Maybe the People
Would Be the Times
Would Be the Times
“The Bowery is our ancestral home, that broad empty boulevard running from nowhere to nowhere lined with pedigree hovels inhabited by ghosts, where in one tiny establishment every night is New Year’s Eve and we’re all contestants for Miss Hitchhiker of 1976.” – Lucy Sante
Picture Theory announces its gallery’s inaugural exhibition Maybe the People Would Be the Times based on writer Lucy Sante’s eponymous memoir depicting music, art and life in 1970s New York.
While group shows are often constructed around visual or conceptual themes, Maybe the People Would Be the Times is threaded relationally. The genesis of the show is Picture Theory’s former gallery space, a Greenpoint apartment on Milton Street (secrets out!). What was cultivated there became this show, a group of nine New York based artists representing a hybrid of generations, aesthetics and ideas–all of whom have been a part of the gallery since its inception.
Within the exhibition are various pairings and correlations—the synergy of contemporaries like Gretta Johnson, Clayton Schiff, Andy Cahill and Lauren Clay—the pulse of their paintings and sculptures feels like a new surrealism. Leah Singer, a former New York Daily News archivist, uses collected rubyliths to create photo montages reminiscent of Trisha Brown choreography meets Pop. Jason Isolini, deconstructs the photographic image into new possibilities using UV-cured ink on lenticulars, contrasting delicately with Tim Maul’s cibachrome, created by a now obsolete printing process. James Siena, a master of his craft on visual algorithms, includes among the four works on view, a drawing first shown 36 years ago at Wolf Gallery in 1987. Last, but not least, Lucy’s collages, as articulate, sassy and imaginative as her written words, provides a bridge between one generation and the next, reminding us that the pulse of art is in its people.