New York Times | Art in Review; Greater Brooklyn

Posted on Jul 8, 2005

Original Article

By Roberta Smith

CRG Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, Chelsea
Through July 22

An exhibition devoted to the work of artists who lack gallery representation can indicate one of two things: it can reflect the kinds of work that galleries aren’t interested in at the moment, or it can just uncover more of the kinds of work already being shown. Unfortunately, the cheerfully diverse survey that is ”Greater Brooklyn” falls into the latter category. Perhaps the most interesting fact about this show is that it was organized from 400 open-call submissions. Its organizers, Glen Baldridge and Alex Dodge, young artists who work at CRG, selected work by 30 artists. The entire process was conducted by e-mail.

Excepting the unusual zero-level gallery representation, the show shares some attributes with its inspiration, the current ”Greater New York” exhibition at P.S. 1. There is too much work for the space available and yet not enough from each artist to give much of an idea of individual potential. In addition, it is too diverse to have any curatorial shape.

Representation, in two and three dimensions, from na? to fanatically realistic, dominates. On the wall, paper is preferred to canvas. In what seems to be a disturbing trend right now, women are grossly in the minority. Works that are abstract or in three dimensions tend to stand out, including Brian Montuori’s cartoonlike sculpture of a life-size safe hanging over the doorway; Gretchen Scherer’s folded-paper monoprint of a pair of abandoned jeans and pumps; Ian Pedigo’s fragile yet savage-looking bundle of jagged sticks painted gray and white and bound with a yellow cord; and Jim Lee’s brightly colored oval relief whose self-descriptive title is ”Ultra Blue Wood.” Also worth noting are works by Eric Doeringer, George Boorujy, Josh Brand, Andrew Kuo, Keiko Narahashi, Butt Johnson, Allison Gildersleeve, Zak Prekop and William Touchet. Competence runs high throughout, so if this show doesn’t accomplish much beyond superficial introductions, it also doesn’t rule anyone out. ROBERTA SMITH