In 1974, when Elias and Florence Katz founded the Creative Growth Art Center in the San Francisco Bay Area with the intention of showcasing the work of artists with developmental, physical, and mental disabilities, they never thought that 34 years later they’d be opening the doors to an international outpost. But this week in the Canal St. Martin neighborhood in Paris, the couple is opening Galerie Impaire (“the odd gallery”), thereby marking “an important step in the evolution of how artists with disabilities are being seen as part of the contemporary art world” says CGAC director Tom di Maria. In its quest to blur lines, the space will show works from artists with disabilities (such as William Scott, above) alongside bodies of work by contemporary, self-taught artists, including a Creative Growth artist portrait series by New York photographer Cheryl Dunn.Galerie Impaire, 47 rue de Lancry, Paris, 75003.
Fake Estate, Julia Trotta’s diminutive Chelsea Arts Building gallery, hosted the opening of its first group show yesterday. Curated by photographer Glynnis McDaris, “What Comes Naturally” takes flowers as its subject. Eleven artists riffed on the theme, with Liz Goldwyn‘s gold-dipped conch shell buckle standing in for wearable art, while Sarah Wood’s black paper and vinyl rose sculptures could just as easily have been ill-fated Manhattan house plants. Flowers were on the minds of Armory Show alum Marc Swanson and fashion photographer Joe Mama-Nitzberg, whose photographic renderings of Halston (an orchid) and the Germ’s Darby Crash (a wreath of blue hydrangeas), germinated from the couple’s gay icon project. The duo will stick to using organic materials to commemorate the rest of their subjects, one of whom is rumored to be Anna Nicole Smith. Make space on your living room wall.
Paying six to eight figures for big-name contemporary art is de rigueur, but those with considerably less disposable income floating around can take heart: New York’s seventh annual Affordable Art Fair (AAF NYC) is on today through Sunday at Chelsea’s Metropolitan Pavilion. Developed to appeal to younger buyers and emerging collectors, this year’s fair features original prints, paintings, photography, and sculpture from over 75 galleries in 12 countries—75 percent of which will sell for from $100 to $5,000. “It’s always been thought of as a way to break down those barriers between people who are interested, but maybe aren’t that experienced buying artwork, and the gallery experience, which for some can be a little intimidating,” AAF NYC director Laura Meli explains. Also included this year: free lectures, printmaking and sculpture demonstrations, and a children’s art studio. “That’s really the idea behind the fair,” Meli says, “making art truly accessible to people.”
Though bluestocking feminists may have bristled at Kate Marshall’s pinups preening in robin’s egg hosiery, the 26-year-old English artist’s show of paintings on the emerging artists’ online gallery www.degreeart.com and in its bricks-and-mortar space on London’s hip Vyner Street has the feisty flirtatiousness that post-Madonna women’s rights crusaders approve of. Drawn in the loose and limber style of fashion illustrations and inspired by glossy editorials, Marshall’s work is intended to offer a “smutty, seaside postcard humour’s take on feminism, femininity, and the sexualized female image in popular culture.”
“I saw all of her pieces of writing,” artist Sophia Wood explains of her eight-year-old daughter, Mira, “and I just thought, Oh my God, I have to do this.” The “aha” moment in question? Wood’s decision to embroider selections from the aforementioned text on her daughter’s vintage Liberty-print baby dresses, 12 of which will be on display starting tomorrow at ABC Carpet & Home in Manhattan. Fittingly, the artist let her daughter choose the installation’s title, “MTLW—Am I Not Supposed to Keep Any Secrets From You Mummy?,” which also bears Mira’s initials. “It kind of made such mad sense to see all these frilly, hopeful things that a young mother gives to her daughter, and then the daughter kind of responds to that.” Just don’t expect any future collaboration between the two. Says Wood, “Throughout this whole thing she said to me, ‘Oh mummy, I’m not going to give you any more work!’ “