Contributed by Patrick Neal / Open Studio events always take place on weekends throughout artist enclaves in the city, and this past weekend it was DUMBO’s turn. This year, DUMBO Open Studios included a slew of events — 140 open studios, pop-up shows in studios and conference rooms, installations in storefront windows and on sidewalks, self-guided and docent-led tours, and artists selling their wares on the street. Art in Dumbo’s website offered several helpful maps and interactive tools to assist in planning a weekend of studio hopping, and they will continue to be a useful resource for the art community. A special feature this year was Curated Guides, specializing in specific areas of interest like drawing, mixed media, sculpture, and non-objective art. Exhibitions in commercial, non-profit, and residency program galleries were abundant, as were opportunities to talk to artists in their studios and see work in progress.
Part of the fun for me was straying from familiar streets and better-known venues to discover new art, places, and terrain, such as the backstreets of Vinegar Hill, and arriving by ferry instead of subway and experiencing breathtaking waterway views. I began my adventures on Friday night attending opening receptions at various group shows before heading out to individual studios to see art all day Saturday and Sunday.
About the author: Patrick Neal, a regular contributor to Two Coats of Paint, is a painter, freelance art writer, and longtime resident of Long Island City. His solo show, Anonymous: Oasis will be on view at Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY, from October 21 through November 25, 2023. Neal is curator of the group exhibition, The Mirror Blue Night, on view at Undercroft Gallery, The Church of Heavenly Rest, New York, NY, beginning in September 2023.
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Latest post, link in profile / MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS Emilio Vedova: Venice’s Abstract Expressionist / Contributed by David Carrier / Emilio Vedova (1919–2006), who lived and worked in Venice, was once aptly dubbed the Jackson Pollock of the barricades. Employing that American painter’s gestural technique, Vedova made political art. “Rivoluzione Vedova” – “Revolution Vedova” – is an appreciative retrospective of his work on the third floor of the spacious M9 Museum of the 20th Century in Mestre, a very short train ride from Venice. It includes five of his small, quasi-figurative paintings from 1945; a number of his larger abstractions from the 1960s; Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch ’64, a series of paintings on wood made in Berlin; photomontages from 1968; tondos from 1985; and an elaborate installation of his heavily pigmented panels. Link in profile
Latest post, link in profile / Hannah Antalek’s crystal ball: Magical and disconcerting / Contributed by Heather Drayzen / “Superseed,” Hannah Antalek’s debut NYC solo exhibition at 5-50 gallery in Long Island City, draws on our species’ overall apathy about the environment. A surreal, dream-like sensibility informs a bio-luminescent vision of nature, cumulatively derived from dioramas she constructs from recyclable materials. She pulls us into a magical but also disconcerting world. Link in profile
Image: Hannah Antalek, Perpetual Aurora, 2023, oil on canvas, 32 x 24 inches
Latest post, link in profile / Nancy Davidson’s wandering carnival / Contributed by Fintan Boyle / A sense of serious satire has pervaded Nancy Davidson’s work for years, and it is on prominent display in her show “Braids Eggs and Legs: A Wandering,” installed in two large galleries at Catskill Art Space alongside Matt Nolen’s work. Davidson has long been a fan of morselized language and sundered bodies, which in theory would make her work fertile ground for the psychoanalytically inclined. Yet here she elides the sexual menace and violence that, say, Melanie Klein offers. Instead, she wanders, as her title announces. Link in profile
Latest post, link in profile / Interview: Holly Miller’s transatlantic sensibility / Contributed by Leslie Wayne / If you meet Holly Miller on the street, you will encounter a warm, exuberant, emotionally expressive, and funny person who immediately pulls you into her space. You would not expect her art to be highly controlled, minimal, and geometric. Yet she has built her career on paintings that are just that – slightly irregular geometric shapes, flatly painted and intersected by lines sewn with thread. But Miller is now at a crossroads and her work is suddenly exploding outward, making room for new materials, chance encounters, and unpredictable forms. Perhaps, as with many artists, COVID has had something to do with this shift. Life seems a little more precious these days, and taking new aesthetic chances is a small way of asserting courage in the face of the unknown. Link in profile
Latest post, link in profile / The evolution of Justine Hill / Contributed by Riad Miah / It is a pleasure to watch an artist evolve and see surprising changes, as in the case of Justine Hill with her current exhibition “Omphalos” at Dimin Gallery. Over the course of four solos, elements of her work have remained consistent. These include the cut-out shapes that jostle to fit together, and the color that complements (or contradicts) abutting forms. Hill’s earlier work has been likened to the masterful Elizabeth Murray’s. The comparison was apt enough insofar as she, like Murray, worked on irregularly shaped canvases, but it didn’t seem to go much deeper than that until now. Link in profile
Image: Justine Hill, Bend 2, 2023, acrylic, pastel, oil stick, and paper on canvas, 67 x 69 inches
Latest post, link in profile / Katherine Bradford: Heaven on Earth / Contributed by Rick Briggs / To one growing up Catholic, heaven and hell were in no way, shape, or form mere metaphors for possible destinations in the afterlife. They were very real places to spend all eternity, either heavenly salvation or eternal damnation. Forty years ago, Katherine Bradford proposed an exhibition to Chris Martin and me titled “3 Catholics.” While it never took place, the idea was to gather three lapsed Catholics who shared that particular cultural grounding and also similar painting values, and who were all now earnestly in pursuit of our new religion – Painting. This memory came wafting back to me the morning after viewing “Arms and the Sea,” Bradford’s solo show of remarkable new paintings at Canada. Link in profile
Image: Katherine Bradford, Swimmers Under Pink Sky, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 68 inches
Latest post, link in profile / Contributed by Kasper Nihlmark / During a two-week trip to New York City from my native Sweden, I had the chance to catch a glimpse of the city’s art scene firsthand. Link in profile
images: At the Faurschou Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, solo exhibitions of the work of Donna Huanca and Tracey Emin (images are tagged)
Latest post, link in profile / Ann Craven’s wistful nighttime tales / Contributed by Natasha Sweeten / As children, we learn that nighttime is for hushed voices, unlit rooms, and the chance to briefly disappear into our dreams. In her latest show “Night” at Karma, Ann Craven fully embraces the enchantment of the wee hours. Her paintings, swathed in darkness, capture quiet moments, and the imagery could easily have been conjured from bedtime stories. Yet they’re not all warm and fuzzy. Link in profile
Art that caught my eye in the neighborhood on my lunch break this afternoon: @jennylynnmcnutt and @kathygoodellart in #anthroshift curated by @anitatrombetta and @charborg @ny_studioschool project space / @jennifer.mccandless @airgallery “Soggy Pile of Silver Linings” 2023, ceramics / saw Michael Brennan’s shimmering “Floating weeds” paintings @minus_space , too, but we posted that yesterday :)
Latest post, link in profile / Michael Brennan’s moving images / Two Coats of Paint invited painter Kim Uchiyama to sit down with Michael Brennan to discuss “Floating Weeds,” Brennan’s fourth solo show at Minus Space. In their wide-ranging conversation, they discuss Japanese film, Russell Lee’s photographs, Charles Olson’s poetry, Venetian lagoons, architect Carlo Scarpa, Homer, and more. Link in profile
Latest post, link in profile / An Italian American colloquy with Joanne Mattera and John Avelluto / On the occasion of “A Legacy of Making: 21 Contemporary Italian American Artists,” a sprawling group show on view at the Calandra Institute through January 12, 2024, Two Coats of Paint invited John Avelluto, one of the artists in the show, and Joanne Mattera, the mastermind behind the whole project, which began as an online exhibition called “Italianità,” to talk about growing up in Italian families, and how the experience shaped their lives and their work. Link in profile