The Westbeth Annual 2015 is a curated exhibition featuring 62 emerging and established artists who make the Westbeth Artists’ Housing their home. The complex of 13 buildings, formerly the site of Bell Laboratories, was conceived in the 1960’s as a partial solution to the acute need to provide affordable housing and studios for artists and their families. It became one of the first examples of industrial buildings being reused for artistic and residential purposes.
Westbeth Building on the corner of Bethune Street
In addition to its residential component, Westbeth also contains large and small commercial spaces, performance and rehearsal spaces and artists studios both individual and communal, such as the Westbeth Sculptors’ Studio and the Westbeth Graphics Studio.
The 2015 Westbeth Annual features an eclectic group of art from paintings and drawings to photography and sculpture. It’s an opportunity to see work from both well-known artists and those who are still trying to make a name for themselves. Many of the pieces are for sale. Westbeth is not too far from the Whitney Museum and the neighborhood is charming. The exhibit is on view until January 2nd and the gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday from 1pm – 6pm. It’s closed Christmas weekend and New Years Day.
Two exhibits, as different as night and day, bring to life the power of a line. The first is Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions at the Morgan Library and Museum.
Martin Puryear is a living American sculptor who works primarily in wood and bronze creating elegant pieces that have subtle impact. This exhibition is the first to highlight the important role that drawing plays in his practice. Featuring about 70 works, the exhibition explores the evolution of Puryear’s ideas across different media. Most of the drawings come from the artist’s collection and have never been exhibited before. His drawings, but even more so his sculptures, use simple shapes and lines that have depth and volume.
The second exhibit brings to light the exquisite drawings of Renaissance artist, Andrea del Sarto, and can be found at the Frick Museum. Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action has nearly fifty drawings — red and black chalk figures, expressive heads, and compositional studies — and three related paintings that explore the important role of drawing in Andrea del Sarto’s paintings. “By showing drawings with their completed paintings and by bringing together works that relate to specific commissions, the exhibition sheds new light on the artist’s creative process,” according to the exhibition notes. The works on display provide insights into the artistic process and serve, almost as a masters class, in drawing.
Both exhibits are on view through January 10, 2016.