Gallery-Hopping in the West Village
Chelsea and the Upper East Side remain Manhattan’s premier neighborhoods for art galleries, but the art scene in the West Village is also alive and well. While the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2015 move from the Upper East Side to the West Village may have helped attract attention and visitors to the smaller galleries surrounding it, these galleries were thriving in the neighborhood for years before then.
82 Gansevoort Street (between Washington Street and 10th Avenue)
A stop at this contemporary-art gallery can serve as an appetizer to any exhibition you might be seeing at the Whitney right across the street. Brooklyn-born-and-bred street artist Bäst is among represented by Allouche, as are London-based surrealist Paul Insect (fellow artist Damien Hirst was such a fan, he purchased the entire contents of a 2007 Insect show before the exhibit officially opened) and painter/sculptor/performance artist Emilie Stark-Menneg, among others.
30 Gansevoort Street (between Hudson and Greenwich Streets)
Down the street from Allouche, Blank Space also represents and exhibits contemporary artists. Kyu-Hak Lee, who recreates works by Vincent van Gogh via painstakingly crafted polystyrene mosaics, is on the gallery’s roster. Others include photographer Arno Elias, who hand-paints colorful imagery atop his prints, and painter Farsad Labbauf, who recently held his second solo show here.
Five Ninth Avenue (between Greenwich and Washington Streets)
On display through February 23, “The Big Easy” is Keith Duncan’s homage to his New Orleans home, a collection of new large-scale paintings dense with colors and figures. Duncan is one of more than a dozen artists represented by Fort Gansevoort. Michelangelo Lovelace, whose paintings display an energy similar to those of Duncan, is also on the gallery’s roster; so are Roy Fowler, whose watercolors are less frenetic but no less evocative, and Jason Harvey, an NYPD detective and forensic sketch artist.
398 West Street (between West 10th and Charles Streets)
For more than 10 years, Eli Klein has focused on exposing Western audiences to contemporary Chinese artists. Through February 19 the gallery is hosting “Shen Fan: Works in Abstraction, 1992-2017,” which includes the Shanghai-based artist’s reinterpretation of traditional Chinese landscape painting. Other artists represented by the gallery include Li Hongbo, best known for sculptures made of paper, and Cai Dongdong, who uses photography and found objects to create what he dubs “photo-sculptures.”
675 Hudson Street, Fourth Floor (between West 13th and West 14th Streets)
“Bringing unusual art to the people” is the motto of this gallery, which has been doing just that since 2001. The eclectic collection of artists represented includes photographers (Cody S. Brothers, Florence Montmare), painters (David Mellen, Brian Neish), sculptors (Kenjiro Kitade, Betty McGeehan), and artists whose works encompass multiple media and disciplines (Ashley Benton, who produces surrealistic paintings and sculptures; mixed-media artist Joyce Barker-Schwartz).
325 West 11th Street
The name of the current exhibition, “It’s About Time,” is playfully appropriate: It is a one-person show of works by Robin Rice herself. Although she opened the photography-centric gallery in 1990, she never displayed her own photos until now. Among the works on display through March 17 are her saturated images from the opening night of fabled disco Studio 54. The gallery’s previous exhibit was a 25-year retrospective of Polaroids by Jose Picayo that are evocative of works by photographers as diverse as Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, and Man Ray.