Seth Price at Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Art’s commercial aptitude was apparent last night in the unlikeliest of places—my block. I’ve written about the spread of gallery hopping in Manhattan, but it’s officially reached the last stop of the F train in Manhattan. Seth Price had an opening at Reena Spaulings Fine Art last night. I googled the location, 165 East Broadway. I knew the google map was wrong because there was nothing on the block it showed but a Chinese restaurant.

How wrong was I, I discovered when I climbed the old stairs after a crowd of mid-20s folks who seemed to know where they were going. The floor above the Chinese restaurant is Reena Spaulings Fine Art. Instead of 4 people milling about, there were over 40 drinking, smoking and chatting around—oh yes—the art.

Sitting around the corner from said gallery now, having coffee, watching Chinese people practice New Years dances in the park across the way, the scene of the neighborhood just gets better now that I can include galleries. I understand why Renee Spauling and the LaViolaBanks Gallery, also on East Broadway, are here. The spaces are enormous. There are many tiny gallery spaces in the area immediately north of here, but these are massive. Based off last night, I’d say they draw a good crowd.

But where was art’s commercial potential last night? That takes us back to the art; Seth Price’s works are so polished and intelligent they might sell themselves even in this market.

Stressing the importance of dates, Price has created a series of calendar pieces where he has painted older paintings in a square in the top of a canvas and a calendar locating them in time along the bottom. For me, works like the one featured above, where molded objects or faces break through a flat, plasticine surface were less explicit and more appealing. I didn’t stay for the video, which I suspect was the best part.

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