— Drawing on the Utopic

There’s music in this work by Dax van Aalten, currently on view at our merged gallery location in Chelsea, at 511 w. 22nd Street – Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden Pocket Utopia.

Above, Dax van Aalten’s “Monkey” and to it’s right “Women in Meadow blue” – like Adam and Eve.


With a hole, presumed to be a punch…”The Garden.”



“No Picnic,” oil on canvas (looks like she is saying “ew”)!

Putting these in again because they are my favorites!  “Monkey” and below his mate, “Woman in Meadow Blue.”


Dax van Aalten’s blue in these paintings somehow mixes the viewer into the surroundings.  Bodies painted by Dax van Aalten are ghostly figures who stand out from their luscious settings calling us in.


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Art fair weekend!

Thursday night –Dax Van Aalten opened on 22nd Street with Tatiana Berg in the window!

Monday is beer on “Sunday Monday” at Osmos!   Inspired by anarchist saloonkeeper Justus Schwab’s effort in the late 19th century to operate his drinking establishment, which was once housed at Osmos’s address – 1 east 50th Street, 6pm to 9pm.

The beer cap!  Emma Goldman.


The folks “on” the red carpet at the Whitney Art Party.

Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden * Pocket Utopia at 511 w. 22nd open till 8pm tonight!


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This is a great bunch of grad students, this an amazing program and this is going to be a fun time, good show!!  Congratulations graduates!

Pocket Utopia

191 Henry Street between Clinton and Jefferson Streets in New York City.

A Place of Insight: Coreena Affleck, Ashley Barber, Oscar Guerra, Dave Krevolin, Michael Roche, Daisy Quezada, Ian Sampson and Marian Stasiorowski from the University of Delaware, MFA Graduate Program.

Opening Reception, Sunday, May 4, 2014, 6pm–8pm

Exhibition runs through Sunday, May 18th

Gallery Talk: Monday, May 5, 6pm – Sharon Louden, editor, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, essays by forty living artists and Troy Richards, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Delaware

Gallery hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–6 pm

Oscar Guerra, Untitled, 2014 48x 48 in., Various pigments on canvas

A Place of Insight,” 8 University of Delaware, MFA Graduates explore different connections to cultural practices.  Each graduate student will present very different works from one another, using different materials and different themes but there’s a similar mood.  This group of graduate students interacts with each other and is therefore linked to each in their focus.  Throughout their last semester, Pocket Utopia’s Austin Thomas worked with this diverse group to select the work in the gallery.

Ian Sampson, an artist uniting the narrative talents of a writer with drawing ability, uses the gallery’s wall as blank page.  Daisy Quezada molds a bra out of porcelain, resulting in a single work that combines egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint.  Coreena Affleck’s time-based ceramic performance will interact on the sidewalk, while her ceramic sculptures inside the gallery will be simultaneously entropic and ostensibly a more traditional still life form.

Combining sprayed areas with other techniques, Oscar Guerra, achieves an off-handed result that nonetheless brings Matisse to mind in his painting.  Marian Stasiorowski’s photographs of Philadelphia’s urban fringes thread Walker Evans with Robert Smithson.  Using a clay slip line, Ashley Barber achieves painterly marks bringing discrete objects into focus.  Dave Krevolin statuesque female allegorical figure raises one arm triumphantly smartphone in hand.  Michael Roche’s large suspended ceramic vessel officiates as both gatekeeper to this group exhibition and harbinger for the display beyond.

Pocket Utopia is located at 191 Henry Street, NYC 10002 (btw Clinton & Jefferson Streets).  Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-6pm.  (212) 375-8532





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Monday morning finds me reading up and watching everything Zachary Keeting, fellow art solider.  Zach is an artist, writer and videographer, recoding and making art and its making, recorded here on Gorky’s Granddaughter.

Yesterday, I met up with Gwenolee Zürcher at her New York gallery, Salon Zürcher to see, “If you’re accidentally not included, don’t worry about it,” a group show, curated Peter Saul.  A shot below of Austin Lee‘s piece ( had to include another Austin).  FYI, our Art Daily Bread wrote about it here.

Austin Lee above.

In the back room of Zürcher I spotted a Matt Bollinger painting and collage, and this is where Zachary Zeeting steps in, for Zach wrote an essay for Matt’s catalog which is so good and inspired (I almost missed my subway stop last night)!  Zach works with Christopher Joy on his video posts, another art solider.  Keep marching, hope to run into you both out there!

Matt Bollinger‘s “An Opening, 2012, Flashe and acrylic on collaged paper, 72 x 48 in.

Happy Monday!

Sarah and Jason are in Tennessee, doing a studio visit with Dax Van Aalten, below, paintings in the yard.

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Drew Beattie at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden Pocket Utopia – 511 w. 22nd Through May 3, 2014 – Tues. – Sat. 11:30am to 6pm, 212-729-3011

The view of the new, above, is an installation shot of Drew Beattie exhibition with at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden Pocket Utopia.  Some of the paintings in the exhibition are made in collaboration with Ben Shepard and although Drew’s speciality is collaboration, most of the paintings have been made by Drew alone.

In the collaborative works, which are all below, I think the viewer can clearly see individual actions made whole.  Drew makes, Ben responds and vice versa:

Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard, “Tiny Dancer,” 2014 14 x11 in., acrylic and glass on canvas.

Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard, “Blue and White on Mocha,” 2014 96 x 76 in., acrylic on canvas

Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard, “The Giantes Appeared,” 2014 96 x 76 in., acrylic and maker on canvas

Drew Beattie and Ben Shepard, “Applicant,” 2014 11 x 12 1/4 in., acrylic on masonite

Working solo, there are two large paintings with collaged elements that work in tandem, they sit across the gallery from each other and converse with each other in time and space.  These two paintings, below, have been created by Drew but they are certainly collaborating.

Drew Beattie, “I AM the Grasshopper Who Hops into Your Lap and Sings,” 2014 76 x 96 in., acrylic, maker and collage on canvas

Drew Beattie, “Masters and Chicken,” 2014 72 x 72 in., acrylic and collage on canvas

Drew Beattie, “Optional Pines,” 2014 14 x 11 in., acrylic and collage on canvas

Drew Beattie, “Praise Muffin,” 2014 11x 14, acrylic and collage on canvas

Drew Beattie, “KT,” 2006 16 1/2 x 12 inches, bondo, wood, acrylic and fabric on canvas

Drew Beattie, “Horse, ” 2011 21 x 13 inches acrylic, foil, collage, ballpoint and marker on canvas

Drew is a team player and a solo practitioner.

Drew’s show at Pocket Utopia Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden on Henry Street on May 30th.

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As we weave our two galleries together, Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden and Pocket Utopia together, I am going to have ease into opening the gallery on 22nd Street in Chelsea up at 10:00am, while still operating the gallery at 191 Henry Street (which is currently open by appointment).

The week, in pictures, below and it’s not over yet (it’s only Thursday).

Above, Troy Richards, an associate Professor of Art at the University of Delaware, greets me on the stairs.  Stepping out of the print studio, he guided me to my first studio visit.  I have been visiting the University of Delaware, MFA grad students, in preparation for their exhibition at Pocket Utopia Hansel Gretel Picture Garden (weave names here).  Their show opens Sunday, May 4th, 6pm.


My first visit was with Daisy Quezada, above her porcelain-molded bra, in progress.


David Krevolin, sculpture (above) of an “allegorical” female, “smartphone” in hand.


Pages from David’s sketchbook.


Marion Stasiorowski‘s photograph above, which will be exhibited on Henry Street.


Another shot of Marion‘s studio, she’s walking through my shot; talking thinking, describing her street-photographer ways.


 Oscar Guerra‘s studio above and below.

Above, my site visit with the folks (Tom and Fred) from Westfield Sheet Metal.  We are “co-creating” on my public sculpture together (Plaza Perch).  Soon to be placed permanently at the still being created Humboldt Plaza.


Arrive back finally, to  511 w. 22nd St with Sarah and Jason.

A duck in Central Park, late afternoon…photo for  by Grant Shanabrook.

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POCKET UTOPIA This tiny gallery operated by Austin Thomas is oriented to a populist, artist-centered philosophy.

in the process…of expansion, May 2014.


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Painter ex·tra·or·di·naire, Drew Beattie opens tomorrow at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden, can’t wait!

under wraps – Drew Beattie’s “I am the Grasshopper.”

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“Closing.”  “Merging.”  Let’s have more “happenings!”  What about experimenting!  Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden and Pocket Utopia are going to see what happens with this experiment!  It’s exciting again!!  Opening this Friday is Drew Beattie!!

Jason Vartikar and Sarah Christian at 511 w. 22nd Street, Tues. afternoon.

Gallery shadow casting.

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Hands On: The Illusion of Movement

Pocket Utopia

March 8, 2014

6 – 8 PM

New York City gallery Pocket Utopia is pleased to present an evening of animated short films by 12 contemporary artists from around the world curated by Bara Jichova.

Featuring works by: Susan AllbertMartha ColburnErin DunnDustin GrellaKirsten LeporePaulius NosokasAllison Schulnik,  Jeffrey ScherPavel ŠvecMatěj SmetanaRichard Tuohy and Theodore Ushev.

All of these shorts celebrate both traditional animation and hands-on filmmaking. The techniques vary, ranging from hand-drawn, claymation, stop motion and cutout animation to cel animation process and rotoscoping technique.

Rather than having a traditional narrative structure, these films challenge audiences to find broader and more creative interpretations.

Pocket Utopia
191 Henry street between Clinton and Jefferson on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By subway, the F train to East Broadway is 2 blocks away.
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