Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jersey City Art Tour - Today and Sunday

There are two group shows, very near each other, that I thought were particularly strong. They had an interesting premise, they stuck to it, and the work was first rate: PSYCHOPOMP at Curious Matter, 272 Fifth Street (just west of Jersey Avenue) and 365 Days of Print at the Embankment Gallery, 608 Jersey Avenue (at Fifth Street).

PSYCHOPOMP was organized by Brooklyn-based artist and curator Vincent Como. He describes psychopomp in their website this way: Arriving just before death, then leading the soul to the afterlife is the role of the psychopomp. It is a beneficent spirit, a horrible creature or in various cultures an animal.
On the sidewalk outside the gallery is a charming book kiosk, called Le Bouquiniste. For only a few dollars you can purchase one of these delightful, tactile, intimate, limited edition poetry and artist books.

365 Days of Print was the inspiration of Maya Joseph-Goteiner, who explained in her blog:
Last November, after reading about The New York Times grappling with debt and considering whether to discontinue its print edition, I initiated this blog. In it, I began to explore the newspaper as object and inspiration for making art or comment every single day. Since April, I have circulated a call for artists to contribute to 365. Fourteen artists are currently participating or have contributed to 365. As a result artist Peter Delman whose work often addresses current events offered to host the first 365 dop exhibition at his space The Embankment Gallery.
The theme has generated a lot of good work. See below:
Maya Joseph-Goteiner, Ode to you, January 13, 2010, C-Print, 11x 14 inches
 The Jersey City Museum, in their moment of need (see here, here and here), turned what was supposedly an attempt to reach out and befriend the art community, into a complete fiasco, and made plenty of enemies in the process. Not only did they send out an open call for artists to submit work for a Fall Art Tour exhibition, when the proper thing to do is decide on a show and curate one. But they made matters much worse by including the names of all the REJECTED artists on the rejection letter. What are they thinking? Nevertheless, they came up with a good (uneven, of course) show and, as you can see below, one surprisingly well-installed given the difficulty of hanging mixed shows like this.
Jersey City Museum Art Tour Exhibition
Also worthwhile are several shows at 190 Columbus (NOT 109 Columbus as stated in the Tour Guide). Norm Franceur has a good piece here (see below) as well as in the Jersey City Museum (light sculpture in the cornor of photo above), several works in a zany show at Balance (18 Erie Street) and probably several other venues in the Tour -- he's prolific and very good.
Norm Franceur @ 190 Columbus Drive

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