UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you to everyone who has applied for our open call.
Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, is proud to announce our virtual open call for the upcoming virtual exhibition #COLLAGENOW.
Employing the internet and social media as a platform for showcasing art has become extremely important during the past years, when virtual exhibitions and showrooms are now the new norm. After the success of last year’s show we are once again announcing an open call for the artists working in collage, especially for those actively using social media such as Instagram as a platform to promote and expose their art.
We will pick several finalists to showcase their work in our #COLLAGENOW exhibition. The chosen pieces will be featured on our online platforms and promoted on all our social media.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 30, 2024
This call is open to artists working in collage or media that is 80% collage-based
No primary gallery representation
Completed Prospectus Form
$50 entry fee
Please pay via PayPal [email protected]. Include first name and last name OR make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011
At the New Museum is the long overdue and most deserved first comprehensive survey of the 20-21st Century feminist artist Judy Chicago. The museum has dedicated four floors of space to encompass and illustrate the girth and breath of her work including painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, textiles, photography, stained glass, needle work, and printmaking.
The strength and influence of Chicago’s work is emphasized and well illustrated by putting it in historical context. Alongside “Judy Chicago: Herstory,” New Museum also presented “City of Ladies,” which is an exhibition within the exhibition. “City of Ladies” comprises artworks, photographs, film, writings of powerful female artists, thinkers, writers, dancers, photographers from across the centuries. Included among them are Simone de Beauvoir, Hildegard of Bingen, Artemisia Gentileschi, Zora Neale Hurston, Frida Kahlo, Hilma af Klint, Virginia Woolf, Louise Nevelson, Martha Graham, etc. All of these creatives impacted Chicago’s art and work of an enormous number of living contemporary artist of all genders, cultures and ethnicities.
Going from the upper floors of this survey, viewing Judy Chicago’s early minimalist works of the 60’s and 70’s makes the best sense. By viewing in this progression one can sense the power and evolution of a woman creative that has a lot of guts, soul, relentless intellect, courage and resolve. Her vocabulary and craft are limitless. She employed any media and excelled on many fronts such as sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, sewing, stained glass. Each finished piece is not an ending and instead seems to present another challenge or discussion. On the lower floors her revolutionary feminist works can be seen as well as her narrative works from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Her most recent works confront concerns about the environment, disasters and perils, creation, masculinity, and morality.
The exhibition deftly conceptualizes her feminist methodology with many art movements. It successfully illustrates the critical and impactful role Chicago has played not only as an artist in her own right, but also as an advocate in claiming space for women artists.
Maria Prymachenko: Glory to Ukraine
7 October 2023 – 7 April 2024
The Ukrainian Museum
222 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10003
212 228 0110
The Ukrainian Museum in the heart of the East Village is a jewel of a museum. Its recent exhibition of one of Ukraine’s most beloved artists, Maria Prymachenko, should be a must see.
I was particularly provoked to see the show not only because of the horrors of the ongoing war Russia brought upon Ukrainian people, but because of my own father who was born in a Polish country village, similar to Prymachenko’s. Many of her works remind me of the stories from those days. The animals, farms, daily chores, and doings of ordinary life. I was happy to see her wonderful depictions of people, her craft work, her garments. What I saw endeared me to think of my own Grandmother. She had little, yet still sent me a handmade skirt and vest to show love for a granddaughter whom she didn’t know, and to share her culture that her son abandoned because of war. I revel in pride that Poland has opened their arms to welcome refugees from their neighboring countries. There is something to learn from this for everyone.
Maria Prymachenko was a born in a peasant family in the village of Bolotnya, Kiev Oblast. She was self-taught and relentless in creating her art. She has been loved for her vividly colorful, decorative, and sensitive perception of reality. Her works primarily depict animal scenes, often with mythological context, village life, and provide social commentary. Her works have been used on Ukrainian currency snd stamps.
This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work outside of Europe. She exhibited in France, Bulgaria, and other Eastern European venues. In France Picasso saw an exhibition of her work and said, “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.”
Prymachenko knew war well. She knew and felt loss, having lost family members through war, including her brother. Many of her works were created from these experiences. It is so sadly ironic that due partly to war some of here work is gone, making this exhibition and the work even more relevant.
Although self taught, her work’s strength is in its resilient use of color and simple forms all in their brute force. Its strength is in the truths that it empowers. There is a frankness and immediacy in her work that captures the viewers attention.
When going through this exhibition I thought of an affiliated artist of ours, Ola Rondiak, whose works also often illustrate the social and political issues of Ukraine, particularly in reference to Ukrainian women’s roles in society. Her husband is still staying in the country, even despite the ongoing war. Rondiak’s works of Ukrainian women in traditional garments illustrate the valuable role models that are powerful in her country. I was pleased to see her prints and posters displayed and offered at the museum shop, and supported her by buying a print.
Ola Rondiak, “Unforgivable,” 2022, acrylic and charcoal collage on canvas, 12 x 12 in
I encourage everyone to go to this exhibition and support the museum. The admission is nominal and becoming a member does not cost much more either. It is public and world knowledge that Ukraine is being ravished physically, socially, and financially. Its people, their homes, artifacts, art, and architecture are being destroyed, which further shows the urgent need to support institutions like this and help them preserve and share the wonderful culture of Ukraine.
Clio Art Fair
On one of our walks through Chelsea, we popped into an international curated Clio Art Fair, a fair new to us. It focuses on showcasing independent artists who are not represented by any NYC gallery. It is worth noting, its very existence, as so many other recent satellite and pop up fairs, reflect the challenges, the difficult quirks, curatorial problems, and severe economic concerns that affect all these venues, artists, and the artistic community at large. Nevertheless, such things as the lack of opportunities and the closing of physical galleries continue to inspire the community to seek out alternatives, and broaden horizons, despite the many pitfalls any of these options may have.
It was interesting to notice the organization of this fair echoed some issues we’ve noticed at Art Miami and Art Context. Because of the current economics and all the various costs that come with organizing and participating in such an event, there was some lack of space and possibly the need to compromise the quality of installations in some respect.
Despite the fact that the art fair was perhaps not ideally curated and the quality of features work was uneven, yet it was a joy to see how artists and curators poor their hearts and soul into promoting independent talent. It is vital for us as a community to support the artists and curators as mush as possible.
To take refuge from the labors of trying to put our house in Florida back together after the hurricane and to give ourselves a little treat for our anniversary, my husband and I ventured to Naples Botanical Garden. For years I have been curious about it, but since Sanibel was its own paradise and our visits were few and far between, we never had time. I should also admit that having been to the wonderful gardens that Brooklyn and the Bronx have to offer, I was misguided to have the jaded perception that Naples would not measure up. I should be embarrassed to admit that I was surely wrong. Never make assumptions. If you are in Southwest Florida, the Naples Botanical Garden is a must. It is a beautiful gem that provides not only the tantalizing wonders of topical nature but also quiet places for meditation, beautiful walking trails, special exhibitions of outdoor sculpture, and presentations. And if you have little ones in your life it also has a cornucopia of educational entertainment.
Naples Botanical Garden is a testament to the fact that there are well-meaning generous individuals, who have been successful putting their minds and hearts to important causes and putting their time and money where their mouths are. Despite the hustle and bustle of the modern day they care about what brought people here in the first place – nature’s beauty. And they have the foresight to preserve it. Board member Grace Evenstad and her late husband Ken have been Naples Botanical Graden’s benefactors for a long time, and they became the lead donors for the construction of Evenstad Horticulture Campus. With the help of other important donors and Henry Kapnick buying the 170 acres of land, they anchored the project. It is incredible that it only started in 1993. When visiting this wonderful place it feels like it has always been like this. It goes to show that the world needs visionaries like them and a stellar team made up of Ellin Goetz, Ted Flato, Raymond Jungles, Herb Schaal, Bob Truskowski and Made Wijaya, who completed a master plan of the project. Naples Botanical Gardens is a celebration of the Art of Nature. For me, being an artsy person and a nature lover, it was a tour de force!
FRIDA AND HER GARDEN IS ON VIEW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10, 2023
In the middle of the Naples Botanical Garden we found a special exhibition honoring a 20th century visionary painter Frida Kahlo. She was the first female Latin American artist to be exhibited in Louvre in Paris, France, and is arguably the most recognizable female Latin American artist in history. In recent years her work has been greatly referenced and exhibited. During her tenure she was often overshadowed by the strength of character and machismo of her famous husband Diego Rivera, who is considered one of the most famous muralists of the 20th century. He is well known for his monumental works on the subjects of social inequality and political context around labor. His frank and powerful murals resonated the pain, toil, and humble character of the worker.
Frida Kahlo herself was also an activist, who fought gender inequity and exposed the struggles and hardships of an indigenous woman in her paintings. She was a woman plagued with her own constant medical pains, which reflected in her work as well. Kahlo transformed her pain and emotions into visual language that pierced through the angst and noise around her. Nature and its lush beauty were an important part of that language too. In her garden in Coyoacán, Mexico City, she found solace and inspiration for her work. Naples Botanical Garden provides a replica of it with its cacti, plants, and blooming flowers. Frida’s easel is placed in the garden as well, evoking the presence of the artist. Various pictures and descriptions provide the viewer a sense of place and history. When in the garden, you can’t help but to be affected by its beauty and the power of nature. It gives an understanding of how Kahlo used this space as a sanctuary for creativity, meditation, and thought. As if nature led her eyes, heart, and then her hands on the canvas.
Within this garden the curators have placed contemporary sculptures by artists influenced by the same colors and patterns that resonated with Kahlo. These works echo to the viewer how this environment lends itself to others and inspires unlimited creative interpretations. I believe that Frida Kahlo would have loved these wonderful works.
Also not to be missed is a wonderful natural sculpture installation “Sea Change” by North Carolina based sculptor and environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. He is well known for his site-specific designs. This piece can be visited and experienced on the Kapnick Caribbean Garden lawn and will be there for approximately two years.
It is made from Interconnected circles of Pussy Willow from Canada and Coastal Plain Willow from Naples Botanical Garden, the branches creating wavy shapes of woven saplings. The artist’s son, Sam, and handpicked local volunteers assisted Dougherty in transforming nature into a massive interactive work of art. The piece has a feeling of grandeur and openness. The large empty biomorphic spaces within the design structure invite the view to experience it from within. Children and adults revel at its beauty and are delighted to walk into it and experience a sense of inclusion and venture. I could not help but to conjure and compare the feelings that it evoked in me with those I felt when looking at works of the 20th Century master sculptor Henry Moore. Although very different in context, the innate sense of natural shapes, form, line, and beauty are present in both.
As my Yorkshire English husband often says when he is emphatic about something: This is a work that one cannot choose to ignore, “Full STOP”.
The grounds of the Naples Botanical Garden have an abundance of various sculptures of multiple genres. Ona can find lively, almost human sized and human like bronze animals, small and monumental mosaic installations, multicolored sculpted birds inspired by Caribbean and Latino cultures, modern biomorphic shapes, and iconic images of Buddha to evoke feelings of calm reverence and meditative peace.
Art Wynwood, a smaller but well established fair in Miami, was a pleasant surprise this year. The fair, established for a number of years, has always taken off from the coattails of Art Miami and Art Context in February. The fair is owned and produced by the same London based company, Informa Markets, which has just recently acquired it from the previous partners, including the founder Nick Korniloff.
Art Wynwood, to some extent, is a step child to the two bigger fairs that take place at the same time as Basel in December. It has often been foreshadowed by the bigger fairs. Many years, perhaps due to the crunch of filling spaces and financial pressure, its curation has not been the best. Which has always been a puzzlement to myself and to many others because the desire and number of applicants almost always exceeds the amount of space.
I am happy to say that this year was a more pleasant experience. Although there was a number of the same participants from the two fairs in December, it was better curated. The bad, and ugly bling was not as big of a factor. The bling that existed was palpable and, in some cases, even quite entertaining to look at.
As in Basel, Art Miami, and Context there was a contingent number of galleries focusing on Latin American art, most from Miami and the greater Miami area. As expected they brought with them a number of masterpieces of the well established living and dead masters like Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam. Kudos to Latin Art Core, Miami, Fl, who made a large effort to feature contemporary female Latin artists. One in particular, Gina Pellón (1926-2014), was featured and inspired a great deal of interest. Pellón graduated from Havana’s San Alejandro Academy in 1954. A year prior, she exhibited at the Cuban Salon of the Beau Arts. To support herself she was a caregiver and later went to Paris and took care of small children. This theme permeates through her works. She was an artistic force in the early 50’s. She was influenced and informed by many art movements including surrealism and the wrks of Anton Breton, Roberto Matta, Wilfred Lam. She was also influenced by expressionism. Pellón was admired and talked about by many great visionaries. Her works reminded me of the works of Dustly Boyton who we showed in Art Miami and Art Context some years ago.
Gina Pellón (on the left) and Dusty Boynton (on the right)
It was good to see the works of other female masters like the noted sculptor Louise Nevelson, painter Lynne Drexler, who has recently been rediscovered and is now getting well deserved attention, especially from Berry Campbell in NYC. Drexler, an artist from Virginia, spent most of her productive life in New York and Monhegan Island, Maine, where she created. She was married to another great artist, John Hultberg, who showed with Martha Jackson Gallery in the past and DBFA in the 90’s. Drexler’s work were inspired by the natural beauty around her. Her colorful vibrant abstract compositions were explosive in color, they were electric and developed more into impactful abstractions with figures in her later life.
It was good to see artist friend, Art Students League Instructor, Bruce Dorfman, who we have featured in some of our special exhibitions at DBFA. He was featured by the Boston, NYC, and Miami based gallerist, Liz Clement. Alongside of Dorfman’s work were small paintings by Larry Poons, another connection with the Art Students’s League of New York. Poons rediscovery, thankfully in his life time, which is a rare phenomena, has skyrocketed in recent years. I have often seen his work shown in the Art Student’s League windows. A sacred place which, despite the claws of real estate entrepreneurs, has managed to avoid the temptation to cash in and the kiss of death.
Bruce Dorfman (on the left) and Larry Poons (on the right)
Frank Hyder, an artists friend and an affiliated artist of DBFA, had a stellar solo both at the fair. His new Janus pieces created in bronze and cement were featured with his paintings and mixed media works. This was arguably one of the best fair solo showings he has ever had. Recently, Hyderhas also installed his large sculpture Janis – 2 Shades of Gray at the KuBe Art Center, Beacon, NY. It is located only a couple of minutes away from Dia: Beacon.
Frank Hyder’s booth at Art Wynwood, Miami, FL
Janis – 2 Shades of Gray by Frank Hyderat the KuBe Art Center, Beacon, NY
*To see other works of Frank Hyder visit ourArtsy.
Art Wynwood had many wonderful things to look at, not only from the Miami and greater Miami area but from other states, Europe, and Asia. Many of them were viewing and acquiring worthy. You can see the examples in our collages.
We look forward to the fair’s continued success and do hope that as much effort will be made in curating as well as marketing it.
The Pérez Art Museum Miami and the nearby surrounding Maurice A. Ferré Park in downtown Miami, Florida, gives the world at large and Miami a wealth of culture and entertainment. It offers a wonderful outdoor space for recreational activities as well as a chance to observe the beauty of nature and revel at the surrounding artworks.
The Pérez Art Museum Miami has a number of exhibitions to celebrate fantastic women in the arts such as iconic contemporary Asian artist Yayoi Kusama, a filmmaker and artist Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, and a Brazilian-born artist Marcela Cantuária.
Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, still from Too Bright to See (Part I), 2023
Courtesy the artist
Marcela Cantuária, Os mortos não estão mortos, 2020
Photo: Vicente de Mello
In addition to that they have a number of other wonderful exhibitions showing the works of Leandro Erlich, Christo, Hélio Oiticica, and Carlos Cruz-Diez.
The Maurice A. Ferré Park on Biscayne Bay also hosted a major exhibition of the renowned Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia. The exhibition is sponsored by the City of Miami, the Bayfront Management Trust, and the Museum of Cuban Diaspora. In this spectacular solo show a number of his works were displayed within the areas of the park. The city succeeds in its efforts to bring artists of various cultures and backgrounds, highlighting the beauty of the human creativity and how it relates to nature and the urban environment. All of this artistic and natural splendor at the footsteps of the Pérez Art Museum Miami is a triumph of the great use of public space, giving a respite to all from the hectic life of a vibrant city.
Hugo Rodriguez Loredo (on the left) and Sandra Victoria, Armando Blanco (on the right)
UPDATE: We are no longer accepting anymore applications. Thank you to everyone who has applied for our open call.
It’s that time of the year, Denise Bibro Fine Art is having its open call for Art from The Boros X, 2023. For the past nine years we have selected diverse and hardworking artists to participate in this annual group show highlighting talent found within New York City’s five boroughs. The mission of the exhibition is to seek and find the pulse of talent in the city that is often overlooked and underexposed.
We are asking artists in the five boroughs to submit all works virtually. From these submissions we will choose TEN artists for a virtual exhibition (on our website and Artsy.com). From those ten artists we will then choose ONE artist to have a solo virtual exhibition later this year.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, May 15, 2023
Open to all mediums; performance art must be digital
No primary gallery representation
Live and/or work in any of the five NYC boroughs
Completed Prospectus Form
$50 entry fee
Please make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art and mail it to the following address: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011 OR pay via PayPal ([email protected]). Include your first name and last name.
Email subject line: ART FROM THE BOROS X, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
Please attach the following to the email:
Completed Prospectus Form
A maximum of 10 hi-res images as jpgs (file title should be title of the work)
Email should include title, date, size, medium, and retail price for all works
State whether you paid via PayPal or check
CV as a Word document
Jurying will begin on a rolling basis. Artists will be notified within three weeks after deadline if they are selected. All artists that are considered for the exhibition must be agreeable to be available for a Director studio visit if needed.
2022 has just flown by, ending with artful minds being in the throes of the Art Basel happenings. Once again I found myself compelled to be a part of the insatiable Basel Art Week scene. In its own way it always seems to be a unique barometer of the current economic market. It also reflects our present decisiveand precarious times. The year before conversations about NFTs even being advertised by airplanes passing the city back and forth was echoing throughout Basel and around. The blow out of NFTs and the ping pong existence of crypto currency have brought markets back to basic…perhaps ground zero. In some regard the decreased economic frenzy validated good art, well established artists, and those who deserve to be.
Miami Art Week Fashion
Miami Art Week is still one of the few opportunities in the world for a given week that one can flux wantonly through art, music, social mores, and various cultures without trepidation. Very few places are like Miami and it’s Wynwood section, where art can be seen continuously on building walls along with people walking or dancing to the beat of the music throughout the wee hours of the night. There is an insatiable appetite for art and being seen around it, however good, bad, or ugly it may be. And there is certainly a fair share of it all on the streets, in the fairs, and all over the city. Art, fashion, music, and design vibrate freely through the air. This week of extravaganza world class fairs like Basel, Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami, Untitled to name a few transform Miami for that week and it goes back to something else the day after all the crowds pay up, check out, and fly or Jetset and drive home. Miami is certainly a fun and hopping place after but it doesn’t have the the same atmosphere as during the Basel week.
The fairs themselves perhaps are a double edged sword. They give visitors an opportunity to see established galleries and their world famous artists. They also have some very good but middle sized galleries, that are pushed to their limits with the high cost of participating and paying for large gallery spaces. Moreover, the fairs have an abundance of very commercial and not-so-good art as well. Yet, such situation still provides the public a generous opportunity to see and experience. When schools and universities are cutting down on art programming and art cultivating has become less practiced in raising the young, it is a godsend to have this chance. There are many people nowadays who do not visit museums or galleries on their own accord and there are many who do, and Basel caters to both of these categories. The sophisticated and the avid students of the arts as well as people with perhaps less interest in visual culture are drawn to various media, genres and styles of work, to fun and lively atmosphere, and to other fascinating people from all over the world. Even though nothing is cheap these days, you couldn’t see and experience all of this with one trip in one week unless you are a wealthy world traveler (a price tag and time not too many can afford).
CONTEXT Art Miami
As mentioned above, the fairs this year were a mixed bag. There still were the standard good and great galleries, many of them showing superstars of art history like Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Niki de Saint Phalle, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Keith Haring, Sol LeWitt, Barbara Hepworth, Roy Lichtenstein, etc. Present were also the works of living superstars such as Judy Chicago, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andrea Zittel, Kara Walker, Robert Longo among others. With this prestigious groups there are examples of some of their best pieces that are available on the secondary market, and their secondary works as well. If one is willing to invest their time and vision and look hard enough throughout the best fairs, there are still large morsels of less known and emerging artists that are worthy to obtain for both experienced collectors as well as aspiring ones.
What makes this potpourri somewhat complexing and challenging yet eventually rewarding is to sift through all the bad and the ugly to find the good. It is definitely advisable to take at least 3-5 days to peruse the fairs, because this kind of effort, although enjoyable and entertaining, requires viewer to take a break from time to time and join in on the fun available that week.Filtering special pieces out of the swarms of commercial art featuring various yet uninspired images of Mickey Mouses, Marylin Monroes, and King Kongs is a task not for the faint at heart. But if you do, you would be able to develop a refined art aesthetic and eventually find many great works in the offering in any of the shows. One can say that visiting these art fairs will suffice any art class at a university.
We hope that the montage of photos in this article will give you some flavor of what art Basel brings to the table and encourage you to also look at what DBFA has to offer on our social media platforms.
A trip to Long Island rendered a wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of a Long Island artist David Herman, whom we have exhibited for many years. Creating is in Herman’s DNA for sure. Besides developing his craft as an artist, he has been working as an accomplished violin restorer. The underpinnings of his artistic practice is observation and experiences, specifically the ones he gained during his extensive travels. The things Herman saw and felt in his trips give his works their character and girth and become the context in which his art is brought to life. These encounters with the world are the tendons of his art.
How Herman has found time to travel in various corners of the world and still accomplish to master art and violin restoration is a wonder and a testament to his character. My recent visit to his studio proved that despite COVID and the limited ability to travel, he has still persevered and produced an impressive body of work.
Herman’s works tend to go two different directions: they either show landscapes that emote the sheer beauty of shapes, forms, and the architecture; or his images reflect and illustrate things, people, and events encountered during his travels.
The latter often depict unique and strong characters, regular yet extraordinary happenings, specific conditions and contexts in which persons of different social standings exist, and how a human being can overcome hardships with dignity and honor.
On the other hand, the abstract landscapes that he creates are primal yet complex. They are formed by shapes and swaps of bold color, and every element of them is very carefully articulated. Regardless of what type of works he produces, they are always emotive and exude a sense of careful control.
Nevertheless, Herman still provides viewers with an opportunity to experience his art for themselves, without dictating the meaning or emotions one can see and feel. The freedom of interpretation is a vital part of the dialog Herman strived to build between his art and the public.
I am having a hard time letting go of summer. The new crisp air of the fall grasps remnants of the summer. Gradual warming colors of vegetation in the City’s parks and the rural areas of New York State and the Tri-state area, make me dwell on the spontaneous, unexpected beauty, wonders, and summer happenings that I have witnessed and experienced nearby my West Greenwich Village apartment and upstate.
Having been a Connecticut-born gal, I have roots and family there. Mostly raised in the Berkshires, it has afforded me a cornucopia of happenings and experiences throughout the years, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. One benefit of working virtually is that one can still feel in touch with the diversity and cultural energy of the city while also feeling the richness that the countryside and all its communities can offer. Each equally diverse in nature, although some are more populated than others. So, I ventured out more often. Post-COVID has brought increasingly more people to the forefront of tangling and managing these two worlds in their lives, particularly New Yorkers like myself. One special experience of the summer was upstate in Wassaic, NY, where many artists, particularly from New York City, Brooklyn, found respite, creative energy, and community in remote places.
Getting out of the city and taking the Metro North to CT via the Grand Central will bring you to the many cultural activities in the Northwest Corner of CT and aligning NY towns such as Wassaic, NY, Millerton, NY, Kent, CT, Washington, CT, to name a few. In this case, I will highlight the Wassaic Project.
It is an art experience and community that is non-profit and run by several committed individuals to encourage and nurture the arts. When I revisited Wassaic it was like déjà vu. In the hamlet (a word used for a town that is too small to really call a town, but which still has a vital community), there was once a corn mill and a barn. At first, it was used for traditional mill purposes, then it became an auction for animals, and now it is a home for the Wassaic Project along with other surrounding structures. When I went into the barn, memories of an old neighbor of ours, who worked for the state but was a farmer in earlier years, took me to one of its cattle auctions when I was an adolescent. I remember how excited and curious I was. Everything was mesmerizing and fascinating: the particular fast naming, loud sound of the auctioneer’s voice in the barn… I could hear it replaying in my mind. And, to my pleasant surprise, the crudely hammered and arranged seating in the barn was still present at the gallery, as well as the old sign of the price of cattle.
The barn and its corals were converted into artists’ studio spaces still preserving its character. As you meander around each space of varying sizes and shapes, you have a chance to meet and talk to artists along the way. Many of these ambitious creators were from the city and hopped on the opportunity to apply and get a spot in one of these spaces. One was a graduate of FIT in Manhattan, another lived and worked in Brooklyn, and so on and so forth. This open studio showed their work and process to all that came. The artists were most elated to have the experience of space, and the offerings to the country, and also welcomed all the visitors providing a multitude of unique stories. Nearby was a restaurant/bar, which once was a brawling type of bar, and is now one for all to come. In between was another repurposed large barn, an old mill structure that had multilayers and served as a gallery of wonderful works of talented artists.
Outside one could enjoy a band the organization had invited, as it does in the summer, to play for those that came to visit. What more can one ask for? And this wonderful experience was absolutely free. For young artists, this is a fantastic opportunity to do studio practice, experience the country, and see life in a whole different way while still being only within two hours of the city. I recommend this to anyone who wants to drive to this beautiful part of the country, revel in nature, see art, make out, or recharge your batteries. The quaint and fantastic country towns are certainly worth the train or car ride. Stay a while or a few days.
When you are in New York, living in the West Village, there are always different, artistic, thought-provoking activities to experience. Particularly in places like Washington Square, happenings are always in the air. Whether it be the diverse functional art worn by park goers, the continuous song, dance, and music that plays in the different corners, benches, or grass areas of the park. It is human expression at its organic best. How many places can offer such freedom of expression, whether it be dressing in your own style, playing music (even on a piano), dancing, skateboarding, singing, playing games like chess, or creating and selling one’s art? All this is, once again, for free. Check it out, even in the cooler air of the fall it still has a lot to offer.
One thing that the virtual gallerist gains in a post-COVID virtual world is the freedom to develop one’s own schedule without the confines, expectations, and demands of a space. Don’t get me wrong, “virtual” still has its negatives and demanding challenges. But when I had physical space, I could not go to the museum as much as I wanted or had to miss must-seeshows to hold down the fort. This is my first year liberated from the physical gallery space. In between my studio visits and appointments I managed to see museums that I often have not had time to check out very often. One of them is the Museum of Arts and Design near Columbus Square. Once, on a studio visit day, I managed to play a bit of hooky for a few hours to peruse and have lunch there.
This was a very invigorating change since I predominantly gravitate to painting and drawing and usually am drawn to places such as the Met, Guggenheim, and MOMA. Here I found the richness of design in functional wearable art, jewelry, installation with fabric, etc. The exhibition was inspired by fabric and how this medium is connected to and can be used to speak on the topics of activism, music, culture, and ephemeral phenomena. It also placed artists and some of their works in a context that the artists are often not generally associated with, giving the artist’s studio practice even more depth. There were works by Louise Bourgeois, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Gibson, Mark Newport, Judith Schaechter, Patrick Jacobs, and many more. There are discounts for many for certain days. Also if you can swing it, venture to the upper floor and dine at the “Robert”. The atmosphere is warm, the service and food were good, and what a view of upper Manhattan and its buildings, hustle and bustle, and, if my memory serves me well, the park! A great place for a date with a friend or just with yourself as I have had.
The roaming Gallerist will continue to roam but like every nomad one must breathe and have a rest.
Denise Bibro, the gallery’s director, recently made a trip to Brooklyn to see the studios of two talented local artists. Read her text about the wonders and creativity that can be found on the streets of this borough.
Fortunately, despite all the effects of COVID, the divisiveness of the country, the perils of war, and the compromised economy, art prevails. New York is an example of that. There are healthy morsels of talent thriving in all the boroughs of the city, which our Art In The Boros exhibitions have illustrated. Brooklyn continues to be, despite the increased costs of rent, a hotbed of hidden opportunities to see wonderful creatives finding their way to continue their artistic practice.
My most recent studio visits were made to two artists that have studios in opposite corners of Brooklyn. Both of these people are a testament to the fact that art is an integral part of the fabric of life in New York, which reaffirmed my belief that it will persevere despite the odds. These artists come from very different backgrounds, age groups, education, and experience. Nevertheless, they share a passion and unfailing desire to create. Their art is reflective of their unique personal experiences and I was amazed at the variety that I saw in their process, materials, and visual language.
If one does not know, the L train in New York is certainly a highway that connects one to a multitude of local artistic talent. In the area of East Williamsburg, I found Joe Hicks in his studio. A young artist, at least from where I stand, who is a designer by day and a studio artist by night. He paints whenever he can find the time while designing pocketbooks and spending time with his wife and two children. When you first get there you are greeted with a wide smile, deep and engaging eyes, and a blazing dark mane of hair. It is a welcoming sign when you have made such a trek.
The studio is full of unframed, un-stretched canvases on the walls and the floor, kind of wanton without being trivialized. Much of his work is inspired by his precocious toddler daughter who is also an artist of sorts. His works are colorful and painted with a sense of exploration and immediacy. There is a sense of freedom and liberation in the work that is endearing. Some works have loosely identifiable subjects and characters, others are very organic and spontaneous. Some of his most recent works that engaged me, were the ones where Hicks goes beyond the quickly drawn compositions of paint to incorporate swaths of irregular repurposed paper and fabric. The reused materials give the work additional girth, volume, and depth. The lively drawings then suggest the interplay of time and circumstance involved in their creation. Hicks’ works always convey a sense of immediacy of the present and in his recent works, one can also sense a past. The viewer is left with a feeling that the artist still wants them to keep guessing and exploring the intricacies of his paintings.
Taking the F or G train to almost the very end will bring one to Ford Hamilton in Brooklyn, an area that I haven’t been much except for a number of visits to see an old veteran friend of mine at the VA hospital. The journey proves to be eventful and worth the effort. To get to artist Ronald Katz’s residence and studio one has to get off the train, walk a bit, go over a bridge with the wiz of the traffic underneath to find a cluster of prewar buildings on Ocean Parkway. It was invigorating to observe the old workings of city construction in play and see a once ethnically uniform community’s diversification reflected by the people that went by as I moved on. An added plus to the experience of getting there was a vendor selling collectible vintage comic books, whose graphics were colorful and dynamic even if you didn’t care about Superman, Spider-Man, or Captain America. Another heaven of art? After approximately an eight-block walk I reached the prewar walk-up where I would eventually find Ronald Katz. I proceeded to do the three-floor walk up which, if anyone has ever experienced any of these pre-war buildings without elevators, seemed like six flights! My total partial and total knee replacements had a real stress attack! Nevertheless, it proved to be very much worth it. Ronald Katz is one to contend with. He immediately had my attention and respect after this experience. For more than thirty years he has climbed those stairs, many times, with his bike, art, and art supplies in tow. I know many artists in their twenties who would never stand the challenge. He is resilient and does it with no sweat.
When you go through the door of his apartment and then later into his second apartment, which is his studio, you see the wealth of artistic experience and heritage of a skilled and energetic artist. In addition, you see the proof of the depth and investment of his knowledge of art: art books, music, bones, rocks, and other ephemera that have helped hone his studio practice. He lives and breaths his art. The two apartments, like Hicks’ studio, display the excitement of creative exploration. Katz’s practice is more studied and scholarly honed. Hick’s is wanton and free and more organic. Katz’s strength is in the tenets of his experience and refined drawing and painting skills. He is a realist and figurative painter, which makes sense for a man whose vocation was in the sciences such as physics and chemistry. His works are also often informed by his travels and reflect what he has seen and felt from the natural phenomena that he has experienced in one form or another. In a pieces like “WELLFLEET AFTERNOON” and “TROPICAL SCENE – ST. MARTIN” the painting conveys a story that only a person who knows the characters and their particular vignettes can portray. Where the magic is more in the augment and the culmination of interpreted experience, as well as the values, timbre, and setup of the composition, the feelings that it evokes.
These two artists, who are strikingly different in their art and inspiration, are both a testament to human content at its best. The experience of both encourages one to continue to explore more of what is outside your door.
Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, is proud to announce our open call for the upcoming virtual exhibition #COLLAGENOW.
Employing the internet and social media as a platform for showcasing art has become extremely important during the past years, when virtual exhibitions and showrooms became the new norm. After the success of last year’s show we are once again announcing an open call for collage artists, especially for those actively using social media such as Instagram as a platform to promote and expose their art.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 24, 2022
This call is open to artists working in collage or media that is 80% collage-based
Denise Bibro shared her thoughts on some of the works from the exhibition:
I was most impressed with the quality and diversity of all the work. I encourage all these young artists to continue their art. Each one of them is a winner.
Time by Qudir Ayodele
This work was singled out because of its uniqueness in format and skill. The artist juxtaposes traditional elements of painting and rendering with geometric forms. By employing wood and paint the artist successfully combines both representation and abstraction to tell a story. The artist’s skill in painting this man, with rough undulating layers of skin, riveting eyes and ware of a person of years of character building encourages the viewer to look closer at this embodiment of life and decades of experience.
Lovebirds by Dan Bunn
This still life composition is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch paintings. It is beautifully painted, with dramatic compositional forms, shapes, light, shadow, and richness of textures. The light coming from the small window to the right suggests a vast world outside, dramatically contrasting an intimate world inside with its rich dark colored walls and table. The painting presents an indulgent vignette for the viewer. The artist deftly employs subtle shades of browns, blacks, umbers in the background and contrasts it with the illuminated lush colors of fruits. The coupling of two birds enamors us. At the same time the undulating shape of an almost fully peeled lime and the halved melon, the richly painted chalice filled with liquid suggest that whoever was present just left, letting the pair of loving birds be alone.
Sarah by Tyler Berry
This representational painting of a young woman is richly painted with subtle flesh tones of various hues of pink, beige, white. They are highlighted with rich, somber tones of green, grey, umbers, etc. The beautifully rendered ear of the woman and the lovely rendering of the outline of her face enhances the reverie of the subject in a quietly held moment. The artist managed to elicit a tactile response in the viewer by their apt representation of textures.
Big Catch by Zachary Schrage
The rich, complex, and intense black and white ink drawing of the artist is compelling and beautiful. One may think of the story of Moby Dick or artworks of Winslow Homer when looking at this image. Schrage’s artworks are narratives of grand happenings. The pillowing clouds and cascading rough waves speak not only visually but almost in words. Black and white enhances the urgency of the moment depicted. The undulating contrast of shapes and forms echo the characteristics and foreboding qualities of the natural elements that are depicted, showing the iconic human experience amidst the grandeur of wild nature.
The above are outstanding examples of the best of a whole lot of fantastic artists in the mix. Each of the artists that submitted their works had great value and deserve to be exhibited. I applaud their courage and fortitude and encourage all of them to continue their pursuits in the art world.