A Few LES Shows / by John McGurk

There are quite a few nice shows to check out at the end of September on the Lower East Side. A quick walk down a couple blocks and you will stumble into some galleries that are presenting some interesting work from a rang of artists.

Up at Scaramouche Gallery is Alexandria Smith, an artist featured in Collage-Age a year ago. Smith's work is a collage of styles and materials and is fraught with adolescent anxiety, some of the imagery can be challenging for someone not familiar with her work.  This is her first solo show in NYC. 

It is a great show, worth checking out.  The gallery is located at 52 Orchard Street. 

 View of Alexandria Smith at Scaramouche Gallery on Orchard Street. 

View of Alexandria Smith at Scaramouche Gallery on Orchard Street. 

 Another view of installation at Scaramouche. 

Another view of installation at Scaramouche. 

A short walk away and on the busier street of Delancey, Rox Gallery has a nice show of Tom Smith's work.  His paintings have been popular of late, with quite a few places around the city featuring his work in groups exhibitions.

Bright, intricate, abstract shapes is the name of the game here.  Smith's work is very well made and is a painstaking process.  He also seems to be experimenting with new materials, which can only lead to more ideas and better work in the future.  The gallery is at 82 Delancey Street. 

 Rox Gallery from the entrance with a nice sign announcing Tom Smith's exhibition. 

Rox Gallery from the entrance with a nice sign announcing Tom Smith's exhibition. 

The two pieces below were some of the larger works in the show, and probably the brightest. Each layer or stripes is painstakingly cut and reapplied on to the boards, creating visual stimulation and optical illusions that waver back and forth with your eye. 

 Two larger Tom Smith works at Rox Gallery.

Two larger Tom Smith works at Rox Gallery.

 Smaller Tom Smith works, using dowels to create 3-D relief. 

Smaller Tom Smith works, using dowels to create 3-D relief. 

Just around the corner from Rox, and probably the most immersive piece in the neighborhood right now can be found at Laurel Gitlen Gallery.  "Deep, Deep Pepsi" is the name of the show and Anissa Mack is the artist.  

When entering the gallery, one is met by a small screen with news anchors talking incessantly. Around the corner and in the main gallery space, bunches of colorful dolphin balloons tied to red compressed air tanks are anchored in the room by a silver ring with a piece of a pumpkin hanging in the middle located on the back wall.  There are small speakers around the room emitting the sounds of waves crashing and dolphin sonar clicking.

 At Laurel Gitlen Gallery the juxtaposition of sound, objects, and color by artist Anissa Mack. 

At Laurel Gitlen Gallery the juxtaposition of sound, objects, and color by artist Anissa Mack. 

This strange mishmash of objects, sounds, and colors is surely intriguing and the sounds somewhat smoothing.  Mack is clearly adept at composition and creating narrative, providing the viewer with enough visual clues and sonic prompts to feel somewhat at home in the strange visual landscape she has presented. 

 Anissa Mack's hidden room full of amazing things.

Anissa Mack's hidden room full of amazing things.

Laurely Gitlen Gallery has one of the coolest spaces downtown, with a little hidden room that always has really great surprises waiting for the curious visitor.  The small room pictured above never disappoints, at the very least, it makes one feel like they are in on a secret.  The gallery can be found 122 Norfolk Street. 

More shows will be opening soon, so stay tuned for updates and tips.