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Smack Mellon

This Week’s Must See Events: Ride the Macabre Wave

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 20, 2016
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Last month, Corinna Kirsch pointed out to us that NYC’s art scene is getting pretty goth this fall. A quick glance at the exhibition thumbnails below reveals this spooky prophecy was dead-accurate: graveyards, skulls, and darkness predominate.

Tuesday night, recount the psychedelic adventures of Bruce Conner at MoMA. Wednesday, the domestic gets the spotlight with projects from Chloë Bass and Oksana Todorova at CUNY and A+E Studios, respectively. Expect plenty of creep-out factor from the latter’s biomorphic, toxic household items. Thursday, Julie Mehretu’s occult-influenced new body of work takes her practice in a darker direction, and Irene Lusztig lectures about conjuring empathy from (probably) eerie archival material.

The weekend gets even more macabre. Brian Andrew Whiteley is displaying his infamous tombstone at Christopher Stout Gallery Friday night, while Ghost of a Dream builds their own dream haunted house from the ruins of art fairs Saturday at Smack Mellon. And of course, Wickerham & Lomax’s Local Atonement: A Nutshell Study of Unexplained Death opens at American Medium. Sunday, Mana Contemporary’s fall open house encompasses just about everything under the sun—from Marilyn Monroe’s poetry to Israeli textiles—but of course a little momento mori content as well. Andy Warhol’s skull paintings will be on view. 30 years after his death, Warhol still has his finger on the undead pulse of the art world zeitgeist

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People Have The Power: “Of the people” At Smack Mellon

by Emily Colucci on July 6, 2016
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“Register to vote here,” reads a sign board in front of Smack Mellon. This sign is an unexpected sight, even for a Brooklyn non-profit art space known for its provocative shows. While art and politics frequently meet theoretically in the contemporary art world, they don’t often merge in such a blatantly practical way.

The connection between electoral politics and art drives Smack Mellon’s current exhibition Of the people. Curated by Erin Donnelly, Of the people arrives just in time for both the Democratic and Republican national conventions this month. The timing was not lost on Donnelly who brings together a multidisciplinary group of artists from around the United States to investigate, as the press release describes, “the of-the-moment political opinions shaping the 2016 presidential race.”

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This Week’s Must-See Events: Queer Power Edition

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on June 13, 2016
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Monday’s been a rough day for us here at AFC as I’m sure it has for many readers. We’re still processing the horrific news of Orlando’s mass killing Sunday morning and it’s made writing much of anything difficult. Is there anything that can be said on the subject of guns, prayers, Islam, hate crimes and ISIS that social media hasn’t covered?

Probably not, that doesn’t diminish our need to mourn. One way we’ve decided to do this is to  focus on queer events in this week’s must see events. It’s a small gesture to be sure—we’re not saving any lives. But it’s what we can do to say to the families, friends and lovers of those lost that, “you’re not alone.”  

So, let’s talk all things homo-tastic: Monday night, Neil Goldberg revisits the David Lynch classic ERASERHEAD with a queer perspective. Tuesday, the unsung godfather of glam illustration Antonio Lopez gets his long-overdue retrospective at El Museo del Barrio, and two events at BRIC and Mitchell Innes & Nash bring queer/feminist perspectives to the city’s affordability crisis. Wednesday night, dyke icon K8 Hardy opens a mysterious solo show at Stap-On Projects while Thursday offers a one-night-only performance/installation from Scottish duo Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi, who will be tackling sexuality, gender, and more at Bannerette. Friday night, head to Bushwick, where the Hot Summer Nights gallery crawl has some queer-tastic highlights in time for Pride month—be sure to catch Los Ojos’s all-LGBTQ group show and Vincent Tiley’s solo project at Christopher Stout Gallery. Also in Brooklyn Friday night: solo shows from AFC favs Björn Meyer-Ebrecht and Rachel Stern at Studio 10 and Black & White Projects, respectively, both located in the same building.

If you’re not politically/emotionally exhausted by the weekend, we recommend checking out the massive group show Of the people on Saturday at Smack Mellon. It’s all about the issues involved in this fucked, fucked election cycle. So when you’re feeling thoroughly anti-establishment, check out the Queens Museum’s Sunday panel on the visual legacy of punk.

It’s too late to wish everyone a happy Pride Month, but hopefully we can at least have a thoughtful one.

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We Went to Dumbo

by Paddy Johnson and Whitney Kimball on January 31, 2014
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Between Mira Schor’s group exhibition “A ‘Womanhouse’ or a Roaming House?” at A.I.R. Gallery and two solo shows at Smack Mellon, we found some interesting works in Dumbo this week.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Humor, Sleaze, and Community

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on November 18, 2013
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For those of you who didn’t get tickets to Performa, we’ve got more local alternatives. We’ll have a day of humor and sleaze for Mike Kelley; a show for cyberpunk kids; and a handful of events involving important TV artists. Group Material co-founder Julie Ault will show us the meaning of collaboration, and at the Kitchen’s benefit, we’ll show the meaning of giving. And Clifford Owens is doing that performance again where he does whatever the audience tells him to, so watch out for him.

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Must-See Art Events: Jog Your Way to Art Butter

by Paddy Johnson and Corinna Kirsch on September 23, 2013
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After a busy September, with weeks of mega-openings, there’s still plenty to do. Like make butter by working out with art duo PopSoda.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events

by Whitney Kimball on April 29, 2013
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A tidal energy sweeps the art world! Pruitt-Early officially ends it long withdrawal from New York, in a series of retrospective shows; Jack Ferver fans worship at the Abrons Arts Center; the New Museum brainstorms how to monetize; PS1 brainstorms how to fix the Rockaways.

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Eight Brooklyn Galleries Participate in the Exhibition Series Brooklyn / Montreal This January

by Paddy Johnson on December 27, 2012
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Add Brooklyn / Montreal to the list of exhibitions I’m looking forward to in the New Year. Join me Saturday, January 12 at A.I.R. Gallery for a discussion on cultural exchange.

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Six Feet Under: Smack Mellon Begins Its Road to Recovery

by Corinna Kirsch on November 5, 2012
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Smack Mellon, the artist residency and exhibition space in DUMBO, was hit especially hard by Hurricane Sandy. This weekend, AFC paid a visit to assess the damage.

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Hurricane Sandy Looms Large Over DUMBO

by Corinna Kirsch on October 31, 2012
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Hurricane Sandy hit DUMBO, Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhood, and hard. Heavy with non-profit art spaces, we wondered how many were doing after the storm.

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