After a two-year interlude, former Williamsburg gallery Black & White will reopen next month a little further down the L line, off the Morgan Avenue stop in Bushwick. Housed in a yellow-brick industrial building with 12 other galleries (including NURTUREart and Momenta Art) as well as artist studios, the space occupies an 800-square-foot, white-cube loft at 56 Bogart Street. “It has no personality whatsoever,” gallery founder Tatyana Okshteyn told us over the phone. “We expect every artist who comes here to change the space.” These transformations, she said, will reflect the gallery’s commitment to fresh, process-oriented works of art. The first such show in the new location, opening on March 6, will be by 84-year-old Russian artist Henry Khudyakov.
In its new edition, Black & White has also gained a co-director: Tatyana’s 28-year-old daughter, Sasha Okshteyn, who had previously curated shows at the space in Williamsburg. “I’m passing on the baton,” Tatyana said, laughing.
Hip to the scene, Sasha introduced Bushwick’s younger generation of artists to her mother, who instantly recognized the neighborhood’s vibrancy — especially as compared to now-ritzy Williamsburg. “All the creativity had left the neighborhood,” Tatyana said regarding her decision to sell the building she owned for 12 years.
Today, Black & White is simply following the artists. “We are interested in challenging work and more out of the box thinking. And this neighborhood is very supportive of that — there is such a wide range of art-making here,” Sasha said. For programing, Tatyana and Sasha will alternate curating shows — to create a generational dialogue, they say, between the experimental millennial artists Sasha connects with and the more established baby-boomer artists of her mother’s generation.
Are there any concerns about the mother-daughter working dynamic? Tatyana said no, stating that they have similar taste.
“Or, we’re open to each other’s taste,” Sasha amended.
“Yes, and then everything else, we can deal with,” Tatyana added.
— Noelle Bodick (@nbodick)
(Photo: Sasha and Tatyana Okshteyn)