Between the shows opening tonight and the holiday small works shows at the galleries, there’s more to see than I can wrap my arms around–Afif, Rosenfeld, Spector Red Dot, Vox fundraiser (tomorrow night, 7-10), Projects Gallery, Gallery Joe, Nan Goldin at PAFA, and Antonio Puri at the Art Alliance. I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing. So I’m going to refer you all to the InLiquid newsletter for more information on most of these. Or else try the gallery web pages.

And speaking of Projects, I was in there yesterday to see the Peter Gourfain show, “What Folly…” and it was not folly at all but darned good art (image, top, Gourfain’s “Musical Chairs,” 14 x 11 inch woodcut print).

Gourfain in this show is exhibiting black-and-white woodblock and linocut prints (these are not printed in editions but are unique prints). The work has the old-fashioned look of political posters, and indeed some of them do have political or social commentary–tributes to political martyrs and heroes. (image, “Karl was Right,” 11.5 x 8.5 inch linocut print).

I asked Projects’ Helen Meyrick about Gourfain’s politics and she mentioned that while he was growing up, his parents had a cross burned on their front lawn because they had some black guests for dinner. When he came to install his work at the gallery, she said, he sought out locally owned hardware stores for his supplies.

His display is consistent with the aesthetics of the work, most of the prints clipped to two lines strung along one of the gallery walls.

Gourfain came to Projects Gallery via the excellent Paul Santoleri (see post), who met him at Skowhegan while Gourfain was a resident artist there. Gourfain, a Chicago native, went to the Chicago Art Institute at the same time as Claes Oldenburg, but has lived in Brooklyn since the ’60s. And indeed you can see Gourfain’s influence in some of Santoleri’s compositions, the tumbling sense of space and the bold drawing.

My favorite pieces included those two elements plus repetitive, rhythmic imagery that reminds me of Diego Rivera murals.

In some ways, Gourfain’s work is traditional print-making, but the imagery is bold, personal and surprising–it’s timeless, and it’s worth the trek to Northern Liberties (image, “Smoke,” 11.75 x 18 linocut print).

Also of interest were some of the holiday small works on exhibit both in the back room and in the new downstairs gallery (image, Alex Queral’s “Head with Three Mouths” linocut print).. Meyrick said the new space gives them not only more space to hang work, but also a good, dark space for video.

While we were chatting, Meyrick also mentioned that she was going to Art Miami to show a one-person installation by Frank Hyder (Projects is the gallery that Hyder built, and Meyrick is his wife). Is it just me or are all these art fairs starting to sound alike? gourfain, peterqueral, alex