This month’s art adventure: New York’s Lower East Side

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Friday, September 11th, 2015

By Heidi Leitzke

If you are up for an art adventure this month, I recommend a trip to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In recent years the Lower East Side has emerged as a vibrant gallery scene, I counted over 100 galleries. Galleries are located in a walkable neighborhood, complete with parks, ice cream shops, cafes and the New Museum. They showcase emerging, as well as established artists, experimental and traditional art forms.

I went to New York City this week for the opening receptions of two must-see painting shows, Judy Glantzman, Dressing for the Carnival at Betty Cunningham Gallery and Kyle Staver: Tall Tales at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects. These women are both strong painters; dedicated, exploring distinct personal visions while maintaining a sense of curiosity and playfulness.


Judy Glantzman

Glanztman’s paintings and drawings range from small to large, built-up over time, almost obsessive; figures, sunflowers, portraits, rifles, hands, birds, commuters. Anything she sees or thinks of is fair game, drawn with materials including: ballpoint pen, sharpie, acrylic and watercolor. For this exhibition she was responding, not only to her daily life and commute, but also to a specific painting. In the press release for the exhibition Glantzman wrote of her experience:

“The work started when I saw Winslow Homer’s Dressing for the Carnival in the exhibition, The Civil War, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The painting drew me in.  I made pen drawings, mapping relationships, rather than pictorially recreating the painting.  I found deep layers of complexity: formal, racial, American relationships.”

Her paintings literally and metaphorically reveal and explore these layers. The show runs through October 17.


"Icarus," Kyle Staver

Kyle Staver

Staver makes large-scale oil paintings and small relief sculptures in clay. She is currently painting mythological characters in precarious situations, such as Pandora just after she opened the box or Icarus, falling from the sky. Ominous as this may sound, the paintings remain playful due to Staver’s colorful interpretation of the events, including unexpected moments such as Pandora’s peacock blue ballet shoes and a unicorn tail that transforms into a hand. As Staver put it, in the press release for the show:

“I am taking the universal and telling you about my stake in it…. The narratives are as timely now as they were 600 years ago.”

She has succeeded; these paintings will leave your imagination stirred. The show runs through October 11.


If this artwork appears familiar, you may have seen work by these artists here in Lancaster. I curated solo exhibitions of these painters for the Main Gallery at PCA&D, Judy Glantzman in 2006 and Kyle Staver 2011.

Gallery Addresses:

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