The Upper East Side

Moving on Up: The Avant-Garde Returns to the Upper East Side

(Illustration by Breet Alfrunti)

It’s possible that the Upper East Side changed the night last September when the fire department broke up the disco party at 980 Madison. The building houses, among other businesses, a luxury spa and Gagosian Gallery. Soon it will have a Gagosian-owned “neighborhood restaurant,” as Larry Gagosian described it in a recent interview with Peter Brant. There will be chili. And waffles.

On the third floor of 980 Madison is Venus Over Manhattan, an art space opened last year by Adam Lindemann, a contributor to this paper and the disco party’s host. The crowd had gathered to celebrate a show by the artist Peter Coffin. Young women carried trays of tequila shots. Around 8 p.m., the festivities moved down the hall to a room dimly lit with red lights. From the street, you could hear DJ Harvey playing records. Professional roller skaters skated around on glowing LED wheels. A cluster of young men and women nonchalantly smoked near the entrance.

When the fire trucks came, part of the crowd decamped across Madison Avenue to Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle, where a pianist played selections from the Great American Songbook and the martinis cost $21. Read More

Look at This!

Look at This! David Armstrong at Half Gallery

5 Photos

Lisa at Mudd Club

If you’re a fan of Kodachrome film and bohemianism, you owe it to yourself to swing by the Lower East Side’s Half Gallery before July 23 for a show of photography from the collection of David Armstrong that chronicles the neighborhood in the late 1980s and early ’90s. The exhibition, “Night & Day,” is pegged Read More

Openings

Preview Wes Lang’s ‘Here Comes Sunshine,’ at Half Gallery

9 Photos

(Courtesy the artist and Half Gallery)

If you visit the artist Wes Lang at his studio, we’ve heard, you might get “sucked into the porn hole.” He’s apparently got a lot of porn magazines lying around. The artist said so himself in a Vice video from a few years back. Thursday night, the artist has a new show, “Here Comes Sunshine,” opening at Half Gallery, Bill Powers’s enterprise on the Lower East Side, at which the artist will unveil 10 new works, including drawings and paintings using color pencil, airbrush and automotive paint on steel. Of the work we’ve seen in the show, it seems Mr. Lang is still kind of loitering in the porn hole. And his work still takes its cues from “tattoo flash” and other Americana—the artist’s own body is covered in tattoos. Yet, while Mr. Lang’s work has been known to push the envelope—he got booted from a group show at Deitch Projects in 2007 for including works that had images of African-American stereotypes—his latest work seems pretty tame. Read More

dogs

A Conversation With Dustin Yellin About Dogs

Best In Show Announced At Crufts

Last night the artist Dustin Yellin opened his four-piece “investigations of a dog” show at Half Gallery, black and white studies for a series that’s much larger, in size and scope, that he’s recently undertaken at his studio in Red Hook. Mr. Yellin greeted gallery-goers on the sidewalk outside the Lower East Side space, including this reporter, with whom he shared a brief, strained conversation not about dogs, in addition to a more involved one that was about dogs. Read More

Happenings

9 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before Feb. 12

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SATURDAY | Performance: Clifford Owens: Anthology Performance at MoMA PS1

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 8

Tour: ArtWalk Chelsea: David Zwirner, Gagosian and Gladstone
The American Federation for the Arts takes visitors on a tour of three exhibitions of three very different artists in Chelsea–Doug Wheeler, Damien Hirst and Shirin Neshat. –Michael H. Miller
Meet at David Zwirner, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 4–6 p.m., $25 for AFA members, $35 for non-members.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9

Opening: “Happenings” at the Pace Gallery
Over 300 photographs document performance pieces from the movement, featuring work by Jim Dine, Simone Forti, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, Carolee Schneemann, and Robert Whitman. Sounds like a stellar tribute to a too-short movement, and you never know, someone may stage a be-in right at the opening. –Dan Duray
The Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, New York, 6-8 p.m. Read More

artists

Thomas Campbell Debuts a New Mural at Lower East Side Institution Max Fish

Thomas Campbell's mural at Max Fish.

Thomas Campbell, the painter and filmmaker, was out buying paint when Gallerist showed up at the bar Max Fish for an interview. Mr. Campbell was at work on a mural in the back, by the pool table, and it was half finished. Silhouettes of two bulbous figures—they resemble ectoplasm with faces and have been appearing in his work a lot lately—were scrawled on the wall with rough brush strokes, waiting to be filled in with the small details. We spent a slow and quiet 20 minutes with Mr. Campbell’s two friends that help edit most of his films before heading around the corner to Half Gallery, where the artist’s exhibition “Capture and Release” is up until January 30. Read More