NYC Weekend: LES and Gowanus

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday October 18, 2018

For the inaugural LES Art Week, the twenty-four participating galleries are featuring work by woman artists, both established and emerging—offering fuel for the blazing evidence for why there have been, until now, “no great woman artists.” Linda Nochlin’s dramatic feminist rallying cry of 1971 is being proclaimed in venues from coast to coast, and around the world, more so than ever this year. And this weekend, the LES is a great place to view the proof.

LES Art Week, which includes talks, curator walk throughs, a brunch and a high tea, was conceived by Lesley Heller of Lesley Heller Gallery (54 Orchard Street) and Bart Keijsers Koning of LMAK Gallery (298 Grand Street) as a way of emphasizing both brick and mortar galleries and the vibrant neighborhoods in which they are located. By asking each gallery to present within the same parameters, LES Art Week highlights the diversity of artistic vision each gallery represents.

Yesterday I had a chance to visit several of the galleries that had opened their doors for a preview of what’s to come:



LMAK Gallery is presenting work by Liz Collins, widely known for her large scale installations and Knitting Nation performance pieces. Titled Conduition, the pieces draw from her earlier career in fashion design and her lifelong practice as a maker of textile objects. The gallery’s long west wall is wholly occupied by the knockout Zagreb Mountain Scroll, 2018 (above). Finely executed through a digital jacquard weaving program, in Italy, the 25.5-foot long work has the appearance of a supremely flat Op Art-inspired silkscreen. But it is woven from a silk and polyester fiber blend, and tailored to fit its structural frame mounted on the wall.

This piece, and the accompanying works which all employ fibers of various kinds in different configurations along with hard supports, express the artist’s involvement with walls being an energy sources as well as a background. In an interview with Hyperallergic, Collins said, “I’m often thinking about what’s underneath and behind things, how that’s coming in to play with architecture. So an idea that drives me sometimes is to create spouts that release energy and liquid from walls. To call attention to what’s inside a wall by making something some out of it.” 

In the upstairs gallery/design shop, LMAKbooks+design presents Still They Persist an exhibition of the FemFour’s collection of Protest Art from the Women’s Marches of 2017, which includes protest graphics that range from posters, pamphlets and books to sculptural and textile works, above

LMAK Gallery, 298 Grand Street, NY, NY will host a roundtable discussion with the FemFour women about the future of the movement, on Saturday, October 20, from 4 to 5 pm. Info



Lesley Heller Gallery presents Drew Shiflett: Sculptural Works 1984-2006, a one-week only mini-retrospective that reveals the progression of the artist’s practice from early pieces in foam, plaster and scrap to her current, intricately layered sculptural weavings made from delicate strips of shredded paper assembled into substantial structures supported by glue, wood and wire.

From the statement: As with her recent work (above), the earlier sculptural pieces on view in this exhibition highlight Shiflett’s instinctive sense of meditation. Each cumulative detail of the work serves as a physical gesture on its surface, and also a notation for marking a vision in and apart from the realm of time. Viewers are drawn into the archeology of the works’ surface, piecing together marks and materials to form their own understanding of the process.

Lesley Heller Gallery, 54 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info



Across the street at Michael Foley Gallery, the display windows have been taken over by two pairs of mammoth, intricately incised panties that “capture a delicacy and curious approach to gender roles and conceptual art” by Canadian sculptor, Cal Lane (above). The main gallery inside presents Secret Universe, a group of Surrealist-inspired collages by Sherry Parker, who embraces chance as “a pervasive force in the sequence of my life as an artist.” Through the chance discovery and random selection of found materials, the artist begins to form order out of chaos, addressing the puzzle of life.

Michael Foley Gallery, 59 Orchard Street, NY, NY

For a complete list of participating galleries, go here. For information about events, here

For more photographs of installations, including the amazing bookstore at Perrotin (right), go here.

All photos © Peggy Roalf


Experiencing art where it’s being made—and meeting the makers—means that New York City’s many Open Studio weekends make for the world’s greatest art fair. And it lasts for months at a time in Spring and Fall.

This weekend is one of the biggest: Gowanus Open Studios, in South Brooklyn. Nearly 400 artists will open their doors to the public, with an Kick-Off Party on Friday, October 19 at Gowanus Loft Info More in Hyperallergic here

Below, right: Mauricio Ledesma, colleague at AI-AP, has photo in studio @lumena, Arts Gowanus Open Studios, this weekend.

Also this weekend, in Manhattan:

2018 EFA Open Studios, 323 West 39th Street, NY, NY Floors 3-10 and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, FL 2 on Saturday, 1-6 pm Info

Although the season is nearing its close, there are a few more on the calendar:

Flatbush Artists Studio Toour/Artwalk October 27-28 Info

ISCP Open Studios November 9-10 Info

Red Hook Open Studios November 2018 Info

Coming up in Spring 2019
DUMBO Open Studios April
South Slope Open Studios April
Industry City Open Studios May
Uptown Arts Stroll/Paseo de las Artes, June
Greenpoint Open Studios June
Williamsburg Open Studios June
NARS Foundation Open Studios
Coming up in Fall 2019
LMCC Open Studios date tba
Bushwick Open Studios September
LIC Fall Salon/Open Studios October
Gowanus Open Studios October
Brooklyn Army Terminal Open Studios October
High Lline Open Studios October
Red Hook Open Studios November