphasized through the utilization of various media like pushpins. Constantly tricking your eye between two and three-dimensionality, Cullinane’s intricate drawings literally draw you into them, creating both intrigue and frustration in their futility.

Tim Spelios, “Red Socks,” 2009 (courtesy of Tim Spelios)

5. Tim Spelios: Do Not Blow Horn Use Bell @ Studio10 (FRI 7-9PM)

Drawing from a mutlitude of sources, Tim Spelios creates intricate and intimate photo collages that create often ludicrous combinations of signifiers and meaning, which cause the viewer to question how we piece together memory, either real or illusory. Salvaged materials from streets and flea markets are pieced together to create nonsensical combinations of meaning that leave the viewer trying to make sense of the how content interrelates and can be significant while being viewed. Much like one trying to make sense out of a seemingly non sequitur  dreamscape, Spelios’ photo collages encourage us to make connections and piece together meaning, even when this process seems impossible.

Jesse McLean, “Stars, They’re Just Like Us,” courtesy of Interstate Projects

6. Jesse McLean: Stars, They’re Just Like Us @ Interstate Projects (SAT 6-10PM)

This show provokes us to explore the paradox of connection and belonging within systems that simultaneously contain and comprise us. Jesse McLean’s “stars” conjure up ideas of celebrity, fame, and something far from our reach, yet when broken down to our basic elements, we are all made out of “starstuff.” Whether in reference to our fascination with celebrity or our constant curiosity with the cosmos, McLean’s second solo exhibition with Interstate Projects invites to look at our spaces through the prism of space and stars, which after all are just like us.

“Material” at Storefront Ten Eyck

7. Material, curated by Liz Dimmit @ Storefront Ten Eyck (SAT 6-9PM)

In stark contrast to the current exhibition at its original location, Storefront Ten Eyck’s Material is exactly what its title claims: an exploration of the various properties and spirits of the materials used by this group of artists. Katie Bell, Judith Hoffman, and Jessica Segall all practice using both traditional and nontraditional materials in their multi-media works, often drawing from domestic and everyday products. While we are aware of many of the properties that these materials possess, by utilizing them in new and profound ways, the three women pose questions of permanence, decay, and the persistence of meaning that material can possess.

Mitch McEwen, “How to Buy a House in Detroit for the Woman that You Love” (courtesy of Eidia House and Plato’s Cave)

8. Mitch McEwen: How to Buy a House in Detroit for the Woman You Love @ The Deconsumptionists Semi-Trailer (SAT 5-7PM)

Set in the outfitted semi-truck off of Flushing and Bushwick Avenue, Eidia House and Plato’s Cave present the work of Mitch McEwen. If you haven’t yet visited this innovative and truly unique art space in Bushwick, now is your chance! The gallery-on-wheels is the epitome of a pop-up art space that has maintained permanent residence in a truck yard in the heart of Bushwick. In this current exhibition, architect Mitch McEwen presents the first phase of his piece, USA House Project, where he recounts the experience of buying a house in the Southwest neighborhood of Detroit for a mere $1,100 at auction. Seeing the house as more than simply an architectural structure, McEwen uses this real estate endeavor as an opportunity to document the house in a social context where the stone and mortar of the house becomes the foundation for understanding the changing social and economic climate of the city of Detroit. Documentation of the house includes photos by Farrah Karapetian, and the entire project is part of the larger Deconsumptionists initiative to preserve photodocumentation as archive.

Andrew Prayzner, “Jefferson,” 2012 (courtesy of TSA)

9. Andrew Prayzner: Passage @ TSA (SAT 7-10PM)

Taken from Lacan’s theory of “Passage à l’acte,” Andrew Prayzner’s painting represents the notion that a series of actions cannot be understood through language and therefore lead to feelings of frustration. The works, therefore, offer a secondary form of communication that are not meant to be literally interpreted, but rather felt and understood through a various multi-layered representation. Through the utilization of various levels of signs and signifiers, the works use of building up layers and then removing parts of them creates negative space that often negates or cancels the possible significance that they were meant to originally denote. The resultant images are difficult to decode and therefore can lead to multiple levels of significance and can result in many ways of interpreting and reading of the image.

Bushwig 2013 participatants

10. Bushwig @ Secret Project Robot (SAT 1PM-Midnight)

This Saturday, Secret Project Robot will be hosting the second annual Bushwig, Bushwick’s outdoor drag festival. With almost 40 drags announced to participate, the patio of Secret Project Robot will be filled with colors and concept characters, like an art show on heels and darned with wigs. Feast your eyes on colorful transformations in this fun filled afternoon/evening/night that will be followed by an after party at Bizzare.