Crossing Brooklyn: The New Epicenter for New York Artists

Linda Goode Bryant (American, b. 1949) and Project EATS. Moving Compost (Amboy Garden Farm, Brownsville

Crossing Brooklyn: The new epicenter for New York artists flexes the mighty Borough, written by an anonymous guest writer.

Brooklyn’s new “heighten profile” is no longer a secret shared by New York artists. The boroughs’ potency as the art world’s new epicenter is acknowledged globally. The Brooklyn Museum conducts this major survey of it’s turf with Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond. This exhibition of contemporary art showcases 35 artists of different career levels, multigenerational outlooks and a variety of mediums, who are currently producing art in the vast borough. 

The organizers of the exhibition, Eugenie Tsai, Curator of Contemporary Art, and Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator, traversed Brooklyn making more than one hundred studio visits. Attempting to encapsulate the range and diversity of Brooklyn’s scene; the artists selected, emerging or established, display an expansive practice that has an impact beyond the studio and the art world with works that are engaged with the world, politically, emotionally, or physically. Crossing Brooklyn examines works by artists that employ found or collected objects, and combine them with educational or interactive events, whether in public or private actions. Artists who engage in activities associated with what Ken Johnson of the New York Times calls: “Relational Aesthetics or, more broadly, social practice.” 

Nina Katchadourian (American, b. 1968). Topiary (from the Seat Assignment series)

The result is a strong, nontraditional, selection of hybrid forms of art that are not easy to categorize. Examples include a series of vinyl kites (“Amani Kites,” 2012) by Miguel Luciano, created with the aid of Kenyan children that emblazons life-size portraits of themselves. “The Commons” (2011) by Paul Ramirez Jonas, is an inviting life-size equestrian monument made of cork, with an interactive edge, allowing viewers to make their mark by leaving a note. “Trading With the Enemy” by Duke Riley is a pigeon loft built out of found objects that houses a flock of homing pigeons trained by Mr. Riley to fly to Havana from Key West, Florida, to import contraband cigars from Cuba while carrying cameras for the documentation. One of the only traditional artists in view is Cynthia Daignault who offers “I Love You More Than One More Day” (2013); a panorama composed of 365 consecutive small paintings of the sky, completed over the course of a year. 

The exhibition is on view at the Brooklyn Museum from October 3, 2014–January 4, 2015. If you haven’t experienced the museum’s renovated, redesigned front entrance and new public plaza yet, now you have one more reason to get to this show. Contact us and keep up with the latest artistic events that are displaying the best creativity New York has to offer. 

Featured image (top): Linda Goode Bryant (American, b. 1949) and Project EATS. Moving Compost (Amboy Garden Farm, Brownsville, Brooklyn), 2013

Bottom image: Nina Katchadourian (American, b. 1968). Topiary (from the Seat Assignment series), 2012. C-print, 45 ½ x 35 ½ in. (115.6 x 90.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery. © Nina Katchadourian

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