81 Leonard Gallery is pleased to present Salon 81, featuring Janna Fournier, Cara London, Ruth McLaughlin, Nancy Pantirer, Sasha Silverstein, and Francine Tint. The selection of six women artists has demonstrated a decades-long dialogue between painting and community.

As Tribeca becomes the new heart of Manhattan’s art scene, we thought it fitting to acknowledge our history in this beloved neighborhood. Gallery founder and featured artist Nancy Pantirer established her studio at 81 Leonard Street in 1996, 23 years before turning the street-facing side into the gallery as we know it. Back in the early 2000s, Pantirer used to host “salon” events, which brought together the downtown Manhattan arts community with an evening of performances and artwork hung salon-style. All were welcome.

Salon 81 is a nostalgic nod to this era and a celebration of community, as ours has grown immensely since opening our doors to the public. Some of the artists featured have participated in Pantirer’s past Salons or were former members of the Tribeca Open Artist Studios Tour (T.O.A.S.T.), while others have more recently entered our circle. And while the works on view differ greatly from one another, the artists share a longstanding commitment to art as practice and the importance of creative conversation.

Cara London’s abstract paintings and prints bridge structure with free-spirited gestures. Her visual language relies on a departure from something recognizable, often an image or grid. Similarly, Sasha Silverstein’s paintings explore the relationship between conscious and unconscious decision-making. Drawing upon old masters’ paintings, Silverstein ponders what is left unseen or where a story has room for re-imagination. Also engaging with art historical tropes, Janna Fournier’s paintings of fridge interiors make use of registers and often allude to specific canonical works. The resulting images present scenes that at once appear voyeuristic and intimate.

Ruth McLaughlin’s watercolor paintings strive for moments of peace amidst chaos. Through tightly cropped compositions, McLaughlin simplifies natural elements to form and pattern. Nancy Pantirer’s work also makes use of natural elements, physically inserting scavenged tree branches into the painting. Working with paper collage and paint, Pantirer plays with light, depth, and illusion. Francine Tint’s abstractions embody a similarly playful and spontaneous approach with swipes and swaths of paint varying in opacity and size. Layers upon layers present a rigorous investigation of color.