I made the trek to NYC this past weekend to catch some of the Armory Week action. It was a very intense day jammed packed with endless booths of art and a LOT of walking the streets of NYC. I began this epic day with the curator driven fair, SPRING/BREAK.
Held in the unused offices of the Moynihan Station, SPRING/BREAK offered a much lighter and playful take on the traditional art fair. It repurposed an old building in creative ways that many others wouldn’t dream of. Many of the curators played into the somewhat dilapidated décor, but kudos to the very select few who took the time to refine it. This was especially true of Lindsey Stapleton and Corey Oberlander from Providence’s own GRIN gallery. They really owned their space taking the time to paint and find cleaner ceiling tiles (a mighty task in this building) to make sure that the work on display was featured in the best way possible. It certainly got them well deserved props in Hyperallergic and I forgot where I was while absorbed in the work.
I was completely captivated by Luminessenz, an installation piece from Visual Pilots (based in London and Switzerland) and curated by A Moret (of Santa Monica). An almost flawless combination of simple design and complex nature, Luminessenz is composed of 49 sheets of heavy fabric hung from precise points on the ceiling to capture projected light synchronized by a shifting algorithm. I am not going to lie… I absolutely love this kind of multimedia installation. I find it rather exciting and that it creates a very engaging, multi-sensory experience. I enjoyed speaking with the curator about it, getting her insights on the nature of it and how its trending in Europe.
There were quite a few other fun and crazy pieces. Next door to the GRIN duo was Propulsion Field from Christine Sciulli (curated by Tracy Causey Jeffrey) that, like Luminessenz, utilized projected light and fabric, but in a much softer, simpler way. Brent Birnbaum’s tredmill installation (curated by Elizabeth Denny & Craig Poor Monteith) was a fun collision of 80’s colors and an OK GO video. Another space held a huge metallic cocoon/womb like construct that beckoned you into its beautifully lit inner chamber. In a much quieter space a installation by Anne Nowak (curated by Cassandra M. Johnson) utilizes aging flowers found at graveyards in a very pensive manner.
SPRING/BREAK definitely had nice people to chat with, though it was not without a few stereotypical gallery types (How can NOT being somewhat approachable still be a thing?). Nonetheless, it was a really great start to the NYC journey which I will continue on Monday. Many thanks again to Lindsey and Corey for bringing this show to my knowledge!