Opened Dec 16
All photos by Sharilyn Neidhardt
On a rainy December night with little else to recommend it, I made my way to residential gallery Centotto to find it warm, lively, and packed with many of the luminaries of the cozy East Williamsburg scene. Although the weather was so cold and unpleasant that there were scant Christmas shoppers on the L train, artists and art lovers were packed snugly into Centotto for the opening reception of the latest exhibition, “Così via” (Italian for ‘so forth’).
The success and coherence of the show is due to the unique genius of Centotto’s resident curator Paul D’Agostino, who is also an artist. Mr D’Agostino is a pillar of this often insular, sometimes fragmented community. He supports the visions and ideals of the artists around him, hosting “Studio Visits (Ex Situ)”, a recurring event at this location which invites artists to bring a few pieces of physical work for a critique among peers.
I’ve enjoyed many of the shows I’ve taken in at Centotto, but “Cosi via” is exceptionally interesting. A bold color story of primaries seems to echo across many of the paintings on view. Riotous reds that bounce off my retinas are soothed and supported by felty olive greens and shadowy violets. These colors are all playfully jostling together in the two Len Bellingers across the room from one another. Loopy dark forms push across vivid fields in these engaging paintings, and they provide a sturdy framework for thinking about the other works in the show.
Other standouts for this viewer include the small, strongly geometric works of Liv Mette Larsen – lovely works which call to mind the long shadows of winter on city concrete. The sculptural forms of Andrew Cornell Robinson carry these familiar tones into a third dimension, adding a bit of glamour in the glaze and shine of their finish. Works on paper by three artists are installed together to a wonderful effect: toothy work by Denise Sfraga, comic-like drawings by Dumitru Gorzo, and playful zigzags by Ioana Gorzo all play with bright colors and diagonals in a manner that quickens the heart.
Near the back of the exhibition lurk three pieces by Jamie Martinez, triangles expressed in different materials as if representing different stages of a triangular evolution. One is a relatively straightforward painting that fractures the picture plane into triangular facets; a second piece joins triangular pieces of copper in an undulating large mesh. The third piece is sculptural – oxidized copper triangles strung with glowing fiber optics, casting a lurid halo on the back wall. In contrast to the art hanging on walls, the sculptural piece has a kind of hypnotic gravity, as if an alien life form were posing as fine art in an effort to study human gallery-going activity.
Centotto is always worth a visit. Paul D’Agostino has an unerring eye in selecting work that describes subtle trends and oblique passions of the Brooklyn art scene. ‘Cosi via’ in particular brings together several notable voices which blend beautifully in a chorus of visual art.
On view by appointment only [closing date has not been announced]
Centotto Gallery, 250 Moore St #108, Brooklyn, NY 11206