What’s Hot at Chelsea’s first Fall Art Thursday Night Gallery Hop


After a summer of (mostly bland) group shows and lengthy vacations, the Chelsea art gallery district exploded back to life last Thursday evening with the opening of dozens of new exhibitions. These Thursday night neighborhood-wide parties are always fun, with first-rate people-watching, lots of free drinks, everyone out and about.. it's all very New York City.  If you've never been to one of these Thursday nights in Chelsea, you should go at least once, as a kind of a rite of passage. Oh, and there's all that art, too. Anyway, last Thursday was the first of many big-fall-openings nights of the new season, and here are three of the biggest crowd-pleasers that I managed to get to during the evening

A wooden recreation of an airport security checkpoint by artist Roxy Paine

First Stop: Roxy Paine at Marianne Boesky 

The biggest big-name opening of the night had to be Roxy Paine's Denuded Lens exhibition at the sprawling Marianne Boesky gallery on 24th Street. You might remember Paine's metal trees on the Met's roof garden five years ago, or in Madison Square Park a few years before that, but for his inaugural Boesky show he takes a different tack. Using hand-carved maple wood (sometimes aided by computer modeling) as his material, all of it sanded and polished to a smooth finish, Paine has recreated a number of semi-everyday ordinary objects (a pinball machine, kind of; a sort-of chainsaw) including, as the exhibition's centerpiece, a massive diorama-like rendering of a TSA airport security checkpoint. Everything's just a little off, too, in both scale and perspective, which only adds to the overall sense of disorientation. Very cool. Through October 18.  

A colorful painting titled 'Dots' by Markus Lennenbrink's as seen at Ameringer, McEnery, Yohe in Chelsea

Round Two: Markus Linnenbrink at Ameringer, McEnery, Yohe

Another exhibition that's sure to attract crowds all month is the giddy, insanely colorful Markus Linnenbrink show, Everybody Will Be Dancing If We're Doing It Right, at Ameringer, McEnery, Yohe on 22nd Street. Linnenbrink has a couple of things going on here: his drippy, stripey pieces, which create all sort of optical illusions; and his meticulous "hole" pieces, for which the Brooklyn-based artist fills dozens of circular indents with rings of paint, to spectacular effect. It all adds up to be a ton great eye candy. And don't miss the back room for irresistible photo-ops, a site-specific work with stripes covering the walls, floor, and ceiling. Through October 4. 

An exhibit in the Ameringer, McEnery, Yohe Gallery from artist Markus Lennenbrink

Last But Not Least: Jen and Paul's One Stop Shopping Souvenir City and Bus Tours

My favorite "exhibition" of the night–and certainly the most amusing–was absolutely Jen and Paul's One Stop Shopping Souvenir City and Bus Tours. Created and staffed by the excellent Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw, the crazily decorated double-decker bus gleefully skewers the Chelsea gallery scene–which is all about money, in case you didn't know–by selling a hilarious collection of pseudo-souvenirs by contemporary art stars. Mike Kelly, Richard Serra, Damien Hirsch, Roxy Paine, Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovich, Paul McCarthy, Urs Fischer, Cindy Sherman… yeah they all get blasted by Catron and Outlaw. You will definitely laugh. And you can actually buy the stuff, too. Even better, the bus will be taking real-life tours of gallery-infested neighborhood, for which you can sign up in advance on their website! The One Stop Shopping Souvenir City will be parked outside of the glitziest galleries (think Gagosian, Pace, David Zwirner, et al) at various times, for I'm not sure how long. But if you see it while you're there, definitely go inside. 



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