The air was literally buzzing with anticipation this past Friday and Saturday night, as a brand new fall art season kicked off with dozens of exhibition openings at the 56 Bogart building and other art venues all over Bushwick. Gallery-goers came out in droves to be part of the inaugural weekend full of dozens of openings after a relatively quiet July and August. If last weekend’s exhibitions and the crowds that they drew were any indication of what is to come in the next few weeks, hold on to your hats and prepare for several nonstop weeks of fantastically curated shows and innovative and spectacular art, for this past weekend definitely set the bar high for what we have come to expect and hope for in our incredible local galleries.
Friday night began with an unprecedented number of concurrent exhibition opening at not just 56 Bogart, but also at Storefront’s original Wilson Street location. Walking into the big yellow building on Bogart felt a bit like coming back to high school after summer vacation; artists, art-lovers, and gallerists hugged and eagerly exchanged tales of summer adventure. Chatting easily over cans of Pabst and dixie cup-sized glasses of wine, old friends and new acquaintances rejoiced in the reunion, with the overall sentiment being that of excitement for the upcoming shows. I bumped into Julian Jimarez-Howard, co-director of OUTLET Fine Art, and immediately gushed about a couple of my favorite exhibitions, including the stunning shows at Robert Henry Contemporary, Studio10 and newly open Honey Ramka, and he made sure to advise me of certain shows not to be missed, like the tremendous show at Theodore:Art that featured the work of Richard Paul.
While all of the exhibitions Saturday night were well-curated and impressive, I was most struck by The Crystal Cracked, the inaugural group show for the new gallery Honey Ramka, which took over the old Art Helix space, and the superb James Cullinane: Limbus exhibition at Robert Henry Contemporary. At Honey Ramka, works by Jessica Cannon, Lars van Dooren, Ben Finer, Michelle Heinz, Peter Lapsley, Keri Oldham, Russell Tyler, and Nikita Vishnevskiy seamlessly worked together to instill the notion of fracture or splitting in both physical and metaphorical ways. Most of the artists played with juxtaposition of materials and presented works in which perfectly illustrated these themes, manipulating the visual or mental perceptions of the viewer.
James Cullinane’s body of work at Robert Henry utilized color remarkably, rendering it effortlessly in order to both be entirely and an obvious part of his work, without overwhelming the space. The front room was dominated by his use of red that only made the black outlines of his understated drawings of boxes, snares, and various other traps stand out more in their flatness and emphasized this uncanny juxtaposition of a three dimensional object as it exists in a two-dimensional world.
On Saturday the party continued with a more spread out spattering of art that ranged most notably from TSA, Interstate Projects, and the relatively new second location of Storefront Bushwick at 324 Ten Eyck Street, Storefront Ten Eyck. The exhibition Material, the group show, curated by Liz Dimmit, featured the sculptural and two-dimensional works of Katie Bell, Judith Hoffman, and Jessica Segall and emphasized the space and the materiality of the artworks. Storefront’s new space is HUGE and Deborah Brown, the gallery’s director, managed to keep it full of excited gallery-goers well past the noted end time.
Just like Friday night, everyone was anxious to hear about what projects their friends and colleagues were working on. I was especially happy to see the smiling face of Enrico Gomez, director at the 1717 Troutman gallery Parallel Art Space, who gave me the scoop on what to expect for their upcoming opening for the show All Over or Nothing this Saturday, September 14th – another indication that this past weekend was just the beginning of the fall art madness in Bushwick!
Make sure to stay tuned for Bushwick Daily’s featured art events for next weekend. You know I can’t wait!