Woodward Gallery “Emphatically Refutes” Accusations from Collector

Andy Warhol, Space Fruit: Still Lifes (Peaches), 1979, ©AWF. Image via warhol.org.

Andy Warhol, Space Fruit: Still Lifes (Peaches), 1979, ©AWF. Image via warhol.org.

The Lower East Side’s Woodward Gallery is defending itself against allegations made by an Oregon investor.

In a lawsuit filed June 30, Nira Levine, 85, claimed that John and Kristine Woodward doctored authenticity papers, causing her to overpay for dozens of Andy Warhol prints. In 2008, Levine and the gallery split the $180,000 cost of 90 prints from Warhol’s “Space Fruit 1979″ series. The story was widely reported in media outlets from New York Post to prominent art industry publications such as Artforum. [The Lo-Down provided a link to the Artforum story earlier this month.]

Over the weekend, we received the following statement from Kristine Woodward:

Woodward Gallery emphatically refutes Nira Levine’s baseless and inflammatory allegations. The Spacefruit prints which Levine, an art dealer herself, purchased through the Gallery, were authenticated with a rating of “A” by the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board. The Andy Warhol Foundation has just confirmed those findings. The original Certificates of Authenticity were transferred to Nira Levine when she took possession of the prints in 2014. The prints themselves are additionally stamped with the aforementioned “A” numbers. Accordingly, there is no factual basis for her to now- or ever- claim that the prints are fake. It is shameful that Nira Levine would assert a dubious statement to the press when she in fact has obvious proof of her investment in hand.

Courthouse News Service reported that Levine is also questioning the value of many other works purchased through the gallery:

Levine is seeking a discovery order compelling the gallery to disclose all documentation of acquisition and sale for the rest of the approximately 140 pieces of art that were jointly purchased for Levine by the Woodwards. The collection is composed of a veritable “who’s who” of 20th Century painters, including the iconic pop art of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist, along with the street art of Keith Haring and Richard Hambleton, as well as a Jean-Michel Basquiat and a half dozen paintings attributed to Alexander Calder.

The Woodward Gallery, located at 133 Eldridge St., was established in 1994.

Gallery Goer: What to See This Week

Jack Vickidge-Receiver

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery presents a dual show of woodblock prints by Jack Vickridge and sculptural reliefs by Lizzie Wright. The pairing seems natural as both share an interest in geometric abstraction, simple lines and wood. Yes, wood.

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?”

Royal Young: “Rather Unique” at Woodward Gallery

"Go Hard 2011" by Indie184. Photo credit: Royal Young.

Street art, of course, has a legendary history on the Lower East Side. From graffiti and gang signs to colorful murals on the walls of community centers, the canvas of the streets has always been a perfect place to paint the urban dreams of downtown Manhattan. Artists like Jim Power (Mosaic Man), who tiles New York’s surfaces, and Chico, the ubiquitous muralist, have made street art a highly visible and dynamic form.

Now, Woodward Gallery, on Eldridge Street is celebrating artists who draw inspiration from and paint on public spaces. The gallery’s first ever guest curator, Harlem-based street artist Royce Bannon, has put together “Rather Unique,” an exhibit of fellow creatives who use their visual skills to reflect and redefine what they see in the streets. Artists include: Cassius Fowler, Celso, Chris RWK, Cope2, Darkcloud, H.veng.Smith, Indie184, infinity, KA, Keely, Kenji Nakayama, Kosbe, Matt Siren, Moody, Nose Go, Royce B., Russell King, UR New York, Veng and Wrona.

Lower East Side Gallery Openings This Weekend

Christopher Saunders, Whitenoise no. 11 2011.

On the Lower East Side gallery scene, a few weekend openings to highlight.

First, Shane McAdams and Christopher Sanders present “The Fair & Open Face of Heaven,” an exhibition of paintaings and works on paper at the Allegra La Viola Gallery.

At Invisible Exports, there’s a group exhibition featuring works by Ron Athey, Walt Cassidy, Jesse Aron Green, Geof Oppenheimer and Sue Williams. The show, titled “The Displaced Person” explores the ideas of renewal and alienation.

And at the Woodward Gallery, Harlem-based street artist Royce Bannon curates a group show. Street and graffiti artists represented include: Cassius Fowler, Celso, Chris RWK, Cope2, Darkcloud, H.veng.Smith, Indie184, infinity, KA, Keely, Kenji Nakayama, Kosbe, Matt Siren, Moody, Nose Go, Royce B, Russell King, UR New York, Veng, and Wrona.  See below for details on three openings:

Allegra La Viola (tonight 6-9 p.m.), 179 East Broadway

Invisible Exports (tonight 6-8 p.m.), 14A Orchard Street

Woodward Gallery (Saturday 6-8 p.m.), 133 Eldridge Street


Artwork Stolen from Eldridge Street Display

One of these things is not like the other: One of four works by the Brooklyn artist Moody was lifted out of the third space from the left last night.

The Eldridge Street project space of Woodward Gallery has displayed various works of street art for five years without incident. That streak came to a halt last night, when a thief lifted one of four panels by Brooklyn artist Moody sometime between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

“Someone just helped themselves to a work of art,” Kristine Woodward told us a little while ago. “And it had to involve some planning.”

Woodward Gallery News: New Exhibitions, Cafe Plan Still on Track

MOODY Products (Titles from L-R: Moody Cola, America Runs of Graff, Absolute Graff, AA Games) October-December 2011

There’s a new work on the facade of 132 Eldridge Street, the Woodward Gallery’s rotating street art exhibition space.  Moody presents “Products,”  an extension of the artist’s exploration of our “visual culture.”  You can read more about the project here.

There’s more news from the Woodward Gallery. On November 5th, Lady Pink. “the first woman of graffiti,” will open a major exhibition inside the main gallery space. The artist, who began painting subway trains in 1979, is now featured in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and  the Brooklyn Museum. Lady Pink will be present for the opening reception.

One other note. Kristine and John Woodward told us recently they are moving forward with plans to open up a cafe inside 132 Eldridge. Another Eldridge Street spot, Panade, was operating out of the space briefly, but a partnership with the gallery fizzled. Last month, Community Board 3 decided not to support the gallery’s liquor license application.  But they are undeterred. We’ll keep you posted.


Community Board 3’s September Liquor License Agenda

White Slab Palace, 77 Delancey Street.

It didn’t take White Slab Palace long to reopen after the NYPD shut the bar down earlier this month. Nonetheless, the operators apparently have some explaining to do about a lapse in their liquor license — when they go before CB3’s State Liquor Authority Committee next month.  This is just one of several interesting items on the community board September agenda, which also includes an application from the owners of Woodward Gallery to serve beer, wine and liquor at a new cafe they plan at 132 Eldridge St.; see our story from yesterday here. Read the complete list of liquor license applicants after the jump.

Woodward Gallery Owner Plans New Cafe on Eldridge

The space at 132 Eldridge, which briefly housed Panade bakery, will be home to a new cafe run by the folks behind Woodward Gallery just across the street.

Woodward Gallery co-owner Kristine Woodward plans to open a new cafe in the Eldridge Street space vacated this summer by Panade bakery.

The notice of application for a full beer, wine and liquor license is posted on the door of 132 Eldridge, which has been shuttered since Panade moved back across the street to its original location in July. The notice, which is filed under the corporate name Second Nature NYC LLC, is an invitation for public comment at the Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority committee on Sept. 19.

Third Thursdays Featured Gallery: Woodward Gallery



Kristine and John Woodward with Lucy - photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis for thelodownny.com



Neighborhood galleries will stay open late this Thursday for Third Thursdays, a monthly event from the LES Business Improvement District showcasing the Lower East Side’s flourishing arts scene.  Galleries will be open until 9pm and the New Museum is offering free evening admission. The Lo-Down is pleased to be the local media sponsor of the event and is profiling a participating gallery each month.



We recently stopped in to chat with John and Kristine Woodward, co-owners of The Woodward Gallery, a nearly 6,000-sq.ft. space at 133 Eldridge St. near Delancey St. The gallery’s current exhibition “20 in 11” is a group show of artists from around the world who haven’t exhibited at Woodward.  A few of the “20” include David Bender, Patrick Christie, Jay Constantine, Lisa French and Abby Goodman, Slavka Kolesar and Tetiana Zakharova. On view through July 23, the show cuts a wide swath featuring Flemish-influenced portrait paintings, modern figurative works and super realism, to intricate dot paintings and detailed paper sculpture.


Artist Knox Martin Proposes a “Whaling Wall” on Building at 334 Grand Street

Knox Martin’s whalewall rendering for Palazzo Grey building in NYC

Renowned muralist and  painter, Knox Martin, has announced a proposal for his latest public work: He hopes to premier a new mural titled “The Whaling Wall,” at 334 Grand Street (also known as the “Palazzo Grey” building) by the end of May, 2011. Martin is currently raising funds for the work here. The intent of the new work is to raise awareness of the plight of whales, and to promote global peace. The Woodward Gallery on Eldridge St. is curating the project. They write:

This Artwork depicts man’s irresponsible killing of the whales. It is a metaphor for peace and a call for humanity...Artist Knox Martin has envisioned and will donate his painting to the public to raise awareness; Mr & Mrs. Kevin Downey have donated their building’s exterior wallThe Whaling Wall Mural requires approximately $50,000 USD to complete. Please donate as little or as much as you can to this public mural project. You will be participating in a global effort to save the whales and in turn make a stand for peace.

Martin previously taught at the Yale Graduate School of Art and NYU.  He currently teaches a master class at The Art Students League of New York.

Panade Cafe Grows Across Eldridge Street

For the last four years, you could find Yvette Ho behind the counter at Panade, her bakery at 129 Eldridge Street, pretty much every minute the shop was open.

She mixed and baked the namesake cream puffs (“panade” is the batter for the light, airy pastries that can be sweet or savory). She churned out cookies, muffins and other sweets alongside them. She brewed the coffee, collected the money and swept the floor.

“The second my customers walked in, I knew what they wanted; people want places like that,” says Ho, 36. “I got to know my customers, and they liked being known, and the whole place would turn into therapy sessions and gossip circles.”

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.