Tagged: Jeffrey Leder

Openings and Closings in Long Island City


In the last two weeks, Long Island City has hosted at least two events attesting to the changes in the neighborhood.

The first was the April 5th opening at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery for Whitewashed, a show featuring the artists of the 5Pointz Aerosol Arts Center. In the middle of the night late last year, the owner of the property famously painted over the graffiti with white paint. The graffiti that adorned the building for years made 5Pointz a regular stop for visitors to Long Island City, but the owner feared that preservationists might make it impossible to tear down the building and block a pending residential development on the property.


The opening for Whitewashed was much more festive event than most other openings at Leder’s gallery. Visitors so packed the two-story brownstone building that about twenty people had to leave before I could squeeze into the gallery space. A good number of the artists were also selling some prints of their work, and the gallery staff were busy processing sale after sale of those works, affordably priced between $20 and $50. Adding to the dynamic energy of the evening were about a half-dozen of the featured artists making drawings on-the-spot. By the time I left, the room had an noticeable smell of paint, all coming from those ubiquitous paint pens.


On Friday night, the Center for Holographic Arts threw a farewell party in the bottom two floors of the Clock Tower Building at Queens Plaza. The space had been remarkably transformed from their previous show last month, which had to close early to make way for this farewell party and exhibition. Both the ground floor and the basement were packed with holographic and stereoscopic works, ranging from small postcard-sized still photographs to fifty-foot–long wall projections. The amount of work needed to stage this show was even more remarkable when you consider that this exhibition was for one night only. The “Holocenter,” as most of us have come to call it, has to vacate this space by the end of this month because, according to the Center’s staff, the space was sold to developers.


The two shows represent the changes in Long Island City that everyone with a stake in the neighborhood has anticipated for years. The abandoned industrial buildings had once allowed upstart artists to establish studios and gallery spaces. When I first moved to New York in 2001, I had heard of Long Island City emerging as an arts center. Although part of that was due to the Museum of Modern Art moving its primary gallery space to Queens in 2002[1], it was the artists who occupied the buildings that gave the neighborhood its excitement.

Name that High Rise?

Today, the situation is different. The financial crisis of 2008 is a fading memory for real estate developers and well-heeled buyers. There are apartment buildings everywhere, and those apartments are fetching stratospherically crazy prices. At one time, I was able to name the high-rise apartment buildings on Center Boulevard: City Lights, the East Coast, and the Avalon. But now, I can’t do that anymore. There’s too many of them. After three decades of false starts as the “next big place,” the value of the land for residential development is forcing a fundamental change to the neighborhood. Over the course of a generation, Long Island City has evolved from industrial district to post-industrial desert to residential neighborhood.

At least it was nice to say good-bye.

  1. If I recall correctly, MoMA QNS was to remain as a secondary gallery space after the midtown Manhattan location reopened. Today, it houses a research center.  ↩

Whitewashed Artists at Jeffrey Leder Gallery

Earlier this year, the owner of the 5Pointz building and site destroyed the work of dozens of graffiti artists by covering the walls with white paint. This was the final step in clearing the site of the artists for a planned real estate development project.

Beginning this Saturday, April 5, the artists whose work was destroyed will be part of an exhibition at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City.

Jeffrey Leder Gallery is excited to present Whitewash, an exhibit featuring 12 artists that worked on or photographed the 5Pointz walls for many years. They have created artworks that explore their reactions to having their and others’ art painted over – Whitewashed.

The gallery is located on 45th Road, in Long Island City, just steps from the 5Pointz site. The opening is on April 5, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Because it’s not a school night, I recommend making your own after-party at the Shannon Pot, a bar that relocated down the street to make room for this same development at the 5Pointz site.

Reductive: A Show at Jeffrey Leder Gallery


As part of this year’s LIC Arts Open, a week devoted to showcasing the numerous art institutions in Long Island City, the Jeffrey Leder Gallery staged an opening of recent paintings and drawings converging on the theme of minimalist techniques. Dina Muenzfeld curated this show, titled Reductive.


Dina saw me shoot photos of Ellen Schneiderman’s opening in February at the same gallery. She must have liked my snapshots because she asked me to shoot the opening. Either that, or she liked that I worked for free.


I was pretty happy with the photographic quality of the shots. There were for the most part very sharp and crisp. Shooting in a gallery is a little tricky because of the competing light sources and their various temperatures
But since I bought a WhiBal card last summer, I have been able to mitigate the light noise. Also I can get pretty true colors, which I did in the photos from the Reductive opening and last July’s Staff Show at Philips DuPury.

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Ellen Schneiderman at Jeffrey Leder Gallery


Our friend Ellen Schneiderman staged a significant show of her paintings at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, a beautiful two-story brownstone in Long Island City. She paints some very beautiful shades with a mix of intricate layers. She already sold a number of paintings so I recommend visiting the gallery soon if you want to get yours.


In honor of Ellen’s big show, Sarah and I hosted a brunch at our place. About a dozen folks came to wish Ellen well, and then we headed to the gallery where scores of friends, family, and art lovers gathered to celebrate her work and the work of Brandon Friend, who also opened a show that day on the gallery’s second floor.

The show of both artists is on view until April 8, 2012. The Jeffrey Leder Gallery is at 21-37 45th Road in Long Island City.