New York is known to be a city that is spontaneous, fun and unpredictable. From new waves of music and fashion right through to experimental and conceptual art and theatre, there is a lot going on. When Sandra Higgins returned to New York in late August she had a startling sense of déjà vu and a nostalgic look back into what she remembered about the city. There was a great buzz with the new boutiques, bars and cafes in the East Village and the many different art galleries and museums that have popped up over time.
Sandra was in town visiting the artist Marc Blane at his East Village studio and is excited to start the autumn series of exhibitions at the Gallery Petit with his Financial Statements which begins on 20th November. Financial Statements will bring together Blane’s controversial series of mixed media works on Belgian linen using hand-cut and defaced US dollars – outlawed in the United States and showing in London for the ﬁrst time. Blane’s Abandoned Buildings project will also be presented.
Blane is a Brooklyn native, an original member of the 1980s Downtown Scene and counted among his contemporaries the likes of Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Julian Schnabel, Robert Mapplethorpe and Jean-Michel Basquiat – artists working differently, but collaboratively towards new and revolutionary trends in contemporary. Blane also studied under the tutorage of Hans Haake at Cooper Union.
Blane’s practice is rooted in conceptualism but he tends to think that conceptual art isn’t enough and takes inspiration from the visual history surrounding him on the streets of New York. In 1980 Blane presented work for the Times Square Show along with other artists to get their work out into the public. He presented the Abandoned Building project which was influenced by the iconic empty green bottles discarded by homeless people throughout New York City. These green bottles were filled by Blane with photographs of abandoned factories and buildings that were found throughout Blane’s former neighborhood of the Lower East Side. Themes throughout Blane’s practice portray a sense of political and social commentary and an interest in looking for answers through materials.
Blane’s studio located in the Wall Street financial district is filled with works in various stages of completion. You can see straight away Blane’s affinity with materials and the extent he uses them to create his work. The materials have an industrial feel i.e. iron, concrete and brick while objects made with found objects allude to the environment the studio is located.
Below are some of the works from Financial Statements that will be on show at Gallery Petit from the 20th of November.
Growth Portfolio, 61 x 61cm, Belgian linen, acrylic paint, US currency (hand cut), nylon fishing line (detail)
For more information about the exhibition or to arrange a viewing by appointment, please contact Sandra Higgins at email@example.com.