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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: January 13-19, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC

A woman's aggressive portraits of tools (not a euphemism), an examination of the visual landscape of Abu Dhabi, and popular albums get remade by artists in Brooklyn. Plus: it's the last week to see one of the country's premiere post-modernists in Chelsea—for free. It may be winter, but there's plenty going down in the city in the coming week. Here's our guide to the most intriguing NYC arts events.

LAST WEEK TO SEE: Robert Rauschenberg at Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street. If there’s one show this week to absolutely, positively not miss for any reason whatsoever (except death), it’s this incredible gathering of works by the man who turned painting into a three-dimensional act. The show includes his early White Paintings, white canvases that can reflect the shadows of happenings in the rooms in which they hang, as well as a stunning selection of the so-called “combines,” a Vulcan mind-meld of painting and sculpture. (My favorite: the one with the pair of umbrellas. So saucy.) Of particular note are his geometric wall sculptures made with boxes, from the '70s, objects that manage to be both industrial and fragile at the same time. If for some reason you can’t make it to the show, be sure to check out Slate’s excellent slideshow. Through Jan. 15, in Manhattan.

Lee Lozano, Tools, at Hauser & Wirth, on the Upper East Side. There is life and there is art and the incredibly porous area that resides between the two. Lozano’s life certainly reads like a long, somewhat tortured, art performance: the month-long experiment with LSD, her refusal to deal with the art world, and more mystifyingly, to have anything to do with women—including the female curators who had once championed her cause. (For an excellent backgrounder, be sure to read this recent profile in the Times.) Now, Hauser & Wirth has gathered her physical works from the early ‘60s, specifically the drawings and paintings of tools she created from 1963 to 64—aggressive, often surreal portrayals of common objects often associated with masculine ideals. Overall, a fine opportunity to study pieces by an artist whose life is too often seen as her most memorable work. Through Feb. 19, in Manhattan.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Abu Dhabi is Forever: One Step Past the Airport, at Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea. A mix of collage, installation and video explore the landscape of the city that serves as the capital of the United Arab Emirates—a nation that is barely four decades old and that is still in the process of constructing an identity. There are abstract collages made out of product packaging and a large installation that riffs on the idealistic imagery purveyed by real estate advertising. Opens Saturday at 6 P.M., in Manhattan.

Cover Version LP, at BAMart, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The iPod hasn’t done away with the album cover, at least not conceptually. In this intriguing, music-themed show, curator Timothy Hull asked more than two dozen artists to reimagine the covers of albums they considered influential. Expect riffs on everyone from Grace Jones to Kelis. Through March 20, in Brooklyn.

If I had a hammer: Lee Lozano's surreal portrayals of tools can be found at Hauser & Wirth. Above, 'No Title,' a painting from 1963.
© The Estate of Lee Lozano Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
If I had a hammer: Lee Lozano's surreal portrayals of tools can be found at Hauser & Wirth. Above, 'No Title,' a painting from 1963.
A wrench gets the Lozano treatment in this three-part oil painting from 1964.
© The Estate of Lee Lozano Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
A wrench gets the Lozano treatment in this three-part oil painting from 1964.
Lozano's images of tools often appear as if they are about to burst from the confines of the canvas. A painting of a vice from 1964.
© The Estate of Lee Lozano Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Lozano's images of tools often appear as if they are about to burst from the confines of the canvas. A painting of a vice from 1964.
At Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea, collages and other works by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy explore the Abu Dhabi landscape. Above, 'Halal Series 1 (Meat),' from 2010.
Courtesy Postmasters Gallery
At Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea, collages and other works by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy explore the Abu Dhabi landscape. Above, 'Halal Series 1 (Meat),' from 2010.
An image of the McCoys' collaged advertising billboards, 'Abu Dhabi is Love Forever,' also from 2010.
Courtesy Postmasters Gallery
An image of the McCoys' collaged advertising billboards, 'Abu Dhabi is Love Forever,' also from 2010.
'Short Circuit,' a combine from 1955 by Robert Rauschenberg at Gagosian.
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
'Short Circuit,' a combine from 1955 by Robert Rauschenberg at Gagosian.

Interestingly, the flag in the upper left hand corner of the work was originally crafted by artist Jasper Johns (who was likely a one-time lover of Rauschenberg's), but mysteriously disappeared at some point over time. Blogger Greg Allen has been on the case. See his one, two, three, four and five posts on the subject.

Another Rauschenberg combine, 'Aen Floga,' from 1961.
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
Another Rauschenberg combine, 'Aen Floga,' from 1961.
At BAMart, artist Colby Bird reimagines Grace Jones in the piece 'Night Clubbing,' from 2010.
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Academy of Music
At BAMart, artist Colby Bird reimagines Grace Jones in the piece 'Night Clubbing,' from 2010.
Artist Kadar Brock pays tribute to NEU! in the 'Cover Version, LP' exhibit at BAMart.
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Artist Kadar Brock pays tribute to NEU! in the 'Cover Version, LP' exhibit at BAMart.
Artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya reimagines the cover of Kelis's album 'Flesh Tones.'
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya reimagines the cover of Kelis's album 'Flesh Tones.'

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Comments [1]

Shadeed Ahmad from The Village of Harlem, NY

There is a careening explosion of mind bending abstractions pervading the "Cover Version, LP" exhibit showing at BAMart. I love the piece representing Grace Jones called "Night Clubbing," by Colby Bird. Usually the presence of Grace Jones is an intense twister for the eyes, but in the menagerie of breathtaking eye candy abstractions in the "Cover Version, LP" show, she is rendered rather tame. This show appears to be pregnant with enough enticement to make me forge a beeline to Brooklyn.

Jan. 13 2011 02:11 AM

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About Gallerina

Carolina A. Miranda is a regular contributor to WNYC and blogs about the arts for the station as "Gallerina." In addition to that, she contributes articles on culture, travel and the arts to a variety of national and regional media, including Time, ArtNews, Travel + Leisure and Budget Travel and Florida Travel + Life. She has reported on the burgeoning industry of skatepark design, architectural pedagogy in Southern California, the presence of street art in museums and Lima's burgeoning food scene, among many other subjects. In 2008, she was named one of eight fellows in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program for her arts and architecture blog C-Monster.net, which has received mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In January of 2010, the Times named her one of nine people to follow on Twitter. Got a tip? E-mail her at c [@] c-monster [dot] net

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