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?”

TLD Interview: Gallery Owner Lesley Heller

Lesley Heller in her gallery, Lesley Heller Workspace, at 54 Orchard Street. Photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

For some time we’ve been intrigued by the shows at Lesley Heller Workspace on lower Orchard Street. So I was excited to sit down with owner Lesley Heller recently to learn more about her approach to curating shows and hear about the sorts of work that makes an impact on her.  Currently on view at Heller’s space are Tom Kotik and Head Case.

TLD: You moved your gallery to Orchard St. from the Upper East Side in 2010. What sparked the move?

Lesley Heller: I knew I wanted to move to a more dynamic neighborhood and I thought there were so many galleries in Chelsea. And the Lower East Side was just beginning to be a neighborhood of galleries. My gallery was on 92nd St. off Madison for two years, and 77th St. off Madison next to The Castelli for two years.

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…!)