Last night I got to the opening of the lovely new show “Landscape: A Sense of Place” at Site:Brooklyn gallery in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. I got lucky and snagged an interview with the exhibit’s curator, Annette Rose-Shapiro. I’ll let her tell you about it.
Liz Daly: How did this show come about?
Annette Rose-Shapiro: Denise (Amses) and Chris (Cosma) had asked me to come up with an idea for a show, and I wanted to do something on landscapes.
I was wondering, do people do landscapes anymore? It’s not the Thomas Cole, Hudson River School kind of thing, but what are people doing in terms of landscape.
I was very happy to see the kinds of works people submitted, using all types of media, all very, very different – there was a lot of great work. There were over 1200 submissions to the show, and I had to narrow it down to about 75. Which was not easy.
So how did you decide?
I looked at whether they all had a sense of place, which was part of the title of the show; and whether they all had a place that I would personally want to go to. That’s how I thought about it: I want to go to that place, I want to see what it’s like, I want to explore there, I want to see what that person saw in that place.
I noticed that some of the pieces had environmental themes.
Yes, there were some that did, and there were some traditional landscapes, there were some very abstract ones, there was a quilt; that was great.
As an embroiderer, I’m always drawn to fibre pieces, so I noticed the larger quilt (A Time and Place by Rosemary Hoffenberg) the smaller one (Quilted Construction #1 by Sara Drower), and the felted landscape (High Country by Ginger Summit).
The great thing about this show is that people express themselves in many different ways, but it was all about a place. As I explained before, when I was choosing pieces, I said, “I want to go to that place, I want to explore it; maybe I’m afraid to go there, maybe I’m interested in going there.” That’s what drew me in – I saw a specific place. And that’s what I based my choices on.
Where did the submissions come from?
All over the country. It was the same with the show I did last year on portraits – people from all over the country submitted, and they came to the show – from San Francisco, Atlanta, Texas, Wisconsin, even Hong Kong. They came to see their work, and that was such a wonderful thing for me. They all said, “This is the first show I’ve had in New York, this is great!”
It was wonderful to see people so excited about their work. I love giving people a chance to show their work, people who wouldn’t ordinarily get to show it. Because they’re not going to get into Gagosian, or Pace, or Marlborough – which is those galleries’ loss – and that’s too bad, because there’s a lot of wonderful work that never gets a chance to be seen. The greatest thing about doing shows here is that people get a chance to be seen, and they should be.