Opening Friday, January 6, 2017






On view: January 6 - February 18

NEW YORK – 57W57ARTS is pleased to open our 2017 gallery season with three exhibitions featuring the work of John Mendelsohn, Anna Shteynshleyger and John Phelan. On view from January 6th through February 17th, there will be a reception for the artists on Friday, Jan. 6th, from 6-9pm.

In the Main Gallery, John Mendelsohn will present his Dream Garden paintings, whose scintillating quality is derived from colored sand with acrylic and latex enamel on terry cloth. The sand’s individual quanta of color are both embedded in the surface and project toward the viewer. The paintings are abstract, but they evoke natural phenomena, such as growth patterns, topography, and expanses of the sky. The garden in the series title, although not literal, does suggest a bounded space, protected and to some extent cultivated, along with a wildness that runs through it. The dream garden is an apt image for these paintings, a refuge for unexpected encounters with unfamiliar forms of life. Coinciding with his show at 57W57Arts, Mendelsohn be in a three-person exhibition at 490 Atlantic, beginning on January 14.

In the gallery’s Waiting Room, Anna Shteynshleyger will exhibit a selection of photographs from her 2014-2016 series 26 Court. After a weekly therapy session, the artist found herself wandering through the halls of the office building, photographing the many doors belonging mostly to medical and legal practitioners. After about a year she had photographed each and every door of the building, resulting in 139 archival pigment prints. The artist’s Waiting Room installation will be the first time this series has been presented to the public

Selected from a collection of over 17,000 snapshots and a large group of Shaker furniture amassed over a 20 year period, John Phelan’s SEATS & CHAIRS offers up a contrast between the sacred and the profane, craft and art, the intentional and the inadvertent and in doing so seeks to blur their very definitions. 

The Shakers strove for perfection in everything that they did and furniture making was no exception. Rather, it epitomizes their ideal of worshiping God through work. Each chair, an individual prayer. The chairs featured are rare, unrestored examples from various Shaker communities which were created between 1820 and 1860, the so-called "Golden Age" of Shaker furniture making. 

Snapshots are the greatest treasure trove of undiscovered artworks available. They are unique celebrations of the accidental and unintentional, masterpieces of the mystery and majesty of a moment. Photographs on display from the past one hundred years ranging from gelatin silver print to Fuji Instax all feature the "seat" as their subject matter. The human seat, that is. 

John Phelan is a collector and artist living in Greenwich, Connecticut.