Since its establishment at its Broome street location in 1994, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise has stood as one of the stables in the New York gallery scene, maintaining a distinct profile partially due to its non-Chelsea location and partially by its founder’s ubiquitous presence in the art world. Brown himself emerged in the 90’s as one of the young dealers in the then-booming market, and built himself into one of the world’s leading dealers, proven by his inclusion into The Guardian’s 2014 list of ‘the most powerful people in the art world’.
Upon moving to its 620 Greenwich Street location in 2003, the gallery delivered some groundbreaking exhibitions in this unnoticeably large space, from Urs Fischer’s site specific installation in 2007 (that included a large hole dug into the gallery floor), to Rirkrit Tiravanija’s 2011 exhibition in which he served fresh cooked meals to the visitors.
Call and Response marks the gallery’s last show at its current West Village location before it fully moves to its already functioning space at 291 Grand Street space in Chinatown. Bringing together works by sixty contemporary artists, this immense group show offers an exuberant and undeniably excessive exposure to the current formations in contemporary art (particularly contemporary painting), and the impressively prolific impact Brown has made on the city’s diversely expansive group of artists.
Hung in a traditional salon style, the exhibition is anything but compromising in terms of its boldly collective display of multiple visually potent and absorbing works, challenging the viewers to grasp each work individually despite a close proximity to 3 or more additional pieces.
Of particular note is the crossover between Brown’s exhibition and The Forever Now, MoMA’s survey of contemporary painting, both of which count Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Charline von Heyl, Sean Landers, Laura Owens, Josh Smith, Michael Williams, Joe Bradley and Kerstin Brätsch as participants. It’s a notable point, underscoring just how hard Brown has pushed for continued emphasis on painting over the past 20 years, even as many bemoaned its “death” on countless occasions. Others participants include Uri Aran, Katherine Bernhardt, Allison Katz, Bjarne Melgaard, Gedi Sibony and many more, orchestrating a multi-faceted show that is perhaps a more effective, comprehensive survey of painting than MoMA could possibly have executed itself.
Call and Response is on view at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise through February 28, 2015.
*All images by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed.
— O.C. Yerebakan
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise [Exhibition Page]