Signs of Spring: LES Galleries

A thing of beauty may be a joy forever, but that’s not enough to drag me out after work in 20 degree weather to explore the nether regions of Chelsea. Gallery hopping is not so pleasant when you get frostbite.

The first sign of Spring emerged Wednesday night, when I, like a rabbit poking its twitching nose out of its hole, decided to stop by a gallery opening. I confess, it was only a subway stop away from home. On Stellar Ray‘s opening This-Has-Been was mentioned both in Artcards and MyOpenBar, and certainly some event was necessary to mark the passage of bunny-eared TVs. See how bunny similes keep popping up–another sign of Spring.

At On Stellar Ray’s opening devoted to the end of analog broadcasting, which had a full, rather French crowd, was a TV repurposed as a stove, some videos installations, a large blue wall painted on newspaper (which had little to do with TVs) and a lobster (which I’m certain was the Surrealist key to the whole show). Unfortunately, I never got Surrealism and the great mystery of how the lobster marks the switch from analog is lost on me. What can I say? I’m hopeless.

On my way from On Stellar Rays to my dinner date, imagine my surprise at running across two more galleries. One was forgettable, bu the other, Bridge, had an installation called Swarm that drew me in from across the street. Suspended from the ceiling were black or white geometric mobiles that formed a nebulous cloud slinking down toward a video installation at the end of the gallery. The artist Peter Macapia, who has a PhD in math, created the complex, angular designs of these small mobiles based on geometry and algorithms so that no two are alike. The effect of the installation over all was entrancing.

Then yesterday Heist Gallery on Essex had a new photography show by Andrea Tese up called Boats Against the Current, and on East Broadway I finally popped into LaViola Banks gallery. Signs of Spring on the Lower East Side–hopefully signs of things to come.

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