Kenny Schachter



For the past 5 years, independent curator Kenny Schachter has been organizing itinerant group exhibitions in and around the vicinity of Soho, periodically with foundations, not-for-profits or galleries. Working exclusively with emerging, unrepresented artists, the shows have usually been defined by a raucous, anything goes, scabrous sensibility, albeit with uneven results. When the shows have been orchestrated in uninhabited locales, in most cases ground floor spaces, which Schachter temporarily rents for periods of 4 - 8 weeks (as is the case with Oy!), they have been characterized by a grass roots effort to communicate with as broad an audience as possible, by keeping Korean grocery store hours -- 7 days a week, 10 hours per. As many galleries are fleeing tourist and shoe-shopper laden Soho for the more inaccessible reaches of Chelsea and beyond, these exhibitions have continued to be staged where the largest concentration of people will see them. Schachter alone mans the spaces, situated by the front door; it has been said like a gas station attendant. The present show, comprised of 20 artists, highlights the best and worst of the enterprise. Beginning with the latter, the core group of artists in this exposition, including John LeKay, Rachel Harrison, Ricci Albenda, Jonathan Horowitz, and Robert Chambers have remained the same throughout the duration of the shows. Perhaps there is a reason that these particular artists have not become affiliated with more traditional galleries over the years? Inadvertently, these people have taken on the appearance of belonging to an excluding club. Early on, the shows were distinguished by the harsh, unruly, and grating nature of the art; however, the early impertinence (in a good sense) has been substituted with a facile nod to the marketplace, evidenced by the abundance of tasteful paintings. In addition, in every show, for better or worse, you can always count on finding a contribution from the curator himself (it is clear this is the only way for his work to be seen)! As to the good points of the show, compared to the rest of what is currently on view in the neighborhood, this is by far among the most fresh. Yes, there are even a few newcomers making their debut in this exhibition. There is even an internet piece where one can learn more about the show and view inscriptions made by visitors to the gallery, as well as input additions by visiting the above address. In the end, there is a palpable sense of boundless energy, but also a feeling that if Schachter does not continue to innovate, his ongoing project will become stale fast.