“Exhibition Theme: Dreamwork transforms the raw materials of memory, desire, fear and wish into the manifest content of the dream. Visual artists are encouraged to submit work that is related to dreaming, dream imagery, dream narrative, and dreamwork.”

The New York Graduate School of Psychoanalysis & The Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies

Address: 16 West Tenth Street, New York, New York 10011

Date: May 9 – June 27, 2009

Recently I attended the opening reception for a group exhibition called “Dreamwork” that I am in at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. It was an open call and I have long had an interest in the subject of dreams and psychoanalysis. The curator Steven Poser is an artist whose paintings I know and like. Based on that I trusted his judgment to put together an interesting show. I wasn’t disappointed. The problem with openings, especially group shows, is that you never have time to look at the work. I kept wanting to look at a long book-like piece, “Blue History” by Ellen Wiener with loads of text and beautiful drawings and I couldn’t find my glasses. I was very happy that it was there because any time I felt the least bit uncomfortable I could go look at it.I really only read about 3 words. It is an interesting show and I need to go back and really look at it.

The artist’s reception experience or opening as its called can be daunting . Once I had a solo show in a huge non-profit space and a fever and earache to boot and it was a huge space that felt empty even with a lot of people in it. I began to panic when my old friend Lincoln (who has since died, RIP and bless him, I miss him) brought a couple of his pals, and one of them had long dreadlocks and was making a video upside-down. I didn’t remember inviting that guy. I love the unexpected at times. Although the unexpected can be scary too. One time I had a reception with another person and we thought someone was going to take care of everything and she didn’t do anything and there was no food, nothing and one of my guests complained to me.

Another time at a reception I invited an old friend who came and got really bent out of shape because I told her I couldn’t go to her birthday party in a another state in the middle of January. Then she asked the gallery about buying someone else’s work and not mine. In the future I decided to be careful about inviting too many old friends who I haven’t seen for a while.

Back to the Dreamwork reception. I was uneasy about it an hour beforehand because, I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know the space and was afraid of getting creeped out by too many psychoanalysts. I was worried that it would be creepy. It was NOT creepy and I have been in psychoanalysis with a very non-creepy analyst so who knows why I was worried?

The show was beautifully hung in a light blue room with oriental rugs and chandeliers, just what I prefer for the painting I had in the show because I like to see that painting called “Dream” as an extension of the room, and that is easier to visualize in a space that feels warmer than the standard gallery space. The second part of the anxiety concerns the people who come. I ‘m always afraid that people will come right on the dot at the start and stick to me like glue the whole time. I was too busy to think about that and every time I tried to make my way over to look at the long book -like piece “Blue History”somebody grabbed me. I met the curator, who is a practicing psychoanalyst as well as a painter – I feel that my painting is in good company indeed.
He introduced me to a rather elderly gentleman Francis V.O’Connor an Art Historian who wrote several books on Jackson Pollack. For some reason I thought I was being introduced to a poet (Pollack, poet who knows?)so I started talking about poetry and he actually was a poet as well, but we had a laugh about the confusion. One of my old art school teachers, Paul Napoleon, came with his wife Carlene because he was town for his 50th reunion at Cooper Union. That was fantastic. It brought back great memories and was a blast. I was talking to somebody about “The Bad Seed” the movie in which Patty McCormack tries to murder someone to get the penmanship medal she covets but she gets struck by lightning and dies. I don’t know why we were talking about that, but it was a pretty good conversation overall considering I didn’t have any wine. It was a beautiful gallery and they had lovely balcony. A good time was had by all. A great day in the Springtime.