Brooklyn, New York
Just as pop-up stores have become all the rage in a city emptied of major retailers during the recession, the art world has caught on. Leigh Ruple curated a one night exhibition at Vaudeville Park, on the edge of Bushwick, Brooklyn. The exhibition was fantastic on many levels. The performance of the show was that it only remained on view for one night, so you showed up…or you didn’t. The event creatively used an out of the way venue at Bushwick Avenue and Devoe Street, both far from (and not even considering) the typical Chelsea traffic; and is a non profit venue that has predominant funding from NYFA. Most importantly the artists that Ms. Ruple selected were a disparate and fantastic group of young artists.
Artists weathering sticking it out in New York to create work must be tough and resourceful (not an easy feat as the city becomes increasingly more expensive.) Ms. Ruple rounded out a great group – some standouts were Rachel Higgins who recreated architectural elements – a trashcan and a column – that had an uncanny feeling of already being a part of the space, yet, not. Then great painting was installed by Ned Vena. Vena takes over the typical square format with a circle painting, using fantastic graphic detailing that he is known for. John Aaron Frank used car detailing to make a gorgeous abstract, glittering painting, creating a different type of abstraction by breaking glass and allowing the material to do what it does, all in a contained frame.
And in the narrative category – Theo Rosenblum contributed a bleak outlook onto the future with zombies and bombs, while Jeanette Mundt’s painterly bravado gives life to a banal American landscape. And notably Roland Allmeyer, who is known for combining technical proficiency with psychedelic imagery, painted a nun emerging from fire, inspired from a film by Andrei Tarkovsky.
This is a group of artists who are already showing significant contributions to the art conversation. With Ms. Ruple bringing them together for a fleeting moment, only added to their brimming energy, mystique, and unique possibilities.