As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen.
Member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Mary Elizabeth Boatey shares her thoughts on a recent show at Harper’s Gallery in Chelsea.
Located on West 22nd St, Chelsea 512 currently houses the “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” group exhibition, displayed among several other historical and influential art galleries. Founded in 1997, the Harpers Gallery embedded themselves within the heart of New York City’s art district, flourishing within the complex minds of the world’s creatives.
“And the Moon Be Still Bright,” an initially niche but progressively enticing phrase, originates from American writer, Ray Bradbury, author of science fiction novel the Martian Chronicles. The story highlights the preservation of land, describing a familiar tale involving exploration and settlement on newly colonized regions in Mars. The specific title “And the Moon Be Still Bright” references a chapter within the novel describing desperate attempts to save and prevent the internal pollution of Mars at the hands of the new inhabitants from earth. The pieces within this exhibition mimic that sort of natural space both graciously untouched and riddled with destruction. Each artist takes on this theme in a unique way exploring the different “found” mediums equally mimicking the exploration of new areas in the Martian Chronicles.
What initially drew me to this exhibition was my natural love for maximalism and the implication of organized clutter in a lot of art. In regards to the appreciation of nature, the art ranges thematically from the beauty of the past, to the uncertainty of the future. All the while it maintains love for natural imperfection contrasted for man-made “perfect” beauty.
A specific arrangement of pieces that spoke to me was a bright colored orange flowing tapestry by Mimi Jung, titled “Our Inclinations” and an equally sized seemingly overgrown tapestry laced with jewels and valuables in gold titled “Rags to Riches” by Suchitra Mattai. The fabrics of “Rags to Riches” in particular blend with all of the other external elements elevating the entire piece, while also coming across a bit abrasive and harder to look at. The beautiful color contrasts with the rough texture.
Within all the art is a common approach regarding the perspective of immigration and settlement; whether or not human presence in natural spaces results in good or bad, and the internal conflict of that guilt as human civilization is the reason for the pain of others.
As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen. One of the newest members of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Crystal Serino, shares her thoughts on a recent show at Miles McCentry Gallery.
The Miles McEnery Gallery in Chelsea (511 W 22nd St) exhibited Markus Linnenbrink in the “EVERYTHINGINBETEWEENTHESUNANDTHEDIRT” exhibition.
Linnenbrink’s gleeful use of unexpected colors and vibrance embraces a childlike joy in art. He developed unique processes he refers to as “Cut”,”Drill”,”Drip”, and “Reverse” painting. Linnenbrink stated: “All interaction with color happens in and through the eye of the viewer. The same visual information then lands in receptors that are all molded by the whole life story of the individual that receives what is to be seen.” His other works in the space include spheres, chairs, and linear sculptures.
My favorite piece in the gallery was the resin sphere “COLDWORLDGOODMANBITEBACK”. This work has objects infused inside such as a Roblox character, a medical ID, a Seinfeld photo, and even a tooth. Mixed in with the vibrant colors are small skulls in the layers.
Of all the galleries we toured in Chelsea, this one was my favorite exhibition. You can play around with a childhood wonder. In my artistic journey, resin art has always fascinated me. Seeing it represented in this light brings my soul joy.
As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen. Senior member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Chanel Reed, shares her thoughts on a recent show at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.
The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is at 521 West 21st Street, New York, NY. This gallery developed a contemporary program that includes painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, video, and photography, representing thirty unique artists worldwide. The gallery continues to support the works and careers of artists internationally. The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery featured a past exhibition, “Night Tripper” (June 22 – July 28, 2023), exhibiting Dana Powell’s newest pieces that have an ominous and unsettling effect. She composed small-scale oil paintings that depicted moments like the moonlit sky and dark backroads.
Powell’s small-scale pieces aren’t as provocative as others but burden the viewer with many questions. Dana Powell’s “Closed Road” is a 12 x 14-inch piece that drew my attention. It produces an unnerving atmosphere with bright orange cones and green leaves scattered along a dark road. The piece is painted with fine details that layer paint with textured strokes but also renders form with smooth discipline – similar to impressionism, but with more detail. Powell lets light and color prevail in her work, letting the mood settle into the audience.
This hyperrealism series presents a pleasingly cinematic story full of crime and sinister acts. Within the gallery, the images are spacious along its large white walls. The viewer closes in toward one painting and takes a few steps to another with a whole new scenario. It has the same effect as the pacing of an indie movie. They are capturing the rare moments people miss. This exhibition was purely interesting. It inspired me to continue a path in my illustrative career, creating work that minds the little things in life people look twice at and letting the brain flow.