"395 Flatbush Avenue Ext." et al., downtown Brooklyn

Marc Schubert [installation view]

Matthew Hansel Coronation 2008 oil, acrylic and ink on canvas 96" x 94"


Matthew Hansel Flag 7 ink and acrylic on nylon flag 2' x 3' [installation view]

Mark Hansel Flag 2 2009 ink and acrylic on nylon flag 2' x 3' [installation view]

A dynamic five-month-long exhibition project in downtown Brooklyn includes a number of street-level art installations under the umbrella, "395 Flatbush Avenue Ext.". Two of the galleries, "space E" and "Space F", display a mix of paintings, works on paper, installations and sculpture, much of it created specifically for these rooms.

The images of prime work by Marc Schubert and Matthew Hansel shown above are only a tease.

Kadar Brock [installation view]

Daniel Heidkamp [installation view]

Possibly the best show title of the year, "Too Big To Fail: Big Paintings", described another room, "Space C", filled with works which, in both their size and quality, seek to demonstrate the validity in the visual arts of that newly-immortalized national mantra.

Kadar Brock's diptych, seen in the first image above these two paragraphs, was definitely big, and didn't fail to please. The painting of the very big fenced-in shaggy yellow dog is by the curator of this particular space, Daniel Heidkamp.

"395 Flatbush Avenue Ext." is a collaboration between New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), Your Art Here and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Five or six empty shops along 395 Flatbush Avenue Extension have been filled with exceptionally fresh art worth a detour, even a trip from the far reaches of the City's sleepier boroughs (Brooklyn's growing cultural importance makes me increasingly confident in including Manhattan in that description).

Although it may not be so important in an enterprise projected to continue for months, there seems to be some confusion, at least for me, about official opening dates of this temporary cultural station set up near the Fulton Street Mall. There was a preview the evening of October 6th, and then the very public mashup of the County Affair [Kings, that is] this past Sunday, but there will also be a reception for "Too Big to Fail" tomorrow, Friday from 6 to 8, and I assume all of the other spaces will be open as well.

Otherwise the public hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 7 over the next five months.

The structure of the whole project has some of the aspects of "let's put on a show", but the art is not improvised (okay, maybe the County Affair was, and to its credit!). The commitment of both artists and organizers to openness, accessibility, and connection with the community where it is settling in for the next five months appears to be completely genuine. It works for me and I hope it works for everyone.

An extraordinarily-generous Joshua Smith was kept very busy at the Affair all day Sunday delivering on his offer of $1 water-color portraits.

Offset Projects is a group show of inexpensive artist-designed posters produced by the non-profit founded by artist Matthew Spiegelman.

The awesome staff of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts has set up an office within one of the storefronts adjacent to all the fun. It's over to the left, near the local Applebee's at the south corner of the block.

Matthew Hansel and the other artists have some quiteamazing work .

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Published on October 22, 2009 3:48 PM.

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