Now’s „Micro Wale”
By Mark Brennan
Most of the original East Village galleries have matured with their neighborhood. Learning the traditional tactics of art marketing, they sometimes seem to have succumbed to the art world conventions they initially mocked. Occasionally, however, one of there galleries makes a gesture that reveals the rebellious, playful nature of the neighborhood that attracted so much attention to begin with. And sometimes it takes one of the new “second generation” galleries to restore the spirit of adventure to the art community.
The NOW Gallery, at 430 East 9th Street, currently hosts the summer-long “Micro Wave” show. Works by over 230 artists fill a room that measures only 20 feet by 11 feet, with 9-foot ceilings. Most of the artists have contributed two or three pieces. Like the legendary early E.V. exhibits, the work fills the entire gallery, top to bottom, and the show was launched by an extravagant opening reception that spilled out into the sidewalk, the street and the sidewalk across the street.
Conceived by gallery director Jacek Tylicki, Micro Wave includes no work larger that 5” x 7”. In December, when the gallery was still in its infancy, Jacek held a similar event, featuring 148 artists. The summer exhibit is scheduled – to take place in three parts, the second of which opens in July 4th (the show as a whole closes on September 1.) Each part will include additional work by new artists as the old pieces are sold.
Somehow, the gallery appears uncongested. The exhibit took nearly five days to hang and all the work is arranged in neat patterns, even allowing adequate breathing space between pictures. Prices range from Rodney Alan Greenblat’s $350 narrative – painting – sculpture to some $30 pieces by an anonymous artist. The span of quality is as great as that of artistic styles and media, though the overall spectacle created by the exhibit as a whole is extremely successful.