Until recently, whenever I was in NYC I always stayed on the Lower East Side. I appreciated the proximity to small galleries, the New Museum, and easy access on foot or subway to neighborhoods I like to spend time in. I liked knowing the neighborhood, the people who worked at the hotel, and let’s be honest, being around the corner from Russ and Daughters was an extra perk. If you like whitefish salad, I have done years of taste testing, and I challenge you to find any better than theirs.
I have been a loyal fan of Salon 94, always visiting their nearby Bowery and Freeman Alley locations when in town. I like most everything they show. One of my all time favorite shows was Ruby Neri at their Bowery location before the pandemic.
The Bowery location has closed, and their new location is a mansion on the Upper East Side, right near the Guggenheim. Read this Architectual Digest article to learn more about the absolutely extraordinary new space.
I am generally drawn to totemic sculptures and took the subway uptown and a nice walk across town in a steady drizzle to see Huma Bhabha’s show Facing Giants. Up the staircase on the second floor there is an incredible ballroom-like gallery that you get to through a smaller gallery. Nothing is small in this mansion though. Bhabha’s truly giant work was perfect in the space.
“Huma Bhabha: Facing Giants-is a tour de force of new sculptures and painted and drawn collaged works on paper that expands upon and distills Bhabha’s 30-year passage in transforming common and discarded materials into powerfully expressive testaments of the human condition. Carving, cutting, constructing, casting, chiseling, modeling, layering, and manipulating, Bhabha utilizes her hands and intuition to create a panoply of hybrid and otherworldly beings that attest equally to their making and being.” (Brooklyn Rail)
I did not know the work of Huma Bhabha prior to my visit, and now having seen the show, read everything I could find about her including a live Zoom talk, I’m wondering what rock I was living under. You can watch a recording of the Zoom talk here.
Years ago my husband and I took our three kids on a trip to Vietnam. I was intrigued to find out that they did a lot of their outdoor sculpture restoration with styrofoam. I’ve been quite obsessed with the medium since, and also have always adored cork. Bhabha’s sculptures, and her paintings are very much up my alley.