Chasm Gallery in NYC
CHASM Gallery in NYC

It’s rumoured Australians have been infiltrating New York City’s art scene and to celebrate this, Brooklyn’s CHASM Gallery is offering Aussie artists a chance to exhibit their work.

CHASM, a boutiquey fine art gallery located at The BogArt in Bushwick is a hybridised commercial gallery with a collaborative vision.

They want to give a rare opportunity to emerging and established artists as well as curators from our wide brown land to exhibit in this burgeoning district for the arts in New York.

In its inaugural year CHASM has already lined up an impressive selection of Australian artists including Abdul Abdullah, Lorin Askill, Tim Bruniges, Ella Condon, Emma Coulter, Peter Daverington, Paula Do Prado, Simon Harsent, Samuel Hodge, Kristin McIver, George Raftopoulos and Christian Thompson.

Creative Director Jessica Holburn, formerly a Sydney-based Curator, signed a five year lease on the newly renovated art space, a perfect arrival destination for an expatriate project like CHASM.

‘Bushwick is the place to be,’ she said. ‘The neighbourhood is just starting to boom, and it’s booming because of its art scene.’

Bushwick hosts the annual three day art fair, “Bushwick Open Studios”, and at the heart of the art scene is The BogArt.

A former factory that would otherwise be left to waste in the wake of a bygone manufacturing era, The BogArt has been cleverly repurposed to welcome artists and galleries which Holburn said is a positive addition to the area.

‘I’m not claiming to have trail-blazed Bushwick, its turnaround began years ago. But I believe we can make a significant contribution to the cultural fabric of a neighbourhood on the upswing,’ she said.

Somewhat unique to her competitors, the CHASM business model is porous to partnerships with reputable Australian art dealers in order to broaden the selection and strengthen their stable of artists.

Michael Reid (Michael Reid, Berlin, Murrurundi, Sydney) has agreed to come on board in association with the gallery, bringing along artists he represents such as Christian Thompson into the fray, who is scheduled to exhibit in May, 2015.

Lisa Fehily (Fehily  Contemporary, Melbourne) have also agreed to contribute their artist Abdul Abdullah for a summer solo show in 2015.

Dianne Tanzer (Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne) will also be involving a selection from her stable such as emerging photo media artist Janelle Low for the group launch show this coming October.

Sebastian Goldspink (Alaska Projects, Sydney) will also be coming on board for the curation of several group shows.

‘Being in a position to be selective is such an integral part of the curating and branding process. You’ve really got to fight aggressively for your artists here, the competition is fierce, so you need a tremendous degree of belief in them to make it work,’ Holburn said.

While Manhattan galleries such as Foxy Production, Garis & Hahn and Jonathan LeVine show a sprinkled selection of artists from Australia, CHASM consistently gears its programming around solo shows for Australian artists and on duo shows where they can interact with local artists in Brooklyn and create work in tandem with one another amidst a raw, working class, grass roots atmosphere.

‘The impetus for CHASM is to provide a haven for Aussie artists to express uninhibited ideas, an “elsewhere” in which they feel they can experiment and be provocative if they want to be,’ Holburn said. ‘Having said this, I’m aware of our fledgling position in the New York market. It’s a huge financial and emotional risk for me to get this thing off the ground, that’s for sure, but I’m not daunted because these significant artists and gallerists are taking this leap of faith with me.’