Gallery Goer: Openings on the Lower East Side

Shifting Impressions, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

Shifting Impressions, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

Gallery Goer is a weekly roundup of gallery shows on the Lower East Side.  Check out our top picks for shows opening each week that you won’t want to miss.

Saturday, March 28, 5 pm to 7 pm

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space: Shifting Impressions

This exhibition in conjunction with City Souvenirs, a site responsive project that uses walking, clay and public participation to create connections between people and place. The show is a collaboration between two artistsLiene Bosquê and Nicole Seisler. Curated by Lynnette Miranda, Shifting Impressions features a objects and tools that visitors can physically handle, as well as a series of three public walks on the Lower East Side.

In pairing the gallery show with the walks, the artists invite participants to walk through the neighborhood and make direct impressions of the landscape with fresh blocks of clay. After participants have made marks in the clay, the artists will collect the objects. One side of the clay records specific architectural details, while the other retains the imprint of the hand, its subtle lines and fingerprints.

Within the context of the Lower East Side’s ongoing and rapid transformation, this show is particularly meaningful as the Essex Street Market, along with Cuchifritos, will move across the street to the Essex Crossing development in 2018. The show debuts as demolition on an original Market structure on the south side of Delancey St. has already begun, perfectly timed in the face of constant change in the neighborhood.

The show’s public walks are on April 11, 18 and 25. All walks begin at 4 pm from Cuchifritos Gallery inside Essex Street Market.

Through April 26, 2015 // Tues.-Sun. 12 pm to 6 pm // 120 Essex St.

Cal (Factory Face), David Wojnarowicz

Cal (Factory Face), David Wojnarowicz

Opened Recently:

James Fuentes: Debris

This fun, highly eclectic show features artists who happily appropriate found objects from everyday life, manipulate and copy them to prevent them from disappearing. Fuentes has included work by Darja Bajagić, David Wojnarowicz, Haim Steinbach, Lizzi Bougatsos, Nevine Mahmoud and Renaud Jerez. As a group, the works represent visceral assemblages illustrating portraits, diaries, and narratives.

David Wojnarowicz’s Cal (Factory Face), acrylic and collage on masonite, stares eerily at the viewer, abstract and figurative at once. The stark canvas pops off the wall, easily superseding most of the other paintings in the show.

TJS 1, Renaud Jerez

TJS 1, Renaud Jerez

Renaud Jerez’ TJS 1 is truly one of the most intriguing pieces in the show. This skeletal, robot-looking figure is made of  burnt PVC pipe, aluminum, cotton, string, satellite cable, web cams, duct tape plastic tubing, polyester and denim clothing with rubber feet. I half expected the figure to blurt something out, Tourettes’-like, or take a step.

Through April 26, 2015  // James Fuentes, 55 Delancey St. // Wed.-Sun. 10 am to 6 pm

Tobi Elkin is a freelance writer and editor who lives on the Lower East Side. She works as a journalist at eMarketer, a digital marketing and media research firm. Follow her on Twitter at: @TobiElkin.


Expanded James Fuentes Gallery Opens Sunday

The Real Estate Show Revisited at the James Fuentes Gallery

James Fuentes to Reprise The Real Estate Show Next Month

More Proof LES Gallery Scene is Thriving

art boom title

Montage by Kim Sillen Gledhill.

Editor’s note: This story was first published in the May 2013 edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

When Risa Needleman and Benjamin Tischer opened Invisible Exports, their sliver of a gallery at 14 Orchard St. in 2008, they joined a handful of independent-minded dealers fleeing the sterility of Chelsea for a new art frontier on the Lower East Side. Five years later, having firmly established a reputation for cutting-edge–and often provocative–shows, they are preparing to move on from a street bursting with galleries; there are six of them in a one-block stretch above Canal Street. But these young dealers are not abandoning the LES; they’re negotiating for a larger space in a neighborhood that Needleman calls a “new force to be reckoned with in the art world.”

This month, the highly regarded New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) stages the sophomore edition of its New York art fair in the neighborhood, at Basketball City on Pier 36. At the same time, a French fair called Cutlog makes its American debut on the Lower East Side. And the New Museum, which helped set off the art stampede with its arrival on the Bowery in 2007, hosts Ideas City, a three-day conference and festival focused on urban issues.

Local Gallerist James Fuentes – True to His Roots

James Fuentes at his new gallery at 55 Delancey St.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the November issue of our print magazine.

It’s all in the neighborhood for James Fuentes, whose past, present and future are colliding on the Lower East Side. Fuentes’ eponymous gallery, at 55 Delancey St., isn’t far from where he grew up on Madison and Jackson streets. He now lives in the East River Co-op with his young family.

“It feels very much like a homecoming,” he says of moving to Grand Street in May 2010 and opening the gallery in September of the same year. Before that, Fuentes lived in Chinatown at Canal and Allen streets and ran a gallery for more than three years at 35 St. James Place.

Gallery Goer

by Jade Townsend ©KittyJoeSainte-Marie

Editor’s note: Today we’re  introducing Gallery Goer, a weekly column by Tobi Elkin featuring not-to-be-missed gallery shows on the LES. She’ll highlight noteworthy shows in the burgeoning and highly eclectic neighborhood gallery scene, offering a glimpse into some of the most exciting new art that’s being shown.

Lesley Heller Workspace at 54 Orchard is one of my favorite galleries in the neighborhood. This spacious and airy gallery features two shows—one by a solo artist in the front space—and a second, group show deeper into the gallery. Currently on view as a solo show is “Leviathan” by Jade Townsend, which offers two installations that are bound to provoke conversation and at the very least a “Wow, what was he thinking?”

Gallery Hop: Lesley Heller Workspace & James Fuentes

David Storey - Old Turtle, 2009 oil on canvas 16" x 20" - at Leslies Heller Workspace through Nov. 27th, 2011 (photo courtesy of Leslie Heller)

Lower East Side galleries including Lesley Heller Workspace and James Fuentes debuted provocative new shows last night.

Lesley Heller’s Head Case makes a case for crazy. Curated by painter and guest curator Laurel Farrin, Head Case posits that madness isn’t so bad really, affirming what we’ve known all along: Being a little off-kilter stirs the imagination, invites strange machinations and stimulates creative visions all of which, by the way, open the possibility for transformation. Occasionally, it’s been harnessed to produce great art. Farrin plays with the double meaning of head case -– it’s a term coined to cover a crazy person, yes, but also is used to describe the part of a chrysalis that covers a developing insect’s head. (We didn’t know that…!)

Art Worth Seeing on the Lower East Side

The fall gallery season is upon us. We’ve asked artist Walter O’Neill, director of  the Educational Alliance’s Art School, to recommend some openings and exhibits in the neighborhood. Here are some highlights from the new season:

Last week, walking around the neighborhood, you could see gallery directors and staff hanging artwork and touching up the white walls while other galleries had brown paper covering the windows.  As the fall art season opens this week, the art galleries on the Lower East Side offer some of the most diverse and exciting exhibits in New York; from work by octogenarians Knox Martin (Woodward Gallery) and Jonas Mekas (James Fuentes Gallery) to paintings by emerging artists who are just out of art school. The shows will include a wide range of materials and styles –  from installation art to photographs and paintings – almost every current art trend can be viewed within a few blocks.  

James Fuentes Gallery Set to Open at 55 Delancey

Art Info interviews the young curator, James Fuentes, about the decision to move his well-known gallery from St. James Place in Chinatown to a new, conspicuous storefront on Delancey, near Eldridge. Fuentes says the search for a new space took seven months. He looked all over the Lower East Side, but also in Chelsea. The rents, he says, were about the same in the two neighborhoods (approximately $65 square foot). The new gallery has 800 square feet on the main floor (400 in the basement).