As we’ve established in previous posts, and will likely continue to demonstrate in the future, New York City is home to a staggering number of museums and cultural institutions, and they offer a virtually limitless number of exhibits and installations to appreciate. While Chelsea has long been the heart of the city’s art scene, art publications like ArtNews and Artsy have been covering the migration of many art galleries to the Lower East Side now that the High Line and the Whitney Museum have ushered in exponential growth, and therefore, rising rents in Chelsea.
We recently had the incredible pleasure of viewing Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi’s exhibition, Alhambra, in an extremely intimate setting at one such Lower East Side gallery, Salon 94 on Bowery. El-Salahi, the seminal African and Arab Modernist master, pioneered an eclectic style incorporating Islamic, African, Arab and Western artistic techniques and traditions. His visually stunning artwork in this exhibit — the centerpiece of which is 2012’s Flamenco Dancers, with its graceful figures rendered in pen and ink — perfectly captures the sounds and movements of the traditional Andalusian music, dance and culture as well as the majestic palette of it namesake, the medieval fortress and palace in Granada, Spain, that inspired him during an extended stay in 2009. In addition, the exhibit includes a fascinating series of 46 drawings, The Arab Spring Notebook, depicting the democratic uprisings in 2010 and 2011. The Tate Modern in London held an exhibition of El-Salahi’s work in 2013 and described it as follows: “The mask-like faces and earth tones of his early graphic works channel elements of Cubism and Surrealism and incorporate Muslim iconography. El Salahi’s art encompasses and explores a range of compositional forms, including fragments of Arabic calligraphy, but perpetually evokes a transnational, African-influenced surrealism.”
Alhambra is on display through April 23, 2016, but hop over to LES Galleries NYC where you’ll find a list of art galleries and current exhibitions in the Lower East Side — pick a few that catch your eye, and curate a fun gallery walk.
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm
Pair it with:
Brunch at Seamore’s
Located in a gorgeous building in Little Italy, Seamore’s is a space with a beachy, laid-back vibe. The crew that brought us The Meatball Shop is behind this sustainable seafood venture. On a sunny day the light streams in, the sidewalk seats get snapped up, and you’re transported to a California cantina. We popped by for brunch and figured luck was on our side when they were able to seat us immediately. But even though we got there in time to beat the rush, our experience was plagued by some service mishaps. The food had interesting flavors, and we’re big fans of fresh seafood, so perhaps we’ll make our way back here for a reassessment sometime soon.
390 Broome St
Sunday & Monday 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Tuesday to Saturday 11:30AM – 12AM
Saturday & Sunday 11:30AM – 4:00PM
– J. & L.