SoHo is New York’s original art capital. Before million dollar lofts replaced the artist studios, crack dens, and nightclubs, the streets between Broadway and West Broadway were the playgrounds of Warhol, Haring, Basquiat, Boone, and Castelli.
With Artlog and Grey Area now ensconced in a SoHo building once occupied by Carroll Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Roberta Smith, Terry Winters, and Cindy Sherman, it’s hard not to think of the time when the area was the “center of the universe.” Only a few investment-savvy and lucky artists remain, but a host of galleries, non-profits, and now online art businesses tucked between Prada and Bloomingdales have been in SoHo from weeks to decades. While the LES seems to attract more notice, companies like Artlog, Grey Area, 20×200, Paddle 8, Interview, and Art in America and galleries like Suzanne Geiss and Clifton Benevento are creating a serious SoHo revival.
On Saturday, March 31st Artlog’s popular art crawl series takes art enthusiasts on a special journey through the new and old SoHo. Attendees can opt for the general art crawl experience or an additional private tour that includes meeting several Grey Area artists at a rum tasting, an art advisor led tour through Les Roger’s studio, two gallery tours, and Walter De Maria’s The Broken Kilometer, a long-term installation commissioned and maintained by the Dia Art Foundation. First unveiled in 1979, The Broken Kilometer is a stunning, large-scale piece by the Earthworks artist also know for his Lightning Field installation in New Mexico.
Afterwards, the private tour joins up with our SoHo art crawl through over a dozen galleries in the neighborhood, sampling wine and Grolsch before ending with a party at Le Poisson Rouge.
ARTLOG subscribers can purchase private tour tickets for $50 instead of $75 using the code ARTLOGVIP and can attend the SoHo art crawl for $25 instead of $40 using the code ARTLOGSOHO.
See below for a tour through current gallery exhibitions in the neighborhood.
Olga Nenazhivina, Sojourn (installation view), 2012. Courtesy of the Mimi Ferzt Gallery.
Mimi Ferzt Gallery presents Sojourn, an exhibition of works by Russian artist Olga Nenazhivina. This series of recent paintings continues Nenazhivina’s exploration of storytelling and the passage of time. The artist plays with a delicate balance in her work, combining a Japanese tradition of controlled line and color with more expressive gestures drawn from a Russian tradition of passionate soul-searching. By combining precise techniques with surrealist compositions, Nenazhivina weaves together allegorical meanings, spiritual symbols, and a constant flow of personal recollections. She invites the viewer into her imaginary world’s intricate pictorial spaces without necessarily imposing an interpretation; one is simply asked to take a journey.
Gustavo Bonevardi, Sail II, 2011. Courtesy of Cecilia de Torres, Ltd.
Intricate Calligraphies at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd features drawings by four contemporary artists who work with obsessive precision and meticulous execution. Instead of lines, Gustavo Bonevardi uses letters to “draw” objects, trees, and landscapes. Gustavo Díaz’s delicate pencil compositions are composed of rectangles repeated by the hundreds in agglomerations of varying density. Ricardo Lanzarini draws detailed swarms of miniature figures in ink. Julián Terán uses a software program for drawing elevations on maps and then executes them by hand in ink, resulting in elegant abstractions of complex geographical diagrams.
Melodie Mousset, Untitled, 2012. Courtesy of Clifton Benevento.
Clifton Benevento presents Hello? I forgot my mantra, a group exhibition exploring the idea of humanity’s burdened quest for meditation, transcendence, leisure, and pleasure. The exhibition features works by Paul Cowan, Aleksandra Domanović, Mélodie Mousset, Nina Beier, and Marie Lund. In Anhedonia, Domanović superimposes the audio track of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977) onto stock footage from the Getty Image archive. Using the original soundtrack of the film as a script, Domanović exchanges one layer of visual information for another to produce an object that oscillates between the literal, the allegorical, and the obtuse. The title of the work—which references a psychological condition marked by an inability to experience satisfaction from normally pleasurable actions like eating, exercise, and sex—points to the potentially stultifying over-abundance of visual information.
In Cowan’s “fishing lure” paintings, stretched monochrome and printed fabrics are pierced with actual fishing lures. The paintings constitute a meditation on leisure, boredom, hesitation, and the inclination to flatten and conflate contemporary discussions of painting. Mousset depicts a pair of blanketed figures attempting a yoga pose in her work titled Downward Dog. The sculpture, which was first commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, toys with the tension between the goal of nirvana and the obstacles that lie in its way, exploring the distinctions between art and the everyday and posing additional connections between sculpture and ornament, object and transcendence. Beier and Lund raise issues of chance and authorship in 42, a collaborative work consisting of fourteen dice thrown until a sum of forty-two is reached. Enlisting a curator, gallery professional, or collector to roll the dice, the work complicates the production process between artist and exhibitor and questions the relationship between action and artifact. Pushing the limits of leisure, 42 suggests the toss of the dice as a determined rather than a casual gesture.
Salvador Dali, DNA, 1975. Courtesy of the William Bennett Gallery.
The William Bennett Gallery in SoHo is currently exhibiting works by masters Picasso, Rembrandt, Warhol, Dalí, Chagall, and Miró, along with work by several emerging contemporary artists. The highlight of the current show is a collection of ten never-before-seen drawings by Dalí from the collection of his personal doctor, Dr. Edmund Klein. Their relationship represents an unexpected meeting of two great minds—a giant of modern art and a giant of modern medicine.
SoHo Art Crawl Participating Galleries:
Cecilia de Torres, Ltd
Dia Art Foundation
Eli Klein Fine Art
Franklin Bowles Gallery
June Kelly Gallery
Leonard Tourne Gallery
Mimi Ferzt Gallery
Ronald Feldman Gallery
Susan Teller Gallery
The Suzanne Geiss Company
Westwood Gallery NYC
The William Bennett Gallery