DISPATCH - JULY 25, 2012 (8:15 p.m.)
In New York City and looking to satisfy an art craving? Then Chelsea may be the place to be. Tomorrow night, the third annual Chelsea Art Walk is being held from 5 to 8 p.m. (Thursday, July 26)
With over 80 galleries, special events, open studios, stand-out exhibitions and theatrical tours led by a Brooklyn group, there's bound to be art to connect with. The event is free.
The Chelsea Art Walk celebrates the gallery-rich neighbor's summer art exhibitions, said Brendan Wattenberg of The Walther Collection. The event is the "last hurrah" of the city's art season, said Wattenberg.
It also provides the opportunity to enjoy the Chelsea gallery scene in the twilight of a summer's evening.
"The walk is really a chance for the immediate community and art-lovers throughout the city to enjoy the creativity and exuberance of New York's premier art district," said Wattenberg. "We're all looking forward to another fun-filled summer event."
The slate of events includes gallery talks, receptions, live music and a book signing. Ultra Violet is hosting an interactive conceptual piece at her studio on 26th Street. Visitors can have a Polaroid portrait taken while gazing into works with mirrors stating "SELF PORTRAIT," according to the event website. (Violet was an Andy Warhol superstar during The Factory days.)
New for this year is "Rudy's Guide to Art" -- a theatrical tour of the Chelsea Art Walk. Tours begin at 6 and 7 p.m. at the corner of 10th Avenue and 21st Street. The Chelsea Art Walk commissioned the piece from Rudy's Meritocracy, a Brooklyn-based theatrical ensemble.
The main draw of the Chelsea Art Walk are the 80 galleries keeping their doors open late to welcome visitors. Galleries are clustered from 19th to 29th Streets between 10th and 11th Avenues.
The highest concentration of galleries are located on 25 and 26th Streets, according to the list posted at Chelsea Art Walk's website. There are 14 galleries participating on 25th Street (including Nancy Margolis Gallery, Dean Project, New Century Artists and Praxis International Art).
On 26th Street, there are 17 galleries and 12 open studios. Galleries on 26th include Galerie Lelong, James Cohan Gallery, Vogt Gallery and Artbridge Drawing Room.
Citing the numbers of galleries doesn't begin to grab the range of art available for viewing.
According to Wattenberg, some of the highlights include "Everyday Abstract - Abstract Everyday" at James Cohan Gallery, "Stretch Painting" at Galerie Lelong, "Young Curators, New Ideas" at Meulensteen, "Beneath" at Vogt Gallery; "tet-a-tete" at Yancey Richardson Gallery and "31 Women in Art Photography" at Hasted Kraeutler.
Each of the group shows explores a theme in depth. For instance, "Everyday Abstract - Abstract Everyday" at James Cohan Gallery explores the state of contemporary abstraction. It is curated by Matthew Higgs, the director of White Columns.
Higgs writes of the show:
"...Collectively the works...seem most interested in the point at which the self-contained rationality of earlier modernist abstraction is ruptured," he writes. "....traces of our material culture are transformed, or perhaps more accurately, re-purposed into something that is simultaneously familiar and strange."
At Galerie Lelong, "Stretching Painting" presents works by 10 artists who incorporate textiles, instead of canvas, in their work or other handmade and found materials.
The art in the show begins with the endoskeleton of paintings (the frame, the wall, stretchers and hanging devices) but leaps from there, according to the gallery.
"While wide-ranging in their interests and methods, the artists of 'Stretching Painting' all demonstrate a deep investment in materiality, labor, and process, part of a stimulating tendency manifest in all aspects of contemporary culture today," according to an exhibition release.
Other noteworthy shows are being held at Joshua Liner Gallery, Nancy Margolis Gallery and Lyons Wier Gallery. Here's a preview of some of the art on view:
"Shawn Barber Memoir: The Tattooed Portraits Series" at Joshua Liner Gallery presents portraiture of people tattooed by renowned skin artists. The exhibition coincides with the impending release of the hardcover book Memoir: The Tattooed Portrait Series. The book is Barber's third volume where he chronicles the artistry of contemporary tattoo through his perspective as a classically trained portrait painter and tattooist.
The triptych "Portrait of the artist Shige" by Barber took two years to make, said gallerist Joshua Liner. Barber first painted the multiple views of Shige sans tattoos. He then meticulously painted all of the body art, said Liner. Most of Shige's tattoos were done by master tattooist Filip Leu.
Lyons Wier Gallery is exhibiting "DEXERITY: Works on Paper." The group show presents accomplished draftsmanship on paper through a variety of mediums including pencil, charcoal, ballpoint pen, acrylic, watercolor and gouache, according to the gallery.
Nancy Margolis Gallery is presenting the sprawling show "Permanent Collection." The exhibition includes works by 130 artists who were requested to select a piece from MoMA's collection (Museum of Modern Art) and then make their own artwork.
The exhibition "...continues the critique of the art world establishment and the concept of 'master works,'” according to the gallery.
The show accomplishes this by exploring the art accepted into MoMA and whether the experience of copying masters from the NYC museums rivals the tradition of copying masterpieces from The Louvre in Paris, according to an exhibition release.
Other undercurrents include the "politics of reproduction," issues of authenticity and aura, and the rub that art accepted into the important museum's collection is still made by collectors and benefactors instead of artists, according to the gallery.
BASIC FACTS: The Chelsea Art Walk takes place on Thursday (July 26) from 5 to 8 p.m. in New York City, NY. Participating galleries and a schedule of events can be found at http://artwalkchelsea.com.
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