Looking in from the entrance
I don't get to Williamsburg often, but when I do I head straight for Sideshow, Rich Timperio's gallery on Bedford Avenue. There's always a good show. Last time I mentioned the gallery, it was Thornton Willis's retrospective in 2007. This time it's It's All Good!! Apocalypse Now, a jumble of art by some 450 artists, up through February 20.
The postcard announcement with names of the participating artists
Let me clarify. It's an organized jumble. "It took nine or ten days to hang," says Timperio when I asked. And it's a passionate jumble; the ardor of the artists and the dealer is just radiating off the walls. The result is the big-ass mother of all salon shows: large and small works by well knowns and unknowns, hung cheek by jowl from the top of the 12-foot-high walls all the way down to the floor. (Timperio placed the largest works first and assembled the installation organically from there. Amazingly, everything has some visual breathing room.) It's about as democratic as they come. And in that spirit, there is some fabulous work along with the, well, just a little less fabulous. I'm not in the show, but I loved being in the middle of it surrounded by the work.
I'm going to take you on a tour of the two gallery spaces. We start with the view from the front door and work our way clockwise around the front gallery. When we enter the back gallery it's another clockwise tour. I'm not identifying the artists--the captions would be too long--but I have an idea: I'm numbering the pics below. If you are one of the artists whose work is in a numbered picture, let us know via a comment, like the example I'm making up now: "Josephine Schmo. My painting is the large fuchsia square in photo 20."
1. The view as you enter the gallery
2. Moving clockwise around the front gallery. Behind that ajar door is a bathroom--with more art
3. That's Rich Timperio, artist and gallery owner, presumably recovered from the opening the previous evening when 450 artists and their friends packed the gallery. I'm told the line to get in snaked around the block
4. Follow the art to orient you. There's always at least one painting in the previous image to tell you where you are now. The door we entered is visible on the far wall
5. The doorway is just to the left of this wall
6. Swinging around, you see the actual scale of the netlike sphere that loomed so large in picture #4. The sculpture, placed more or less in the center of the front gallery, will orient you as you continue to swing around clockwise
9. We're about to enter the back gallery. Wait, let me run in ahead of you so that I can connect the two rooms visually
10. And look who's walking in. It's Sharon Butler, artist and author of Two Coats of Paint. (Check out her TED talk. The link is on the sidebar, right)
11. Same vantage point, but pulling back so that you can see more
12. We're moving slowly clockwise . . .
16. That's it for the tour of the back gallery
17. Now we walk back through the front gallery and onto the street, walking up Bedford to catch the L train that takes us back to Manhattan
Post Script: In his excellent Journal, Steven Alexander reports on the drawing show at Janet Kurnatowski, also in Brooklyn, about a mile from Sideshow, through February 13. Called Paper 2011, it features the work of close to 100 artists in an informal salon-style installation in which many of the works are "simply tacked to the wall." It's on my go-see list, as my interest is piqued by Alexanders' praise (and pictures): "The variety and quality of the work is astonishing, and reveals the ongoing vitality of contemporary abstract painting."