This Land Is Not For Sale

15 October – 14 November 2015

Jonathan LeVine Gallery, 557C West 23rd st. New York, NY


In This Land is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures, Jacob Riis meets Edward Hopper, Brett Amory paints a visually gorgeous protest against the transformation of New York's famed Lower East Side into a gentrified wasteland. Amory first earned international critical acclaim for his “Waiting” series: urban settings like London and San Francisco portrayed as lonely abstracted landscapes of vanishing human assertion.

This new series offers viewers an insider's historical road map of East Village radical underground sensibility, from ABC NO RIO and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe to the headquarters of The Catholic Worker, The Pyramid Club and even Moshe's Bakery. Amory not only captures the breathtaking physical presence of these neighborhood landmarks but also movingly conveys the sense of the artist as witness, delivering a painterly personal testimony and protest against their disappearance. This is great painting as real-time archeological retrieval.

Amory's foremost achievement in paintings, drawings and installations, has been to document evolving personal, existential and political credo into masterfully rendered, esthetically transcendent works of fine art with broad cosmopolitan appeal. In This Land Is Not For Sale he gives his most pointed evidence yet of his urgent need to merge his personal and social consciousness with the unsparing esthetic demands of his artIn conjunction with the exhibition, Amory will install a faux construction site underpass leading to the gallery to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. The show will also include the documentary 'Captured', the story of LES legendary photographer Clayton Patterson, as well as a display of LES posters and other neighborhood marginalia.

On October 20, 2015 at 6:30pm the gallery will host a panel discussion bringing together some of the legendary figures and activists of the Lower East Side to explore the gentrification and cultural attritioning of this historic district-- once a breeding ground for artistic and political experimentation. Amory will also discuss his personal decision to portray NYC's still most vibrant neighborhood. 

The panel will be moderated by author Alan Kaufman (Drunken AngelMatchesJew BoyThe Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and the forthcoming Outlaw Bible of American Art). Sitting on the panel will be Brett Amory, artist; Lincoln Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of The Villager; Clayton Patterson, LES-based photographer and activist; Jose “Cochise” Quiles (author of the forthcoming Street Gangs of the Lower East Side), the founder and former leader of the notorious Satan's Sinner Nomads, the last gang to fly colors in LES. This event is free and open to the public.