Selecting the best of New York City’s arts scene
When a new art style appears, it can often be a difficult sell. Critics hate it, the public makes fun of it, and museums refuse to buy or accept it as a gift for their collections. So how does an artist overcome these problems? One way is through gallery representation. A good gallery owner will put in the time to learn about an artist: the ideas, mediums used, the context of the creator’s time and place. After collecting all that information, he or she can distill and present that knowledge to the public and the professional art world, giving reasons why the art and artist are worthy of their attention. It’s a slow process but the reward is to give the world a new name, a new idea, and/or a source of inspiration to the future.
A gallery that exemplifies this approach is Galerie St. Etienne. Over 80 years, it has steadily educated the American public in Austrian and German Expressionism, as well as the work of USA and European self-taught artists. Through meticulous research, catalogues raisonnés, and exhibitions, Galerie St. Etienne has reshaped and refined the western art history canon to be more inclusive – and more interesting. Their new show, The Art Dealer as Scholar, presents rarities and unique pieces from Käthe Kollowitz, Alfred Kubin, and Egon Schiele – click on the ‘Opening This Week’ tab to learn more.
On the other end of the art spectrum (but no less misunderstood) is the art of graffiti. Initially dismissed as an ugly symptom of urban blight, it has become an internationally accepted art form with many sub-genres. Again, it was galleries that brought early interest and acceptance by promoting the street art of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jenny Holzer, among others. At Beyond the Streets New York, you’ll find work from the early days of the movement to the present, with commentary from the artists. The show is in Brooklyn, with plenty of room to display murals, photographs, and sculpture – because graffiti needs space in order to be effective. Click on the ‘Gallery Shows’ tab for more information.