“We have to go back, Kate. We have to go back!” – Jack Shephard, LOST
Back to New York is an extension of sorts. Not merely an extension of the exhibition Escape From New York, which recently ended its run in a former silk factory in Paterson, NJ, but an examination of the power of one mystical 7-mile-long island. Much like the underlying message of the recently departed ABC series LOST, Back to New York examines the curatorial spirit of pursuing artistic escape routes, only to realize that there is no way off the island.
Manhattan can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can energize and inspire, giving artists an added push of that creative fuel they desperately need in order to produce cutting-edge contemporary art in a supportive, collective environment. The art world’s top collectors live here, and are therefore right in your backyard, where you need them to help finance your work. However, the city can also be a destructive force, killing the spirit, draining finances, and abandoning those who are not a part of the “right” clique. The contemporary art market can appear much like LOST’s Smoke Monster, coming out of nowhere, whispers filling the air, smashing you against the wall, or worse yet, pounding you into the ground until you can no longer breathe.
Much like the Oceanic Six on LOST, some escape, leaving for such places as Berlin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Milano, London, or even Paterson, NJ. But something about New York always pulls us back. Are we in a purgatory afterlife like Jack and Kate? Perhaps. But in this case, it’s a necessary purgatory, for there is no escaping New York. Instead, we must embrace the wisdom of Desmond: “See you in another life, brotha…”, or in this case, east of the Hudson.
Back to New York includes work by the following artists:
Robert Appleton Man Bartlett Adam Bateman Alison Blickle The Bruce High Quality Foundation Boyce Cummings Vicki DaSilva Liam Davis Sumner Dilworth Debra Drexler Murray Dwertman Jeremy Earhart Agnes Eperjesi Stephan Fowlkes Micah Ganske Kate Gilmore Alex Gingrow Dean Goelz Grant Haffner Thomas Lendvai Julie Lohnes Michelle Manley Michael Paul Miller Laelia Mitchell Laurel Nakadate Rafael Perez Don Porcella William Powhida Christopher Saunders Sean Slemon Tamas Veszi