The arts season got off to a rip-roaring start this past week as the city's roughly 600 galleries opened their doors to a stampede of eager viewers. It was cheek-to-jowl in many galleries, especially on Friday at Gagosian, where it was stiletto-to-stiletto for Dan Colen's sprawling show of tipped-over-motorcycles and bubble-gum paintings.
For almost four years, Chris Henderson, and the folks at Moviehouse, have been staging interactive video events around New York City—giving little-seen and emerging artists a platform to display their work. In addition to hosting regular viewing parties at the artsy Brooklyn center of 3rd Ward, Henderson also helps organize screenings at parks, handball courts and other public venues. In fact, this coming Monday at 8 p.m., he and Moviehouse will be at Sternberg Park in Williamsburg, screening a crowdsourced film put together by choreographer Zena Bibler. The movie pays tribute to movement and dance.
Photographers depict states of transition at the Met Museum, another dose of reality TV art (this time in Manhattan) and a birthday party (with cake!) for abstract art in Brooklyn — not to mention a full menu of regular events on Governors Island. Get it while it's hot, because with summer coming to a close, some of these happenings won't be around for long.
If Gilligan and the Professor ever decided to build a roller coaster, it would probably look something like the chaotic, bamboo structure that is currently sprouting on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Begun in March, this ever-evolving assemblage of more than 5,000 interlocking bamboo poles, held together by more than 50 miles of nylon rope, has been continuously gaining height over the last five months. This week, it gains a new foot path along its eastern edge, climbing a staggering 40 feet over the museum's roof.
Sometimes it's the quietest pieces that are the most surprising. On the season finale episode of Work of Art, the cameras focused relentlessly on Abdi Farah's sculptures: two life-size male figures, crafted in resin, that emerged from the gallery floor. Certainly, these made for visual drama, of the sort reality TV adores. But, when I saw the works from the last episode in person, it was Farah's paintings that stood out. They showed a sure hand and a skilled use of color (he's inspired by the surreal tones of thermal imaging). His self-portrait Mirror, left, reflected a striking vulnerability.
After weeks of hilarious recaps and endless Tweeting, the Bravo network's Work of Art came to its conclusion last night amid an orgy of wine-sipping, cheese-munching and cell phone picture-snapping in the atrium of the Brooklyn Museum — where observers such as myself were treated to the totally surreal sight of watching TV cast members watch themselves on TV at the Brooklyn Museum while sitting inside the Brooklyn Museum. (It was, like, totally Twilight Zone.)
A summer group show in Chelsea lampoons our obsession with youth, torture memos inspire an installation at The Whitney, artists play with metal building blocks in SoHo, and a Weimar-era painter gets a long-awaited solo exhibit at the Neue Galerie uptown. A guide to what's happening now:
It isn't the average walking tour that asks you to observe silence for 90 minutes straight. Or pick up trash in a small park. Or listen to the rattle and hum of air conditioners while walking down entire city blocks with your eyes closed.
Contemplative portraits of South African migrant workers, historic images of sculpture by renowned shooters, emerging artists get a break (and a very funny press release), and Chelsea gets ready for an art walk. Your guide to what's happening now.
The Cathedral of Sainte Trinité sits among the hundreds of ravaged structures that teeter dangerously on the streets of Port-Au-Prince. Built in 1924, on the site of an 1860s church that was founded by African-American Episcopalians fleeing slavery, Ste. Trinité housed an extraordinary series of murals, executed in the late 1940s and early 1950s by artists who made up what is known as the Haitian Painting Renaissance.
A documentary that offers rare footage of '80s graffitist and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, an artist who walks the streets of New York dressed as a phantom, a little-known Cuban watercolorist and a Brooklyn festival that's all about beer. Your guide to what's happening now.
A sculptor's bizarre, home-made instruments, avant-garde concerts at the Whitney, sprawling land art in the Hudson River Valley, Henri Matisse's most adventurous paintings and a Brooklyn choreographer seeks your footage for a wiki-film. Your guide to what's happening now.
In a city that is all sensory overload — teeming sidewalks, roaring trains, tricked out cruisers blaring reggaeton — it becomes practically a matter of survival to be selective about what we choose to see and hear. We put on iPods. We bury our nose in a book. We simply block it out.
But the artists of Elastic City — a Brooklyn-based outfit that leads experiential walks in search of art and imagery — wants you to do just the opposite. They want to get you to listen (closely) to the drone of air-conditioning units and the calls of street vendors. And to help debut their newest walk of Brighton Beach, they have extended a special invite to eight WNYC listeners.