There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter–the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last–the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.
–E.B. White, Here is New York, 1949
Just three miles southeast of Chelsea, the Lower East Side is recognized, both in the cultural landscape of New York and internationally, as important epicenter for contemporary art. Offering an altogether different perspective and tenor than FLAG’s immediate neighborhood of Chelsea, the LES has become renowned for supporting emerging artists and mounting experimental exhibitions. Carving out its own voice, the galleries in the LES occupy former tenements, industrial spaces, and storefronts, adding significant content and context to the discourse surrounding contemporary art. For FLAG, East Side to the West Side bridges the physical distance between these two distinct districts, celebrating the diversity inherent within New York’s artistic community.
East Side to the West Side highlights artists from the rosters of three distinctive and influential LES programs – Brennan & Griffin, James Fuentes, and Rachel Uffner – providing each gallery with its own show within a show. Artists in this exhibition represent a variety of backgrounds and creative practices. Brennan & Griffin presents Heather Guertin, Naotaka Hiro, and Dave McDermott, artists whose work examines figuration and the body, each engaging with art history while evincing a singular artistic position. James Fuentes presents a new series of paintings by Benjamin Senior and Michele Tocca that are collaborative in spirit, exploring the artists’ interest in nineteenth and twentieth century French landscape painting, perception and representation, and the materiality of paint. Rachel Uffner presents a selection of gallery artists including the work of Bianca Beck, Joanne Greenbaum, Hilary Harnischfeger, Anya Kielar, Sam Moyer, and Sara Greenberger Rafferty, showcasing a myriad of formal approaches to painting and sculpture.
James Fuentes opened in the winter of 2007 on St. James Place in Chinatown, before recently relocated 55 Delancey Street in the Lower East Side. The gallery represents a cross-generational group of artists with multi-disciplinary practices, specializing in historically significant work from the 1950’s – 1990’s. For more information: www. jamesfuentes.com
Brennan & Griffin is a Contemporary Art Gallery located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The gallery was opened in New York in the fall of 2010 by Kathryn Brennan and James Griffin. Brennan & Griffin evolved out of the gallery Sister which operated in Los Angeles from 2004 – 2010. For more information:www.brennangriffin.com
Rachel Uffner Gallery opened in Fall 2008 on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. The gallery recently relocated to an expanded two floor gallery space at 170 Suffolk Street. At this new space we will give our represented artists the opportunity to expand their practice to a larger scale in a very flexible space, host a number of guest curated shows, as well as continue to develop the gallery’s interest in showing historic works in relation to contemporary artists. For more information: www.racheluffnergallery.com