This Week: Must-See Arts in the City
WNYC's Arts Datebook: September 29 - October 5
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Bulbous babes in Chelsea, masterful Indian paintings covering a span of 800 years, photos of New York City cops on the beat and eight contemporary Latin American artists. Not to mention a fair that's all about art books and a show devoted to Gotham on canvas and in pictures. It's a busy week in NYC. Here's what we've got in the hopper:
Lisa Yuskavage at David Zwirner Gallery Bulbous and distorted female figures primp, pose and stare out of acid-colored landscapes in the latest solo outing by this New York-based painter. Yuskavage burst onto the scene in the 1990s with baroque-surreal paintings of cartoony women that seemed to ooze equal parts sexuality and vulnerability. (This photo essay provides a good overview of her work.) Over the years, as her market values have gone up, and as legions of young pop surrealist painters have picked up on her style, Yuskavage’s figures seem to have gotten more slick. And they seem to have remained that way — which is a bummer. Her early works felt raw. These new ones, not so much. That said, the most interesting work in this show is the smallest — a demure, expressionist canvas that shows several Amazon-sized figures towering over a landscape at dusk. Through November 5, in Chelsea.
Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art For centuries, Indian art has been studied as part of a period or a region. But this sprawling exhibit at the Met is looking to change that view. Featuring roughly 200 painted works, the show looks at the achievements of pioneering artists, figures such as Farrukh Beg, Blachand and Mansur, among others. Don’t miss the latter’s delicate portrayal of a chameleon. Through January 8, on the Upper East Side.
Jill Freedman, Street Cops at Higher Pictures In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protests, there's a lot of talk going on in New York City and beyond about cops and what constitutes excessive force. Therefore, it may not be the ideal time to be shilling an exhibit that's all about the NYPD. But that's what I'm going to do here, largely because Freedman's photos are so darn compelling. To be certain, this isn't about the police force of today — it's about New York beat cops of the 1970s, when crime in the city was beginning to spiral out of control. For several years, Freedman followed officers from the Ninth and Midtown precincts as they did their duties: dealing with suicides, arresting drug dealers and tending to the aftermath of East Village bar fights. It's a sympathetic portrait of police work, but also an unflinching look at life on the streets of New York. Through October 29, on the Upper East Side.
Salvajes at Asya Geisberg Gallery Inspired by the Roberto Bolaño novel The Savage Detectives, this group exhibit features eight contemporary artists of Latin American origin, all of whom are dealing with themes of chaos, rebellion and authoritarianism in their work. As part of this Irvin Morazán, an artist known for creating fantastical junk headdresses, will stage a performance at the gallery this Friday at 7 P.M. Expect Latin hip-hop-flavored techno-punk weirdness. The show is up through October 22, in Chelsea.
New York, New York! 20th Century at the Katonah Museum of Art New York City has long served as a muse to its artists. This exhibit, drawn from the collection of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, looks at the ways in which our city’s physical profile has been depicted by figures as varied as Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper and Diane Arbus. Also on view: Edward Steichen’s very moody shot of the Flatiron Building (always one of my favorites). Opens Sunday, in Katonah.
The NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, in Long Island City A perfect spot for a weekend of artsy browsing and shopping, this venerable book fair features booksellers from around the country and the world trading in limited editions, one-offs, ephemera and other unique works produced by and about artists. Kicks off Friday, in Queens.