Bushwick’s All-Night Art Fair


brian leo exhibition

Appreciate art without all the fuss this Saturday during Bushwick-Ridgewood Frieze Night. Photo: David Kesting Presents

Here in Brooklyn, we like our herbs grown on rooftops, our coffee roasted on-premises and our beer brewed down the street in small batches. So while the Larry Gagosians of the world schmooze on Randall’s Island for the Frieze New York Art Fair this weekend, Bushwick-Ridgewood Frieze Night will keep our art appreciation local as well.

This Saturday, May 11, nearly 50 galleries will stay open late, hosting parties and encouraging art-inspired revelry along the Bushwick-Ridgewood border–two neighborhoods being touted as the New York art world’s next frontier.


A rare cancer diagnosis inspired artist Matt Freedman to explore themes of bad luck in his latests exhibition. Photo: Studio 10

Many of the gallery owners participating are not only artists themselves but residents as well, often sacrificing their own living rooms for gallery space. A good place to start the night (festivities begin at 6pm) is 56 Bogart St., with its multiple floors of galleries, installation spaces and studios. On the ground floor, Studio 10 will be opening Matt Freedman: The Devil Tricked Me. Freedman is known for his quirky and incisive object-making, and after being diagnosed with a rare type of cancer last year, much of his art began to explore the folklore behind the concept of bad luck. Freedman’s new sculptures seek to civilly disobey the rules of luck: umbrellas open boldly indoors and ladders are erected to be walked under.

Heading east across Flushing Avenue, stop into Sugar (449 Troutman St.) for the opening of Slippery…at Dusk, an installation by Gwendolyn Skaggs, the gallery’s director. For Slippery…, Skaggs will pair her own slipcast sculptures with cavernous, psychedelically textured paintings by Art Guerra.

Just around the corner is Norte Maar (83 Wyckoff Ave.), one of Bushwick’s longest running galleries. The current show, a survey of work from celebrated dance photographer Julie Lemberger, is a chance to revisit the pioneers of contemporary American dance—Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham and Mark Morris have all been photographed by Lemberger.


Sarah Halpern is a film projectionist who finds inspiration for her collage artwork in cinematic stars like Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. Photo: Microscope Gallery

Southbound, there’s Storefront Bushwick (16 Wilson Ave.), a gallery run by the longtime Bushwick arts leader and artist Deborah Brown. On view are Lauren Seidan’s fantastic, fiercely crumpled wall pieces, here astutely paired with Frank Webster’s melancholic paintings of steely towers and leafless, craggy trees.

Keep going south toward Myrtle Avenue and you’ll hit Microscope, a cozy, single-room gallery tucked behind Little Skips coffee shop. Sarah Halpern’s nimble collages deftly resurrect and slice through film icons like Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, reorienting our gaze into curious new contradictions.

panda sex

One of Brian Leo’s irreverent paintings at David Kesting Presents, where you can get a print silk screened on paper or a shirt.

Or, if you fancy some late-night art making, then bring a blank tee and head back up to David Kesting Presents (257 Boerum St.). The gallery is celebrating the closing night of its inaugural show, Brian Leo: I Hear the Droning, by silk screening one of the artist’s own prints on any item you bring (it’s $10 per print, and if you don’t have your own shirt, you can buy one there for $10). Leo’s paintings, which flirt with perversity in candy-colored hues, seem perfect for such a project. After all, what Bushwick trip would be complete without an ironic T-shirt?

For a complete list of all participating spaces, download a map here.

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