Western Queens resident finally takes L train.
G&E’s visit provided a great opportunity to make the trek.
1. Sheer quantity. One could easily spend the whole day visiting galleries here; check out BushwickGalleries.com for a map and current listings. We were satisfied with our jaunt—the spaces were diverse, usually easy to find, and in walkable proximity.
2. We started at 56 Bogart, which hosts several spaces in the basement and first floor.
In the basement, both Nurture Art and Fresh Window were compact yet confident. I thought Andrea Suter’s intaglio series at Fresh Window, which were printed from an increasingly disintegrating side view mirror, was brilliant.
The first floor galleries had bigger spaces with higher ceilings, but seemed less satisfying as a whole. There was the non-profit Momenta Art; a few middle-of-the-road commercial galleries of canvases; and a few galleries that could use tidying up.
3. Michelangelo Pistolleto’s Minus Objects show at Luhring Augustine is a real treat. Wryly humorous minimal forms. The work is almost 50 years old yet feels vital. One of my favorite works—Lunch Painting—is on view. Highly recommended. (Also, it’s a really beautiful space; though the rafters are exposed very smart choices guided the placement of ducting and lighting.) If you can’t visit, see the installation shots on the gallery’s website.
4. A few blocks away, TSA is a very small third floor walk-up gallery, with some enjoyable sculptures in a group show on abstraction. Call to get in. Bushwick Open Studios in May will be a great chance to see the other activity in the building.
5. The gallery at Active Space, a few doors down the street, is a large open floorplan that seems to have a supportive, artist-centered mandate.
6. Intrigued by the work and approach of artist Jennifer Dalton in recent books by Sharon Louden and Ben Davis, I was curious to visit Auxillary Projects, a project space Dalton runs with Jennifer McCoy. It’s another standalone gallery in a building of studios. The space is tiny and shows very affordably priced artworks. I had a fantastic conversation there, and am eager to pay more attention to Dalton’s and McCoy’s artworks, and as well as exhibitions.
7. We finished our jaunt at 17-17 Troutman in Ridgewood, Queens, where studios are partitioned into small, artist-run galleries. Despite modest budgets, the spaces exude professional ambitions with clean, white-box presentations. I enjoyed Harbor Gallery’s assured exhibition of sculptures by Nicholas Moenich and Kristen Jensen.
I’m excited by the prospect of so many interesting exhibition venues building audiences outside of Manhattan. While some of the galleries are clearly commercially oriented, and Luhring Augustine could be viewed as a harbinger of gentrification, Bushwick and Ridgewood are home to artist-run projects, experimentation, and non-market orientations. Cautious optimism is still optimism.