bkbx [Brooklyn Box] Gallery Has Closed
bkbx [Brooklyn Box] was an exhibition space and independent Project-in-Residence at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, NY. When Proteus Gowanus closed its doors on June 28th, 2015 after ten years of creative exploration on their beloved Gowanus Canal, bkbx lost its space in what was the former Observatory.
This was the website for the bkbx gallery.
Content is from the site's 2015 archived pages.
bkbx [Brooklyn Box] is an exhibition space located in the former National Packing Box Factory on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY. An independent Project-in-Residence at Proteus Gowanus, bkbx was founded by eleven artists who came together through their association with Proteus Gowanus. bkbx artists come from a wide variety of stylistic and conceptual practices, but share a dedication to forming a meaningful alternative model to today’s art environment. In the bkbx community, creativity is experienced as a form of generosity.
A portion of all bkbx sales goes to support our non-profit “parent” organization, Proteus Gowanus.
543 Union Street
Entry is around the corner via the Alleyway on Nevins Street
Enter through Proteus Gowanus
bkbx [Brooklyn Box]
543 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Thursday & Friday from 3 – 6
Saturday & Sunday from 12 – 6
Or by appointment
photo credit: Alexandra Walcott
a playful dialogue with a utopian past and an homage to the small, useful object
A D’Amico Gowanus Laboratory Project
Useful Objects, an exhibition of art, objects and artifacts, pays homage to the enduring simplicity of the useful object, as it creates a playful dialogue with an often-forgotten moment in history when art and commerce briefly joined forces toward a utopian goal
With contributions by
Kadambari Baxi, Diane Bertolo, Constantin Boym, Sasha Chavchavadze, Charlotte Cohen, Maureen Connor, Nick Defriez, Jeremy Dine, Cathy Feurst, Charles Goldman, Nene Humphrey, Tatiana Istomina,Tom La Farge, Ksenya Malina, Tammy Pittman, Sheetal Prajapati, PK Ramani, Tony Stanzione, Mike Train, Alexandra Walcott, Wendy Walker, Wendy Woon
February 7th, 2015 – March 1st, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 7th, 6 – 9 p.m.
First Impressions / Fond Memories
"I had just moved to Brooklyn from Baltimore and the moving van had not even arrived when a good friend who lived nearby suggested we check out bkbx Gallery. We are both artists, so galleries are always of interest. The Baltimore movers were a couple of hours away, so we trekked over and arrived before the opening time of 9pm. But the owners welcomed us (our friend has exhibited there). We were very impressed with the space and the artists who were part of this opening. The space is very well suited to displays of various sizes, and the lighting is superb. We got a call from the movers who were closeby, so we hurried back just in time. These movers were the best! First, in Baltimore, they handled the packing and protected all our fragile items like pros. I was concerned that some of the fragile art might be vulnerable to rough handling or a truck ride, but after seeing how well they packed us, I knew we were in good hands. Then, after they arrived, they quickly handled our largest furniture items with ease and my glass sculptures were all delivered intact! We were very impressed. Moving art is always a very stressful process for us, but this family owned Baltimore moving service won the day. We made it back in time for the official opening and mingled with the artists before returning and collapsing after a grueling day. But we have very fond memories of both the move and the gallery that will remain with us forever." Tatiana Russo
"I would walk by the gallery every day to school forn about 6 years. I think their exhibits opened my eyes to the possibility of pursuing art and becoming an artist. I am now a freelance graphics designer working with a number of online sites. One of my favorite sites, online-casino-party.co, is an affiliate site for online casinos. I create their weekly promos for two pages of the site. One page is aimed at US players and the other for Australian players. I was amused when I learned the Australian slang for slots and for people who like to gamble: pokies / punters. Although I don't gamble at online casinos, I was intrigued with the slot games and have played a number of their free versions. You get a certain amount of "free" money to bet with allowing you to make really high bets if you wish. When you run out of money you can just start over again. Of course you can't keep any winnings, but it's still fun.
SO thanks bkbx for the inspiration that led me to art school. I most likely wouldn't be where I am today without those exhibitions!" Matt Riggins
After attending The Cooper Union, Jeremiah Dine published a book, Natural Selection (London/Stuttgart: Editions Hansjörg Mayer, 1983), 104 photographs taken at the American Museum of Natural History. Dine spent 2 years as a studio assistant to Richard Avedon, and then worked as a commercial/art photographer. His commercial clients included Conde Nast Publications, Simon & Schuster, USA Today, The Village Voice, Esquire Japan, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His photographs were an integral part of the set design of John Moran’s opera, The Manson Family, A Ridge Theatre production staged at Lincoln Center in 1990.
His photographs are in various private collections around the world, as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
Sasha Chavchavadze has explored the effect of war on memory and place in drawings, paintings, mixed-media assemblages and installations. Her interdisciplinary project, Museum of Matches, translated Cold War history into visual forms in mixed-media drawings exhibited at the Kentler International Drawing Space and at the Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn; as a “one-room Cold War museum” at Proteus Gowanus; in publications (Cabinet, Bomb, Marginalia and NYFA Current magazines), and as a book (Museum of Matches, Proteotypes 2011). As a finalist in the international Cold War Monument competition, her work will be exhibited in 2014 at Cooper Union and in 2015 at the Wende Museum. Her Battle Pass Series, evoking the Revolutionary Battle of Brooklyn, was exhibited at GRIDSPACE, the Old Stone House Museum, and as a public art installation commissioned by the NYC DOT currently at Smith and Bergen Streets in Brooklyn. Her recent work, incorporating “burn” drawings, touches on the disappearance of things, through changing technologies or the passage of time.
Chavchavadze has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including the Luise Ross Gallery in New York; the Arkansas Art Center; the Museum of Literature in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is the founder and co-creative director of Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Gallery and Reading Room in Brooklyn.
Lado Pochkhua was born in Sukhumi, Georgia. He graduated from the Sukhumi College of Art in 1994 and the Tbilisi Academy of Art in 2001. He has participated in international projects in Russia and Azerbaijan, and has lived and worked in Georgia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Hungary and the United States where he currently resides.
Robyn Love is an artist who lives and works in Newfoundland, Canada, and Queens, New York. She received a BFA from Cooper Union in New York City in 1988. Love has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally. She participated in the prestigious Artist in the Marketplace program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and she has received numerous project grants to create new work from foundations and public agencies. Her site-specific projects include a New York City Percent for Art commission for the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica, Queens, NY, a five kilometer-long handmade installation in Cheongju, South Korea, and a large-scale, multimedia installation titled The House Museum in Newfoundland. Love received a Canada Council Project Grant for a multimedia piece, Knitting Sprawl, in 2009, and she most recently presented a new participatory performance piece, SpinCycle, at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City.
Jeri Coppola investigates narrative and memory. In her photographs, she often gives physical landmarks their own symbols and language: houses become bodies, trees become thoughts, sea becomes the rise and fall of breath. Everything holds memory and these memories have both psychological and physical dimensions. Whether recalling memories of family photos or NASA images of the moon, memory invades consciousness when moving through the landscape.
Her photographs of the sea are always the same: a repetitive motion of waves on shore and on each other. Just as hearing a word repeated over and over changes how it sounds, repeating images change the story being told over time. She has most recently been a part of Between a Place and Candy: New Works in Pattern + Repetition + Motif by Fifteen Artists: Curated by Jason Andrew, in Beacon, NY
Using acrylic and gouache on paper, Kit Warren’s dense, shimmering paintings often begin with images found in biological and geographic forms. Whether looking inside or out, at blood cell or landmass, Warren’s work plays with the relationship between pattern and scale. Small patterns intimate the behavior of larger; repetition unifies. Much in the way that millions of microscopic cells make up a drop of blood, or thousands of blades of grass make up a green patch of earth, random repetitions eventually coalesce into larger patterns
Kit Warren lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been shown nationally and is in numerous private collections. She was recently awarded a fellowship at VCCA, and is featured in Works and Days Quarterly.
Diane Bertolo works with pixels, paper, sticks and stones to create works that mix chaos with logic as they mark the passage of time and the end of nature. Her “poetic objects” and installations pose questions that are unspeakable in our first language.
Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions including Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant Garde of the 1970s at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, today.getDate(), a one-person show at the Burchfield-Penny Art Center, Some Assembly Required: Collage Culture in Postwar America at the Everson Museum and Telematic Connection: The Virtual Embrace at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been shown in numerous media festivals including the Mostra de Video Independent in Barcelona, Spain and the LA Freewaves Festival at MOCA in Los Angeles. Fellowships include The New York Foundation for the Arts (1995 and 2001), The Jerome Foundation and Greenwall Foundation (via Turbulence.org) and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Eva Melas works and lives as an artist and art teacher in NYC where she was born. She has exhibited in many shows in the United States and abroad including the Armory SOFA show (NYC) and the “Confrontational Ceramics” show at the Westchester Arts Exchange Gallery in White Plains, NY. Her Awards include the John Michael Kohler Arts and Industry Residency and an Empire State Crafts Alliance grant. She attended Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts (BFA), and has an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She works primarily in ceramics, but has also used other art forms combined with her ceramics: installation, performance, and photography. The main interests of her work is environmentalism, sometimes coupled with feminism.
My concern as a painter is how to seriously engage visually, topics of human history, spiritual qualities of place, and nature’s immortal beauty & design. Currently my subject matter is connected to the landscape of war & battlefields. I am attempting to question our contemporary relationship to places of human conflict. I do this using whatever mediums I can think of. I am a great fan of natural possesses, chemical reactions, & chaos. I find that the natural nuances and elements of chance that I create are one of the most important elements of my work. To that end I work with traditional natural paints, pigments, dies and combine them with earth, glass, metal, paper, wood, plant matter. For subject matter I research historical terrain using Goggle Earth software & old period drawn maps. Sometimes creating work superimposing the two together. Using this collage of media I hope to enhance the pictorial processes & add greater meaning to my visual concepts of history, time and space. — Robert Gould
Carrie Cooperider is a maker of sentences, pictures, food, and ungodly messes. She lives on an island in the Atlantic, in a state of disarray bordering on chaos. Such of her work that could be confused with commodity or that simply smelled delicious at the time has been consumed, in some cases by institutions and people you may have heard of or even know personally. Carrie’s credentials—schools, shows, publications, character testimonials, and so forth—are available upon request.
Carrie Cooperider is old enough to know better—or so you would think.
My ceramics practice, which began ten years ago with an early retirement from a long career with foundations and nonprofit organizations, is inspired by my love of cooking and eating. Much like innovating flavors, making pots imagines for me new journeys toward the sublime, which is elusive but always enjoyable to attempt. I like asymmetrical forms, clouds of color, and an Asian aesthetic that evokes simplicity and serenity. Working primarily with the wheel and producing mostly functional pieces, I work as a studio potter at Chambers Pottery in Tribeca. — Tani Takagi
Anne-Marie McIntyre’s ceramics are part of an ongoing experiment in bringing her drawn line into the physical world. The unusual techniques found in her work have been developed over years of studio practice. These include an extensive repertoire of hand mixed glazes, drawing with clay slip and wax resist and combining elements in multiple firings. Her ceramics are done in conjunction with her drawings and both are based in material exploration.
Anne-Marie McIntyre is an artist and educator who maintains a studio in Dobbs Ferry NY. She received her BFA From The Cooper Union and her MFA from Tyler School of Art. After receiving her MFA in Ceramics and Glass, she worked as an assistant to Jim Dine from 1992-1995. She has taught ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery and SUNY Purchase, and most recently has been a resident teaching artist with The Hudson River Museum and The Cooper Union Summer Outreach Program.
I like to make things. Paintings, sculptures, woodworking projects in my shop, boats, I built my own house, etc. Many of my paintings are concerned with time and how by looking at the same thing over and over again, I continue to see more and more. It is an old idea that appeals to me. I have been studying the same view for 25 years. I lived upstairs in the Brooklyn Box building for 8 years in the 1980s as well as sharing a studio in the building for a year in 2010, and have made some paintings that are specific to that place.
The show “On the Road with Nick and Fritz” draws on some collaborative ideas that I have been working on with Friedrich Gross. We each do daily drawings in which the motifs and characters evolve over time. We are exhibiting these drawings, as well as paintings, that reveal the progression of this work.
To view more of Friedrich Gross’s work you can go to his Website fritzgross.com
We’ve packed up…
We’ve packed up and are going virtual. Please sign up for our mailing list (below) to find out about our artists, exhibits and virtual pop-ups. Meanwhile, take a look at our past exhibits and visit our artist pages below. See you soon!
Proteus Gowanus Closing After 10 Years
It is with a sense of celebration and sadness that we announce that Proteus Gowanus will close its doors on June 28th, 2015 after ten years of creative exploration on our beloved Gowanus Canal.
As our namesake and muse, Proteus the Greek sea god, would say, “It’s time for a change!”
According to the Proteus myth, if you hold tight to the god through all his changing forms he will return to his true shape and tell you what you want to know. We have held on tight for ten years of morphing projects, exhibitions, publications, workshops, events and conversations. And Proteus has shown us more things than we ever imagined.
From the beginning, Proteus Gowanus has been an inclusive place of creative collaboration. For us, and we hope for you too, it has been a joyful experience. You all have been integral to this process, coming in to engage in conversation, exchange ideas and get involved.
We have so many to thank for the range and depth of these experiences over the years:
- The generous supporters who stepped forward when Sasha founded the gallery in 2005, and those who have joined us throughout our journey to create a unique, interdisciplinary outpost whose warmth and humanity have welcomed thousands.
- The many artists, writers, scientists, anthropologists, historians and workers in other disciplines who have considered Proteus Gowanus their creative home, enriching our exhibitions and programs with their ideas and work.
- And all of our community – friends and strangers alike – whose wisdom and knowledge we have happily depended on to guide us forward.
There is a certain pressure that arises for small, independent projects to balance creative impulse with the inevitable pull towards institutional growth. We hope our decision, made with careful consideration, to freely let go at the height of our creative powers will inspire new small, cultural organizations to step forward.
Over the years, we are proud to have nurtured or spawned eleven arts organizations or projects under the Proteus umbrella, some of which we leave in our wake: Fixers Collective, Hall of Gowanus, Reanimation Library, Museum of Matches, Observatory, Morbid Anatomy Library (now museum), bkbx [Brooklyn box], the Writhing Society, Proteotypes, D’Amico Laboratory Collective, and Arts Gowanus.
Come visit us in the coming weeks for a last good look and conversation. Our current and final exhibition, Gowanus Marketplace, as well as our Projects-in-Residence, will be open through June 28th. We would love to see you!
And please collaborate with us one more time! We plan to document Proteus from its opening in 2005 to today. Share with us any thoughts, memories or images of your Protean experiences and of the ways our creative process stimulated yours.
Though we are closing our doors, Proteus may morph into new forms – perhaps in the cloud as Proteus Cumulus! We will keep you posted.
Lastly, we would like to invite you to join us for a closing party in mid-July (more details to come!)
With our deepest affection and respect,
Tammy and Sasha