Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Audra Wolowiec, Image: Fabric Wall Drawing 2008 dimensions variable pencil on the wall
Brece Honeycutt, Image: Arachne #1 2008 24 x 24 inches homespun wool & stainless steel pins May 9 – June 1, 2008
OPENING, Friday May 9th 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
1037 Flushing Avenue
[Just off the Morgan L, Bushwick]
Open Saturdays and Sundays 12-6 p.m. and by appointment
Pocket Utopia is pleased to present an exhibition of artists Brece Honeycutt and Audra Wolowiec. In conversation with the physical space and with an acknowledgement of history, particularly the history of feminist art (materials, production, and execution), both artists create an open dialogue or a presence.
Honeycutt, literally in attendance, working as a Pocket Utopia artist in residence, knits and weaves within a cultural context, referencing myth, memory, and the web that may or may not hold it all together. Using her fingers to knit and sometimes incorporating plastic bags, she spins the space into a place of permission.
Wolowiec removes and receives space from the architecture and the body, by drawing on the gallery walls, embedding human hair within it and removing circles of it in a wall exchange program or what she terms “points of exchange.” Wolowiec also “exchanges” a freckle with a friend by getting a tattoo; here a circle of ink is shared. Certificates and photographs document her process.
Wolowiec finds; presenting a series of drawings on discarded lottery tickets, investigates and replaces. Whether made in the space, as in the case of Honeycutt, or drawn on the wall or cut out of it, as in the case with Wolowiec, both artists reside in a pocket utopia. A utopia of the egalitarian hand-made and marked. The resulting social fabric of the exhibition is a work space turned worked space where there is a deeper understanding of an artist space.
There will be a salon discussion on Wednesday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m. where the artist will be present to discuss fiber, feminism and ephemera. Refreshments will be served. This discussion is a part of Austin Thomas’s salon series titled, “Excuse me, you have art in your teeth.”
Pocket Utopia is an away-from center, off-center, exhibition, salon and social space run by artist Austin Thomas.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tonight's salon discussion was titled the "Post-studio Practice and the Artist Residency," and it was essentially me talking about how much I love Libby, Libby talking about how much she loves me, Brece talking about how much Pocket Utopia loves her, Audra talking about how much she loves the space, and how much we all love Rico!
Crazy chocolate chip crackers were served. Recipe to be improved.
Check out this creative post studio residency!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Austin was away this weekend, so I was minding the gallery. At the end of Saturday, I sent her a report and thanked her for making such an incredible space to work in. As each individual walked into the space, the sense of Austin was apparent in the way they viewed it and felt it. Often the visitor expressed real regret that Austin was not there, and I admit, I too, felt a bit lonely without her. However, the visitors rolled in, some new to the space and many repeat visitors. People stop by on a regular basis on the weekends to see the work and chat, and now they have a place to sit, thanks to Libby’s addition of two beautiful benches.
Visitors included artists, friends and neighbors. Here is a partial list: Libby Hartle (former resident artist and current exhibitor); Audra (former intern and co-exhibitor with me in May); (Lindon (owner of the day care center down the street); Ben (in FAAN exhibition and neighbor); Hung (artist and instigator of new lecture series); Todd (neighbor and writer); Adam (artist and FAAN founder); Graham (neighbor and artist doing an upcoming project in Bushwick): a couple new to the space that “oooed and ahhed” over Libby’s nest sculptures and drawings and later returned with friends in tow.
So thanks to Austin for constructing such a perfect utopia and to the many guests that kept me company over the weekend.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Stonefox Artspace presents: Elissa Levy, Phantom
April 22-July 1, 2008
Opening reception: Tuesday, April 22, 6 – 8 pm
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 12 – 6 pm
Location: 611 Broadway at Houston, Suite 405, New York, NY 10012
In this solo exhibition in the front gallery space, Elissa Levy will present a new installation of assembled photographs, prints, drawings, sculpture, and found objects.
The dominant images in Levy's installation are photographs of athletes, soldiers, politicians, and celebrities, cut from newspapers and magazines. These appropriated images are transformed through isolating, fragmenting, obscuring, and repeating. Fluorescent colored tapes and found objects such as decorative beads, plastic ribbon, and fake barbed wire visually ground, frame, and link these elements together.
Levy abstracts her human figures by excising them from their original context, and then drawing concentric rings of color on top of them, forming a sort of visual aura or halo. This treatment is centered on the cores of the bodies, so that the limbs are visually amputated at the elbows and knees. This colorful superimposition alters the figures into ghost-like apparitions. A phantom presence also is evoked by Levy's practice of high-lighting images that bleed through from the back sides of newspaper pages. The truncation of the figures' limbs from their torsos evoke the plethora of amputees returning from war and the phenomena of "phantom limbs," the reported sensations that amputees feel in the parts of their bodies that are no longer there.
Other pieces in the show incorporate images of the ortolan, a small, endangered bird that is a French culinary delicacy. The preparation of this dish is so cruel that the practice has been outlawed. When eating it, one traditionally shrouds one's head entirely in a cloth, ostensibly to trap all of the aromas, although some believe that this practice was developed by a shameful priest who wished to shield his gluttony from God. Levy incorporates an image of a table full of ortolan eaters, whose shrouded forms resemble stylized ghosts, reflecting the morbid and ritualistic nature of their hedonism.
Levy layers imagery, materials, and references to engage with issues of masculinity, power, privilege, and loss. Soldiers and politicians evoke the two-pronged waging of war from the metaphorical halls of power and the trenches, each isolated from the realities of the other. Athletes and celebrities invoke social hierarchies in which entertainers are cultural idols, and sports matches provide endless dramatizations of heroized men gearing up and going into battle. Her work also addresses the very nature of representation and perception, particularly the flood of media images and the fractured nature of information, as well as the ways the brain pieces together missing information to perceive a whole.
About StoneFox ArtSpace: StoneFox Architects have set aside a portion of their New York office to create StoneFox ArtSpace. This temporary project and exhibition space provides independent curators and emerging artists an opportunity to showcase their work. The art space serves to promote a dialogue among artists, curators and collectors and to support these vital artistic endeavors.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Press, getting it, being in it has never been my strong suit. I've always been a little camera shy. So it's with delayed proclamation that I link here a slightly obscure article that appeared in TimeOutNY. The article was titled, "No man’s De Land," and profiled galleries and artist-run spaces that might have a relationship to the cultural provocateur Colin De Land.
Colin De Land launched careers and nurtured deep idiosyncrasies that so indelibly changed our cultural landscape that his presence can still be felt today. He helped put together a little art fair now known as The Armory Show.
Here's the article about him that mentions us: click.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
About a year ago, I received my first blog-related fan letter from an artist named Libby Hartle. Tonight Libby's solo show opens at the Pocket.
For the past six months Libby has been working at a table in the back, walking to and from the space, collecting detritus and turning it into cast paper sticks. The sticks have become nests. Her drawings, made at the table, now cover the wall. Libby has even created a seating area that extends out from her work table. I feel very fortunate to sit there and watch idea become art.