Verge Art Brooklyn was a wee bit confusing to navigate as it took place in six buildings around DUMBO and on multiple floors of said buildings. 111 Front Street seemed to be the center of activity since the Brooklyn Art Now: 2011 Survery Exhibiton was on display in various rooms of the second floor and resident galleries and art organizations were hosting shows here. The connecting building, 55 Washington Street, housed Art Brooklyn Artist's Project Spaces where several local artists had set up booths showcasing their work. When I was there Friday night, some artists had arranged themselves impressive, functional stations while others seemed to be still in the early stages of setting up, drilling and hammering away...
Over at the street level venue of 81 Front Street, a sprinkling of international galleries had set up shop in the eerily quiet and ghost-town-like space where many booths seemed to have been abandoned. One Main Street also had a ground floor venue in a rather raw, unfinished space. Again, it was pretty quiet here and booths were left unmanned. 20 Jay Street's Suite 312 hosted an Open Call Exhibition which featured work by artists from across the U.S. as well as from Germany and Japan, but by this point, the chilly weather outside and the odd atmosphere inside the exhibition spaces had left me cold. I knew I was over it when a nice couple mentioned to me and my friend that there was free beer over at the 81 Front Street venue and the lure of free booze couldn't tempt me back.
While I'm glad that Brooklyn got in on the action of Armory Arts Week and I got to see some exciting work (I especially liked pieces by Chiezo and Nick Yulman), there was an unenthusiastic and perhaps unorganized vibe throughout. I hope this won't deter Verge Art Brooklyn from happening again next year. Hopefully they'll be able to iron out the kinks by then. Learn more at brooklynartfair.com.
Nick Yulman, Song Cabinet, 111 Front Street (when opened, the mechanized drawers play melodies created by the contents in each—bottles, shells, a xylophone... When all four drawers are opened at once, the "instruments" play in harmony.)