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May Art in Brooklyn


Art fairs Frieze, Red Dot, Verge, and Pulse (which includes Brooklyn’s own Causey Contemporary and Black & White Gallery) descend on New York this month with much hurrah. Additionally, Brooklyn “represents” at the NADA Art Fair with The Journal Gallery, Real Fine Arts, Rawson Projects, and Regina Rex. Not to be overlooked, Brooklyn concurrently hosts it’s own art fair with “seven @ SEVEN” at The Boiler (191 N 14th St.). A collaborative exhibition platform / art fair alternative formed in 2010 by seven galleries from New York and London (Pierogi Gallery, Postmasters Gallery, P.P.O.W., and Winkleman Gallery among them) SEVEN makes it’s debut NY appearance with this event, featuring solo projects from each gallery. Standouts include a fun, flower covered tire swing from Andy Yoder, a grand chinoiserie still life in sumi ink from Dawn Clements and an impressive, 16 foot high, shrink wrap installation from Emil Lukas (through May 20th). Many Brooklyn galleries will stay open late or take on special programming in conjunction with these art fairs, so please check www.wagmag.org for up to the minute event listings!

Our own WAGMAG Benefit will also be held this month (May 8th, 7 – 9pm) at The Boiler (191 N. 14th St.). Each raffle ticket guarantees an artwork, and with exceptional artworks by 100+ local artists to choose from, it is a fun, festive way to contribute to WAGMAG, Brooklyn’s only art event and art venue guide! (supportwagmag.org)

And now, the shows! Do not miss “Cloud Nine” which runs through May 13th at The Front Room Gallery (147 Roebling St.) Organized by seminal curator Larry Walczak, this show, “featuring visual interpretations of the concept of ecstasy”, deftly avoids leaning too heavily on any one translation and instead offers a panoply of interpretations from a variety of creative prerogatives. Personal favorites include Brent Ridge’s “Heaven is Hell”, a simple yet poignant image of overlapping, silhouetted, praying hands that takes on a vibratory transcendence as well as a colorful ink and watercolor drawing from Jesse Lambert entitled, “Future Butterfly” wherein a sleeping “Gulliver” is overtaken by chaotic, verdant life. At Theodore: Art (56 Bogart St.) catch whimsical, fantastical paintings by Scooter Laforge and a dazzling installation of small, painterly emoticons from Christopher Moss. An Andrew Hurst solo show at English Kills Art Gallery (14 Forrest St.) proves that there is still a place for considered, careful choices in art with collages and sculptures that make magic out of the forgotten and the cast away.

And finally, SUGAR (449 Troutman St. #3-5, bell #21) expands, more than doubling their exhibition space, and includes The Viewing Room, a space for smaller works, and The Flat Files (with independent programming for each). In the main space (through June 3rd) “Lineup round 4 (From the Gut, with Heart)”; a show / installation of 2-D and sculptural work wherein color and shape seem to ricochet and echo, call-and-response like, across the gallery. A cyclamen explosion of color by Erika Keck, Art Guerra’s phtalo-blue asteroid forms and a vibrant, cartographic assemblage of shapes from Liv Mette Larsen all bespeak a high caliber of common action. But it was a small, milky white and indigo oil painting by Jacqueline Lou Skaggs called, “Snow White, Madonna Blue with Stripes” in The Viewing Room that simply took my breath away. With economy and aplomb it, like so much of the work I’ve seen at SUGAR, grabbed a hold of me and holds me still today.