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Art Break: ‘Soul of a Nation’ at the Brooklyn Museum and a ‘Scrapbook Love Story’ at the Walther Collection Project

Art Break

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 10, 2018

This week Art Break showcases a variety of styles and thinking about art and what it can do. The abstract art method is represented with two shows: DIA: Chelsea’s display of Blinky Palermo’s formal shapes saturated in color and the group exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery, with its emphasis on the gesture and direction of lines. 303 Gallery with Sam Falls and Richard Stankiewicz at Washburn Gallery present work using the techniques of found materials combining with the artists’ imaginations. Creation and imagination are also on full display at The Walther Collection Project with its collection of scrapbooks telling the stories of ordinary people’s lives. Finally, at the Brooklyn Museum, art uses its power as a tool for social commentary as well as aesthetic beauty with the exhibition Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. As a bonus, on Saturday, September 15, the museum is having a dance party to celebrate the opening. Tickets can be purchased here and include an after-hours viewing of the exhibit.

Art Break

Wadsworth A. Jarrell: Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971; acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 51 in. (162.6 x 129.5 cm); Brooklyn Museum, gift of R. M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harris, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, © Wadsworth A. Jarrell; photo: Brooklyn Museum.


Art Break

Installation view of Blinky Palermo: To the People of New York City, 1976-77, Part IX; acrylic on aluminum panels; 15 parts, including 40 panels ranging from 8 1/4 x 6 5/16 inches (21 x 16 cm) to 39 3/8 x 78 3/4 inches (100 x 200 cm); Dia Art Foundation / photo: Florian Holzherr.

DIA: Chelsea: Blinky Palermo: To the People of New York City (September 15, 2018 – February 16, 2019) is a tribute to New Yorkers from this German artist. Using a limited palette and tightly controlled shapes, this sequential painting installation has a rhythm and energy that echoes our own. DIA: Chelsea: 535, 541, and 545 West 22nd Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 11-6

Art Break

Installation view of Sam Falls: Topanga, 2018; ©Sam Falls, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York.

303 Gallery: Sam Falls (September 12 – October 20) shows how the intertwining of nature and painting practice can create uniquely beautiful images. 303 Gallery, 555 West 21st Street, Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-5

Art Break

Heimo Zobernig: Untitled, 2013; acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm (78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in.); courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

Simon Lee Gallery: The Tissue of Memory (September 12 – November 10) is a group show featuring artists known for using signs and gestural lines to explore abstract concepts. Simon Lee Gallery, 26 East 64th Street, Hours: Mon – Sat: 10-6

Art Break

Richard Stankiewicz: Untitled, c. 1959; steel; 24 x 12 x 12 in.; courtesy of artist / Washburn Gallery.

Washburn Gallery: Richard Stankiewicz: Sculpture from the 1950s – 1970s (September 13 – October 27) are mostly figurative pieces using scrap metal and found objects. Make sure to walk around the pieces to see the humor and surrealist elements from different angles. Washburn Gallery, 177 Tenth Avenue (21st Street), Hours: Tue – Sat: 11-6

Art Break

Carolyn Lawrence: Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972; acrylic on canvas, 48 1⁄2 x 50 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm); courtesy of the artist, © Carolyn Mims Lawrence.; photo: Michael Tropea / Brooklyn Museum.

Brooklyn Museum: Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (September 14, 2018 – February 3, 2019) was a huge hit in London last year. The show covers the years 1963-1983, following various political and social issues of concern, not just for African-American artists but the United States as a whole. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Hours: Wed: 11-6, Thur: 11-10, Fri-Sun: 11-6. Click here for information on admission prices.

Art Break

Unidentified Compiler, [Photobooth Portrait Album Page], ca. 1940; courtesy The Walther Collection.

A recently opened exhibit at The Walther Collection Project: Scrapbook Love Story: Memory and the Vernacular Photo Album (September 7 – December 15) showcases the ways in which people organize images, both in the manner of recording people or events and in the display of the pictures. It’s amazing to see the creativity of these scrapbooks and how meaningful they were to their makers, and to us in the present day. The Walther Collection Project, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 718, Hours: Tue – Sat: 12-6

Art Break

Virginia Becker, compiler, [Scrapbook Love Story Album], detail, 1940-43; courtesy The Walther Collection.


For ZEALnyc‘s complete list of New York City art and museum exhibitions and shows click here.

For the latest news in New York City art, museums and galleries click here.


Cover: Betye Saar: ‘Eye,’ 1972; acrylic on leather, 81⁄2 x 13 3⁄4 in. (21.6 x 34.9 cm); collection of Sheila Siber and David Limburger; © Betye Saar; courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles / Brooklyn Museum.


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