This month, Larry Walczak looks back more than a decade on some of the exhibitions he curated in a giant survey that opened this Saturday at Art 101. I haven’t seen the show yet, but it gets a preliminary recommendation regardless because of the size of the Brooklyn based art making community it reflects upon. The founder and director of the defunct Eyewash gallery in Williamsburg, Walczak considers 1997-2002, the years he spent curating the space before the gallery moved to a nomadic exhibition model. (The ran through to 2009). More than 50 artists are showing their wares, and even those who have spent just a little time in the New York are likely to recognize a few names. A few names I noticed off the top: Joe Amhrein (Pierogi), Ken Butler (featured in Brooklyn DIY), Lori Ellison (The Ball Point Philosopher), Eric Heist (Momenta Art), Lisa Levy (Gallery Beat), Ligorano & Reese (eyebeam), Laura Parnes (The Sound of Art, etc), Bob Seng and Lisa Hein, Walter Robinson (Artnet), Fred Tomaselli (most recently, The Brooklyn Museum).
I’m looking forward to seeing this show — not because I think I’ll like everything I see — but because I know it will give me a better understanding of the Williamsburg art making community circa 1997-2002. For that reason alone, I’m certain it’s worth the trip.
The press release below:
Meredith Allen with Carol Saft | Joe Amhrein | Greg Barsamian | nelson bradley | Tom Broadbent | David Brody | Ken Butler | Francis Cape | Amy Cutler | Nancy Diamond | Jane Dickson | Lori Ellison | J.Fiber (Jane Fine with James Esber) | Peter Fox | Linda Ganjian | Tamara Gonzales | Eric Heist | Amy Hill | Robin Hill | Richard Humann | David Kramer | Larry Krone | Paul Kuhrman | Jesse Lambert | Eve Andrée Laramée | Lisa Levy | Nina Levy | Ligorano & Reese | Norma Markley | Mark Masyga | Shari Mendelson | Robin Michals | Edward Monovich | Ellie Murphy | David Opdyke | Laura Parnes | Bruce Pearson | Robin Perl | Liza Phillips | Katherine Powers | William Powhida | Daniel Rosenbaum | Sante Scardillo | Bill Schuck | Bob Seng with
Lisa Hein | David Shapiro | Ward Shelley | Adam Simon | Patricia Smith | Gwenn Thomas | Jim Torok | Jeanne Tremel | Ted Victoria | Don Voisine | Carol Warner | Angela Wyman | Mary Ziegler with “friends” | Timothy Greenfield-Sanders | Sean Hemmerle | Komar & Melamid | Marni Kotak | Walter Robinson | Fred Tomaselli
A group exhibition of 50+ pioneer artists of that era
curated by Larry Walczak
101 Grand St., Williamsburg, Bklyn, NY 11211
718-302-2242 | art101brooklyn.com
March 12 through April 17th, 2011
gallery hours: Friday—Sunday, 1—6pm
Opening reception: Saturday, March 12th, 6—9pm
WILLIAMSBURG2000 is a collection of Brooklyn-based visual artists that I curated in various exhibitions in the years 1997 through 2002. I founded & directed an exhibition space called “eyewash” at 143 North 7th Street in the heart of the northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The space existed from 1997 to 2002 and eyewash continued as a migratory gallery until the year 2009. With the third exhibition (Valentine '99) I shared curatorial duties with Annie Herron until 2001.The criteria for selection of these artists in this exhibition includes among other things the number of opportunities I had to work with each artist.
Several of the artists included in this group exhibition never resided in Brooklyn but were part of a vital scene through their involvement in the social fabric of this local art community with their participation in exhibitions & their presence in openings and events. WILLIAMSBURG2000 focus' on artists who participated in what is regarded as the “second wave” of galleries and artists in this neighborhood. Additionally, some “friends” were added for this particular show.
I selected Art 101 as the perfect neighborhood space to reference the era of artist-run galleries where you would find varied spaces that included old storefronts, loft spaces, garages, residential apartments and warehouses. The 2000 era in Williamsburg was an organic, artist fueled gallery scene that didn't pop-up overnight although at times it seemed that way.Additionally Williamsburg has a rich history of exhibition spaces and performance sites that originated in the mid to late eighties and this “second wave” would not have been possible without all those seeds being planted. The 2000 era was clearly a special point-in-time for this visual arts community and attracted attention from artists, writers & collectors from all parts of the world.
This smaller works exhibition features many artworks, old and new, that illustrate the many directions of visual art then and now. This show includes a number of artworks that reference the neighborhood directly in image & text. Featured are Timothy Greenfield-Sanders photograph of gallerists of that period, Nelson Bradley's faux movie poster, Marni Kotak's LCD screen of various gallery logos, Sean Hemmerle's Domino Sugar photo and narratives by Lisa Levy, William Powhida and others. The centerpiece of the exhibition may be Ward Shelley's” Williamsburg Timeline” serigraph that documents much of the neighborhood's art activities culminating in the year 2000. Shelley's ambitious project originated in drawing form as a workshop/performance at eyewash during the Elsewhere weekend celebration of local galleries in September of 1999.
Ten years after the fact I decided to create this showcase of talented artists. My intention was to create a strong reminder of the talent & spirit of this period as other Brooklyn neighborhoods emerge with their own art communities. As Williamsburg seemingly shifts from a visual arts community to a more music venue neighborhood documenting this fertile period of art activity seems necessary.
To be clear I never had any intention of creating a museum style exhibition representing this era but rather an intimate collection of one curator's fond look back at an exciting time in this neighborhood.
It is important to acknowledge a number of folks involved in this undertaking. I thank Richard & Eileen Ekstract, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Felice Kirby, Greg Stone, Daniel Aycock, Ethan Petitt, Anna West, Ignacio Campo, Patricia Fabricant and Ellen Rand.
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Annie Herron.