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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.