BT&C gets an update, opens the season with Besl

Paintings by Amanda Besl entitled Vivarium and Still it’s so much clearer

Photos courtesy of the artist and gallery


With a new name and a renovated space, BT&C Gallery begins the fall season as Anna Kaplan Contemporary. The gallery is only four years old, but proprietor Kaplan felt it was time to put her brand up front. “I wasn’t quite confident enough four years ago, right off the bat, to name the gallery after myself,” the dealer explains. “Maybe I felt that I didn’t deserve the namesake, that I hadn’t put in the work yet. I think I had to prove it to myself first. I’m proud of what I’ve built and I’m now ready to attach my name to the business. I also recognize the importance of participating in the industry tradition of naming your gallery after yourself and I’m hoping that it will be something that will help to propel the gallery as it continues to grow.” She’s quick to add: “Nothing is changing other than the space and the name. It’s the same artists and the same programming.”


Although it continues at its Niagara Street address, the space has been spiffed up a bit. “The new space is more intimate and more finished, more polished,” Kaplan says. “A true white cube.”


The first show at Anna Kaplan Contemporary features new paintings by Amanda Besl, who has been associated with the space since the beginning. Entitled I’ll Try Not to Breathe, the show includes Besl’s most recent series of paintings. The oil-on-board works depict botanical debris (leaves, stems, garden clippings) through clear plastic garbage bags. This lends ethereal mystery to the botanical subject matter, as the eye strains to make out the objects behind their plastic veil.


Besl, who teaches at Nichols, has shown her work locally as well as in New York City, Belgium, France, and Russia. She has paintings in the collections of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and in public collections in Chicago, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.


I’ll Try Not to Breathe is on view at Anna Kaplan Contemporary, 1250 Niagara Street, September 8–October 7, with an opening reception September 8, 6 p.m.      


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