|Matt Freedman's Golem at Valentine|
Matt Freedman at Valentine
The Illusion of Democracy:
Charles Atlas at Luhring-Augustine
Two shows that opened last Friday night in Brooklyn could not have been more different in style and temperament. The premier opening of Luhring-Augustine in Bushwick was a packed affair that featured a dazzling light show on the cutting edge of conceptual art.
The low-key affair at Valentine a bit farther out on the Brooklyn art belt, was an eccentric exhibition of thickly modeled sculpture and curious "artifacts" concerning thousands of years of occult history.
And yet there is a salient theme in each of these shows: real estate.
Hence The Golem of Ridgewood, a work of historical imagination, augmented with sculptures by Freedman that embody all the weirdness and wonder you’d expect from the innards of any old church or temple in Brooklyn or Queens. Among the objects on view is a rather mottled scale model of the synagogue itself.
Not quite so mysterious a transaction was the purchase of a fine old factory in Bushwick by the Chelsea gallery Luhring-Augustine for several million dollars about a year ago. This has been no news to the local art scene, and the curators have obliged everyone’s curiosity by launching their new space with a show that does the most to highlight what everyone is really interested in — the space itself. That is, there are no objects in the room, only light projections by the artist Charles Atlas. The projections are of numbers, numerals, in various states of animation. See the James Kalm video of the show.
|Charles Atlas, The Illusion of Democracy|
courtesy of Luhring-Augustine
|Luhring-Augustine at the corner of Ingraham Street and|
Knickerbocker Avenue, East Williamsburg/"Bushwick"
|Congregation Agudas Israel on Cornelia Street Ridgewood, Queens.|
presently owned by artist Matt Freedman.
Had Fred Valentine of Valentine in Ridgewood curated this show at Luhring-Augustine in Bushwick, the building would still be a chicken farm, albeit in some weirdly excavated form. The difference between excavation and renovation underscores the difference between these two shows, each of which involves a different response to real estate. At Valentine, the acquisition of a synagogue a few blocks away from the gallery is cause for an immersion into occult reverie. At Luhring-Augustine, at least for the moment, it all seems to be about the numbers.
Feb. 18 - May 20, 2012
Video of the show by James Kalm
Matt Freedman, The Golem of Ridgewood
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