The other day, inamorato and I swung by Theater For the New City on the business of dropping off postcards, and were instantly entranced by the gallery show, Painters X 10. The subtitle of the exhibition is "Painting That Spits, Drips, Twists, Amuses, Disturbs, Soothes". The show features ten painters: Velveeta Heartbreak, Liam O’Brien, Scott Geyer, Vladimir Ginzburg, Daniel Caspera, Darlin Formeta, Sean Noyce, Ian McGillivray, Jeffrey Faerber and Lawrence Quigley.
I particularly liked the work shown by Darlin Frometa (above, left), who showed paintings from a series entitled "Big Men In Dresses Fighting Superstition". The work varied greatly in terms of subject matter and technique, with a moody, very traditional oil painting of a ferris wheel up next to a riotous multimedia pop inflected explosion of unlikely juxtapositions. According to the materials available, this is a renewal of sorts for the gallery at TNC. They have a new curator (Peter J. Ketchum) and with him, a commitment to featuring underrepresented artists.
Which, great. But. Sigh.
First things first. Theater For The New City was founded 40 years ago and has been a downtown cultural institution ever since. They founded the Village Halloween Parade and have featured artists of all stripes in and on their stages. It's simply the most inclusive of places imaginable.
This is why, though I enjoyed much of the work currently on TNC's walls, I walked away disappointed. You see, all the painters are men. The show features painters exclusively, all with widely varying technique and subject matters. I just find it hard to believe that under an umbrella so potentially wide ranging, Mr. Ketchum was unable to find a single woman painter to feature. It's just not good enough, and particularly surprising in a place such as TNC. This is a big enough deal that if Mr. Ketchum does not know of any female painters, perhaps he should enlist a colleague or two to point him towards one of the many female painters who could benefit from a showing at TNC.
The next show is going to feature LGBT artists. There better be lesbians, or I'll be awfully cranky!
And my crankiness will be vocal indeed.