Calling all art lovers: Try out this Bushwick gallery crawl

May 14, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“He Does Not Recollect Any Fish as His Ancestors,” by Paul Bergeron, is one of the sights you'll see on the Brooklyn Eagle's Bushwick gallery crawl. Photo courtesy of Honey Ramka
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You don’t have to be a hipster to have fun in Bushwick.

There’s a good time to be had in its galleries, regardless of your age or lifestyle choices.

The Brooklyn Eagle suggests a Bushwick gallery crawl like the one this reporter took on a recent Sunday, since that’s the only day of the week some favorite spots are open to the public.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

If you go soon, before the exhibitions change, you’ll see sculptures made with a chain saw, photos that look at Greenpoint in a new way and paintings by an artist who had a show at the famed Guggenheim Museum.

The neighborhood’s buzz-worthy Bushwick Open Studios weekend takes place on June 5-7. The Eagle‘s gallery crawl is for the rest of the year, when you crave a quieter encounter with art.

This is a busy time for art-loving New Yorkers, what with the recent opening of the Whitney’s jaw-dropping new museum in the Meatpacking District and the Upper East Side’s Neue Galerie’s show about Gustav Klimt’s “Woman in Gold,” the painting that inspired the Helen Mirren-Ryan Reynolds film. It seems like a good moment to remind readers that Brooklyn, too, offers inexhaustible visual-arts treats.

To read up on current exhibitions when you decide to do your own gallery crawl, see bushwickgalleries.com for listings and a helpful map.

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Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine, 25 Knickerbocker Ave.

Christopher Wool is such a star.

The  artist, who has been a noteworthy figure in the New York City art scene since the 1980s, had a 2013-2014 retrospective at the Guggenheim.

His show at the Luhring Augustine’s Bushwick building, which runs through June 21, is a display of new paintings. The huge black-and-white abstracts invite you to be still, and contemplate.

Sculptures by Wool are on display at Luhring Augustine’s other location, which is in Chelsea.

By the way, the Knickerbocker Avenue gallery is a good place to start the day because it opens at 11 a.m., earlier than other neighborhood art venues do. If you wind up with free time between gallery visits, Amancay’s Diner at 2 Knickerbocker Ave. is a fun place to eat chicken and waffles.

* * *

‘From Ash to Apollo’ at GCA, 119 Ingraham St.

Sara Maria Salamone took most of her photos out on the streets, but they have an intimate feel.

By closely observing details of her neighborhood, Greenpoint, she has created images that are unexpectedly moving.

The heart-twisting works include a tiny patch of weeds growing in front of a purple wall, a sad-eyed dog staring out a window and a rumpled phone book lying on a cracked sidewalk.

“She’s fascinated by the traditions of snapshot photography,” said GCA co-founder Mike Schreiber — but by painstakingly developing and framing the photos, Salamone honors them as art objects.

The exhibition runs through May 24.

By the way, also in this building, Brooklyn Fire Proof’s Temporary Storage Gallery is having an opening reception and performances on Friday night, May 15, for “Behind the White Walls.” The show features works by art handlers at the Whitney, Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim.

* * *

Kyle James Dunn and Sarah Elise Hall at Los Ojos, 12 Cypress Ave.

You’ll need to wear your sunglasses inside this gallery.

Otherwise, the vibrant hues of Kyle James Dunn’s sculptural paintings —which are made with thickly layered acrylic paint, caulk, plaster, gel medium, bead chain and aluminum — might singe your retinas.

This is meant as a compliment. Dunn, who lives in Ridgewood and works in Bushwick, has created tactile, playful paintings that keep you looking and looking.

The exhibition, which also includes terrific works by Sarah Elise Hall, runs through May 31.

By the way, gallery co-founders Karl Hinojosa and Brendan Berg chose the Spanish-language name Los Ojos (which means “The Eyes”) as an homage to the fact that Bushwick is a Hispanic neighborhood.

The two men picked Bushwick as the place to open their gallery last year instead of Chelsea or the Lower East Side because “we wanted to be ahead of the curve and not shouting through the crowd in Manhattan,” Berg said.

* * *

‘Puppet Panic’ at Honey Ramka, 56 Bogart St.

If that breakfast-eater sitting there with a plate of bacon and eggs looks a little rough around the edges, it’s only logical.

He’s a wooden sculpture, hewn with a chain saw.

The artist who created this work, Paul Bergeron, grew up in Alaska, Honey Ramka co-director Jesse Martin said. Bergeron also used a chain saw to make the other wooden works he’s displaying in this exhibition.

Imagine their maker buzz-sawing them into being — it adds an extra touch of menace to the sculptures’ enigmatic nature.

Also, his acrylic on burlap painting “He Does Not Recollect Any Fish as His Ancestors” is big, bright — and sinister.

This exhibition, which also includes stunning works by Katrina Fimmel, Jason Reyen and Ana Wieder-Blank, runs through June 7.

* * *

Bogart Street Is Gallery Central

You could spend a whole day on Bogart Street.

The BogArt, which is the building where Honey Ramka is located, is the center of the action. It is filled with artists’ studios and galleries.

Across the street from BogArt, a rainbow-striped mural winds up as a backdrop for photo shoots when you least expect it.

There’s a cluster of restaurants and food shops surrounding the BogArt. Swallow Café at 49 Bogart St. is one of the popular spots. There’s sidewalk seating at vegan-friendly bar Pine Box Rock Shop at 12 Grattan St.

And high-profile pizza maker Roberta’s is at nearby 261 Moore St.

At the BogArt, art lovers who dawdle less than this reporter will have time to see “Down the Rabbit Hole,” an intriguing exhibit of Karen Schwartz’s works at the gallery Life on Mars. It runs through May 31.

Another must-see at 56 Bogart St. is “Slightly Ajar,” an exhibition of collages made of found materials by Sharon Lawless at Robert Henry Contemporary. It, too, runs through May 31.

* * *

‘Thebes’ at Wayfarers, 1109 DeKalb Ave.

My Kingdom For a Horse — or a bicycle would do the trick.

Bushwick’s galleries are all over the map. If you’ve got a Schwinn at your disposal, you could surely make it before the 5 p.m. closing time to “Thebes,” an exhibition of works by Harry Cushing, Juliana Merz and A.W. Strouse at Wayfarers.   

By the way, for snack time afterwards, around the corner, the veggie burgers and fries are tasty at Looking Glass at 1087 Broadway. And you can catch a breeze on the back patio. Drinkers will be charmed by the $5 watermelon sangria.


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