Iron plant: Natural, moving sculptures on display in Williamsburg

Moving art: Artist Alexandra Limpert will bring her kinetic sculpture collection from her studio in Gowanus to the Holland Tunnel Gallery on April 14.
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She’s put the petals to the metal!

A Brooklyn artist will show off her collection of kinetic sculptures inside a plant shed-turned gallery in Williamsburg next weekend. The artist behind the solo exhibit “Reverie,” opening in the tiny Holland Tunnel Gallery on April 14, said that it is surprisingly fitting that her show of metal flowers and butterflies will be on display in a backyard garden shed.

“It’s something that just happened, I didn’t plan it, I started making the flowers before I knew about the show — it’s some kind of synergy,” said Alexandra Limpert, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Limpert will haul the 30-piece collection from her studio in Gowanus to the Williamsburg gallery for the exhibition, which will last through May. Several of Limpert’s pieces move — for instance, viewers can turn a crank to watch the metal eyelids flutter on a human face sculpture titled “Oracle,” or to make a butterfly’s wings flap, she said.

“I’m going to be showing metal sculptures — there’s going to be a kinetic face that viewers can crank and it blinks and moves its eyes — and a lot of metal flowers and lizards on the walls,” said Limpert. “And probably some other kinetic work that people can touch: there will be a mechanical butterfly that opens and closes.”

Dutch artist Paulien Lethen opened the narrow backyard gallery in 1997, and named it the Holland Tunnel Gallery as a humorous ode to her native Netherlands, said Limpert, whose own apartment used to overlook the garden before she moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“The gallery is called the Holland Tunnel because the owner and director is Dutch — she did that play on words and play on the shape of the gallery,” she said.

The former plant house used be one of the highlights of the artsy Williamsburg neighborhood, despite its small size, but now it is more like a token of the past amid the growing development, said Limpert, who is eager to see how the changes impact her art.

“This gallery is sort of like an icon of the artist’s neighborhood that used to be there. The landscape was vastly different than it is now, the buildings were a lot smaller, it wasn’t so populated then,” Limpert said. “Now it’s less of an artist’s neighborhood, more condos are going up all around. You used to be able to see the bridge from that location and now you can’t, it’s sort of disorienti­ng.”

“Reverie” at the Holland Tunnel Gallery (between 61 and 59 S. Third St. between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 384–5738,]. Opening reception April 14; 6–8 pm. On display weekends 1–5 pm through May 20. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:46 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

M says:
April 10, 2018, 5:50 pm

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