I haven’t had a chance to preview the Lush Life LES group show yet. Curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud and Franklin Evans (no relation to the Walt Whitman temperance novel), the show opens officially on Thursday evening at nine different LES galleries. As the name implies it takes its inspiration from Richard Price’s 2008 novel, which I’ve read twice and think quite highly of. It’s the sort of book that remaps your experience of place: it’s hard not to encounter the novel’s LES landmarks, some of them renamed or slightly repositioned, without thinking about the book and its characters. I’ve never seen the bridges from the top of the Al Smith homes, for instance, but whenever I’m walking St. James Place I can’t help but think about Price’s Clara Lemlich Houses, closely based on the Smith towers, and it’s easier to imagine someone else’s views — which is precisely what the book aims to have you do.
I have been following Kianga Ellis’s tweets on the show @LushLifeLES and encourage Twitterers to give her a follow. (Facebook here.) I plan to hit the show’s nine chapters over the coming week — maybe even during the epic opening, if I can manage it — and promise to report back.
In the meantime, from the “About” page of the show’s website, a little more detail and a whole lot of links:
LUSH LIFE is an exhibition curated by Franklin Evans and Omar Lopez-Chahoud which takes place at nine Lower East Side (LES) galleries:
LUSH LIFE adopts Richard Price’s 2008 novel to title and organize the exhibition. The novel is set in the contemporary LES and through a murder investigation exposes the dynamically changing community of the neighborhood, which despite its evolution retains a ghostly and vital link to its layered past.
The deep and varied history of the LES now includes the LES galleries as new community members, and Price’s novel provides a potent vehicle for the consideration of community as voices compete for, ignore and occasionally share the same physical and conceptual space.
The galleries will host concurrent exhibitions with each exhibition reflecting the idea of one of the nine chapters in the book. The curators selected one artist from each gallery to participate in the exhibition and solicited from each of them one additional artist recommendation of an artist not from one of the nine participating galleries (nine total recommendations). The curators then supplemented this base group of eighteen artists to complete nine exhibitions, ranging in size from three to twelve artists.
LUSH LIFE will be the present for what will become a living ghost to the future form into which the LES will inevitably morph. The exhibition schedule varies slightly at each gallery with the earliest installation being June 17 and the latest closing being August 13. See gallery specific schedule below.
There will be a collective opening of all participating galleries on
Thursday, July 8th from 6 – 9 pm.
Sue Scott Gallery
1 Rivington Street
Chapter One: Whistle
June 17 – August 1
On Stellar Rays
133 Orchard Street
Chapter Two: Liar
June 23 – August 1
14A Orchard Street
Chapter Three: First Bird (A Few Butterflies)
June 25 – July 31
201 Chrystie Street
Chapter Four: Let It Die
July 8 – August 13
355 A Bowery Street
Chapter Five: Want Cards
July 8 – July 25
Collette Blanchard Gallery
26 Clinton Street
Chapter Six: The Devil You Know
July 8 – August 13
1 Freeman Alley
Chapter Seven: Wolf Tickets
June 29 – July 30
52 Orchard Street
Chapter Eight: 17 Plus 25 Is 32
July 8 – August 7
11 Rivington Street
Chapter Nine: She’ll Be Apples
July 15 – August 13
Artists: Alice O’Malley, Alisha Kerlin, Amy Longenecker-Brown, Carol Irving, Chakaia Booker, Charles Sabba, Christoph Draeger, Claudia Weber, Coco Fusco, Cynthia Lin, Dana Frankfort, Dana Levy, Dani Leventhal, David Kramer, David Shapiro, Derrick Adams, Elisabeth Subrin, Erik Benson, Ezra Johnson, Gail Thacker, Gina Magid, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Jackie Gendel, Jackie Saccoccio, Jayson Keeling, Jessica Dickinson, Joanne Greenbaum, Jonathan VanDyke, Jose Lerma, Judi Werthein, Justen Ladda, Kai Schiemenz / Iris Fluegel, Karen Heagle, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Leslie Hewitt, Manuel Acevedo, Mario Ybarra Jr., Matthew Weinstein, Melissa Gordon, Nanna Debois Buhl, Nicolas Di Genova, Nina Lola Bachhuber, Olivier Babin, Patrick Lee, Patty Chang, Paul Gabrielli, Paul Pagk, Paul Pfeiffer, Pedro Barbeito, Rashid Johnson, Robert Beck, Robert Lazzarini, Robert Melee, Robin Graubard, Rudy Shepherd, Scott Hug, Tim Davis, Tommy Hartung, Xaviera Simmons, Yashua Klos
We are grateful to Richard Price and the vitality of his novel.