Half Gallery Presents "Under Glass" Painting Exhibition From Behind... the Glass
Settling in for social distancing, affords us the opportunity to watch the art world's customary practices undergo an intense experimental phase filled with rapid development, shifts, and trials. From events and exhibitions being postponed or canceled, all the way to white cube spaces and established art fairs such as Dallas Art Fair fully switching to a virtual domain. And Half Gallery in New York's East Village is about to push that concept even further, by utilizing the architectural potential of their space to present an impressive group exhibition through the windows.
"Half Gallery is lucky because our new location has so many windows you can see the entire exhibition from the outside, like a museum diorama," gallery founder Bill Powers told Juxtapoz about the concept of Under Glass, which will open on April 23rd. With a stellar lineup curated by Powers, this painting exhibition will feature works by Ewa Juszkiewicz, Peter Schuyff, Chloe Wise, Rene Ricard, Umar Rashid, Ginny Casey, Daniel Heidkamp, Richard Prince, Ethan Cook, Anna Park, Andrea Joyce Heimer, Pauline Shaw, and Michael Kagan. "I feel incredibly grateful to have been included amongst a great line up of artists," one of our favorites, Anna Park told us about her debut with the gallery. "I think this type of show is a creative alternative in sharing art under our new reality."
The extension of the experience of a virtual exhibition to real life might well be the safest and most satisfying way to view and present art for the time being. Focusing on outdoor life and passersby, the gallery will depend on daylight hours and be subject to Mother Nature’s opening and closing times. The gallery will offer an audio guide recorded by Powers and gallery director Erin Goldberger, which will be available through HalfGallery.com.
After only a couple of weeks into a global self isolation, we wonder if this situation might lead towards a more egalitarian way of experiencing the art with work presented online for everyone to see. "It’s definitely evened the playing field because honestly how much better is one online viewing room from the next? We have never been cloak and dagger about pricing so I don’t think the current situation changes a lot for us," Powers remarked about the new state inplay.
For the artists worldwide, the new situation in which their work is almost exclusively viewable through glass (whether a screen or a window), is somewhat of a new challenge and inspiration. "When much of the art-world is going online, I think the 'under-glass' concept provides a hybrid experience for safely engaging with art in public," Daniel Heidkamp tells us about how he's seeing this novel concept. "We were all very excited by the opening of the new Half Gallery space, and could not predict it would coincide with the virus outbreak, but luckily those big showroom windows and some creative planning by the Half Gallery team provides an opportunity to view art in a way unique to these times."
"Bill knows the art world and more specifically the NYC art world. He knows the history of it and has his finger on the pulse of what’s current," says Michael Kagan, who isn't hiding his excitement to be part of such an important exhibition curated by the long time friend who interviewed him for his first monograph. "I’ve lived in NYC for almost 20 years. It’s my home. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world, but there is a sense of “small town” and community especially in the art world. I like the idea behind this show - a museum diorama install, adapting to the recent crisis, and supporting each other in that tight-knit community that I’m happy to be a part of. It feels good! A forward momentum. I love this town!" Kagan proudly concludes. —Sasha Bogojev