Month: October 2015

Art Galleries of the Lower East Side map map

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.

Jean Kawecki

Jean Kawecki, The Past Is Always Present


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.”

Campbell la Pun, Kreme Glaze, Aerosol on Panle

Campbell la Pun, Kreme Glaze, Aerosol on Panel

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.

Ofri Cnaani: Wrong Tools

front window

It’s hard to categorize Wrong Tools, the  Ofri Cnanni show at the Andrea Meislin Gallery. The exhibit includes a participatory performance piece as well as a series of cyanotypes —  a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print.


My "reading"

My “reading”

The Cnnani performance is like a spiritual “reading.” It “expands on the idea of visuality, visibility and vulnerability in the image-saturated digital culture, highlighting fundamental paradoxes of the media era,” according to the exhibition notes.

For my reading, I selected two items from a collection of objects in Cnnani’s window “office.” Then I chose a Tarot card – mine read “unlimited,” and contributed a personal item — a red pen. Cnanni added other objects and composed my “reading.” You could watch her on a large screen projected in the gallery and outside. A photo copy was printed and signed, providing a very personal involvement with the artist and her art.

Ofri Cnaani Blue Print (OC real and fake hands) #1, 2015 Cyanotype

Ofri Cnaani
Blue Print (OC real and fake hands) #1, 2015

Also on view at the gallery are a series of cyanotypes Cnnani created using real and fake hands, as well as other objects. This form of “photography” is typically used by engineers as a simple and low-cost process to produce blueprints. In Cnani’s hands, the photos created are reminiscent of Matisse’s blue cut-outs

The title of the show — Wrong Tools — underscores Cnaani’s working methods. She deliberately misuses technologies, and chooses low-tech, imprecise techniques to create distinct visual stories.

Cnnani, an Israeli born artist and educator, has had solo exhibitions and performances around the world including:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, PS1/MoMA, The Fisher Museum of Art in L.A., and the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. Wrong Tools will be on view through October 24.