Founded by Isaac Brest and Alex Perweiler in 2007, the Still House Group is an art collective that attempts to transcend the limitations inherent in a gallery set-up. Based in Red Hook, Still House is not a traditional collective in the sense that the artists involved necessarily collaborate with one another. Rather, it works as a community in which the artists can work individually, but also support and critique each other and bring in other artists from outside the Group through its residency program.
Originally, Still House was set up as an online exhibition space, but the group has long since transcended that medium, and has had celebrated shows at an array of places, like the Seven Eleven Gallery in the West Village; Rental, a gallery space in a Chinatown tenement; another space taking up the entire abandoned 10th floor of an otherwise functioning and full office building in Tribeca; and, most recently, a mid-19th century Washington Square townhouse, where art consultant Mark Fletcher had requested that Still House stage a show. This latest show, “Here Comes,” was a particularly fascinating juxtaposition of a classic space with decidedly modern art. A black metal folding chair balanced on its back legs, looking like it was about to topple from its perch at any moment, was perfectly framed by the space’s ornately decorated white plaster walls. This work was joined by a sculpture composed of cinder blocks, frozen in the middle of a domino-like collapse, and Brest’s video installation, wherein he was shown, hanging by one hand in mid-air from a hook, staring out at New York Harbor. The extreme and liberating nature of the materials and ideas put forth—and even the venues used by Still House—are exciting and transformative, and just the shake-up the art world is always in need of.