-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 24.1
February 15, 2017


A new
Judith Schaechter movie

Inside the Bloody Beehive with Artist Judith Schaechter

Vivian Maier Documentary

See the Vivian Maier Newsletter for the story about the new documentary. Our review of Vivian Maier's work is here.

Women Under Siege
Women Under Siege

Women Under Siege: It's Happening Right Here

Curated by Susan Grabel

In January, Ceres Gallery presented an exhibition curated by artist Susan Grabel addressing the sexism and misogyny contained in laws across the country being used against women. "It's happening right here," Grabel says, "in the exceptional USA, not just in Third World countries."

Women are under siege from misguided legislatures and law enforcement agencies in many parts of the country. Under the guise of protecting the fetus, women are being persecuted, forced to undergo unwanted and unwarranted medical procedures, confined against their will to hospitals, imprisoned for having miscarriages as well as for using substances while pregnant even if, like methadone, they are prescribed by a doctor.

Women are being punished for the outcome of their pregnancies. The potential life of a fetus is deemed more important than the life and well-being of the mother.

Women are also under siege from an antiquated criminal justice system that does not take into account the realities of domestic abuse and its impact over the course of time. Child abuse laws are being manipulated so that abused women are being punished because they couldn't protect their children and often given more jail time than their abusers.

In Gallery I, Grabel chose the stories of 25 women whose circumstances illustrate these issues. She invited artists to acquaint themselves with a particular woman's story and to create an artwork in response to it. Participating artists: Pauline Chernichaw, Loren Dann, Anne Drager, Everet, Phyllis Featherstone, Susan Grabel, Melanie Hickerson, Elizabeth Featherstone Hoff, Judith Hugentobler, Mary Anne Kinsella, Marilyn Kiss, Helen Klebesadel, Stephanie Kosinski, Marjorie Kramer, Tania Kravath, Barbara Lubliner, Lynne Mayocole, Ann Marie McDonnell, Christine Mottau, Denise Mumm, Perri Neri, Ruth Bauer Neustadter, Kristi Pfister, Rhoda Pierce, Elizabeth Downer Riker.

In Gallery II, artist Francine Perlman presents an installation, Doors Open, Doors Close that speaks to the plight of women who have escaped domestic violence only to find themselves in shelters and often in poverty. Doors, some open and some closed, are the main supporting and thematic element of the installation which incorporates collages and text made by women living in domestic violence shelters, during workshops given by the artist.

Curator's Statement for the Show:

I am a sculptor and printmaker and have done work on social issues for many years. I became aware of the criminalization of pregnant women in 2013 when Ceres did an exhibition, Meet My Uterus, about the assaults on womens reproductive rights across the country. As part of the programming for this exhibition, we invited Lynn Paltrow from National Advocates for Pregnant Women to speak at a panel discussion. As I was researching the issues, I also became aware of the criminalization of survivors of domestic violence.

I found myself both shocked and outraged by the sexism and misogyny implicit in laws on the books and those that were being passed in many states being used against pregnant and abused women and I felt compelled to tell these stories.

I chose the stories of 25 women and invited artists I knew to choose a woman whose story resonated with them and do an art piece in response to it. The results are here in the gallery in painting, collage, printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

There were some privacy concerns about using the names of the women but many of the stories were well publicized so many artists felt comfortable using the names. We were also able to get in touch with some of the women and obtain their permission. Some artists chose to use initials or other labels instead of the woman s name but the stories are here.

We invite you to bear witness.

Susan Grabel, Curator

Images from the Exhibition:

Melanie Hickerson: Winds of Change
Melanie Hickerson: Winds of Change (acrylic on canvas, 22x28)

(Ann Marie McDonnell: ’People v Jorgensen, The Opinion of the Court’, solar print, silver thread, 24.5 x 24.5)
(Ann Marie McDonnell: ’People v Jorgensen, The Opinion of the Court’, solar print, silver thread, 24.5 x 24.5

Susan Grabel: Tondalao Hall - Failed to Protect #2 (15 x 22, paper lithograph collage)
Susan Grabel: Tondalao Hall - Failed to Protect #2 (15 x 22, paper lithograph collage)

Anne Drager: Birth_in_Jail (woodcut, 12 x 16)
Anne Drager: Birth_in_Jail (woodcut, 12 x 16)

(At the Opening: Anne Drager, Susan Grabel)
(At the Opening: Anne Drager, Susan Grabel)

(At the Opening: Ann Marie McDonnell and Susan Grabel)
(At the Opening: Ann Marie McDonnell and Susan Grabel)

(At the Opening: Melanie Hickerson)
(At the Opening: Melanie Hickerson)

E A R L I E R     A R T I C L E S

Ken Hiratsuka In Space

Ball 9
Ball 9

Ken Hiratsuka's latest work, provocatively named 'Balls', appeared briefly at the Infinito Gallery on Leonard Street last month. Some of the work will also appear at The Curator Gallery, Chelsea, from July 14 until in a show called 'Out Of Exile', celebrating three street artists of the '80s. (There will be an opening July 13 at 6 PM; the gallery is at 520 West 23d Street.)

Before the Opening
Before the Opening
This remarkable new work consists mostly of of rather regular oblate spheroids of modest size, mostly polished, in which his customary endless lines have been inscribed. This is something of a departure from his previous attentions to living rock, stones set in sitewalks and walls, and irregular found pieces. These spheroids had mostly been prepared for him according to his specifications, rather than accepted as-is from nature or the chances of civilization. Hiratsuka has been working with small spherical objects going back to the 1970s, but these have been less prominent in his work.

He has spoken of 'drawing one line around the world'; In this case, while working on the current planet, he has created a series of numerous new worlds like an assemblage of planetary bodies. One feels that they ought to have names, like the planets and the asteroids, but the artist says he hasn't named many of them yet. Perhaps this is a sign for collectors to step forward and adopt and name some of them.

Liquid Sun (acrylic paint and graphite pencil on paper)
Liquid Sun (acrylic paint and graphite pencil on paper)
Besides the stones, Hiratsuka also showed a number of drawings at Infinito. These were made with a graphite pencil used with substantial pressure on soft watercolor paper which had been prepared with black paint, so that the graphite remained inscribed in shiny grooves, giving an intaglio effect rather similar to the work in stone. Just as one might see Hiratsuka's sculpture as a kind of drawing on stone, so these drawings seem to be a sort of carving in paper. Both emanate the same powerful, abstract, mysterious, highly focused, mandala-type aesthetic.

Hiratsuka's work has appeared in Artezine before: see Artezine No. 10 for some background on his work, including pictures of his studio in Andes, New York. A wealth of more up-to-date material can be found on his web site.

Ball 9 with admirer
Ball 9 with admirer

Infinito Gallery
Infinito Gallery, Ken Hiratsuka show
The Curator Gallery
Kenichi Hiratsuka web site

[permanent link to this article]

Minerva Moves

The old space....

64 Spring St.
The Old Space: photo by G. Fitch
The new space, outside:

293 Broome St., exterior
Outside the New Space: photo by G. Fitch
The new space, inside:

293 Broome St., interior
Inside the New Space: photo by G. Fitch
Last December, after 22 years of daily Life Drawing, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, Minerva Durham and her Spring Studio and all its artists and all that revolved around them were exiled from their basement quarters at 64 Spring Street in what is now behind the lines of Soho's Eastern Front.

With the Studio's exile, a certain kind of scene has passed away. There was something deliciously conspiratorial and mid-century about being hidden down in a grungy basement, sometimes invaded by fluids from the restaurant above, sometimes shaken by the subway below, carrying on work (play?) of which the busy, hastening world above had neither knowledge of nor, probably, the desire to understand.

But however quaint Spring Studio may have seemed, it has more importantly been a serious and successful project of unusual dimensions. It is itself a living work of art, one which produced art and artists and a community, one which happily contravened the transient and vacuous fashions of the present Art World. Not the market but the Muses have been its navigators.

Besides Life Drawing, on Sunday evenings the Studio often hosted parties and performances at which one might find anyone from local amateurs to professionals who perform regularly at Carnegie Hall. It served as well as a gallery, usually but not always for work done there or at least by those who attended.

In quieter times I suppose it might have gone on for a long time yet that way, but the laws of today's hot Real Estate intervened, and so in September Minerva was told that her lease would not be renewed, and that she had to leave by the end of the year. Some sort of high-register clothing store is planned for the site, in answer the dire shortage of rich people's clothing stores in Soho.

There is not much new or shocking in artists being kicked around or out in New York City, of course. Anyone involved the actual, art-making business of art is likely to know many people who have been pushed out of Manhattan, out of the city and state, even out of the country, driven by the gentrification blitzkrieg of the last twenty years or so. It was, though, somewhat ironical in that the present kickers-out derive from what was once an artists' cooperative, and Minerva had been encouraged to start her studio there by the cooperative's original organizer, Virginia Admiral.

In any event, Minerva's work of art is in no way finished or dead. Once the doom of 64 Spring Street had been pronounced, with some effort a new place -- 293 Broome Street -- was found, rented, and renovated by Minerva and many who contributed labor, thought, or money to continue her enterprise. It is, as one commenter has noted, a step up, or rather three steps up, into an above-ground storefront which affords about the same drawing space plus some daylight. It hosted a jammed New Year's Day party on January 1, and regular operations began on January 3, a little more than two weeks after the last drawing session at 64 Spring Street. Onward, then, into the future....

'À l'aurore, armés d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides villes.'

Some other views....

Elie in The Bowery Boogie

Daniel Maidman in The Huffington Post

James Barron in The New York Times

[permanent link to this article]

Astoria Street Art
2014 - 2015

(Street Art, Astoria 2014-15)
(Street Art, Astoria 2015-15)

Hundreds of pictures, hot off the street, here!

(Image removed due to copyright restrictions imposed by owner of the photograph of which it was a detail.)

Greer Lankton at Participant

Judith Schaechter's
  'Dark Matter'

Judith Schaechter's Dark Matter is a show of stained-glass light-boxes and sculpture at the Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea at 513 West 26th Street, New York, presently up and open until Saturday, October 25.


Our Publisher Becomes A Conceptual Artist


Kara Walker: Subtlety (detail)
Kara Walker: Subtlety (detail)

[permanent link to this article]


The Draughtsman's Congress

[permanent link to this article]

Announcement and Preview
by Susan Roecker

Read the PDF here....

Exhibition opening
Sunday, November 17th, 2013 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
368 East 8th Street, NYC (between C & D)
or see

Sara Schneckloth

Sara Schneckloth, 2013 (detail)
Sara Schneckloth, 2013 (detail)

at Soho20 and the
Fowler Arts Collective

In late June and early July of this year, Sara Schneckloth, an artist currently working in South Carolina who should be known better here (and in the world) visited the Fowler Art Collective in Greenpoint to do several days of intense work (ten hours a day, according to the artist) on her characteristic drawing. A few months previously (in March) she had a brief show at Soho20 in Chelsea, sharing the space with some other artists.


Minerva, Model (Elizabeth Hellman), and Artist Demonstrate in Petrosino Square Plaza
Minerva, Model (Elizabeth Hellman), and Artist Demonstrate in Petrosino Square Plaza

The Battle of Petrosino Square

A war of sorts has broken out between two improbable belligerent parties around a little-known pocket park in Lower Manhattan, Petrosino Square. On the one side are some of the immediately local residents of the rather unusual neighborhood that surrounds the park; on the other, the Greenwashing Department of Citibank. The central issue is the Citibike installation in the park's plaza, which has preempted a space intended and used for large public works of art.



Battle of Carnival and Lent (detail)
Battle of Carnival and Lent (detail)

Judith Schaechter: Battle of Carnival and Lent At Claire Oliver Gallery, NYC

This is not a review, but a pointer to the announcement of Judith Schaechter's upcoming show at the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, where you can see the works we reviewed while they were still at the Eastern State Penitentiary site in Philadelphia. The show will be there from May 23d until June 29, and there is a reception with the artist on May 23d from 6 to 8 p.m. The Claire Oliver Gallery is at 513 West 26th St. in New York.

For more information, see the announcement,; see the Artezine article for an idea of what to expect.


S H E L L    G A M E

Molly Crabapple: Great American Bubble Machine (detail)
Molly Crabapple: Shell Game / Great American Bubble Machine (detail)

'Shell Game': Molly Crabapple At Smart Clothes Gallery

This is not a review, just a pointer to this show and artist, whose most recent works have been noticed in Wired, The New York Times, HuffPo, The Village Voice, and so forth. The public show opening is at 7 p.m. April 14th (this evening as I'm writing this) and is to be an Event. It will be up for only a short time. I strongly recommend it; the artist's combination of a sensuous, indeed luscious graphic style, sharp wit, surrealism, humor, and political consciousness are not to be missed.

See the artist's web site for further information.

The gallery is at 154 Stanton Street (corner of Suffolk Street in the Lower East Side) and the opening is at 7 p.m. April 14.


Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt at MoMA/PS1

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: Tender Love Among The Junk (installation)

Entering this exhibition, which occupies one of the larger spaces at MoMA/PS1, was overwhelming. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. The entire space is filled with numerous, mostly shiny artifacts, made of the most diverse materials, mostly things one might obtain from a 99-cent store or a trash pile. Several themes and concerns come together: formal pictorial and plastic values; religious sensibility and aesthetics; Gay and general sexuality; class politics; diverse cultures; the conflicts and cross-pollination between these elements.


Judith Schaechter

Judith Schaechter: Andromeda
Judith Schaechter: Andromeda

at Eastern State Penitentiary

   by Gordon Fitch

On a chilly day late in November, as the sun was already declining towards the horizon, I found myself within the heavy, gray stone walls of a prison, or rather the ruin of a prison....
Read about it here!

Susan Roecker's Cat(s)

Susan Roecker
Susan Roecker

at Avenue C Gallery

-- read about them here --

Vivian Maier: detail of book cover self-portrait

Like a figure in a dream, Vivian Maier begins to disappear even as we catch sight of her. With one ambiguous gesture she points out our world and shows us things that were always there, but which we had never seen; with another, she declines our questions and steps back into the darkness. We want to call out to her to wait, but the dream silences us, and then she is gone forever. We turn and, scattered all around us, see the objects of her work, an enormous treasure we will spend years, even lifetimes, trying to order and decode. About Maier herself, we can mostly only guess. ... -- more --




February 15, 2017