Summer shows are the brunch of the New York art year – leftovers put together by someone else on the cooking line. Not that guest curators haven’t been putting on interesting and imaginative shows with available collections year after year while the regularly scheduled shows take “off”.
In fact the reputation of the mice playing in the gallery while the cats are away in the Hamptons has allowed for looser and wilier events than the marquee fall, winter, and spring shows. But the idea that a summer exhibition is not one of a gallery’s more serious offerings still lingers – in Manhattan.
The growing Brooklyn art scene, like TV’s new golden age, no longer follows this type of seasonal rigor. When it does, we are treated to a kind of reverse, or inverse version of a summer show, as in Pierogi’s salon wallsplash Unhinged. In a sense, Pierogi’s gallery has usually served as a backroom extra to the flat files in the front. Originally intended as a traveling show, the masses of work in the drawers of the front space offer one of the areas most inviting visual libraries. Probably even more white gloves will be donned during this July. Unhinged could be seen as a “sampler” show. And why not? The files are there for anyone to choose from, but now the folks who actually conceived of the space are saying “this is what we’d pull”.
The drawings and photos here haven’t actually been “unhinged” or unleashed or whatever. In fact they have been locked down, away from the free form intimacy of the white glove experience, re-analoged and served up for a user-friendly walk through. The close proximity juxtaposes the gallery’s cinema with the files internet-like stream. By putting their choices on the wall, Pierogi gives us something truer to its mission than a typical summer show and livelier and more honest in its use of salon installation than an art fair booth.
To pick a few favorite examples here would deflate the vibrant eclecticism of the group. The 200 plus works do not overwhelm so much as wrap you in variety. And the variety here is that of far reaching examples for drawing, from blueprint planning (real or mock) to abstract scratching, from eye-popping abstraction to surgical rendering, from indexed printing to surrealist indulgence. The sheer vastness of the imagery is only the first spill from Pandora’s box. Walk in and pick your favorites, then dig deeper.
177 North 9th St
Unhinged, Through July 28