Kunstraum by the Navy Yard

by Paddy Johnson on September 1, 2015 Blurb

Sylvie Macias Diaz

Sylvie Macias Diaz

A visit last week to the Kunstraum introduced me to their new studio program dedicated to provided short term affordable studio space and exhibition space to artists. The spaces I saw didn’t look to be much larger than a couple hundred square feet—perfect for some and small for others—but part of the program includes the opportunity for studio artists to use the gallery as a space for curation and events. So that’s awesome.

When on site, I saw 7 women 7 sins, a mixed bag of a show curated by Nadja Verena Marcin that brings together a collection of provocations seven by female artists. Framed prints and the odd sculpture filled the entrance to the organization and their small exhibition and office space, the stand out being the printed poster manipulations of Sylvie Macias Diaz. In this work she pins two disembodied legs to interior shots of an old curtain ad. The legs lounge, flirt and seduce. But without the rest of the body, it seems impossible for them to take on the nurturing role that is associated with the household care being sold in the original ad. I suspect that’s part of the point—it’s always preferably for women to be sexy—nurturing comes second.

I won’t discuss all the work in the show—it’s closed now and I don’t have much to say about the other artists, including art stars Emma Sulkowicz and Janine Antoni—but the space is worth thinking about. There’s a tremendous opportunity for artists to curate shows in that space, which makes it uniquely poised to  make some waves. Here’s hoping that happens.

Editors note: There’s no official studio application process yet, probably due to its newness—the organization was founded in January 2015 by Nadja Verena Marcin and Fernando Schrupp Rivero—  but there’s a contact page on their website. So, that’s easy. 


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