When it comes to Art Galleries in New York, I have to admit, I have a crush on the Lower East Side. Perhaps that’s trite, but I don’t care.  I have been watching with cheerful expectations the last couple of years as one after another small, independently owned gallery moved into the neighborhood. The gritty, DIY aesthetic of the storefront gallery is something that appeals to me on a visceral level. There is something more personable here.  I no longer feel the need to rally against the white cube aesthetic of museums or larger Chelsea galleries when standing in the charmingly askew planes of a gallery that’s walls have begun to sag.  There are a number of incredibly well curated, exciting contemporary galleries in this neighborhood. Needless to say, I can’t resist excitement when a promising new one joins their ranks.

Toomer Labzda gallery- run by husband and wife team  Helen Toomer Labzda and Christopher Labzda- opened its doors on Forsyth st. on June 24th. Their first exhibition is an impressive display by British artist Mia Taylor.  Taylor’s first US solo exhibition is indicative of the artist’s colorful, zany oeuvre. Her wall mounted sculptures feel like playful finger jabs, the relentless tickle of an artist reciting the vocabulary of modernism through a sing song warble. Her timber, paper and cloth construction are neon, cheerful and for all of their whimsy, have a rough and tumble edge that left me slightly uneasy. The artist’s drawings are equally as vibrant and seem to shoot neon mind waves throughout the room. I respect the sparse paring of objects in this exhibition, a strategy that tends to lend them the formal weight they deserve. I did leave the show wishing I could see more. The result was like the whispered first words of a promise, a hint of exciting possibility both from the artist and gallery.