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Alan Wolfson: Brooklyn Elevated

and Highlights from our New Acquisitions
521 West 26th Street
23 March - 18 April 2020
Kenzo Okada, Young Bamboo, n.d., Oil on canvas, 63 1/2 x 102 1/2 inches (diptych)
Kenzo Okada, Young Bamboo, n.d., Oil on canvas, 63 1/2 x 102 1/2 inches (diptych)

Wolfson creates an imagined scene of Williamsburg inspired by a childhood moment.

On March 23, Hollis Taggart will launch Alan Wolfson: Brooklyn Elevated and Highlights from our New Acquisitions, an exhibition that will be available in the gallery’s website and onsite at 521 W. 26th Street by appointment only. The presentation includes a selection of artist Alan Wolfson’s detailed miniature constructions of scenes from the New York City of the 1970s and 1980s, including a new commission completed in 2020 that marks the artist’s most intricate work to-date. Wolfson’s works vividly capture his memories of the city, mixing real-life scenes with his own imaginings of the place where he grew up. The exhibition will also feature works recently added to the gallery’s collection, including paintings by Karen Appel, Norman Bluhm, Gene Davis, Hans Hofmann, Jacob Kainen, Kenzo Okada, and Michael (Corinne) West, among others.

On March 23, Hollis Taggart will launch Alan Wolfson: Brooklyn Elevated and Highlights from our New Acquisitions, an exhibition that will be available in the gallery’s website and onsite at 521 W. 26th Street by appointment only. The presentation includes a selection of artist Alan Wolfson’s detailed miniature constructions of scenes from the New York City of the 1970s and 1980s, including a new commission completed in 2020 that marks the artist’s most intricate work to-date. Wolfson’s works vividly capture his memories of the city, mixing real-life scenes with his own imaginings of the place where he grew up. The exhibition will also feature works recently added to the gallery’s collection, including paintings by Karen Appel, Norman Bluhm, Gene Davis, Hans Hofmann, Jacob Kainen, Kenzo Okada, and Michael (Corinne) West, among others.

 

Wolfson’s vignettes of street scenes, subway stations, diners, and other everyday locales are meticulously fabricated and assembled by hand, with every element thoughtfully developed and placed to evoke a particular feeling or moment. Within these scenes, remnants of human activity, such as graffiti, trash, uneaten food, or empty plates, offer clues to untold and open-ended narratives—ones that are left to the viewer to create and interpret. In this way, Wolfson draws on his background studying and working in both theater and film to produce spaces and circumstances for others to activate with personal and communal stories. At the same time, these small views into New York City are deeply intimate, inspired by Wolfson’s memories of a city that, in his lifetime, has been largely transformed by gentrification and rapid commercial construction.

 

In his most recent commission, Brooklyn Elevated, which took three years to conceptualize and complete, Wolfson creates an imagined scene of Williamsburg inspired by a childhood moment. Of the work, he said, “I remember watching television in my grandmother’s living room as a small child. In an instant, I saw something flash in the window. It was a train passing by. It’s a moment that has stuck with me, and one that has been shaped by both my youthful recollection and a greater passage of time.” Brooklyn Elevated features a series of miniature brick buildings as well as an elevated train track and subway train. The apartment windows appear aglow, the interior happenings unseen to the viewers. A pizza place, luncheonette, bar, and pool hall offer the attributes of neighborhood life, while fine details, like a billboard and lawn chairs positioned on the roof, further imbue the scene with a sense of human presence.

 

Brooklyn Elevated will be presented alongside a selection of prior works by Wolfson, including Brooklyn Bridge Station (2008), Subway Series (#5) (1993), and IRT Lexington Avenue Line (1981), among others. Together, these works highlight how Wolfson fuses real and imagined architecture and also uses lighting and detail to evoke the gritty history of New York City, shining a light on the forgotten corners of a bygone era.

 

The presentation, Alan Wolfson: Brooklyn Elevated and Highlights from our New Acquisitions, also includes a wide selection of paintings that emphasize Hollis Taggart’s expansive collection of Post-War American art. While Hollis Taggart remains temporarily closed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, all of the works in the presentation are viewable on Hollis Taggart’s website.

 

For more information about Alan Wolfson: Brooklyn Elevated and Highlights from our New Acquisition, please contact us at info@hollistaggart.com or +1 212.628.4000. For press inquiries, please contact Alina Sumajin, PAVE Communications & Consulting at alina@paveconsult.com, 646.369.2050.

Detail images of Brooklyn Elevated

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Alan Wolfson, Brooklyn Elevated, 2017-2019, Mixed media, 21 (H) x 32 1/2 (W) x 24 (D) inches
Alan Wolfson, Brooklyn Elevated [detail]
Alan Wolfson, Brooklyn Elevated [detail]
Alan Wolfson, Brooklyn Elevated [detail]
Alan Wolfson, Brooklyn Elevated [detail]
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