As the Bushwick art scene rocks on with the summer tide, the current set suffuses beyond the industrial landscape and joins our neighbors across the H2O to the east. The Lower East side, vibing from the edge of the East Village to the corners of Chinatown, is a neighborhood we all know for its vibrant culture and living history. Lately this area has been riding the Bushwick waves with some of the neighborhood crew, showcasing new works at several of the galleries. See some Bushwick-inspired photography at Con Artist Gallery’s upcoming opening and catch up with Julie Torres’ current curatorial effort over at the former Pocket Utopia Space.
And if you’re up for an artsy field trip, check out our suggestions for summer-long exhibitions you can find across the boroughs from Washington Heights to Fort Tilden and Rockaway Beach!
119 Ludlow Street, New York, NY
The idea of “thinking outside the box” has met its imaginative match with a modest set of artists who tend to thrive when #thinkinginsidethebox. The group show of the same name opens Wednesday, August 6th at Con Artist Gallery, home of the The Con Artist Collective workspace and retail shop. Curator Josef Pinlac ignites interactivity with Artist Emergency Kits, each containing tchotchkes chosen after fellow members of the collective and with some silly innuendo for artists like Banksy and Ai Wei Wei (just don’t get too provoked when you open the Ai Wei Wei kit!)
Bushwick-based artists Jessica Prusa and Katie Killary created work for “#thinkinginsidethebox” that can’t be opened—instead, their photographs seek to contain a bit of sensual drama or playful hint of nostalgia. In Jessica’s 21st Century Box a female nude travels across a rooftop in Bushwick, parts of her body covered only by an old Heinekken box. So, is she free or enclosed? A deeper conversation is taking place here when it comes to the imagery of female nudes in the media, but maybe we can let go a little and take the work for what it’s worth.
Katie is capturing neighborhood nostalgia in The Box Series, a new collection of photographs that find a picture within a picture. Taking the photo back to its original setting along the scenic streets in Bushwick, you will recognize some familiar settings like Vandervoort Place and the elevated subway station at Myrtle/Wyckoff.
“#thinkinginsidethebox” opens Wednesday, August 6th at The Con Artist Gallery. A closing reception follows on Wednesday, August 13th from 7-11 PM.
191 Henry Street, New York, NY
You remember when Julie Torres held “Do It Yourself” at 195 Morgan Avenue during this year’s Bushwick Open Studios—now she’s doing the sprawling curatorial thing again with “Family Style” at the former Pocket Utopia space. Julie carries on the family love affair and camaraderie that was found during “Do It Yourself” with this collective, collaborative group show.
Bushwick artists Julia Sinelnikova and Jen Shepard are back as well, and you can catch the show now through August 24th. We also caught up with Jen’s work at Space 776 in the current group show “Kaleidoscope 2” and visited Vector Gallery 2.0 (also in Lower East Side) during the opening of “Posthuman Renascence” last Friday, featuring Julia’s wearable sculpture works of handcut mylar.
Alex Paik from TSA New York is in the mix along with Enrico Gomez from Parallel Art Space as well as Maria Britton and Mona Kamal who you may have caught during Bushwick Open Studios inside 17-17 Troutman.
“Family Style” runs through August 24th at the former Pocket Utopia Space. Celebrate Andy Warhol’s birthday this Wednesday, August 6th with the group!
34 East 1st Street, New York, NY
We recently went inside Christian Berman’s studio at The Active Space to explore his material selections and sculptural works on cultural symbolism. Now he’s putting on his second show at Katrina Van Tassel Projects in the Lower East Side. Inspired by the romantic landscape of German artist Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog (1818), Christian is curating a selection of artists whose works tend to their connections with the natural world.
From precarious desires depicted through picturesque landscapes in Sophia Narrett’s thread and fabric works to overwhelming love for person/place/thing in Giordanne Salley’s paintings, powerful relations to nature break through. While you’ll see a bit of magic in these pieces, there might also be a presence of depersonalized landscapes in the works of Andrew Woolbright and ink blots of abstracted landscapes in Colette Robbins’ Rorschach project.
“Wanderers above a sea of smog” opens on Saturday, August 9th and runs through September 1st at Katrina Van Tassel Projects.
154 E. Broadway, New York, NY
JJ Brine’s conceptual art gallery has a new destination in the Lower East Side with involvement from Bushwick artist Julia Sinelnikova. Standing outside the gallery’s storefront you’ll find yourself tempted inside by the color, chaos, and chromaticity. We caught a glowing glimpse of Julia’s hand cut resin pieces as she took on the visual aura of “The Oracle” — a durational role created specifically for the gallery.
Julia’s resin light sculptures were previously displayed in Rox Gallery (also in the Lower East Side!) for their hyper sensory group exhibition “Polish” in May.
“Posthuman Renascence” opened on August 1st at Vector Gallery and runs throughout August.
124 Forsyth Street, New York, NY
New York and Toronto-based artist Katharine Mulherin celebrated the opening of her new gallery on July 16th with a salon style group show featuring some Bushwick artists we know: Paul Gagner and Lisa Levy. You may have caught some of Paul’s work earlier this year in Centotto’s “Legend Anew” during Bushwick Open Studios or on Beat Nite back in October.
Both Bushwick artists display works that take on an intimate and autobiographical feel in “How To Write An Artist Statement.” Paul showcases small scale works that play with the notion of surface, drawing from his usual working process of the de-codification of recognizable yet personal messages and signs (i.e. a recreation of his driver’s license or a voided check he once wrote).
Lisa’s been enlightening us all year long with her personalized Ego Championship Trophies (i.e. “Go for what you want” and “No more people pleasing”), and now she’s sharing typographic treatments of oil on canvas from a very raw and personal series of hers, The Thoughts In My Head (pictured above).
“How to Write an Artist Statement” opened at Mulherin Gallery July 16th and runs through August 29th.