Jon Lutz directs SARDINE Gallery in Bushwick with Lacey Fekishazy and has run the project, Daily Operation, since 2008.
How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
Probably from seeing Bruce Nauman’s “World Peace” at the St. Louis Art Museum when I was in high school. It was so grating and awkward, but super engaging. But my interest in contemporary working artists really solidified when I moved to New York and worked around artists. Visiting their studios made me realize what I wanted to do with myself, to get their work out there. This is when I started my Daily Operation curatorial project, which preceded my joining Sardine.
How did you meet Holly Coulis, and what work do you live with by her?
I met Holly in the early 2000s and have followed her work since. In her case, I feel like no genre is too passé or overdone. I’m impressed by her ability to delve into the still life, landscape, etc. and find much more within it. I think she might be attracted to and challenged by it, pulling something off that is earnest, insightful, beautiful and witty without an overtly ironic wink to the viewer. I own a beautiful drawing called “Lemons”.
Tell us about SARDINE Gallery. Who you are you showing?
At Sardine we focus on solo shows of artists who have rigorous and dedicated practices with a distinct personal vision. Some of our most recent shows were by Holly Coulis, Jamison Brosseau, Gabriel Hurier and Mitchell Wright. Our intimate space is a perfect place to show how they work through ideas in the studio or to do some experimentation. For example, in Brosseau’s show, we presented 4 of his “Tropical Spiders” paintings on a new particle board wall where each work initially appeared the same but were executed individually and had different colored frames. We are really excited to show of Leah Tacha’s ceramic sculptures in September and have a really strong schedule beyond that.
People have been talking about the art scene in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a while. What’s your perspective?
I’m excited by the energy in Bushwick and it’s proximity to artists and spaces. In general, I think you can find a great many quality artists and exhibitions happening. From what I can tell from the last Bushwick Open Studios, I think it’s getting more critical attention. The first NEWD Art Show, where we also showed J.D. Walsh, Leah Tacha, and Holly Coulis, was also pretty important for us. We were able to connect with a new audience of collectors, press and peers who just haven’t had the chance to see one of our shows yet. We have a event organized by Jaime Gecker called “Haus Party” this Saturday, July 26th.