Tag Archive | Brett Amory

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures at Jonathan Levine

CBGB By Brett Amory (All Photos By Gail)

Creating haunting representations of iconic LES storefronts, California-based artist Brett Amory puts a surrealist spin on paintings done in the classic style of Edward Hopper.

Economy Candy
Economy Candy

Jonathan LeVine is currently hosting Amory’s third solo show at the gallery, entitled This Land Is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures, and it is pretty sweet.

Economy Candy Detail
Economy Candy, Detail

In This Land is Not For Sale, Amory paints a visually gorgeous protest against the transformation of New York’s famed Lower East Side into a gentrified wasteland — something that you will hear NYC natives and long-time residents moan about on a weekly basis, as one landmark neighborhood treasure after another gets bulldozed to make way for a Starbucks or faceless chain store.

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

Brett Amory first earned international critical acclaim for his Waiting series: urban settings such as London and San Francisco portrayed as lonely abstracted landscapes of vanishing human assertion.

Cup & Saucer
Cup & Saucer

Pyramid Club
Pyramid Club, Still Located on Avenue A

This new series offers viewers an insider’s historical road map of East Village radical underground sensibility, from ABC NO RIO and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe to the headquarters of The Catholic Worker, The Pyramid Club and even Moshe’s Bakery.

Amory not only captures the breathtaking physical presence of these neighborhood landmarks but also movingly conveys the sense of the artist as witness. By delivering a painterly personal testimony and protest against the disappearance of these businesses, his work is an example of painting as real-time archaeological retrieval.

190 Bowery
Germania Bank at 190 Bowery

The artist’s foremost achievement in paintings, drawings and installations has been to document evolving personal, existential and political credo into masterfully rendered, aesthetically transcendent works of fine art with broad cosmopolitan appeal. In This Land Is Not For Sale he gives his most pointed evidence yet of his urgent need to merge his personal and social consciousness with the unsparing aesthetic demands of his art.


This one is my absolute favorite.

Katz's Deli
Katz Deli

Old School Flyers

In conjunction with the exhibition, Amory has installed a faux construction site underpass leading to the gallery to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. The show will also include the documentary ‘Captured’, the story of LES legendary photographer Clayton Patterson, as well as a display of LES posters and other neighborhood marginalia.

Mars Bar
Mars Bar

Brett Amory and Fan
Brett Amory chats with a fan at last week’s Opening Reception

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures will be on Exhibit Through November 14th, 2015, at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Located at 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Brett Amory Signage
Levine Exterior

Block Drugs
Block Drugs

Phil Hale, Life Wants to Live at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Life Wants to Live 7 and 11
Life Wants to Live 7 and 11 (All Photos By Gail)

I wasn’t surprised to learn that painter Phil Hale used to do illustrations for Stephen King books, because his paintings delicately embrace the dreamlike, foreboding essence of a horror novel. Simultaneously compelling and repellent, Hale creates imagined visual tableaus “derived from images appropriated from the internet and analogue archives.” The exhibit’s accompanying press release reveals that” this new series of paintings and drawings are an artifact of the instability and uncertainty that characterizes our era.”

Life Wants to Live  14

The paintings that make up Life Wants to Live — each eponymously titled with an added number — are creepy, frightening and also very beautiful, and you can see that Hale has great talent as a realist painter who knows how to put a twist on the familiar without treading into the realm of the surreal.

Life Wants to Live 2 and 3
Life Wants to Live 2 and 3

Using both form and abstraction, the works convey the struggle to process, reconcile and structure an overwhelming flood of imagery and data. His realignments and mash-ups of the human form are truncated, extruded and redirected, suggesting not only the impossibility of constructing a meaningful whole from available fragments but also the unreliability of any interpretation at all.

Life Wants to Live 13
Life Wants to Live 13

Hale’s work also reminds of of painter Brett Amory, another artist represented by the Levine gallery. Phil Hale is an American living and working in London. I am glad to have discovered his work through the LeVine Gallery.

Phil Hale’s Life Wants to Live will be on Exhibit Through March 21st, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.