Along with Frieze and NADA, SEVEN celebrates its New York debut this week after two years at Art Basel Miami Beach. While your initial inclination may be to lump SEVEN in with the many satellite fairs, it feels more like a group show.
SEVEN is a collaboration between seven galleries from New York and London created as an alternative to the traditional art fair model. Each gallery mounts a solo installation that puts the focus on the artist. Taking place in Pierogi’s project space in an old factory boiler room, SEVEN offers a platform for artists and galleries without the sterile cubicle feel of a large convention hall.
SEVEN New York is significantly smaller than its Miami counterpart, but each artist’s work is stellar and the exhibition is cohesive. Some works are site-specific, such as Emil Lukas’ Skin, which modifies the industrial space, or Ben Gocker’s chaotic arrangement of objects, which is best described as a “visual poem.” There is a common thread of collage and combinations of disparate imagery through all of the works. Hew Locke, a Briton of Guyanese descent, created his own coat of arms from exotic imagery, mimicking the cultural adaptation of colonized peoples and the fungibility of culture and identity. Artist Gil Yefman works with knitted sculptures, a traditionally female medium of work, to reconcile his identification as both a man and woman.
The slideshow above shows a preview of the seven works in the show.