Friday, April 21, 2017

Art Above the Sofa: The Exhibition and Conversations, April 27-30, 171 Elizabeth St, NYC

It's almost here!  We are proud to present Art Above the Sofa: The Exhibition and Conversations, from April 27 -30; opening on April 27 from 6 - 8  pm.  Conversations with artists will take place throughout the weekend.  (Schedule listed below.)

Wa Liu, Exposure, 2017

We are pleased to announce the first place winner of the juried competition "Art Above the Sofa: Next Generation": Wa Liu, Yale University, with her work Exposure, from her series Selfies.

Second place winner of the juried show and first place winner of the popular Facebook vote is Vicci Weixi Zhang, Trinity College, with her Blossom, 2017.

And second place winner for the Facebook competition is Priscila Schott with her Complexity II, 2017.

These student artists' works will be exhibited with our featured jurors' works and invited artists.

Our jurors are: Kathleen Gilje, Wilhelmina Grant, Sasha Meret, Ruby Silvious and Marjorie van Cura. Our invited artists are: Gerri Davis, Toni Quest and Christina Thomas.

Conversations with artists will take place on:
Friday, April 28, 2 - 4 pm: Toni Quest on her art and autobiography Actualized
Friday, April 28, 5 - 7 pm: Wilhelmina Grant on her art and autobiography A Feeling of Fullness
Saturday, April 29, 12 - 1 pm: Zoe Lubin-Fosha, Purchase College, "Fashion and Self-Identity"
Saturday, April 29, 2 - 4 pm: Beth and Patrick on "Art in the Age of Social Media"
Saturday, April 29, 5 - 7 pm: Kathleen Gilje on her portrait Muhammad Ali and Old Master painting
Sunday, April 30, 2 - 4 pm: Marjorie van Cura on her painting and process
Sunday, April 30, 4 - 6 pm; Finissage!  Let's celebrate our fabulous artists and Spring!

Come join our conversations on our comfy sofa about the place of art today in our society. Let's talk about the personal. Let's talk about the  political. Let's talk about our passion!

We look forward to sharing this exciting event with you!
Beth and Patrick

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Director and Owner,
Patrick Hankin, Chief Curator of Design and Social Media

New York Arts Exchange, LLC

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Holiday Greetings and Spring News!

Alfred Sisley, Peasant Under the Trees in Blossom, 1865-7
on view at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, through May 21

Dear friends,

Happy Passover and Happy Easter!  May your holiday celebrations bring you good cheer and much needed warmth, among your family and friends - and weatherwise too. Spring is  finally here!

Here at the New York Arts Exchange the winter really heated up with tons of activities.  We are now LLC and were granted use of the word "exchange" in our title thanks to the NYS Attorney General. Hurray! Thank you, our beloved New York!  We explained that our currency is conversation.  
And to that end, please join us in conversation during . . . .

The Exhibition and Conversations
April 27-30
171 Elizabeth Street, between Spring and Kenmare Streets,

Opening: Thursday, April 27, 6 - 8 pm
(Winners announced on our Facebook page.)

Come schmooze about arts on our couch - 
Artists-led conversations all weekend long.

Curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic and Patrick Hankin

Alfred Sisley, La Route de Verrieres, 1872

May Tours - Hither and Yon (outside Manhattan)
May 11 - Alfred Sisley at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich
May 18 - Fred Wilson and Leonandro Erlich at The Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY
May 25 - TBA

Best wishes to you and your family for the holidays,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and Owner
The New York Arts Exchange, LLC

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Purim 2017 - 14 Adar 5777: #BeLikeEsther

Rembrandt van Rijn, Esther Accusing Haman Before Ahasuarus, 1660

Today is Purim, the Feast of Esther, the day to party, get drunk and release our inhibitions behind masks of all kinds.  By now, most people accept that the Book of Esther in the Bible is not true.  We read the story to explain the reason we celebrate Purim and to re-inspire our capacity to do good in the face of powerful forces that seem impossible to defeat.   Queen Esther, you may recall, was asked to be the whistle-blower in order to save the Jews, "her people," by informing her husband that his prime minister, his appointee, scheduled the annihilation of the Jews (herself included) on the 14 day of Adar.  She was fully aware that accusing Haman of wrongdoing might displease the king and his wrath might end her life. Yet in the face of possibly losing her crown and/or her head, she courageously pursued her clever plan. Rather than go straight for the indictment during her first audience with the king, she played it cool and invited him to her private apartment in the palace for an intimate banquet - not once, but twice. Then, like Judith, Esther pleasured her man with food and drink before striking the decisive blow. This fairy tale plot seems based on both archetypal tropes and real experience. Begun as an oral history (possibly linked to the Persian New Year), ir was added to the Hebrew Bible as yet another Wisdom Tale that instructs the Jews about life among those who see them as unwelcome Others.  

Who indeed are the Others in our society today now threatened by government actions? Consider the cost of actions to combat injustice (time, inconvenience, social ostracism). Imagine how difficult it was to #BeLikeEsther and fight for the underdog. Imagine how heroic it is to try.

Here is an old blog post that tells the story of Esther and Purim: 

And here is an excellent article in The Jewish Magazine about Rembrandt and Purim, written by Helen Webberley. 

Chag Sameach - Happy Holiday - Happy Purim 2017/5777,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and Owner
New York Arts Exchange
A division of New York Arts Etc., LLC

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrate International Women's Day! Support Women Artists!

Kathleen Gilje, Self-Portrait after Bouguereau's The Assault, 2012

It has been an honor and a joy to select four extremely gifted women artists for our Art Above the Sofa: Next Generation jury: Kathleen Gilje, Wilhelmina Grant, Ruby Silvious and Marjorie van Cura. Today, in honor of International Women's Day, we celebrate these four women with examples of their work on our blog:

Ruby Silvious, from 363 Days of Tea, 2015

Wilhelmina GrantTime into Eternity

Marjorie van Cura, Untitled, 2016

We also invited a male artist into the jury: Sasha Meret   Please visit his show at Rafael Gallery, 235 East 59th St., through March 31st.   

Each juror will be highlighted on our Art Above the Sofa page on Facebook.  Please look for us there.

Happy International Women's Day!  


Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Etc. LLC

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Year, New Us: New York Arts Exchange is now a division of New York Arts Etc., LLC -


It's a New Year and a New Name:   New York Arts Exchange is now New York Ats Etc., LLC, retaining the moniker "New York Arts Exchange" as a division of our arts education service. Today, I am pleased to announce our latest project: Art Above the Sofa: Next Generation, which is a juried show for art students in accredited programs (AA, BFA, MFA, Ph.D. and art academies of all kinds, including schools abroad).  We are eager to exhibit emerging artists whose visual vocabulary addresses the concerns, hopes, dreams and aspirations of their generation.  Millennials, lead on!

What is Art Above the Sofa?  It is an irreverent poke at a much maligned phantom category of art that is often mentioned but never truly defined.  Who seriously makes art exclusively for an installation above a sofa?  Who wouldn't mind selling a work that winds up placed above the sofa, admired by its owners and shared with their guests?  Art above the sofa is often a beloved source of frequent contemplation. For most of us who buy art, we look for a work to cherish, study often and find endless surprises in what becomes a familiar companion.  An artwork above a sofa, in the intimacy of one's home, might turned into a steady, unquestioning love affair.

Therefore our concept of "Art Above the Sofa" is slightly ironic and hopefully disruptive. We are not suggesting that the artists match the furniture in a client's home or produce pleasantly "decorative" canvases.  Rather we seek excellent art that might be edgy, confrontational, uncomfortable, or decidedly spiritual in a complicated way. And we also seek humor that demonstrates intelligent wit and innuendo.

Consider the role of the sofa in Jacques-Louis' famous portrait of Madame Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier, decorously arranged on an Directoire Style lounge.  Legend has it that the sitter hated this cold interpretation of her personality and commissioned the early Romantic François Pascal SimoGérard, who did indeed capture her sensual charms. But when it came to choices, René Magritte went right to David's sofa, transforming Madame R into a seated casket that seems to ridicule the Academy's moribund state of affairs.  Let's find our inner Magritte and have fun while we say something bold and exceptionally new!  Art Above the Sofa challenges us to invent a new kind of art, a Post-Post-Modernism or something totally off the category charts.

Jacques-Lous David, Madame Récamier, 1800, Louvre, Paris

François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard, Madame Récamier, 1802
Musée Carnavalet  

René Magritte, Perspective: Madame Récamier, by David, 1951
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Dear friends of the New York Arts Exchange, now New York Arts Etc., LLC - - please support emerging artists by sharing information about our art competition and exhibition in April. Send a link to our website - and come celebrate with us in person.

The exhibition Art Above the Sofa: Next Generation  will take place at 171 Elizabeth Street, between Spring and Kenmare, from  April 27 to 30, 2017.   Opening celebration: April 27th.

As for the New York Arts Exchange tours and lectures for 2017  - we will post our schedule separately.  In the meantime, please visit our website: New York Arts Exchange to see details about our current exhibition  "Sasha Meret: Selected Works" at Rafael Gallery, 235 East 59th Street, NYC, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.  We will schedule a day with Sasha at the show in March.  The show was extended to March 31st.  

This week, please join me at JCC Greenwich for a lecture on Queen Esther in Art.  Tickets and information can be found at New York Arts Exchange or on the JCC Greenwich website.

Best wishes,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Etc., LLC

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Last Call: Miljan Suknovic at Catherine Ahnell Gallery, through December 18th

Miljan Suknovic: Studio Visit
Catherine Ahnell Gallery, 66 Grand St, #1, NYC
Through Sunday, December 18th

Lost in a world of pure abstraction, I am bewitched, but not bewildered, by Miljan Suknovic's second exhibition at Catherine Ahnell Gallery in Soho. Suknovic knows what he is doing and always pursues it with vigor. The gallery''s website tells us that this is a new chapter for the artist "With raw linen as a base he applies his paint strokes directly on the canvas. Spontaneous gestures and random color strokes meet an uncalculated structure characteristic to Suknovic."  Suknovic has certainly become bolder in this new series and more varied in the size of his canvases.  Here, in the photo, you can see a representative sample.

Entrance to the exhibition

Suknovic studied art and architecture in Belgrade and then went on to Prague, Florence and Hamburg, before settling in New York. His first solo show was held at Union Gallery in 2008.  Last year, Suknovic exhibited in the elegant rooms of the Serbian Mission to the UN.  And earlier this month his work appeared along with Jonas SUN7 and Lahcen Khedim  in Catherine Ahnell's booth at Art Miami Basel X Contemporary Art Fair.  

Miljan Suknovic's work in Catherine Ahnell Gallery's booth at Art Miami Basel 2016

Suknovic's exhibition in New York closes on Sunday.  If you are headed to SoHo to shop for holiday gifts, please stop in to this upbeat and color-ific show -and then treat yourself to those delicious Christmas specialties in Little Italy. (A Nesic Tradition.)

I'll be back with more tips as the art season draw to a close - so stay tuned . . . 
Beth New York 

aka, Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange