New American Paintings/Blog

Emerging Again: D.C.’s (e)merge Goes Into Its Second Year by New American Paintings

Last year’s preview night at (e)merge was a big, ruckus party. Amidst the large crowds it was often difficult to navigate the hallways between exhibitors, and the wait for the elevators always seemed impossibly long. While it may have been loads of fun for those of us sipping PBRs by the pool, perusing and buying artwork that evening seemed to require a bit more resolve and determination. This year, the second for (e)merge, the crowds on preview night were noticeably thinned, particularly among the younger set who were likely turned off by the $45 admission price ($60 at the door). The new cover charge seemed like a calculated move by organizers, one of a handful of changes that made this year’s event seem more streamlined and manageable for exhibitors and visitors alike. Whether these changes translated into more sales is anybody’s guess, but sales may not be the right metric to measure the success of (e)merge. At least not yet. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor (All photos by Matthew except where indicated)

Chajana denHarder performing Singularity (Artist Platform). Photo by Tony Wilson

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Contemporary Wing Opens in D.C. by New American Paintings
May 24, 2012, 8:30 am
Filed under: DC, Q&A | Tags: , , ,

A few months prior to opening her new storefront gallery, Lauren Gentile  organized the group show Next Generation in a raw warehouse space in downtown D.C. It was timed to coincide with the Rubell Family Collection’s 30 Americans at the Corcoran last winter, and it tapped a few art stars from the Rubell show to select a batch of up-and-comers they viewed as the next generation of great artists. It was a novel conceit for  an exciting show, as well as a clever pooling of disparate resources that included direct mayoral intervention.

As of earlier this month Gentile’s putting that resourcefulness to work in Contemporary Wing, her new exhibition space on 14th Street. It’s a coming home of sorts — Gentile was the longtime gallery director at Irvine Contemporary, which occupied the same address until it shuttered last summer. And she’s inaugurating the new digs with an aptly titled solo show, I’m Coming Home, by Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi (NAP #87 and #100), a recent MFA graduate from American University. I recently caught up with Lauren to chat about her new gallery and inaugural show, as well as the Next Generation exhibition. Our conversation after the jump. —Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor

Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi | Detail view of “Knok Knok, Who’s There?”, 2012. Acrylic, gouache, imitation gold leaf and handpainted collage on Mylar. 40 x 30 inches

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