The rhythm and verve of working-class New York street life is vividly displayed in artist Dena Schutzer’s new solo show at the Bowery Gallery in Chelsea. In almost two dozen drawings and oil paintings — on view through October 1 — Schutzer gives an impressionistic glance into daily urban life: a woman braids a man’s hair on a stoop; a man cleans the windows of a shop; boldly lit umbrellas pass in the rain.
Schutzer, who chairs the art department at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School, has illustrated several children’s books, and it is easy to see how her keen eye for movement would translate into illustration. Her paintings are alive with squirming color and form. Unlike her children’s drawings, these paintings have a harshness of a particularly New York kind. The drawings are somewhat more hospitable, though less evocative of the way this city’s small dramas carry a weight all their own.