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The Review Panel, artcritical’s acclaimed series of live criticism, moves to Brooklyn Public Library

February 5, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Review Panel series will move to Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch after ten years on the Upper East Side. Photo courtesy of BPL
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After 10 years, a fixture of the Upper East Side arts scene is making a big move to Brooklyn in search of new audiences. 

The Review Panel, a forum for lively critical debate about contemporary visual art, has worked to demystify art critique for more than a decade. Lead by artcritical Editor David Cohen and made popular through the participation of NYC’s leading art critics, the Review Panel hosts irreverent, casual and participatory conversations about the day’s top exhibits. It has succeeded in taking art critique off the page and turning it into a bona fide cultural event. 

That’s why next month, the Review Panel is leaving its longtime home at the National Academy Museum on the Upper East Side and relocating to Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library — an institution and a borough that promises to bring a new audience of cultural consumers. 

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

The first Brooklyn Review Panel will be held on Feb. 9, where the discussion will be on Katherine Bradford’s “Fear of Waves” and Elizabeth Kley’s “Ozymandias,” both on view at Canada on the Lower East Side; Charles Harlan’s “Flood,” a large-scale installation piece at Pioneerworks; and Glenn Ligon’s “We Need to Wake Up Cause That’s What Time It Is,” a new video installation exhibition at Luhring Augustine. Panelists will be Alexi Worth, Brooklyn-based painter and awardee of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts; Siri Hustvedt, acclaimed author; and Roberta Smith, a New York Times art critic. 

It’s no longer the case that art is made in Brooklyn and shown in Manhattan. Brooklyn is home to many of the artists, writers and thinkers responsible for New York’s cultural preeminence — and Brooklyn institutions have followed suit with high-quality cultural offerings for eager audiences. This includes the public library, which not only attracts major literary heavyweights, but offers them for free to patrons that are diverse in age, ethnicity and income. For the Review Panel, taking up residence at BPL is a chance to reach a different, younger audience with a major appetite for art and culture.

Also a thing of the past is the idea that libraries are dusty old book repositories.  Libraries are no longer transactional and solitary spaces, where you take out a book and read it at a carroll or at home. Instead, they’re vibrant places that are home to arts exhibits, music, meetings, social services and so much more.

The Feb. 9 event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Dweck Center at BPL’s Central Library (10 Grand Army Plaza).


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