Image credit: detail from Numberless Masts of Ships and the Thick Stemm’d Pipes of Steamboats by Greg Lindquist
Twice a month, Sara Distin from Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. contributes a post to Flavorwire about an artist or photographer. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. includes Jen Bekman Gallery, 20×200 and Hey, Hot Shot!
I was not born a Brooklyn girl; it’s true, my heart will always be in the West. The seemingly endless space and sky out there are infinitely comforting, even if they’re not as vast and unchanging as I’d like to think. In Brooklyn, the skyline is crowded by warehouses abutting heavy, leaden air along the East River. Large but low slung, these buildings seem to hold up the horizon, forming a barrier between the borough and Manhattan’s more oppressive high-rises. As captured in Greg Lindquist’s metallic paintings, they defend a horizon equally comforting and foreboding.
Lindquist’s paintings of the Brooklyn waterfronts in Red Hook and Williamsburg are much like the western horizons I know and love. Muted and neutral, his paintings are records of remnants; rendered from photographs, they function much the same way photographs do, triggering memory and serving as blank placeholders for those of us who do not tie our own histories to these post-industrial spaces, but instead, landscapes elsewhere. Identities are bound to geography; we are changed too, as we alter the surfaces around us.
Lindquist makes a case for the preservation of these histories, the sanctity of the waterfronts without us is clear: while human absence is tangible, our interference is inevitable. Unlike Timothy O’Sullivan’s westward explorers, there is no turning back for us from here.
If Brooklyn is the borough you know and love, you’ll soon have the opportunity to see Lindquist’s works at BAM. His solo show, Brooklyn Industry, will be on view until April 26, with an opening night reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11. The exhibition will feature several new works created just for BAM in addition to works that were presented in a solo exhibition titled Remembrance of Things Present, which traveled to NC State University and Bethel University last year.
Lindquist’s work may also soon appear on 20×200. Sign up for Jen Bekman’s email newsletter to be among the first to find out.
– Sara Distin