For Frieze, Gavin Brown Hosts Three-Person Show in His Harlem Townhouse

  • As Frieze New York opened its doors on Thursday morning on Randall’s Island, West Village dealer Gavin Brown was busy selling art and preparing to cook sausages with Mark Ruffalo. But about a mile away, at his Harlem home, an exhibition was also quietly getting underway.

    Through Monday, May 7, Mr. Brown is using much the ground floor of his townhouse, at 229 Lenox Avenue, between West 121st and 122nd Street, as a gallery, hosting a three-person show with Joe Bradley, Hans Josephsohn and Wilchar.

    There’s an entire wall of framed drawings by Mr. Bradley that range from a roughly drawn Superman logo to what appears to be a study for one of his multiple-monochrome paintings. Among the scores of works are also sketches of various cartoonish and unsavory looking characters, including one that bears a particular resemblance to SpongeBob SquarePants.

    Three large brass sculptures are the work of the nonagenarian Swiss artist Hans Josephsohn. They at first look like heavy piles of hastily shaped dirt or mud, but after a little bit of study, two eyes, a nose and a mouth begin to appear. Or at least you think they do. One of them seems to be filled with faces, but it may just have been my imagination.

    Rounding out the trio rather nicely are 30 dark prints by Wilchar (the name that the late Belgian artist Wilhelm Joseph Pauwels preferred) that show various bug-eyed figures (think of a classic cartoon alien) working in fields, building railroads or performing other types of labor, often under the watchful eye of human soldiers toting guns. They’re hilarious and terrifying.

    After a day spent gorging on art at Frieze, the show is a formidable little digestif. But take note: while Frieze is open from noon until 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday), the temporary gallery’s hours run only 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

  • Photos by Andrew Russeth

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