Gallery Tour by Courtenay Philbrick

Storefront for Art and Architecture

[Wood-Paneled front, looks as if it were a boarded up building.]

On Mock-ups: Video Exhibition

Part II: Come to Israel: It’s Hot and Wet and We Have the Humus

8 April—19 April 2008

Video works by Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir and Yossi Atia & Itamar Rose, Curated by Joshua Simon

Atia & Rose in Tel Aviv as fictional characters interviewing Israelis they meet on the street, take on the issue of the Israeli relationship with race, gender and sexuality. Sela & Amir cover internet dating sites, S&M services, and prostitution, exhibiting the playfulness of the Tel Aviv underground nightlife. For both duos costumes and characters are plentiful.


[Hidden in an apartment building on the ground floor, two rooms, stone floor.]

Matt Connors: Enjambment

13 March—20 April 2008

Most pieces can be defined by their bold (yet muted) colors and rough strokes. Geometrical, simple. The individual paintings are small compared to the large space. Bold yellow wall in the side room is a unique contrast to the stone floor.

Salon 94

[In Freeman’s alley, big glass door with purple handles—really cool.]

Amy Bessone: With Friends Like These…

10 April – 23 May 2008

Bessone’s paintings are large in scale and have an almost sinister air. The characters are cartoonish and have a glossy look. A particular piece that stood out is of a woman with a cape resembling butterfly wings. It is theatrical, elegant, and bizarre.

Museum 52

[Two levels, typical white box gallery.]

Frank Selby: We Weren’t Never Here

27 March- 26 April 2008

Selby uses transparent paper and oddly arranged text to create an intellectually dramatic effect on certain pieces. The drawings shown are on the same transparent paper using black ink that creates thick drips and smudges. A notable piece was a spider web that had an eerie feel because of the drippings. There are several photographs of wooded scenes and civil war photos that seem simple and natural from a distance but are surprisingly crisp up close.

Rivington Arms

[In what appears to be a house, complete with gate and buzzer to ring for entrance.]

Brendan Fowler: last Disaster / first BARR

9 April- 19 April 2008

Fowler’s work on display consists of mostly large framed pieces of white paper with hastily painted words sprawled across at odd angles. Together the collection of what seems to be lyrics speak of writing songs. There are also several deconstructed concert fliers with “canceled” stamped across them.

Kim Gordon at KS Art * by Chris Kasper

Kim Gordon Come Across

March 8 - April 9 2008

Kerry Schuss Art

73 Leonard Street

New York, NY 10013

Standing in the center of Kim Gordon’s show at KS Art, surrounded by washy portraits of faces that appear to be watching you, or perhaps beyond you, the effect is one of performing for an audience; no surprise, considering Gordon’s career in Sonic Youth and the years of blurry spectators and ghostly faces that must float in and out of her memory. They come out of and drift back into a blur, on the cusp of recognition.

Gordon has made twenty to thirty small watercolors for Come Across, which opened on March 8th. The exhibition also features an ambient sound piece—a collaboration with her husband and band mate Thurston Moore that permeates the gallery—and two off-white shag-rugs situated on the varnished wooden floor. The watercolors are painted on rice paper, some framed and leaning against wall-wedges, others hung, unframed, directly on the wall. Up close, they appear to be blobby abstractions, but at a distance, the floating blobs morph into ghostly, ethereal portraits. The works hold a delicate tension between abstraction and figuration, with compositions consisting of bleeding layers of pinks, greens, blacks, gently reflective grays, and glitter-like specks sparkling in the bright over-head lighting.

The title of this exhibition, Come Across, might serve as an invitation to viewers to cross the threshold from spectator to performer. The watercolors become a landscape of audience members and reverse our role, producing the feeling of being surrounded by hollow, gazing faces. The glitter on the portraits and metallic paint suggest a reflection of sorts, the sound element evokes what it must feel like to perform the same music again and again, night after night, and the shag rugs are the rugs we’ve seen countless musicians stand on while performing. By entering this exhibition space, we come across, moving onto a stage where we can consider the role of the performer and question our own role as spectator.

Contact Chris

Online Newspapers: New York Edition by Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied * Madison Square Art 2008

 Imagine art that is timely and compelling, saying something about the new, while firmly planting itself in the recent past. Something future regressive. Something worth seeing. Something called Online Newspapers: New York Edition, currently on view at Madison Square Park.

Okay, I admit I was initially compelled to attend this show because of the scarves both artists wore in the promotional postcard. Olia’s scarf is genius in that it’s a knit of the boring Google ads that pervade and pollute our online life. I loved the transgression of turning the visual annoyance of internet advertising into a covetable fashion accessory. In a way it speaks to Online Newspapers: New York Edition in that the show, too, pushes boundaries, bringing internet based new media outside the world of zeroes, ones, and html.

Adjacent to bustling 23rd St, the setting in Madion Square Park could not have been lovelier—a rare glimpse of the bucolic that most New Yorkers are grossly deprived of. Contained within an oval of deep green groundcover, four mounted screens project the cover pages of the New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Not the ordinary front pages, but pages layered with a collage of animated horses, kitties, snow, bears, and more.

Internet technology is unique in how fast it evolved, making these examples of detritus all the more important because of the internet’s ability to induce amnesia about its original context. The use of kittens, etc. is a reflection of our tendency to sentimentalize anything, including kitten GIFs, and the use of institutional newspapers is a nod to the corporate streamlining of the internet and how quickly things have gone from amateur to expert. While cute and cuddly, these ingratiating animations speak to a time of limited technology in the early 90’s, when the internet was dominated by amateur hobbyists and tech geeks. Their cheesy aesthetic speaks to a time of web ‘innocence’ and visual simplicity. In short, they are awesome.

It struck me that I was outside in a park ‘watching’ art although I’m not sure if ‘watching’ is an apt description. I could have been fooled because I’ve been trained to view electronic screens as media to ‘watch’. Whatever the semantics, Lialina & Espenschied’s piece astounds us by bringing typically ‘inside’ art outside. Those accustomed to seeing bronze sculptures in parks will be pleasantly surprised to find art that isn’t static. Unlike the shape of some dead white guy, this art draws viewers in, and is engaging by design.

by Peter Killeen


Williamsburg Every Second, Friday March 14th, 6-9pm

Friends, Hope to see you on Friday! March Madness. New Art, Magic Tunnels, Godzilla Puppets and Pernod Drinks… It's Williamsburg Every Second!

Friday, March 14, (WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn)—You've been to the Biennial; now see the brightest new artists before they make their way to the Whitney. Hop from gallery to gallery this Friday night during the monthly art to-do Williamsburg Every Second , where all 38 Greater Williamsburg galleries stay open until 9 pm and beyond.

Love after parties as much as you love art? Starting at 9 pm, join us at Williamsburg's hot new cocktail joint Huckleberry, (588 Grand Street) for Pernod drinks and more—a delicious way to get the discourse flowing about the art you saw. Such as:

(236 Grand Street)—Using puppets and a model of NYC, The Godzilla Project—a collaboration between the Eh-Team and German-Romanian artist Felix Toth—utilizes film and puppet theatre to recreate the infamous city attack.
Parker's Box
(193 Grand Street)—Step inside The Tunnel, a solo exhibition by Patrick Martinez. This interactive installation piece invites you to engage in a hypnotic, psychedelic relationship with The Tunnel itself, using touch-screen technology to modify the parameters of your optical and cerebral experience.
Black & White Gallery
(483 Driggs Avenue)—Heal the world at Law of the Land by Kim Holleman. An operating manual of sorts of instructions on how to rebuild the environment featuring multi-media both indoors and outdoors.
Capla Kesting Fine Art
(121 Roebling Street)—Tonight's closing reception is your last chance to check out Facelift—the latest installment of independent curatorial outpost Bipolart, featuring artists from Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, New York, and LA.
Galeria Janet Kurnatowksi
(205 Norman Avenue)— Deborah V. Spiroff's Encountering Why features person-size canvases revealing an animation of color, light and atmosphere. Her gestural abstractions engage the body—Spiroff paints with both hands simultaneously.
Hogar Collection
(362 Grand Street)—The Dreamy Dreamer group show features kinetic sculpture, video, photography, and works on paper dealing with regeneration, microcosmic and infinite universes, humor, dreams, science, science fiction and the unconscious mind.
Check the website
for complete event listing details.
See you Friday!


Mary Lucier and Phil Bender exhibits at Belmar Lab

404 S Upham St, near the intersection of Wadsworth and Alameda, Lakewood, CO, January 23rd-May 1st Mary Lucier, The Plains of Sweet Regret, and Phil Bender, Last Place, two exhibits that engage in the process of nostalgia and the transitory aspects of memory, opened at the Belmar Laboratory of Art and Ideas last month. Lucier’s project, a six screen video installation, depicts the disappearing small-town farming communities of North Dakota, replaced by agri-culture and big business practices. An equally anguished and exuberant portrayal, landscapes fold, silhouettes of cowboys intertwine and collapse, long grass cradles dilapidated houses, a newborn calf shrugs off its placenta. We are asked to interpret memory in terms of space, as Lucier simultaneously captures the creation and annihilation of rural American culture. Comparatively, Phil Bender’s exhibit is a meticulously ordered collection of objects not quite archaic, not quite present-day. Titled for the gallery space which is presumably the “last place” these almost-artifacts will be used, Last Place includes a series of tool boxes, beaded belts, wire whisks, matchbooks, yard sticks, hangers, tennis rackets and more. This project invites a meditation on how memory can settle on the object world and moreover, engaged in the obsessive habit of object-collecting, implies the perfectly human habit to obsess about (and attempt to organize an understanding) of the past. The most intriguing dynamic that arises between the two exhibits is the collision of memory with material to create artifact and legend, the collision of gallery space with memorial to expose the emotional presence of loss. Belmar Lab’s current exhibits grapple with the relationship of creative exploration to the fleeting, abstract, never (quite) tangible procedures of how we remember. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket photos provided by Belmar Lab

Susana Martinez-Conde

Susana Martinez-Conde
Tuesday, January 29, 2008; 6:30pm
133/141 West 21 Street, room 101C

Susana Martinez-Conde is a research scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, where she studies optical illusions. She recently organized a symposium entitled The Magic of Consciousness. Presented by the BFA Fine Arts Department, in conjunction with NYC's Brainwave Festival. Free and open to the public.

Readings at Max Protetch


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ann Lauterbach &
Garrett Kalleberg

Free and open to the public

Garrett Kalleberg is the author of Some Mantic Daemons, Psychological Corporations, and Limbic Odes. His poems, reviews and translations have appeared in Brooklyn Rail, The Canary, Crowd, Damn the Caesars, Tragaluz (Mexico), Fence, Sulfur, First Intensity, Denver Quarterly, A.bacus, and Mandorla, and in An Anthology of New (American) Poets.  His awards for poetry and critical writing include two awards from the Academy of American Poets and two grants from The Fund for Poetry.  Garrett lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ann Lauterbach has published seven collections of poetry: Many Times, But Then (1979), Before Recollection (1987), Clamor (1991), And For Example (1994), On A Stair 1997), If in Time :Selected Poems 1975-2000 (2001) and Hum (2005), several chapbooks, and collaborations with visual artists, including How Things Bear Their Telling with Lucio Pozzi and A Clown, Some Colors, A Doll, Her Stories, A Song, A Moonlit Cove with Ellen Phelan for the Library Fellows of the Whitney Museum, New York. She has written on art and poetics in relation to cultural value, notably in a series of seven columns for the American Poetry Review entitled "The Night Sky", essays on sculptor David Smith's writings and drawings, and a collaborative work for sculptor Ann Hamilton's "Whitecloth" catalogue for the Aldrich Museum. A colletion of her prose: The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience was published in 2005 by Viking, and will be re-issued in Penguin paper in spring 2008.  Lauterbach is Co- Director of Writing in the Milton Avery Gradute School of the Arts and Ruth and David Schwab II Professor of Language and Literature at Bard College. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, New York State Foundation for the Arts, Ingram Merrill and MacArthur fellowships. She is a Visiting Critic (sculpture and painting) at the Yale School of Art.
Hosted by Stuart Krimko and Christopher Stackhouse

Max Protetch
511 W. 22nd St. (btwn 10-11ave)
New York, New York 10011
212. 633. 6999

Censorship Exhibit at the Brecht Forum, by Leah Hansen

Thursday, November 8 saw the opening of “Censorship: An Exhibition Benefiting Artists in Distress” at the Brecht Forum . The reception featured plenty of food and drinks, live performances, and a raucous crowd the filled every inch of the relatively small gallery space. The featured artists hail from countries around the world and utilize an array of mediums, including drawing, painting, photography, video, and performance. The only thing missing was context.

No artist’s statement or biography appeared; no overall explanation of the show’s goal was on view. The press release for the exhibition, which can be found at, explains that a few of the artists have faced political repercussions as a result of their controversial work, but nowhere at the actual show can one read which artists were censored and which are simply responding to the idea of censorship.

This creates a modicum of confusion. Though quite striking, Melissa Murray’s “Bag,” a four-foot graphite drawing of a nude woman in profile, sitting on the ground wearing a plastic grocery bag like a hat, doesn’t necessarily address censorship. Yes, nudity is frequently under attack by censors, but in this case, the woman’s arms and legs obscure any “offensive” parts. Moving on, one arrives at Sarah Valeri’s stunning painting, “Bright”. The 30-inch canvas features a lithe, androgynous child curled in a fetal position on a swamp bank. In the foreground, a dog with a frog riding on its back swims by; lily pads float around them. The painting’s sea of blue, green, lavender, and cream swirl gently together, and, coupled with the child’s morose expression, evokes serenity and sadness. But, again, one wonders how it relates to the show’s theme.

The pieces with clear ties to censorship cover emotions ranging from rage to hope to humor. Particularly humorous are the pieces by photographer “BKLYN Paul,” who attended the opening naked. In “Spring Street,” the artist appears naked and smirking in front of graffiti-covered wall that creates a stark contrast to his unclothed body. On the left, an amateur photographer is caught snapping Paul’s photo with a little digital camera and a woman on the right turns toward us with a big grin. Paul’s “Subway Series” consists of three photos of a friend riding the subway naked. Only one other rider watches with a scowl, while everyone else is clearly laughing. The laughter captured in these photos emphasizes the ridiculousness of the attempts by the FCC and conservatives to fine and jail people for even accidental flashes nudity. Meanwhile, no one in these photos appears harmed or scarred by seeing a naked man on the streets of New York.

Collages by Issa Nyaphaga and Bara Diokhane evoke potent anger at the lack of artistic freedom in their homelands, Cameroon and Senegal. Mel Smothers’ two Mao portraits (of the Andy Warhol variety), painted over with ethereal birds in flight, impart a sense of hope for the future.

While the exhibition is successful as a showcase of eclectic art, it fails to maintain a cohesive message about censorship. Background information on the art and artists is especially important in this context, as artists face the FCC crackdown on “obscene” television and radio programming, and the current administration’s attempts to repeal basic rights in the name of “combating terrorism.” Without an explanation tying this work together, it’s just a mish-mash of art—impressive art, but a mish-mash nonetheless.

“Censorship: An Exhibition Benefiting Artists in Distress” will be on display at the Brecht Forum, located at 451 West Street between Bank and Bethune Streets, through December 6. There will also be a closing celebration held on Friday, November 30 from 7 to 10 p.m., featuring live music and dance. For more information, visit or call 212-242-4201.