Far away from the Chelsea and Upper East Side galleries, The Journal Gallery in Williamsburg continues to beckon collectors and admirers with promises of the next big thing. Names like Dan Colen, Chris Martin and Rita Ackermann are the foundation of the Brooklyn gallery’s hard-earned reputation for spotting new talent years ahead of the rest. Now, 10 years later, Michael Nevin and Julia Dippelhofer—the curatorial partners behind the space and the tangential biannual zine—have a loyal audience in the art world and beyond. One such enthusiast is Adam Lindemann, founder of the experimental art space Venus Over Manhattan, whose most notable recent exhibitions included showcasing Alexander Calder’s mobiles as shadows and a surf-centric retrospective by Raymond Pettibon. In celebration of the first decade of The Journal Gallery, Lindemann and Venus Over Manhattan decided to host an exhibition—called "LIFE"—of the gallery in the form of a retrospective featuring exemplary works from the gallery’s 21 former and current artists.
"In the summer, I like to take a back seat and let somebody else take over the space," explains Lindemann of his unorthodox choice to feature a gallery rather than an individual curator or artist. "It’s a chance to bring in work that is inspirational to me and my staff but hopefully something that is also fresh and surprising for everyone else."
Usually reserved for self-congratulatory, in-house stunts, the retrospective offers viewers a rare chance to look at the evolution of a notable gallery via their developing program of artists past and present. Hung next to the up-and-comers of yesteryear, emerging talents like Daniel Hesidence and Kika Karadi feel just as important to understanding The Journal’s short but impactful history. Venus Over Manhattan’s Madison Avenue address adds a sense of gravitas to the gallery’s roster—a seemingly symbolic acknowledgement of the gallery’s artists who have successfully migrated into the secondary markets and brand name spaces that define New York’s uptown art market.
"I really liked the idea of bringing a little bit of Brooklyn’s hip younger vibe to the Upper East Side, which is traditionally quite stiff and not all that provocative," says Lindemann. "The exciting part is the knowledge that one or more of their younger artists could in a few years be very well-known."
"LIFE"—the Journal Gallery at Venus Over Manhattan runs until 26 July 2014 at 980 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075
Images courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan