13 March 2007

3rd & 3rd

Another of "my" buildings has been sighted. Some years ago in one of my early wanderings of the territory between Park Slope and Red Hook, I happened across a wonderful building standing rather solo in a sea of lower industrial buildings. It stands at the corner of Third Avenue and 3rd Street in (what?) Gowanus. It is almost like a pattern book for neoclassical ornament. Now, Laura Raskin explains it in "Birth of the concrete jungle" in the March 2007 issue of The Brooklyn rail. The building was the headquarters of the New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building and may represent the earliest extant example of concrete construction in the U.S. The concrete has been faced with brick but there is talk of restoring it. Unfortunately (or not), the rest of the block is owned by Whole Foods Market which tells you something about the neighborhood. Raskin starts her article in a wonderful way: To love New York City is to fall for concrete and steel.

The same issue of The Brooklyn rail had a review of Suzanne Opton's "Soldier" show at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art. I have seen other stuff about the show or her work but haven't seen the show. The illustrations are very compelling though: head shots of young soldiers, with the head resting on a plain hard surface. Yes, rather like on the guillotine or scene of martyrdom. The expression on the face of "Claxton, 120 days in Afghanistan" is still. As Thomas Micchelli says in his review: These are the same soft, warm cheeks that are shredded into bloody rags, the same eyes and skulls that are pierced by snipers' bullets and lacerated by shrapnel day after hellish day of Bush's criminal war. Add context, and this exhibition is stomach churning. http://brooklynrail.org/ (current issue not yet on site)

No comments: