I tend to be an admirer of gallery spaces that have definite point of view and niche brand approach to their programming. The direction is clear and distinct which in the case of Munch Gallery, one of the pioneering galleries on the Lower East Side, has proven itself consistent in this manner.
For the summer, the space has again stepped out boldly with “MUNCH REPRESENTS+” last July 10th by showcasing eight eclectic but cohesive set of artists officially on their stable, plus two special guests added to the mix. (Represented: Matt Bahen, Jacob Dahlstrup, Hong Seon Jang, Scooter LaForge, Frodo Mikkelsen, Erik Savage, Asbjorn Skou, and Marshall Weber. + Guests: Yeni Mao and Mie Olise)
Proprietor and pioneering gallerist, Lillan Munch, shared that she curates most of her shows where there is no fear on divulging her preference and no barriers in hitting just the right tone for her space. AF came into the interiors and it was clear what this gallery was all about. Everyone was a stellar presence in their art universe and AF had some great encounters with artists present that night. Hong Seon Jang (Korean) puts new life in found objects for his new take on readymade with a busted out tube filament light bulb leaning inconspicuously in one corner of the gallery. Marshall Weber (US) is a familiar face as AF featured him earlier in a review this year and his current oeuvre on view has more of a free flowing vibe than the photo collage & stenciled text from previous. Scooter LaForge’s (US) delicious combo of Pop Art with Abstract Expressionism was noted by AF from the gallery booth at Fountain Art Fair 2012 but don’t let the fantastical forms and candy colors overwhelm the seductive allure that brings you in. Scooter is also an unabashed fan of the AF website which opened to more conversation about his other projects – making hardcore fun footwear for the Met Museum’s Costume Institute current show, PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Also of note and caught my fancy but not present were: Matt Bahen (Canadian) who in his previous solo show memorably sent in huge canvasses that Munch could only feature some of it on the floor with its thickly textured damaged landscape that are beautifully harrowing, and Mie Olise (Denmark) whose paintings of abandoned places teemed with dynamic life and energy.
Munch Gallery represented well and strong. It says a lot when a gallery wears its ART on their sleeve. Believe me when I say, this one wears it pretty darn good.
MUNCH REPRESENTS+ / On View: July 10 – August 11, 2013
Gallery Hours: Wed to Sat (12 – 7 pm) Sun (1-6 pm) & by appointment
Munch Gallery. 245 Broome Street. NYC, NY 10002
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
select images from Munch Gallery courtesy of the artists
event photography by: Deukyun Hwang