Barry Duncan | Reversibility 101

Barry Duncan | Reversibility 101
curated by Peter Hopkins and Wilson Duggan

February 2 – 11, 2018
Opening Reception:
Friday, February 2 | 6-9 PM

ArtHelix is excited to announce our final exhibition project at our gallery space on Meserole Street in Bushwick, Reversibility 101, headlined by Master Palindromist Barry Duncan and featuring contributions from ArtHelix’s past and frequent collaborators and friends. Please join us Friday, February 2nd from 6-9PM for a reception to celebrate the people and projects we’ve had the privilege to foster over the last six years.

In the Fall of 2012, having spun off from our time operating the Bogart Salon, ArtHelix launched its programming with our inaugural exhibition, Making Nothing Happen: The Strange Poetics of Barry Duncan . Duncan’s poetic and performative practice as a palindromist uniquely combines a multitude of disciplines. During the reception and for regular gallery hours on February 3rd and 4th, Duncan will occupy the gallery, interacting with gallery visitors and composing new work in situ, including a longer-form palindrome specially commissioned by ArtHelix. Duncan’s practice on full view will set the stage for further collaborations with some of ArtHelix’s regularly featured artists as well, who will be invited to populate the gallery and compose and exhibit new artworks guided by the concept and practice of reversibility.

Thus ArtHelix will conclude our time in Bushwick like a palindrome: right where we started and looking both backwards and forwards. Backwards to afford ourselves a chance to review and appreciate the projects we’ve had the pleasure to bring to fruition, and forwards past the boundaries and limitations of a permanent gallery and toward our future initiatives within the SHIM Network we have determinedly developed over the past three years.


United States of Wilson Duggan

United States of Wilson Duggan

May 19 – 21, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, May 19th | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to announce our forthcoming exhibition, United States of Wilson Duggan. Please join us for an opening reception on Friday, May 19th, from 6-9PM.

The exhibition covers four different series of work in Duggan’s oeuvre, each focused on its own unique formal and material concerns. For more information, you’ll have to ask the artist yourself what it is you’d like to know. It’s all rather complicated.

Duggan would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have inspired the exhibition, especially Peter Hopkins, Christopher Stout, Brett Wallace, Josef Albers, Jasper Johns, Vik Muniz, and John Baldessari, among others.

The Unreliable Narrator

Meghan Boody

The Unreliable Narrator
March 3rd – 26th, 2017

Opening Reception – Friday, March 3rd | 6-9PM
Bushwick Armory Week Late Night – Saturday, March 4th | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to announce The Unreliable Narrator, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathy Grove, Bonnie Rychlak, Ellen Brooks, Judith Linhares, Elaine Reichek, Rona Pondick, Susan Unterberg, Jeanne Silverthorne, Nancy Mladenoff, Jackie Cantwell, Maria Kreyn, Katelyn Alain, Angela Strassheim, Jessie Brugger, Meghan Boody, Mihyun Kang, Claire Watson, Cynthia Ruse, Christy Armendariz, Elizabeth Saveri, Joanne Ross, Hazel Santino, Sarah Smith, Katelin Hudson, and Yael Malka. Please join us for an opening reception to celebrate the exhibition on Friday, March 3rd from 6-9 PM. ArtHelix will also participate in the Bushwick Armory Week Late Night the following evening, and will have extended hours Saturday, March 4th from 6-9 PM.

This is an exhibition of some artists, all women, ranging in age from their early twenties to their seventies, who have endeavored, directly or indirectly, to “represent” themselves in their work. The title of the exhibition, “The Unreliable Narrator,” is a way to suggest that this effort is more complex than may at first seem.

The notion of the “unreliable narrator” comes initially from literature and then from film. An unreliable narrator is not simply a narrator who does not tell the truth—what fictional narrator ever tells the literal truth? Rather an unreliable narrator is one whose statements are untrue only by the standards of a particular audience who make certain assumptions about “norms and values.” As soon as the concept of the unreliable narrator was introduced into literary theory, there was an immediate and corresponding emphasis on the distinction between the narrator and the author. The visual arts have had no such history of separation. And perhaps that is what makes the application of this term—“the unreliable narrator”—so interesting at this moment. There has always been the assumption that the visual artist is presenting an unvarnished “truth.”

Unreliable narrators are almost by definition first-person narrators, and the work presented by the women here confronts issues of self-representation. They may do this in such a way as to highlight the contention that all representations—and perhaps specifically the representations of women and of the self—are a set of “unstable” meanings. Viewers want and possibly need to “trust their eyes,” to believe that the artists are trustworthy in their communications to us. The unreliable artist may therefore be a maverick, a trickster who questions the assertion that “seeing is believing.” These artists dispute claims to the verifiable, often taking what appears to be a fact of nature and unmasking it as the habit of ideology, or suggesting that every perception is also a distortion, simultaneously both true and untrue, that this paradox IS the configuration of a subject. Here we may have the artist presenting the persona of the “mad” person or “the clown,” for instance.

Other artists may feel forced into the role of the “braggart” unreliable narrator, beating the marketplace at its own game by presenting in their work images of women that are saleable, desirable, and glamorous, while reserving to themselves the less palatable self-images that are nobody’s business but their own. One might call this narrator unreliable by virtue of withholding vital information. The issue arising around such unreliability is this: why should any artist feel obligated to give the public potentially damaging information about their self-esteem? Who says an artist owes the public—a public now dominated by powerful collectors and their advisors—the truth, especially when this is in no way reciprocated?

There may be generational differences in these approaches—in fact that may be the best part of this exhibition—but a constant remains the sense of the necessity—ostensibly resisted or privately refused—to bow to the demands of a deforming majority viewpoint, be it that of “history” or the “marketplace” or fixed “gender identity,” or some other seemingly undeniable “reality,” some power that can feel impossible to displace. Meanwhile, women survive—by directly staring at themselves, by deceptive self-disparagement, by valiant confrontation or cunning simulation, perhaps by rejection of the very term “woman,” even by means that may elude our current understanding.

This is a modest attempt to engage an enormous issue. There are no ”answers” here. The exhibition attempts only to illustrate various artistic ideas that circulate around how women artist of different ages currently address this subject.

Exchange Rates 2016


ArtHelix is pleased to announce our participation in Exchange Rates 2016, the second biennial international collaborative exposition of galleries and projects in and around Bushwick. Please join us for a special evening reception on Saturday, October 22nd to celebrate the expo.

ArtHelix will host projects by studio1.1, Susak Press, Vane, Contemporary British Painting, QWERTY, Butter Projects, Wasserman Projects, and Sračok & Pöhlmann.

Black and White, and Re(a)d All Over: Part II

Black and White, and Re(a)d All Over: Part II
Sept 16 – Oct 16, 2016

co-curated by Peter Hopkins and Janet Goleas

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 16th | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to announce a group exhibition to launch our Fall 2016 calendar. Black and White, and Re(a)d All Over: Part II features work in various media by Angela Strassheim, Royce Weatherly, Don Hamerman, Michael David, Michael A. Robinson, Gareb Shamus, Douglas Degges, Bonnie Rychlak, Peter Hopkins, Charles Clough, Michael McKeown, Saul Ostrow, Curtis Andrews, Brian Gaman, Julie Langsam, George Horner, Elizabeth Saveri, Bob Seng, Karen Hesse Flatow, Judy Richardson, MiHyun Kang, Jeanne Silverthorne, Maria Scrivan, and Maria Kreyn.

Black and White, and Re(a)d All Over: Part II is the second iteration of an exhibition first held at The Bogart Salon in Bushwick in 2012, based on a simple concept of a show limited to artworks that are black, white, and/or red.

The exhibition title plays on the old joke: “What’s black and white and re(a)d all over?…a newspaper.” The idea is that while the works here have no actual formal connection beyond a shared color scheme, they nonetheless can be “read all over”. This presents a way of re-thinking the “curated” exhibition -which usually relies on formal similarities- as a text or newspaper wherein each “article” or artwork is a separate entity to be read singularly, only held together by the group show format and gallery space itself.

The show is then like a newspaper, full of content, with many different artists all addressing a range of subjects through the simple formal restriction of color. Using the large connected warehouse space of ArtHelix, with its several attached “rooms,” allows the exhibition to be both broad and open, and precise at the same time. The omnibus approach of this show is a way to escape the exhaustion of the overly curated “theme” show. With that now hackneyed concept of groupings of artists clustered around some barely recognizable conceptual “theme”. Here, the artworks are not related in any systematic way, and this is made clear from the outset. Freeing the artworks to be seen individually, but within the limited range of black, white, and red, prevents this show from otherwise becoming a visual “mess”. From a cartoon to a conceptual sculpture, from a realistic photograph to a magazine, the art is left for the viewer to read and decide upon its value.

High Priest: Working on My Shit

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High Priest

Working on My Shit

July 15 – 31, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, July 15 | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to present Working on My Shit, a solo exhibition of recent work by Curtis Andrews, on view July 15th – 31st, 2016. This exhibition is Andrews’ third ArtHelix project, and his first solo exhibition at the gallery. Please join us for an opening celebration on Friday, July 15th, from 6-9PM.

A self-taught artist and larger-than-life personality, Curtis Andrews is an illustrator whose artistic practice has grown out of his everyday experience and environment. His uniquely styled, cartoonish ink and marker drawings have developed from his employment as a security guard deterring shoplifters at various New York City art supply stores. Fellow employees encouraged his initial sketchings after noticing him trying to document the likeness of a shoplifter that escaped the store with stolen merchandise.

Andrews’ cartoons touch on a range of subject matter, from race and gender to politics and pop culture, typically with subtle dark undertones. His characters, often fictional or celebrity, subvert their normal personae with humorous brash commentary thought up by Andrews and written into each piece in word bubbles.

Andrews’ colorful and raw style glimpses an experience and creative process usually neglected in the art world, whether due to its difficult and subversive subject matter or its origin outside of the legitimizing mechanisms that the system prefers. ArtHelix is thrilled to help further expose these artists and artworks as part of our mission to reimagine culture within the art gallery model.

words from high priest you been blessed

Charles Clough: Three Types of Clufffaloes

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Charles Clough
Three Types of Clufffaloes

April 29 – May 22, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, April 29 | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Charles Clough.

Charles Clough is a “Pictures Generation” artist by virtue of his inclusion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of that title. Three Types of Clufffaloes at ArtHelix is Clough’s 66th solo exhibition and 18th in New York City.

The “Three Types” are Places, Seasons and Numbers. Paintings in the Places series are made in conjunction with museums, with public participation in a prescribed length of time and finished by Clough. Paintings in the Seasons series are made exclusively at the Roycroft in East Aurora, New York, developed by all who wish to participate over the course of each season. At the end of the season, Clough finishes the paintings by grinding and polishing. Paintings in the Numbers series are painted by Clough alone.

More than 600 of Clough’s works are held in the permanent collections of over 70 museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art,  Los Angeles, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Clough is a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. Clough has also received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

In 1974 Clough founded Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, in Buffalo, NY, with Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Nancy Dwyer, Michael Zwack, Diane Bertolo and others.

To view the exhibition catalogue online, click here.

Art for Haiti

Art for Haiti

St. Rock Haiti Foundation

April 23 & 24, 2016
Reception: Saturday, April 23rd | 6-10PM

ArtHelix and SHIM are pleased to host Art for Haiti, a special fundraiser art exhibition benefiting the St. Rock Haiti Foundation.

RSVP on Facebook
Purchase Tickets for Saturday Evening

Featuring artwork by:

David Saintus 
Molly Goldfarb 
Kathryn Kost 
David Barnett 
Ching Wen Tsai 
Anoa Kanu 
Melissa Itzkowitz
Raquel Diaz 
Luke Waldrum 
Ryan Schroeder 
Nick Nazmi 
John Folchi 
Eliza Moore 

Motivated by the inherent worth of each individual and our great care for the people of Haiti, the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation works side by side with the people of Saint Rock and the surrounding rural communities to enhance their lives through: 

– Providing quality primary health care; 
– Helping children and young adults access valuable education opportunities; 
– Instituting community outreach programs that support economic sustainability; 
– Investing in infrastructure to support overall health; and 
– Empowering members of the community to advocate for their rights in the future. 

We recognize that through our on-going collaboration with the Haitian government and non-governmental organizations, we will support the shared goal of greater self-sufficiency.

The vision of the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation is a community in which each person can thrive in all aspects of life and create similar opportunities for other Haitians to thrive.

Disputed Borders

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Disputed Borders

Michael McKeown
Corbett Fogue
and Christopher Brace

March 25 – April 17, 2016
Opening Reception: March 25 | 6-9 PM

curated by Wilson Duggan

ArtHelix is pleased to present Disputed Borders, a group exhibition curated by Wilson Duggan that examines the boundaries and conflicts between places, people, memory, and time.

Disputed Borders features work by Michael McKeown, Corbett Fogue, and Christopher Brace. Please join us March 25th from 6-9PM for an opening reception at the gallery.

Michael McKeown constructs large-scale missile sculptures out of found materials and trashcans, designed as parodies of weapons built and maintained to cause destruction on a massive scale. McKeown’s work presents a socio-political critique of global militarization, particularly drawing on his memories of the Cold War and the effects of global nuclear armament. The choice of materials addresses with tongue in cheek the artist’s understanding of the “colossal waste of resources” that the global arms race perpetuates. A number of ink drawings composed on old military maps complement McKeown’s sculpture. Here, McKeown’s imagined missiles float atop the contours of the maps’ charted geography, employing bright colors and playful designs that contrast with the subject matter to an effect both somber and darkly humorous.

Corbett Fogue’s multi-disciplinary practice as an artist addresses his memories of his late father, and the circumstances of his untimely death from an incurable lung condition. On view in the exhibition is a wall drawing from his series of Ark Studies, which draw from his memories visiting his father’s architecture studio as a child. The drawing is an invented and fantastic schematic of an ark or vessel that travel the boundary between life and death, transporting Fogue to reunite with his father. Fogue’s series of Breath Studies, represented here in an installation of drawings titled Drawing Breath, explore the act of breathing as a bodily function so fundamentally vital for all life, but so constant and basic that it is easily taken for granted.

Christopher Brace’s photographs capture the boundaries of time that constantly press us forward. Brace’s work deals in the aesthetics of nostalgia, depicting decaying signs and advertisements leftover from a different era, yet still present around the city. His eye for composition captures the grittiness of urban landscape with clear and direct focus, and in a style that exudes contemporary vibrance despite a subject that is fixed in a different time.

The artworks on view challenge other boundaries within the gallery itself. McKeown’s missile, initially proposed and realized as an outdoor installation, physically dominates the gallery space, stretching all the way to the ceiling and scrunched into a corner. Fogue’s Ark Study is composed directly on the gallery wall, bound to the physical limit of the space, and Drawing Breath flanks the gallery entrance, creating a portal that delineates the exhibition. Brace’s photographs of old city façades are framed and presented against the bricks of exactly that, an old Bushwick warehouse façade, now contained inside a gallery space built adjacent to the original structure. Exhibited together and with exposed tensions, the work of these three artists communes along a common perimeter.

(not) Having It All

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(not) Having It All

Angela Strassheim
Jackie Cantwell

February 12 – March 20, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, February 12th | 6-9PM

ArtHelix is pleased to present a group exhibition of black and white photography by Angela Strassheim and Jackie Cantwell, curated by Gallery Director Peter Hopkins.

The art world is full of stories of newly discovered Masterworks found by chance after silently languishing for years, or decades in attics, basements, and long unopened boxes. The truth is that most art ever created is actually meant to die this way. Very few art works will ever find an audience. To pick out those few from the vast ocean of the discarded that may have been unduly consigned to neglect requires a keen eye, and a willingness to look hard and unflinchingly at something long left in the dark. Recently forty-three years of indifference was undone to 3 simple black and white photographs found in such a box. Now we must try here to decide if this “discovery” is worth our time.

This past September Jackie Cantwell was looking through the heaped contents of her Mother, Linda Cantwell’s belongings. She was trying to find the missing pieces that could explain how a young and promising art student with a girlish face (her Mom), but a fierce gaze, had chosen the life of a working middle class woman with 2 kids and an artist husband. Where had her aspirations gone? Was the “career” she had forsaken even a possibility. Had she chosen for herself, or had the “choice” actually been a sentence with no choice whatsoever? So on this day she was not simply rummaging randomly, but rather searching for evidence. She was deciding if the mystery she was seeking to unravel was a “murder”, a “suicide”, or more likely simply “willful negligence”.

Jackie Cantwell decides to respond to her mother’s “questions” by inserting herself into that question.  Photographed by Maya Meissner, Jackie re-creates the 3 works and presents them to her Mom as a Christmas gift. This gift is also meant to be a provocative act. “Mom, what happened to you”?

Angela Strassheim is a very successful artist. She is also now expecting her second child. This is important, because while it seems to others Angela “has it all” she like most artists knows that there is no such thing as stability in the art world. Her life has changed since she began making her now iconic photographs. Mostly for the good, of course, but doubt is a crucial component of all great artists, and Angela is a great artist. How has her changed life changed her work? Is motherhood and an art career, even for those with means, as incommensurate now as it was for Linda Cantwell and other first generation feminists? Angela then becomes the second point on the continuum of this dialogue.

If Linda Cantwell is the “hidden” subject from the shadows being interrogated by the emerging daughter, then Angela is the culmination of the process looking backwards, even as she confidently asserts her place in the present. In her recent move from one studio to another and her own relocation to a new home she too “lost” or had misplaced a large body of works. These too are black and white photographs. They are 4×5 polaroids made as “tests” for her series of finished photographs that now hang in many museums, and are deservedly reproduced  in high quality catalogs available for all. These photographs, never exhibited before, show younger women in states of quiet turmoil and veiled risk, capturing the crucial time when girls and young women begin to claim the shifting nature of their own identities. These Polaroids are unique one-off magical moments that got stored away in the dark, and thus, in a way these works were also forgotten. Not because they had been deemed unworthy of an audience, but weirdly, because the later works on which these photographs rested were so successful that they had become pushed back into the dark.

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“The art world is overflowing with carefully curated, thoughtful, thematically consistent, dreadfully safe and boring shows. This is one more risky. Is it a mother-daughter therapy session masquerading as a thesis, or an entitled, self-congratulatory panel chat? Maybe both…or neither. The photographs here are all beautiful and powerful. The artists are proud of them, and they do not care if we like them. I asked a question, and now must step back and listen, and for now that’s enough.”

– Peter Hopkins, NYC, January, 2016