Emerging artists on the Lower East Side.

Back in early March when New York was host to a gazillion art fairs, we declared that VoltaNY was actually the city’s best-curated platform showing the most interesting and engaging artists. As the fair focuses on young galleries showing emerging artists most of these galleries are typically located in the up-and-coming neighborhoods with lower rents and younger collectors.

Last Saturday I thought I’d wander around the Lower East Side in search of interesting emerging artists and galleries and here are a couple of things that stood out:

federico-cattaneo_jack-geary-contemporary-lineFederico Cattaneo‘s untitled works on wood panels at Jack Geary Contemporary. These are thoughtful and deeply-layered multimedia installations that include fabrics, paint, and laborious incisions made to resemble free-form gestural abstraction. The key is to spend some time with each painting and focus on the contrast between the receding and advancing elements and how material – wood vs. fabric vs. paint makes you consider each element on its own and in the  overall constellation. Cattaneo is originally from Argentina and is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MFA program. The show is on for another week, so you have until June 9th to visit the gallery’s temporary space at 109 Norfolk Street to see them in person.

Lorna Williams‘ solo exhibition at DODGEgallery also caught my attention. Truth is, I am not a huge fan of over-reaching conceptual installations as I typically walk away feeling like I speak a whole different language and even after reading the press release, designed to do its best to “explain the work” I still have no idea about the “what” and the “why”. Williams’ works are somehow easy to relate to, easy to see and understand. Three fantastical skeletons constructed seemingly from a kaleidoscope of objects are suspended in the front section of the gallery. Think of them as marvelous 3-D puzzles. My favorite was the fanned hickory speaker installation, titled Synesthesia. Painted plastic teeth clusters around the speakers were actually a little too much for me, but the rest of the work was very, very cool.

Lorna Williams

Much of Williams’ work is about details and construction, so make sure you see the works from every angle, and don’t be afraid to look behind some of them.

Lorna Wiliams

DODGEgallery is located at 15 Rivington Street.

Images © Federico Cattaneo and Lorna Williams, 2013, and courtesy of the galleries. This article © galleryIntell. Stay tuned for our blog and pictures from the Bushwick Open Studios!