First Look at “The Cat Show,” a catty art exhibit at White Columns

First Look at “The Cat Show,”  a catty art exhibit at White Columns

CAT LOVERS: Run to the West Village!! White Columns, a non-profit alternative art space on Horatio Street, just unveiled The Cat Show. This group exhibit features dozens of paintings, video installations, sculptures and photographs dedicated to- that’s right- cats, by both established and emerging artists. But cart art is only part of the picture here; the show’s highlight may well be its pop-up rescue center, allowing attendees to adopt one (or two) of the kitties playing inside a huge, custom-designed mesh cube. These cats-in-residence will make their star appearances on June 14/15 and July 19/20, and they are cute enough to melt the coldest of hearts. Their names say it all: There’s Frida Kahlico, a “super-affectionate feminist,” Manx Ernst, who’s “into surrealism and birds,” and Louise Purrgeois, a French-American kitty who “loves to have her cheeks scratched.”

Check them out:

The show’s curator, artist and professor Rhonda Lieberman, says the exhibit can be categorized as “relational art” and is “a kind of social sculpture to address an unmet need in city life.” Ms. Lieberman, a proud owner of two cats, first learned about the dire situation of cat shelters while living in Long Island City. Her house was near an empty lot where many stray cats took shelter, and when a high rise started going up on that site, the kitties were left homeless….or placed in overcrowded rescue centers. And thus her “Cativism” began.  So, why are cats so darn popular on the Internet?, I ask her. “As the Internet extends our senses,” she replies, “it also shuts us down in certain ways for which cats are the purrfect antidote: cats are sensual, playful, completely present – and most importantly, cats are natural enemies of the state!!  (as William Burroughs noted.) In an age of increased surveillance and data-farming, we can do worse than take our cues from cats.” Purr to that.

Cats-in-residence are strays from Social Trees Animal Rescue.

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