This weekend’s art openings remind me of the lost art of handwriting. Letters, mail, notes and the like rarely appear amidst text messages and self-portrait messages online (all the selfies). Sugarlift’s “Textpectations” reveals contrasts on how we’re falling in love today, through texting and Tindering, with how romance used to be. The artists at The Parlour Bushwick use symbols of the human spirit to reveal a human presence in their works – some even handwritten over the canvas – in “The Hand that Creates the I.” Hints of informational text appear in ODETTA’s “Kiosk” and in “Dress Shop Quarterly,” and “NO DICE (I)” at Kimberly-Klark explores new textual possibilities mixing with mystery and the imaginary.
56 Bogart Street
Described as “an old hand” Arnold Mesches – at age 92 – has been “at it” long enough to share with us “75 Years of Works on Paper” opening Friday night at Life on Mars Gallery (from Robert Storr from Mesches’ catalogue raisonné, Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work). “75 Years” shares a carefully curated survey of 45 drawings from a collection of over 5,000 pieces, including a drawing of the artist’s father – done at age 17, and some of his most recent works from this year.
#2 “Kiosk” @ ODETTA (FRI 6-8 PM)
229 Cook Street
It all comes down to a kiosk of information by way of Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili’s documentation of ancient and modern ruins; the tactile knowledge and feeling of the buildings observed by through touch (building surfaces) and sight (kiosk information). These shards of information combine with torn pages and metallic bits to make up ODETTA’s latest show “Kiosk.“
#3 “Textpectations” @ Sugarlift (FRI 7-9 PM)
200 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn Collage Collective’s Lizzie Gill explores romantic digital interactions in “Textpectations,” opening Friday night at Sugarlift. Juxtaposing snapshots of romance in the digital age with images of love and marriage from 1950’s ads, Gill studies the way we fall in love amidst texting, Tinder and other instant messaging platforms, pointing out that “for better or worse” our romantic communications take place mainly through our screens.
#4 “The Hand that Creates the I” @ The Parlour Bushwick (FRI 6-9 PM)
791 Bushwick Avenue
“The Hand that Creates the I” uses symbols, metaphors and physical size to reveal a human presence in the works of Carol Bruns, Erika Ranee, David Humphreys and Melanie Smith. Symbols and expressions of the human spirit show with Bruns’ abstracted forms out of wire, plaster, and paper, while visual diaries of speech, text and daily interactions illustrate the human identity for Ranee. Combinations of rendered imagery combine with painterly marks to create a psychological fiction in Humphreys’ works, and colors of the Amazon render feelings of presence and absence in Smith’s works, the jungle serving as a platform to observe human existence, or lack thereof.
#5 “Dress Shop Quarterly” @ The Dress Shop (FRI 7-10 PM)
322 Troutman Street
The Dress Shop will be showing their first quarterly review of artists in residence, opening Friday, November 13th. In “Dress Shop Quarterly” imagery inspired by the likes of Sesame Street and French surrealist literature appear in artist Paul Bergeron’s works, and childish playful mischief come to life in Jose Krapp’s found materials. The aromatic luxury of material, influenced by objective lustfullness, influences Emmanuel Limón’s works on identity; likewise Erik Schoonerbeek’s search for identity goes with a graphic sensibility and a conscious refutation of style.
#6 “Gradual Kingdom” @ SIGNAL (FRI 7-10 PM)
260 Johnson Avenue
In Meriem Bennani’s “Gradual Kingdom” a site-specific video installation was created for SIGNAL’s vast space, bringing in a magical realism and serving as a focal point for a series of accompanying sculptures by the artist. According to The Kindle Project, Bennani’s video work documents the life of Moroccan Hijab designer Fardaous Funjab, and explores the encounter of fashion and religion in a contemporary Muslim context.
#6 “NO DICE (I)” @ Kimberly-Klark Gallery (SAT 7-10 PM)
788 Woodward Avenue
Kimberly-Klark’s latest show “NO DICE (I)” explores new textual possibilities, “whose purpose is to test the cohesiveness of society” (from Raúl Ruiz, Poetics of Cinema). Mystery, imaginary, rudimentary, the group of works for “NO DICE (I)” include Nickolas Calabrese, Daniel Chew, Sylvia Jeffriess, Yefu Liu, Megan Plunkett and Am Schmidt, curated by Howie Chen, co- founder of Dispatch, a curatorial production office and project space in New York.
#7 “Droxomania” and “Domesticated Space Travelers” @ Temporary Storage (FRI 6 PM – 12 AM)
119 Ingraham Street
Forests appear as poetic spaces in “DromomaniaX2,” a two-person exhibition featuring artists Stacey Cushner and Liselott Johnsson opening Friday in Brooklyn Fireproof’s Temporary Storage Gallery #104. They explore the intimate immensity of the forest and geometry of wood, their works referencing dromomania– an uncontrollable urge to wander. Opening in Gallery #105 “Domesticated Space Travelers” will be a fully immersive gallery experience with live ambient music, vinyl DJ sets, sculptures, 2D art and a 3D visual installation starring domesticated house pets setting out to discover a new planet.
#8 “Torii/Gate” and “Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden” @ SOHO20 Gallery (FRI 6-9 PM)
56 Bogart Street
The Japanese Torii, a structure that stands at entrance to a Shinto shrine, separating the outside world from a sacred interior, appears as a meditative reference in SOHO20 member artist Darla Bjork’s latest works in “Torii/Gate.” Amidst the meditative space evoked, vibrant red forms and explosive color strokes couple up to finally reach an equilibrium
In the +/- Project Space “Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden” artist Sable Elyse Smith combines sculpture, video, images and text based on the experience of visiting her father in prison over the past 19 years. In formed self-portraits, she surveys the trauma created by mass incarceration, examining regulatory codes and extracting colors (blues in particular) along with her experience.
What To See During Weekend Gallery Hours
“Distance / Absence” & Royce Weatherly and Douglas Degges @ ArtHelix Gallery (Hours SAT-SUN 12-6 PM)
299 Meserole Street
“Distance / Absence” opened October 23rd at ArtHelix, featuring the paintings of Finnish artist Mari Rantanen. Rantanen has been working in Stockholm for almost 20 years and spends alternating three-month periods living and working in New York. In her works the shapes move about as forces of two worlds, occupied in one place to mingle, similar to traveling from one culture to another; from Stockholm to New York and back. ArtHelix’s project room holds recent work by Royce Weatherly and Douglas Degges, where still life photographs and deeply layered paintings stand across from one another, allowing a sharp departure between media types.
“’nuff said” @ Underdonk (SUN 4 PM)
1329 Willoughby Avenue
“’nuff said” opened as a group show on November 7th, featuring works by Nicholas Buffon, Tom Forkin, Marley Freeman, Eric Legris and Caitlin MacQueen. On Sunday, November 15th beginning at 4:00 pm, the works will be on view and visitors can join the Chess Club, followed by performances from Sarah Mattes/Caitlin MacQueen, Neven Lochhead and Nathan Oglesby.