wagmag williamsburg and greenpoint art guide
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Across town at Pierogi (177 N. 9th St.) hangs “Unhinged,” on view through July 28th; a curated group exhibition of nearly 225 artists from Pierogi’s Flat Files (founded in 1995), itself a curated holding of over 800 artists’ works. Hung salon style, this show is a dazzle of visual stimulation and suggests, at least initially, a cross-section of a few of the gallery’s formal interests; highly patterned, dense abstractions / corporeal figurative works verging on the grotesque / text incorporated works employing ribald humor and irreverence. Favorites include two ghostly rectangles, sun-burned into black paper, by Bill Gerhard, four snowy, ovoid abstractions comprised of layered Mylar atop male beefcake nudes by Sam Tan and three fine gouaches from Peter Hildebrand wherein black, scaffold-like marks dissect colorful fields into broken and stained glass shapes. The figurative works here include “Kim Age 11” by artist Kim Jones, a resonant photo of the artist as a boy in which depicted entrails emerge from his body, forming an elaborate headdress and three disquieting autobiographical scenes from artist Jen Hitchings wherein brushstrokes and muted paint patterns replace family faces. Ostensibly entitled “Blinded by Love,” a work by Nicole Eisenman shows one distressed figure being accosted by the breast-milk of another. Text-based works include John O’Connor’s hilarious, Tourette-like string of obscene word pairings (PUS/BAG, ASS/BALL) and an exquisite suite of carefully embroidered found book pages, beige thread atop yellowing paper, by Kristen Jensen. While the amount of work within this show can be daunting, its careful curation and installation should over time give rise to an awareness of one’s own visual preferences and the collection of a self-curated set of personal favorites.