Monday, January 14, 2013

Adam Parker Smith, “9 : 4 : 1” @ Storefront Bushwick

Man, sometimes I get down on Brooklyn as an art scene, and then bam, Adam Parker Smith and Storefront completely reinvigorate my faith in things. If it was ever in doubt, not only can Brooklyn put on shows that give opportunities to up and comers but it can also completely challenge the quality of art in Chelsea.

I love Adam Parker Smith’s choice to lay down wall-to-wall black carpeting. It produces a great environment, which makes Storefront feel like walking into an affluent living room in the 1970’s. Complete with a middling landscape painting with a very self-aware old frame that doesn’t match the carpet, it’s the kind of thing that screams art, without a tad of taste. The carpet and painting both serve to set up the giant rectangular glass tomb covered in condensation, as if the soulless surrounding had been designed particularly for hyperventilating idolaters. The space is just stunning and is nicely accented in its otherworldliness by a black and white checkered flag in a frame on the wall of the back room. The unrecognizable origin of the flag is not only disorienting but somehow a convincing detail that flushes out the space into a complete world onto itself, where 1970’s housewives might ecstatically fawn over giant glass rectangles in their living rooms.

As good as this is, it is great that this is at Storefront and in Brooklyn.  Storefront in many ways is a flagship gallery for Brooklyn, and scene that has received constant and not unfounded criticism that the art lacks ambition, that it is small, often conservative and lost in uneven group shows. Adam Parker Smith’s show is certainly none of those things. It is a downright grandiose use of an otherwise humble space. It is a sterling example of what Brooklyn can and should be. And hats off to Storefront for turning their entire space over to Adam Parker Smith’s vision. It’s a great job on their part and certainly raises the bar for Brooklyn for the rest of the year in Brooklyn.

Through February 3rd


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