BLOCK par·ti

AW I need to speak to you

BLOCK par·ti

pärtē: the basic scheme or concept for an architectural design reoriented by a diagram]

**BLOCK par·ti has been extended one more week!!   Now on view September 7th-28th, Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm**

Opening Sunday, September 7 at OffLINE Gallery at CENTRAL BOOKING, BLOCK par·ti includes artworks that serve as diagrams of emotional and physical spaces, through painting, drawing, photography, and mixed media. Using natural and constructed materials, the pieces investigate themes of disconnection and abandonment, informed by geometric and architectural tropes. Featuring work by Charles HeppnerMelissa MurrayRobert SaywitzMarielis SeylerMichael TharpJeff Tse, and Allison L. Wade, the exhibition will be on view September 7 through September 21. BLOCK par·ti is curated by Heather Zises, Founder of (READ)art and Amy Kisch, Founder + CEO of AKArt Advisory

Charles Heppner’s Sanctum Boxes were originally inspired by the meditation practice during the Catholic Lenten season of the Stations of the Cross, during which the Passionis retold in 14 distinct episodes and one is encouraged to mediate on each, applying those lessons to one’s own way of life. After reading a modern interpretation written by the Maryknoll Society, Heppner was moved to create works based on his own interpretation—and subsequently—his own challenges. Each work is a sanctum, often using a cigar box, with images the artist has taken from everyday interactions. The meditations, indicated by the title, focus on ideas such as self-reflection, compassion, and gratitude.

Melissa Murray’s work from her series 246a, entitled after a 300-year-old home on Cape Cod, present her impressions of space, architecture, and the effects of time. The location became a catalyst for metaphors relating to the idea of what a home is, happenings in the outside world and a deeper understanding of what it is for time to pass. While placing focus on the structure, she delved into the theme of internalizing a forgotten space and recreating it, transmuting it through a filter influenced by her life in New York City.

Robert Saywitz’s works from his Graveyard series first appear as stark natural landscapes, but upon closer inspection, are burial grounds composed of discarded objects—killed by overuse or outdated by technology. His Suspended Beliefs look at the constructed, layered, and idiosyncratic nature of storytelling and memory—and their roles within family and history. These visual diaries investigate our ability to suspend the trauma of our waking lives—seeking refuge in the altered state of sleep or in a collective identity. Words, ideas, quotes, and maps find their way into landscapes and portraits as waking life interacts with the unconscious. 

Marielis Seyler’s photographs, through interactions in public and private spaces explore the duality of the constructs and boundaries between nature and mankind. Placing large-format Trample pictures of various subjects in public spaces, she invites viewers to decide what their role in a collective narrative will be, her trampled-upon photographs becoming a record of our response to an invitation to degrade or protect, to partake in the sacred or profane. The artist’s use of imagery creates a narrative that pokes, prods, and laughs—albeit derisively—at our environmental and psychological plight. 

Michael Tharp’s work involves the interplay between the known and unknown, perception, and the semiotics of sense-making. He has been working with freight pallets since the 1990s, as sculptural-painting hybrids, exploring their gaps, and the physicality of their history as ‘transporters’ (and associated ‘damage’ and repair as metaphor for the human condition). The ‘backwards four’ series questions the acceptance and sensibility of ‘sign’ and also provokes an engagement with the self-reflexivity of the plane, as if we have crossed over to the other side. His Google Search Screen Captures focus on one (and only one) Google image word search and the first page of ‘results’ as the new arbiter of the collective Jungian archetype or Platonic ideal. They address the transitory nature of our current digital web age and and algorithmic effect on our knowledge and information. His Pallets in the Wild reference naturalist photography by capturing the pallets in their natural habitats on the streets of NYC, drawing attention to their overlooked ubiquity and underpinnings as transportation and commerce functionality and as found/art objects.

Jeff Tse strives to create imagery that parallels sculpture more so than the two-dimensional photograph—paying close attention to the grace and texture of each object. A driving force in his work is his desire is to translate subliminal aesthetic forms into imagery that is timeless and flawless. A play of light and form, the images focus on beauty found in the natural world, taking on a widely varying set of subjects—from boletus to stone to driftwood. Tse carefully selects specific objects in the same manner in which a sculptor would choose the finest clay with which to work—and those from which he can build and evoke inordinately pleasing forms.

Much of Allison L. Wade’s work deals with relationships and problems inherent in contemporary modes of communication. Her paintings and photographs show text messages that have ended the artist’s own relationships, whether sent by her or to her. The texts featured in Wade’s work are an exposition of one-way communication and social distance. It is easier in our postmodern world to leave a voicemail and now a text message then talk face to face to other people. These new tools in communication put the sender even further away from the recipient.  

Dates + Times
Opening Reception + LES Gallery Walk: Sunday, September 7, 4-8pm
Exhibition: September 7-28, Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm
Press Reception: Friday, September 12, 6-8pm



21 Ludlow Street, Unit 1
New York, NY 10002


Amy Kisch, CEO + Founder, AKArt Advisory
RANY logo
Heather Zises, Founder, (READ)art

UPCOMING OPENINGS: Central Booking, Lehmann Maupin & Paul Kasmin


With Labor Day swiftly approaching, New Yorkers are savoring final moments at beaches in the Far Rockaways and The Hamptons before their social calendars become flooded with a plethora of events in the concrete jungle. For the NYC art world, the month of September is traditionally stippled with multiple gallery openings and premieres–and this year is no exception.

In just a few weeks, Central Booking will launch its fall season with “Building”, a group show which examines architecture through art. Curated by Maddy Rosenberg, the exhibition will present 2D and 3D works by Yael Brotman, Anne Desmet, Peter D. Gerakaris, Janet Goldner, Estelle Henriot & Aurelia Deniot, Harriet Mena Hill, Joseph Kennedy, Martha Wilette Lewis, Adrienne Moumin, Agnes Murray, Sumi Perera, Pigi Psimenou, Ann Reichlin, Barbara Rosenthal, Robert Saywitz, Carolyn Shattuck, Sarah Stengle and Dannielle Tegeder. An accompanying catalogue will be available through the gallery and will feature essays about the works on view. To read the press release please click here.

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday September 12th, 6-8pm

LOCATION: Central Booking, 21 Ludlow Street, LES

LES GALLERY WALK: Sunday September 7th, 4-8pm 


Once Everything Was Much Better Even the Future, Nir Hod at Paul Kasmin

Once Everything Was Much Better Even the Future

Israeli high realist painter and fashion maverick Nir Hod will present a new body of work at Paul Kasmin.  In his recent series of “Genius” paintings and sculptures Hod depicted aristocratic young men and women whose cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and smoldering cigarettes. As Richard Vine wrote in the catalogue for Hod’s survey exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, “From the beginning of his career, Nir Hod has opposed the ideology that labels sumptuousness an esthetic sin. His work openly substitutes the pleasure principle and a fluid multiplicity of selves for the old notions of high seriousness and personal authenticity.” An accompanying catalogue will be available through the gallery and will feature essays about the works on view.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday September 11th, 2014, 6-8pm

LOCATION: 515 W27th Street, Chelsea


Drawings, Do Ho Suh at Lehmann Maupin

Do Ho Suh, Blueprint drawing

Lehmann Maupin will present Drawings, an exhibition of new works by renowned Korean artist Do Ho Suh. On display at both 540 West 26th Street and 201 Chrystie Street, the exhibition will highlight the significant role and varied forms drawing plays in Suh’s oeuvre. This two-part show will feature the range of his works on paper, including drawings using pencil, pen, ink, and watercolor, his unique “thread” drawings, as well as his large-scale rubbings.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday September 11th, 2014, 6-8pm

LOCATION: Concurrent exhibitions at 540 West 26th Street, Chelsea and 201 Chrystie Street, LES

BOOK LAUNCH: Saturday, September 13th, at 540 West 26th Street from 4-6PM



Celebrity Crush: Portraits by Math-You Namie on View at The Refinery Hotel

Beyonce, Math-You Namie

Beyonce, Math-You Namie

A new exhibition of fresh works by Math-You Namie and Tim Jarosz are currently on view at The Refinery Hotel, a sophisticated New York City boîte located in Midtown.  Presented by Indiewalls, the exhibition will run through December 2014 in the hotel’s central arteries. The partnership between Indiewalls and The Refinery Hotel underscores the hotel’s commitment to remain a cultural ambassador for its guests and to support the artistic community. The exhibition was curated to compliment The Refinery’s thoughtful, sophisticated design (by Stonehill and Taylor), and invites art enthusiasts to peruse the hotel’s impressive design elements and fine art collection throughout the property.

Artist Math-You Namie has a flair for depicting pop icons in a casual, graffiti style, while simultaneously paying tribute to their mesmerizing characters. Executed in an array of unorthodox mediums like bleach, self tanner and coffee grounds, Namie’s edgy celebrity portraits captivate the viewer with their gritty glamour. The paintings compliment the aesthetic of The Refinery so well that they easily could have been commissioned exclusively for the space. Installed above turn-of-the-century telephones and flanked between two modern red leather chairs, Namie’s tableaus accentuate the perennial balance between old and new. Tim Jarosz’s color photographs provide a natural counterbalance for Namie’s raw portraits.  His series highlights the expansive sensibility of the city through emblems of transport like grafittied VW vans, subway cars, and densely stacked buildings. Possessing a modernist bent, Jarosz’s eclectic and colorful images present an exciting contrast to the hotel’s interior designs. His photos practically blink like neon lights against the stark, black wood walls upon which they are installed.



Van, Tim Jarosz

Van, Tim Jarosz



Math-You Namie: Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Namie is a graduate of Hunter College and resides in New York City. His work has sold at Sotheby’s three times within the past three years, and he has been featured in GLAAD’s Art Auction and Benefit as well as the Media Awards in New York and LA every year since 2005. Namie has donated work to several chapters of the Human Rights Campaign throughout the country for the past decade. His work portrays a sense of effortless movement and ease through his use of textiles, materials and hand-painting with acrylics. His technique is figurative, employing negative space to graphically reproduce the subjects. Namie’s work can be found at:

Tim Jarosz: Born and raised in Chicago Illinois,  Jarosz received a BFA in graphic design from Eastern Illinois University. After achieving a career as a graphic designer for studios in and around his home city, he shifted his focus to professional photography He now uses both design and photography equally in his work, and both play a crucial part in creating his signature style. He is an internationally-published artist and has shown his work in galleries around the country. He has started and runs The Studio 312, an art collective and gallery featuring local artists. Jarosz’s work can be found at:

The artwork on display can be found at:



Tailored luxury, styled by history, sophisticated at every turn… That’s the blueprint for Refinery – A New York Hotel, the latest addition to Manhattan’s increasingly glorious Boutique Hotel scene. It’s a particularly apt name, for Refinery has truly refined the Boutique Hotel concept: instead of edgy quirk of dubious charm, guests will find a welcome brand of thoughtful, eclectic and intelligent design that layers cues from the past with tremendous contemporary flair.



Indiewalls is an online hub where property developers and designers come to source artwork from a community of independent and emerging artists for their projects. Indiewalls gives buyers access to artists and installations, and gives emerging artists access to new buyers and projects. Indiewalls is fostering a proliferation of artistic creativity in commercial properties around the world. Indiewalls often works one-on-one with property developers to help oversee the entire curation, production, and logistics of the property’s art collection.





The Myth of the Sugar Sphinx: Kara Walker’s Unsweetened Sculptures


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris


This review was published in Fjords Review on August 28, 2014.

On view at the Domino Sugar Refinery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is a large-scale public project by art provocateur Kara Walker. Commissioned by Creative Time, the expansive installation—which features sculptures made out of comestible materials—is a raw survey about sugar refinery, trade, slavery and the pitfalls of overconsumption. Even though the factory plant has been closed for a decade, its decrepit walls and rafters remain thickly coated with molasses and the pungent aroma of burning sugar still hangs in the air.


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Docked amidst the shadows of towering girders in the refinery is a ghostly white vessel. Fabricated out of 160,000 pounds of refined sugar and carved polystyrene, the confectionary colossus resembles a reconfigured sphinx of high strangeness. Entitled A Subtlety, aka Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World, the name makes reference to intricate sugar sculptures “soletelties” (or “subtleties”) that bedizened European banquet tables in the middle ages. At a cinematic scale of 40 feet tall and 75 feet long, Walker’s monument is hardly inconspicuous. Fashioned with a cartoonish head of a “Mammy” and the body of a lusty, over-sexualized being, the sculpture is an unnerving hybrid of stereotypes for black women.


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris


While many people find aspects of Walker’s work raw and unsettling, it is exactly within these areas of discomfort that Walker extracts deep-rooted issues to the surface. That A Subtlety is a blindingly white monument is no coincidence. Quite intentionally, the work functions as a springboard for weighty topics like sexual, physical and racial exploitation. Walker has publicly shared that her work is an attempt to gain a firmer grasp on history, particularly because “the meaty, unresolved, mucky bloodlust of talking about race is where I always feel like the conversation is inconclusive”.So how is A Subtlety to be interpreted? Is she a Guardian? A monument? Or perhaps a destructive female terror, like the Hindu goddess Kali? Interestingly, the etymology of the name “Kali” primarily means “time” but also means “black” in honor of being the first creation before light itself. Not unlike Walker’s glimmering beast, Kali is often presented as dark and violent, but is also conceived as a benevolent mother goddess.



Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

The subtitle of the piece, Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World points to the processional of life-scale sculptures of black boys staged throughout the factory. Molded out of resin and coated with molasses, the translucent amber figures embody a brûléed past of pain and profit. Wielding woven baskets, the young figurines remind viewers of how sugar cane field labor and slavery “changed our diets” by the 19th century—an observation made by Walker in her exhibition notebook—as the demand for sugar from the New World gained momentum. Quite harrowingly, most of the molasses sculptures on view were decaying –undoubtedly a reference to countless laborers who perished at the expense of refining sugar. Where some figures were caked with golden scabs of streusel, others had collected murky pools of molasses in their baskets and were secreting syrupy puddles onto the factory floor. As thousands of visitors circumnavigated the installation, shoe soles stuck to the ground, reminding them that parts of history are still roiling with unrest.


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris


Although Walker’s sphinx and her attendants are mute, they have activated a tangle of clamor. For three months, the general public has participated like a Greek chorus as part of Walker’s exhibition. Not since Christo and Jean Claude’s The Gates project in Central Park have crowds queued so thick to ogle a series of monuments (the waiting line to gain entrance to the sugar refinery stretched over a mile long). Once inside, it was nearly impossible to separate the crowd’s interactions with the work from the artwork itself. Sadly, the fact that visitors were shamelessly posing in front of the monument like tourists and making lewd gestures toward anatomical parts exposes how unsophisticated most of our society remains. However, this behavior also reveals Walker’s deep understanding of social mores. Her absurdist sensibility hones right in on our culture’s obsession with self-importance through “selfies”, especially when confronted with controversial or sexually charged backdrops. Furthermore, Creative Time encouraged viewers to post pictures of the exhibition on Instagram, which just perpetuated more mania within our “spectacle culture”.  That said, knowing that art allows the greatest freedom of thought to the viewer, it would seem hypocritical to relinquish that privilege. Besides, who is anyone to define one unilateral form of artistic expression? Perhaps that is a riddle only a sphinx can answer.


Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris

Photo credit: Peter D. Gerakaris


ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kara Walker is a contemporary African American artist whose work is fraught and intersected with issues of race, gender, identity, and sexual politics. She is best known for her panoramic friezes of black, cut-paper silhouettes set against white grounds that pungently address the history of slavery and racism. Through the appropriation of 19th century visual vocabulary, Walker creates provocative antebellum narratives in the form of drawing, painting, text-based work, video, film, performance, and cyclorama. The New York-based artist has been a professor of Visual Arts in the MFA program at Columbia University since 2002, and is the second youngest person to ever receive MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant.”


On Language: Kay Rosen’s New Text-based Works at Sikkema Jenkins


Rosen installation shot2


This review was originally published in Fjords Review on June 27, 2014.

Renowned for her text-based works, American artist Kay Rosen uses language as her primary material and subject for her paintings, drawings, editions, and installations. By playing with different approaches to typography and layout, format and scale, space and color, Rosen’s compositions explore the many avenues of language and how it can be represented visually. While a proclivity for puns and vernacular wit allude to the artist’s background in language and linguistics, the adroit use of words as objects and icons reinforces Rosen’s role as an artist who has mastered the interplay between visual and verbal realms.

An exhibition of Rosen’s new works Blingo, is on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. from May 16 through June 28, 2014. Comprised of acrylic, gouache paintings on watercolor paper, enamel sign painting on canvases and one latex paint wall installation—this current series represents a shift in the way that Rosen constructs relationships between the text and the support. Instead of conforming the size and shape of the canvas or paper to accommodate text, letters and words are customized to fit the picture plane. By placing more focus on the space around the text, Rosen establishes an equal dialogue between content and site. For example, the wall painting Monuments, which is prominently displayed in the entry gallery, equally engages the wall space in two directions. The word “obelisk” is painted vertically from floor to ceiling, just like an upright pillar, and the word “odalisk” sweeps horizontally across the wall, just like a reclining figure on a chaise. Gracefully hinged to each other at the letter “S”, the two words create a fine tension and conceptual harmony through their seamless integration. Rosen states: “Vertical does not trump horizontal; nor upright, prostrate. Male does not trump female. Sculpture does not trump painting. The representation of both ODALISKS and OBELISKS throughout the history of art is equally iconic and illustrious. Any perceived hierarchy is supplied by the viewer.”

Rosen installation shot- Monument


Many of Rosen’s word constructions are built upon instrumental pairs that function as a hub of exchange. Through structure and meaning, individual letters offer linguistic evidence that they are also the subjects themselves. Typographical ascenders and descenders, doubled letters, mirror images, and word orientation tend to recall concrete poetry arrangements, but upon closer examination, they serve as visual cues that invite the viewer to consider new ways of reading language. Basic words gain autonomy as signs once they are recontextualized into the pictorial realm. As a result, Rosen’s compositions become activated with vibrant tones of semiotics and semantics. Across the wall from Monuments hangs Marooned: the inaugural piece in the series that began a new dialogue between space and text for the artist. Rosen deliberately outfits the word “marooned” with vast borders of blank paper to underscore its deep isolation in the composition. The burgundy, non-serif letters seem to lay insufferably still like a ship that has unexpectedly encountered shallow waters. While the first three letters of the word “MAR” function as a foreshadowing of murky doom, the last letter “D”—which resembles the stern of a vessel—suggests imminent abandon, especially considering that the only viable option for escape are a pair of lifeboats (as suggested by the doubled letter “O”) are hopelessly wedged into the center of the word.


In the main gallery, the walls are neatly arranged with ten other works that quietly invite the viewer to engage in wordplay. InParrot, the grammatical ambiguity between noun and verb creates wonderful slippage between the two. To reinforce the idea of the word as a verb, two rows of letters are vertically arranged in parallel lines that mirror one another. Alternately, “parrot” transforms into a noun through the extra doubling of the letter “R” in the middle line, which conjures the idea of a single bird trilling with a broad, lime green wingspan. Perhaps the most cinematic work in the series is the painting Steps. By dividing the proper name “Fred Astaire” into a series of uneven red-letter planes that diagonally descend from the upper-left corner to the lower-right corner, the work becomes an architectural space. At a glance, the phrase “Red Stair” pops out at the viewer, suggesting famous steps on a red carpet or bleary eyes from too many late nights of Hollywood celebration. The work also maintains a performative aspect, which is created by tiers of text that resist a fluid reading upon first glimpse. In order to decipher the message, the viewer must reduce their reading speed and adopt a rhythmic pace in order to follow Fred Astaire waltzing down the steps of his own name.


The namesake of the show, Blingo, refers to a digital word game of Bingo popularized by Facebook. Like the standard version, this electronic iteration uses gridded playing cards with letters in the top row and numbers that populate the rest of the allotted boxes. However, the game has been noticeably updated with jolts of flashing color and animated mascots. Although Rosen makes an overt digital detour by keeping her work “analog”, it is possible that she is challenging her practice by appropriating aspects of contemporary awareness into her current series. Works like LOL, whose giggly letters bounce off the baseline with a rapidfire ricochet of “HA”, and *Risk, whose composition resembles a text message with its clever shorthand and shared root word “Aster”, would indicate an inevitable pull into the Millennial sphere. In this digital world, the screens upon which we currently read, write, and communicate tend to be smaller in scale, but remarkably efficient. In order to adhere to this strange phenomenon, perhaps Rosen subconsciously economized her use of text and space to customize her own visual platform.



Barre Works: Potential Energies, A New Modern Ballet, Premieres at BAM



Potential Energies poster designed by Mad Anthony; Group photo by Mickey Hoelscher.

Potential Energies poster designed by Mad Anthony; Group photo by Mickey Hoelscher.

Last night RANY attended The Nouveau Classical Project,’s world premiere dance project entitled Potential Energies at BAM Fisher. The hybrid music and production ensemble collaborated with TrioDance Collective to perform a “new modern ballet”. The 50-minute piece which is divided into three acts, each containing three movements, was conceived of and directed by NCP’s founder Sugar Vendil and choreographed by Barbie Diewald to music by composer Trevor Gureckis.

The “non-narrative exploration” (as described by Gureckis) of Potential Energies is largely inspired by the emerging adulthood of the Millennial Generation: How to face the real world after graduating from university? The pressure for success can be so overwhelming that sometimes dreams must be relinquished in order to survive. When faced with losing something after so much longing, hope and hard work, the piece asks: What is the potential of all the energy you spent, both emotionally and physically?

Similar to the Broadway sensation Rent, which captured the cultural zeitgeist of its era, Potential Energies showcases the arduous balancing act of today’s creative artists who volley between hope and survival. This tension is artfully portrayed by Vendil’s idea to add movement into the mix of her ensemble: by pairing each musician with a dancer, the performers face the challenge of transcending their conventional roles in order to represent two aspects of an individual personality.  While the musicians’ limited movements point to a persistent reality, the dancers’ unrestricted motions allude to a fantastical realm filled with lofty visions and creative passions. States Vendil, “To connect a tight thread between art forms is both a priority and a challenge. I have always enjoyed the natural choreography that musicians have while playing, therefore I thought about ways in which those movements might be integrated into a dance piece. While the idea isn’t new, I felt there was room for innovation, and this became the initial premise for Potential Energies.”

Throughout the performance, dancers and musicians interface, become entangled, and struggle for harmony. The opening scene reveals a stark spotlight on cellist Kivie Cahn-Lipman and dancer Allison Beler. Cahn-Lipman stands sturdily over his cello, methodically plucking one note with his fingers; Beler crouches at the base of the cello, eyes fixed upon its strings. Beler begins to play with Cahn-Lipman by wrapping herself around both musician and instrument, producing an unruly wake of creative dissonance. This raw friction notably peaks again during the second act when pianist Vendil endures visual and gestural interference from dancer Cara McGaughey. Like an impetuous child that demands undivided attention from their parent, McGaughey taunts Vendil by covering her eyes as she plays octaves in both hands.  The two performers quickly launch into a compelling tango with tension that feature failed attempts of unshackling Vendil from her piano bench, and rookie puppeteer stunts that temporarily remove Vendil’s fingers from the piano keys while playing. Perhaps it is when the performers deliver synchronized hand gestures that pierce the air (an impressive feat to witness), that the audience is reminded that although the dancers and musicians struggle to exchange languages, they are collectively suffering from the same malaise.

Cellist Kivie Cahn Lipman with dancer Allison Beler (L); pianist and NCP founder Sugar Vendil with dancer Cara McGaughey (R). Photo credit: Emma Tammi and Henry Jacobson.

Cellist Kivie Cahn Lipman with dancer Allison Beler (L); pianist and NCP founder Sugar Vendil with dancer Cara McGaughey (R). Photo credit: Emma Tammi and Henry Jacobson.

The music of Potential Energies was dynamic yet focused. Each movement told a story, but was centered upon a singular point. This minimal structure is parallel to how scenes in a classical ballet unfold, which created a nice bridge between the two mediums. While dancers activated the floorspace with intricate and expansive phrases, the musicians stimulated the airwaves with stylistic vignettes and repetitive structures that make subtle allusions to the work of revered composer Philip Glass (who was in attendance) and Arnold Schoenberg. Melodic fragments made by pianos, strings and woodwinds seamlessly twisted and turned with the movements of the dancers, and also resounded deeply within the empty, in-between moments. The piece as a whole was ultimately energetic and full of potential, and I hope that last evening’s debut inspires other cities to host this ensemble’s nouveau spin on ballet.

Dancers and musicians interface during Potential Energies. Photo credit: Emma Tammi and Henry Jacobson.

Dancers and musicians interface during Potential Energies. Photo credit: Emma Tammi and Henry Jacobson.

No dance performance is complete without a costume, which is where Atelier de Geste, a performance inspired studio and brand, enters the scene.  In order to match the tone of this “ballet noir” performance, ADG Founder and Director Beau Rhee selected a somber palette of fabrics comprised of blacks, charcoal grays and neutrals. The female cast members were outfitted in ADG’s signature Teatro Two-Tone tights (musicians in Calligraphy Ink Black and dancers in Carravaggio Chiaroscuro) and deconstructed ballet skirts which were fashioned out of leather and silk.


Potential Energies was performed by Laura Cocks, flute; Mara Mayer, clarinet; Marina Kifferstein, violin; Kivie Cahn Lipman, cello; Sugar Vendil, piano. Dancers: Allison Beler, Colleen Hoelscher, Cara McGaughey, Susan Philipp, and Christina Soto.

ABOUT The Nouveau Classical Project: NCP is a hybrid music ensemble and creative production hub that is putting “a new face on classical music” (NPR Deceptive Cadence) and “leading [the] unlikely intersection of classical music and fashion” (The New York Times). NCP began by collaborating with fashion designers to create music-inspired looks to be worn by musicians and has since expanded to pursuing imaginative projects that go beyond the traditional concert format.






RANY Collaboration with CultureHorde and AKArt during Frieze NY 2014



Thank you note from Culturehorde

A beautiful thank you to Amy Kisch, Founder and CEO of AKArt for inviting RANY to join forces with her curatorial team and CultureHorde at the vernissage of Frieze NY 2014! We enjoyed leading collector groups around the third edition of the fair and visiting a wide range of galleries (which were selected by AKArt). For those of you who are curious, below is a quick list of our gallery stops. Also, please click here to see CultureHorde’s Facebook page which documented a wonderful evening of art and conversation!

Amy Kisch of AKArt, Amy Sande Friedman, and Heather Zises of (READ)art at ferry dock for Frieze NY 2014

Amy Kisch of AKArt, Amy Sande Friedman, and Heather Zises of (READ)art at ferry dock for Frieze NY 2014

Gallery Booths visited on Collector Tour at Frieze 2014: 

Lisa Cooley, Lower East Side, NY

Pilar Corrias, London, England

Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Alexander Gray Associates, Chelsea, NY

David Kordanksy Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Galeria Jaqueline Martins, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lehmann Maupin, Chelsea & Lower East Side, NY

Non, Beyoglu, Istanbul

Simon Preston, Lower East Side, NY

Salon 94, Upper East Side and Lower East Side, NY

Jack Shainman Gallery, Chelsea, NY


CURRENT: GOWANUS Art Exhibition, May 14-18, 2014

Current Gowanus installtion shotThis afternoon I attended a curator’s reception at the Gowanus Loft where I was greeted warmly by Abby Subak, Director of Arts Gowanus, a non-profit nurturing and protecting creativity in the Gowanus neighborhood. Having just walked from RANY headquarters in Ft Greene over to Gowanus, I couldn’t help but share my impressions with Abby about the dramatic contrast between the two neighborhoods. Whereas the cozy confines of Ft. Greene are outfitted with hip restaurants, boutique shops, and tree-lined streets, the spacious parameters of Gowanus are hinged upon an industrial aesthetic fastened with austere water towers, bascule bridges and towering signs. I remarked that Gowanus felt like a glimpse into a Brooklyn that I never knew, before a widespread rehabilitation of the borough had taken place.

Similar to the outskirts of Bushwick, a warren of old warehouses and factories in Gowanus are occupied by local artists.  Many of these artists have works featured in CURRENT: GOWANUS, an inaugural community exhibition presented by Arts Gowanus and curated by Benjamin Sutton. The show launched with a benefit on the evening of May 14th, and is now on view through weekend.

CURRENT: GOWANUS surveys the breadth and depth of visual art that is being made in Gowanus today. Notes curator Sutton, “One readily apparent current running through all these works is a devotion to process…the 44 artists (of 250 submissions) who were selected for the highly subjective fondue of a show all fall somewhere between the extremes of messy and meticulous, but they share a formal rigor and a novel approach to their chosen medium.” From detailed collages, to sculptures assembled out of found materials to gritty photographs and heavily impastoed paintings, it is clear that Gowanus continues to be a talented hotbed of emerging artists.

The exhibition is colorful, thoughtful and curious (take note of Matt Callinan‘s amorphous ceiling installation of white balloons), so find your favorite pair of saddle shoes and maybe a flask of whiskey, and head back in time to see the future.

Heather Zises of (READ)art and Abby Subak, Director of Arts Gowanus in unplanned uniforms :-)

Heather Zises of (READ)art and Abby Subak, Director of Arts Gowanus in unplanned uniforms :-)

CURRENT: Gowanus will be open 12noon to 8pm daily, from May 15-18, 2014, at the Gowanus Loft.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Remy Amezuca, Rachel Bernstein, Matt Callinan, Ai Campbell, Kat Chamberlin, Caroline Chandler, Miska Draskoczy, James Ewart, Elizabeth Fiedorek, Veronique Gambier, Tony Geiger, Abby Goldstein, Meena Hasan, Megan Hays, Erik Hougen, Terrance Hughes, Sarah Jones, Sara Jones, Elizabeth Jordan, Suzy Kopf, Hiro Kurata, Jessica Levine, Romina Meric, Rene Murray, Liz Naiden, Phuong Nguyen, Alex Nunez, Sui Park, Helena Parriott, Guillaume Paturel, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Robert Saywitz, Rachel Schmidhofer, Joelle Shallon, Katie Shima, Evan Simon, Shura Skaya, Andrew Smenos, Maya Suess, Denise Treizman, TJ Volonis, Kit Warren, Andrea Wenglowskyj, Justin Whitkin.

Ai Campbell, Inside in 05

Ai Campbell, Inside in 05

Justin Whitkin, The Other Way

Justin Whitkin, The Other Way

Veronique Gambier, Aperture in Violet with Yellow Accent II

Veronique Gambier, Aperture in Violet with Yellow Accent II

Guillaume Paturel, Santa Muerte & Meena Hasan, Taking Off Shoes

Guillaume Paturel, Santa Muerte & Meena Hasan, Taking Off Shoes

TJ Volonis, Progression, Digression

TJ Volonis, Progression, Digression


The Big Chill: Frieze Week returns for Another Rendezvous in New York City, Spring 2014


The driving force behind New York’s annual arts week is Frieze New York, an international giant art fair which lands gently onto Randall’s Island, swathed in many soft layers of white nylon. With approximately ten art fairs in tow, the boroughs will be blooming with both perennial and inaugural art fairs. 

Frieze New York: May 9th-12th  Returning for its third installment, Frieze New York will host over 190 exhibitors around the globe, making the upcoming fair the company’s largest event to date. Frieze New York is one of the few fairs to focus on contemporary art and living artists. The focus on contemporary artists is also evident in Frieze Projects, New York, a program of talks and artist commissions presented at the fair. Like Frieze London, Frieze New York is housed in a bespoke temporary structure, suffused with natural light. The fair is located in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan.

Pulse: May 8th-11th Since 2005, PULSE Contemporary Art Fair has nurtured galleries and created an international community for them to grow within the contemporary art market. PULSE combines thoughtfully curated exhibitions with an evolving series of programming, which reflects the fair’s commitment to making the visitor experience a dynamic one. Under the leadership of Helen Toomer, newly appointed director, PULSE Miami 2014 will present a revitalized platform for the discovery of contemporary art and will continue to demonstrate the fair’s commitment to the exchange of ideas from pioneering and seasoned artists.

NADA: May 8th-11th Founded in 2002, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is a not-for-profit collective of professionals working with contemporary art.  The international group of members includes both galleries (including non-profit spaces) and individuals (art professionals, independent curators, and established gallery directors). Dedicated to showcasing new art, NADA showcases new art, and celebrates emerging talent from around the globe.

cutlog NY: May 8th-11th Back by popular demand, cutlog NY maintains a French connection with New York by launching its second edition.  The Parisian-based fair focuses on cutting-edge and established galleries that promote the work of contemporary artists. By fostering new relationships between galleries, collectors and art institutions, cutlog NY continues to form a collaborative platform for building new perspectives on contemporary art. Over 50 galleries and curators will present art, installations, performances, talks, and films in a creative, architecturally designed environment which allows each art project to have its own identity and a unique art interaction with the public.

Collective 2 Design Fair: May 8th-11th Back for it’s second installment, Collective 2 is a design fair in New York that presents a curated selection of the best in contemporary and 20th-century design from an international range of emerging and established galleries. The fair is guided by a passionate group of designers, curators, gallerists and collectors who recognize the need for a commercial and educational platform celebrating design innovation. With like-minded exhibitors, exceptional programming and the avid support of the global creative community, Collective 2 presents a highly compelling vision of design today.

PooL Art Fair: May 9th-11th Inspired by the French tradition of Artists Fairs, starting from the famous 1863 Courbet’s Salon des Independents, (AKA Salon des Refusés) PooL is the premiere fair in the US dedicated to unrepresented artists.  The simple, modest approach of the PooL Art Fair offers an exciting alternative to the “Art Fair” experience for dealers and collectors as well as the general public. The first edition took place in 2000 under the title: New York Independent Art Fair.

Downtown Fair: May 8th-11th (NEW) The inaugural Downtown Fair, a new modern and contemporary art fair produced by the ownership team of Art Miami, opens its doors on May 8th in New York City. The fair will provide a fresh alternative to acquire important never-before-exhibited works from both the primary and secondary markets in an intimate light. The versatile and rich selection of works on display will have a strong focus and representation of emergent talent, as well as mid-career cutting-edge artists, anchored by a fresh selection of secondary market works by top name artists from the Modern & Post-War eras.

SELECT Art Fair (NEW): May 8th -11th SELECT Fair debuted in Miami in 2011 with a dynamic roster of artist, galleries, special projects, and performances.  SELECT has continued to deliver thought-provoking shows in Miami and has expanded its curriculum by producing exhibitions in New York City as well.  SELECT prides itself on providing a unique platform to a wide range of galleries from around the world.  SELECT encourages all exhibitors to alter the existing “white booth”in order to appeal to the sensibility of the work being shown.

Outsider Art Fair: May 8th -11th The Outsider Art Fair was the first to give a voice to talented artists outside the mainstream, also known as “outsider artists.”  Today the fair still showcases those who create work that is “visionary, intuitive, primitive and self-taught in nature”—and while the fair has moved around over the years, many of its original dealers are still going strong. By jumping ahead in the calendar year from January to a May vernissage, Frieze Week welcomes another art fair member in its line up.

Salon Zurcher: May 5th-11th Already open. Zürcher Paris/NY is happy to announce the 7th edition of Salon Zürcher, taking place at Zürcher Studio in Lower Manhattan (which is in walking distance from The New Museum). Split between two galleries, Zürcher Paris/NY has hosted six “mini” art fairs, which have been major successes and garnered very positive media attention. Described by Hyperallergic as “an alternative and more intimate way to view emerging artists and galleries”, and by the New York Times as a “respite from [big art fair] chaos,” Salon Zürcher seeks to represent an emerging art world both inside and outside of New York City by providing an exciting and personable viewing experience.

Seven: May 2nd-11th Already open. Launched in 2010 by seven galleries from New York and London, this tiny art fair is a unique initiative committed to presenting artworks on their own terms. They invite new galleries and guests in both independent and institutional locations.  Held at The Boiler in Williamsburg, this hipster fair coincides nicely with Williamsburg 2nd Fridays and NYC Art Fair week.

Dear Boston, Love Brooklyn, One Year Later

Boston StrongDear Boston,

Congratulations to American Meb Keflezighi and Kenyan Rita Jeptoo for winning the Men’s and Women’s titles, respectively, in the 118th Boston Marathon today!

Keflezighi’s victory was particularly emotional, as he is the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years. States the recent champion, “It was not about me, it was about Boston Strong.” Keflezighi, who was forced to withdraw before last year’s race, still came to Boston to watch the event and was inside the Fairmont Copley Plaza when the bombs exploded.

Equally poignant is the tale of three-time Boston Marathon winner Jeptoo, whose victory last year was marred by a pair of bomb blasts near the Boylston Street finish line.

May the many talented, devoted marathon runners continue to restore Heartbreak Hill with new meaning and hope with each consecutive year.  I salute Boston today as my former home, and my forever friend.



Boston Montage