Sue Scott Gallery

Richard Price's "Lush Life" Returns to the LES, This Time as Art

Sara Douglas, June 2010

NEW YORK— If you're touring the Lower East Side gallery scene this weekend, don't be surprised if you come across novelist Richard Price making the rounds as well, trailed by a film crew. He'll be revisiting the setting of his gripping bestseller Lush Life, which is not only being made into a film — Miramax Films and producer Scott Rudin acquired screen rights shortly after the 2008 book was published — but has also become the occasion of an art exhibition, and an unusual one at that. And while Price will only be making his video (to be aired eventually on the show's site), the gallery-spanning event will last for several weeks over the summer.

In what one could call a novel approach to curating, Franklin Evans and Omar Lopez Chahoud have assembled some 60 artists for a show that takes place in nine downtown galleries — Sue Scott, On Stellar Rays, Invisible Exports, Lehmann Maupin, Y Gallery, Collette Blanchard, Salon 94, Scaramouche, and Eleven Rivington — with each venue corresponding to a chapter in Price's book. Set on the dingy streets of the Lower East Side in the wake of September 11, Lush Life is the riveting story of a murder investigation that wraps in a full array of the neighborhood's denizens, as well as an account of the accelerated gentrification taking place in the area at that time. So fast was the gentrification, in fact, that the book took place before all the galleries moved in.

Evans says he and Chahoud had been thinking for a while about how to do a collective exhibition on the Lower East Side, and they became interested in "how the galleries cross paths with other lifestyles" in the neighborhood. The art crowd is "a new community in neighborhood so dense with multiple communities both present and historical," he says. "The book talks so much about these communities, and how they only interact when there is a crisis event." They made the connection with Price through the owners of Invisible Exports, one of whom has friends in the publishing industry.

Sue Scott Gallery
"Chapter One: Whistle"
June 17 – August 1

On Stellar Rays
"Chapter Two: Liar"
June 23 – August 1

"Chapter Three: First Bird (A Few Butterflies)"
June 25 – August 6

Lehmann Maupin
"Chapter Four: Let It Die"
July 8 – August 13

Y Gallery
"Chapter Five: Want Cards"
July 8 – July 25

Collette Blanchard Gallery
"Chapter Six: The Devil You Know"
July 8 – August 13

Salon 94
"Chapter Seven: Wolf Tickets"
June 24 – July 30

"Chapter Eight: 17 Plus 25 Is 32"
July 8 – August 7

Eleven Rivington
"Chapter Nine: She'll Be Apples"
July 15 – August 13