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Recession Art at Culturefix

Aspiring collectors find emerging artists in a new gallery storefront

by James Thorne in Culture on 26 January 2012

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Sensitive to the cash-strapped culture lovers of the world, Recession Art began with the simple premise of uniting aspiring collectors with emerging artists. After three years of shows at Brooklyn's Invisible Dog, they have now opened RAC on New York's Lower East Side. Seated atop Culturefix, an artsy watering hole with adjoining event space, RAC combines a storefront shop with a permanent gallery.

"We wanted to bring together two groups of people we knew personally," says founder Emma Katz. "Artists who were making work but had no way to get it out into the world, and young art lovers who were maybe furnishing their first apartment and wanted access to original artwork." True to their mission, Katz and curator Melanie Kress stocked the storefront with prints and books by emerging artists, along with affordable original works.

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The space has played home to a number of pop-ups over the years, but both Culturefix and Recession Art saw the benefit of a shared venue. "We get people to come into the gallery that might not usually visit an art gallery. Our goal is for anyone to feel welcome here—if you come for a beer or a concert you might end up buying a handmade pop-up book or a photograph. It allows us to work with many kinds of artists including musicians, performers and poets."

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Kicking off things at RAC is an exhibition by veteran Recession Art artist Megan Berk. "Weird Party on the Other Side of the Hedge" shows scenes of Berk's native Los Angeles, the nostalgic dreamscapes tinged with an air of outsider skepticism. A friend of Recession Art, Berk also designed a totebag and limited edition print for the store.

Recession Art plans to continue shows at the Invisible Dog, and are currently taking submissions online for "Everything is Index, Nothing is History," curated by Melanie Kress. In an effort to build relationships with collectors, Recession Art also runs a Collector Club to keep the community abreast of artist activities, studio visits and private previews.

RAC
9 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002

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