If you are a NYC art lover then chances are you’ve been to the galleries in Chelsea. Less popular, and not as well known, are the galleries on the Lower East Side. The art you’ll find there is very contemporary; sometimes edgy; and often just recently completed. A reason to visit may be tied to a specific show. But even more fun is to head down there and just wander in and out of galleries. You’ll be surprised at the unusual and interesting art you’ll uncover. Start by just walking up and down Orchard Street.
One gallery I dropped into was The 155 Project. A group show called A Conversation in Approaches featured eight artists working in a variety of media. Among them was 89 year old Jean Kawecki, who creates large scale, evocative sculptures from found stone and found wood combined with other natural materials such as bones, coral and bark, Many of the pieces are carved from one continuous found object. Says Kawecki, “Nature provides my medium. I spend a lot of time wandering through the woods, the quarry or the stone yard. There, I find an abundance of form, color and texture that I can use to express my responses to the many aspects of the human scene.”
The Krause Gallery offered a completely different art experience. Campbell La Pun – “Excess Fumes” features 15 aerosol can “portraits” with brand images like Hermes, Nike, Pringles and Lucky Strike. La Pun, a Melbourne-born, Tokyo-based artist, uses pop culture for much of his work. The show, on view until December 1st, is reminiscent of works by Andy Warhol.
At the Denny Gallery I saw Emily Noelle Lambert’s colorful abstractions which were engaging and full of energy. The exhibition features paintings and sculptures that are “in dialogue with each other, exploring dimensional and pictorial space,” according to the gallery notes. Lambert’s sculptures are made mostly from found or discarded wood, foam, steel, and other objects. This exhibit is on until December 1st.