Robert Kobayashi

Moe’s Meat Market

Susan Inglett Gallery
522 W 24th Street
Open by appointment
New York
Chelsea

In 1977, artist Robert Kobayashi—Kobi, for short—bought an old tenement building in Little Italy with his wife, the photographer Kate Keller. Over the next four decades, the site would become a hub for arts-centered activities and gatherings in the neighborhood, as the couple transformed part of the ground floor into an exhibition space. They named it Moe's Meat Market, after the butcher shop that had formerly occupied the storefront.

As Keller recalls:

The store had been emptied, as well as, the first-floor apartment. All the other apartments were occupied with people who lived in the building before the 1970s. Kobi and I didn't have a clear plan for the building and hadn't researched the fine art of being a New York City landlord. We only saw space—space to live, studio space for Kobi, and a darkroom for me. We renovated the first-floor apartment with the help of friends from MoMA, where both Kobi and I worked, and to the horror of the older neighbors who witnessed the plaster dust billowing out our windows. Our apartment was a floor-through with enough room for the front to be the studio and the back half for living. The old kitchen on the ground floor that served the restaurant became my darkroom.

On view at Susan Inglett Gallery, "Robert Kobayashi: Moe's Meat Market" presents a survey of work produced by the Hawaiian-born artist at the location. Kobayashi often used found materials, foraged from the neighborhood. Discarded ceiling tin became his preferred medium: White Sheet (1997) [pictured], for instance, displays a nude female form against a backdrop composed of painted wood scraps and his signature stamped ceiling tin.

After Kobayashi passed away in 2015, Keller had to sell the building and close the gallery a couple of years later. Yet the legacy of Moe's Meat Market will live on—as long as there are people to remember it.

Robert Kobayashi, White Sheet, 1997. Ceiling tin, paint, nails on wood, 17 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. Copyright the artist.

  • Through
    Jan 23rd 2021

    George Condo’s two-floor solo show at Hauser & Wirth admits us into the cavernous, conflicted, and chaotic space of his own mind during the multi-pronged crises ravaging the nation.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    In "Heaven Ship," Clark Filio debuts a number of his signature sci-fi inflected oil paintings that meditate on real-world world-building.

  • Through
    Jan 9th 2021

    At Martos Gallery, themes of ruin and rebirth intermingle in a temporally ambiguous landscape influenced by art-duo TARWUK’s memories of Croatia’s struggle for independence in the 1990s.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    The “20/20” group show at David Zwirner, drawn from the gallery’s program, features a range of work created this year, in 2020.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    Etel Adnan’s second solo show at Galerie Lelong presents a series of tapestries that are reminiscent of the Persian rugs of the artist’s childhood, as well as a new series of oil paintings and a single leporello.

  • Through
    Nov 27th

    “Lip and Neck” marks the debut solo show of Samuel Hindolo in New York, and inaugurates 15 Orient’s new gallery space in Bushwick.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    For her third solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery, Julie Mehretu divided her new paintings into two categories: that which she made before the pandemic—and that which she produced while on lockdown. Her starting point? The Book of Revelations, obviously.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Judy Chicago’s opulent and monumental banners, shown for the first time in the U.S. at this solo show at Jeffrey Deitch’s gallery, engage in a feminist world-building—but can also be read as rhetorical, or even fatalistic.

  • Through
    Feb 20th 2021

    In this solo exhibition of Frank Auerbach’s portraits and landscapes from the last fifty years, favored sitters and landscapes are revisited with the artist’s signature impasto strokes and belabored canvases.

  • Through
    Jan 16th 2021

    Featuring work from between 1988 and 1991, “Cartoon Jokes” is the first show dedicated to the large-scale silkscreens appropriating New Yorker cartoons from the high art chieftain of low American culture, Richard Prince.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    The 91-year-old painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and installation artist Ida Applebroog continues her body of appropriative work in a series of avian portraits teeming with pertinent political symbolism.

  • Through
    Dec 16th

    “Total Running Time,” a site-specific amalgam of video projections, lightboxes, and photo collage on layers of transparency on paper by Jibade-Khalil Huffman, pushes the idea of performance to and even past its limit, a condition required of Black athletes, celebrities, and artists.

  • Through
    Nov 29th

    In "Hold the Horizon Close," works by sculptor Paul Gabrielli, the art duo collective LoVid, and multidisciplnary Agathe Snow medidate on the metaphorical boundlessess of where sky meets Earth.

  • Through
    Jan 16th 2021

    Sarah Crowner’s third exhibition with Casey Kaplan presents a kinetic new group of large-scale color field paintings.

  • Through
    Dec 20th

    "Dial World, Part 1: The Tiger That Flew Over New York City" brings together eight canvas-based multimedia assemblages realized by the late artist Thornton Dial.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Shazia Sikander’s inaugural exhibition with Sean Kelly Gallery engages a variety of media to make sense out of interrelated global forces, from capitalism and the climate crisis to politics and the relativity of power.