The first large-scale museum exhibition to explore the recent explosion of artistic energy and creativity in the storied borough of Brooklyn, New York, opens at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Lake Worth, Florida. BROOKLYN! provides the first systematic look at the art emerging from this new art world center, which was largely wrested by artists from the abandoned industrial buildings and neglected storefronts of a few working class neighborhoods in the borough of 'de bums'.
Roster of 73 Artists Promises Most Comprehensive
Examination to Date of Present-Day Phenomenon
The first large-scale museum exhibition to explore the recent explosion of artistic energy and creativity in the storied borough of Brooklyn, New York, opens on September 8, 2001 at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Lake Worth, Florida.
BROOKLYN! provides the first systematic look at the art emerging from this new art world center, which was largely wrested by artists from the abandoned industrial buildings and neglected storefronts of a few working class neighborhoods in the borough of 'de bums.'
"This exhibition celebrates the moment that is Brooklyn now--a place of vibrant synergy among artists, galleries, and neighborhoods--before this world is transformed yet again, as all `moments' like this are," says Michael Rush, director of the Palm Beach ICA, and a co-organizer of the exhibition with the New York-based curator and critic Dominique Nahas.
BROOKLYN! brings together works created since 1995 by some 73 artists working and living today in various parts of Brooklyn-particularly Williamsburg, Greenpoint, D.U.M.B.O and Red Hook. Several generations of artists are represented, from enormously influential figures like Vita Acconci and Martha Rosler, who will be represented by new work, to noted mid-career artists like Sue Williams, Nayland Blake, Michael Smith, Greg Barsamian and Joe Amrhein, the artist/founder of Pierogi 2000, the longest continuously running gallery in the Williamsburg neighborhood. Among the newer arrivals represented are Kristen Lucas, Amy Sillman, David Henry Brown, Rico Gatson, Christoph Draeger, Valeska Soares and Laura Parnes, founder and co-director of Momenta Art in Williamsburg. The variety of media ranges from paintings, photographs and mixed media installations to media works utilizing video, audio, computer and the Internet. "We want to bottle the extraordinary energy and experimentation emanating from Brooklyn today, so that when the message in the bottle reaches a general audience, they will understand the breadth of thought, practice and seriousness there," says Dominique Nahas.
"To that end, we embarked on BROOKLYN! with no parameter for eligibility other than that an artist must live and work in the borough," he continues, noting that the artists participating in the exhibition BROOKLYN! have come to the borough of Brooklyn from points throughout the world, including South Korea, China, Taiwan, Mexico, Spain, Germany, and England. "Ultimately, we found a complex scene that is above all characterized by a "low tech-high effect" approach to art making," says Nahas.
This approach is often accompanied by an artist's seeming desire to reject or transform traditional art media, as well as his/her devotion to the principle and practice of meticulous craftwork.
The young artist James Cullinane, for example, will create a detailed painting through the painstaking process of applying thousands of black thumbtacks-and nothing else-to a gallery wall. Often, the images that emerge in Cullinane's nuanced, tour de force silhouettes are Nazi figures. Another artist, Xu Bing, has translated Walt Whitman's Song of Myself into a made-up language that, at first glance, appears to be classical Chinese script, but upon closer scrutiny fades in and out of English. Whitman's words emerge almost as a palimpsest in Bing's piece, created especially for the exhibition. The reconstruction of the pint-sized Holland Tunnel Gallery, a Home Depot shed turned gallery located in a back lot in Williamsburg, figures centrally in the exhibition, as does the actual gallery in the lore of the Williamsburg art community. Gallery founder and artist Pauline Lethen will curate her own exhibition within the reconstructed Holland Tunnel in BROOKLYN!, showcasing, as usual, the work of fellow Brooklyn artists. In another exhibition highlight, the collaborative artist group Fake Shop will install an interactive video/web project entitled "Hotel Project" that feeds live images from the Tokyo Airport into the Institute's galleries in Lake Worth, Florida. Thus the team will link its Tokyo-based performance/video/web project with BROOKLYN!.
A sound piece by the avant-garde DJ Tom Roe-a.k.a. DJ Dizzy-will greet exhibition visitors in the Museum's lobby. The founder of free103point9, an unlicensed radio station based in Williamsburg, Roe is known as a bricoleur of sound who creates new music from found objects and sounds and sampled music. Another artist who, like Tom Roe, does not come to his art practice from the professional training of an art school, is Joe Coleman of Brooklyn Heights. Often associated with "outsider art," Coleman makes obsessively detailed portraits that are packed-packed-with information and high color. He will be represented in BROOKLYN! by a self-portrait with his wife. Today's art scene and the expansion of the art "industry" it represents will be the topic of a new videotape by Guy Richards Smit, the creator of the video piece "On the Town" (1999), which featured fellow Brooklyn artists and BROOKLYN! exhibitors Michael Smith and Laura Parnes.
Media Program and Catalogue
A rotating program of video art featuring works by such Brooklyn artists as Michael Smith and Guy Richards Smit will also include several films by Brooklyn artists associated with "Ocularis Cinema Williamsburg" an independent screening venue located at the Galapagos space, an old mayonnaise factory converted into an art and performance space in Williamsburg.
A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by organizers Michael Rush and Dominique Nahas will be published by the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art to accompany the exhibition.
For more than 15 years Michael Rush, director of the Palm Beach ICA, has been a significant presence in contemporary art as an artist (video and theater), writer/critic, and arts administrator. He is the founder of two institutions devoted to the development and presentation of experimental art works in multimedia, NHAT, Inc. (CT) and Seated Man, Inc. (NY), as well as the author of the recently published New Media in the Late 20th Century Art and the forthcoming Video Art, both commissioned by Thames and Hudson Publishers, London. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Art in America and Newsweek.com. The Manhattan-based art critic, curator and teacher Dominique Nahas is noted for his contributions to such to magazines as Art in America, Flash Art, ARTnews, Trans, dART International, Art Asia Pacific and others.. As museum director of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York, curator at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, and independently, Nahas has organized numerous exhibitions of contemporary art by Les Levine, Nancy Spero, Osvaldo Romberg and other artists. Mr. Nahas is Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, and Associate Professor and Resident Critic for Montclair State University.
Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art
In July of 1999, philanthropists Robert M. and Mary Montgomery purchased and renovated the landmark art deco movie theater that houses PB/ICA from Palm Beach Community College. Established by J. Patrick Lannan, who renovated the facility in 1980 to house his collection of contemporary art and design, the building and remaining works were donated in 1989 by the Lannan family to Palm Beach Community College (as the Lannon Foundation and a majority of the collection were relocated to Los Angeles.) Today housed in the 1939 Lake Theater on the Main Street of Lake Worth, Florida, the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art is devoted to the premise that contemporary art is a vital means of understanding the world and today's culture. The museum aims to serve as a place of pleasure and significance, a place where large questions are posed and investigated. It is a venue for major national and international art in all media and a meeting ground for the diverse populations who live in and visit the Palm Beach region.
The exhibition and museum programs of the Palm Beach ICA are generously supported by Robert and Mary Montgomery. PBICA is located at 601 Lake Avenue in Lake Worth, Fla.
Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 12-6 p.m., and the first and third Fridays from 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students, children under 12 are free. Free admission is offered every first Friday of the month from 5-8 p.m.
For more information, the public may call the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art at 561-582-0006, or visit the web site.
For more information, contact:
Kipper Lance, 561-582-0006 email@example.com
Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art
601 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33460