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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: February 3 - 9

Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC

Picasso, Malevich and Duchamp masterpieces at the Gugg; a series of knives draped with Christmas ornaments protruding from the walls at El Museo del Barrio; and a 24-hour mash-up video of ticking and tocking in Chelsea. Here's WNYC's guide to a few cool arts happenings going down in the city in the coming week.

The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918, at the Guggenheim Museum If one good thing has come out of the weak economy it’s that museums are giving the pricey traveling shows a rest and are pulling their permanent collections out of storage and putting them on display. For viewers, it’s a great opportunity to become reacquainted with pieces that, at times, haven’t been seen in decades. (Think: MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York and the Whitney’s sensational Singular Visions.) Now the Gugg is taking a look at a key period in its history—by examining the period just prior and during World War I when European avant garde artists were leaving behind tidy Victorian landscapes and Impressionist painting to produce angular, machine-like Cubist and abstract works. Expect more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the likes of Picasso, Malevich and Duchamp, among many others. Opens on Friday, in Manhattan.

The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art If you’re jonesing for a little imperial splendor, then it’s a good time to hit the Met. Debuting this week will be an exhibit of objects from the Forbidden City retreat of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) a figure as known for expanding the limits of the Chinese empire as he was for his interest in art, poetry and, of course, luxury. This exhibit (organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts) gathers artifacts from the Emperor’s two-acre private retreat—objects crafted from rare woods, semiprecious stones, porcelain, lacquer and cloisonné. A related exhibit shows Qing dynasty works from the Met’s permanent collection. Through May 1, in Manhattan.

Luis Camnitzer, at El Museo del Barrio, on the Upper East Side. Part of the museum’s ongoing series devoted to mature yet under-recognized artists of Latin American origin, this solo exhibit will probably appeal only to the most diehard conceptual art lovers. And even then, it’s questionable. (Camnitzer, unfortunately, doesn’t exactly have a light touch with the humor—coming across, in many cases, as a Borscht Belt John Baldessari.) Even so, there are still some interesting things to see: namely a “portrait” in which a fan pushes a pencil back and forth on a wall and his 1991 installation El Viaje, in which a series of knives draped with Christmas ornaments protrude from the walls. Even more reason to visit: the museum has recently refreshed its new permanent collection galleries, which includes a stunning brick-and-light-bulb sculpture (like this one) by Alejandro Almanza Pereda. Through May 29, in Manhattan.

Christian Marclay, The Clock, at Paula Cooper, in Chelsea. If you didn’t manage to get a taste of Christian Marclay’s beats-and-visuals obsessions during his solo exhibit at the Whitney last year, then get over to Chelsea to check out his latest film. The Clock is a 24-hour mash-up video of ticking, tocking, cuckooing, buzzing, clicking clocks, watches and other miscellaneous timepieces as featured in countless films—all in chronological order. On weekends, for the duration of the show, the gallery is hosting full 24-hour screenings of the work. Perfect for Gotham's insomniac set. Through Feb. 19, in Manhattan.

Los Carpinteros, Rumba Muerta, at the Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea. This Cuban artistic duo, comprised of Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez and Marco Castillo Valdés, has long been obsessed with questions of urban architecture, surveillance and communication. Their first show at Sean Kelly in more than two years once again explores these themes—including a 10-foot high “reading room” installation that is entirely devoid of books (and is based, in form, on a prison design that dates to the 18th century). Opens this evening at 6 P.M., in Manhattan.

At Sean Kelly Gallery, the Cuban duo Los Carpinteros debut their latest. Above, 'Conga Púrpura,' from 2010, part of an installation of melted instruments.
Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
At Sean Kelly Gallery, the Cuban duo Los Carpinteros debut their latest. Above, 'Conga Púrpura,' from 2010, part of an installation of melted instruments.
Los Carpinteros have long been obsessed with architectural forms. In this image, a tribute to one of the world's most basic building blocks — the Lego — in a watercolor from 2011.
Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
Los Carpinteros have long been obsessed with architectural forms. In this image, a tribute to one of the world's most basic building blocks — the Lego — in a watercolor from 2011.
'Sala de Lectura Ovalada (Vista 3/4),' another recent watercolor by Los Carpinteros.
Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
'Sala de Lectura Ovalada (Vista 3/4),' another recent watercolor by Los Carpinteros.
At the Met: Treasures from the private Forbidden City retreat of an 18th century Chinese monarch. In this image, a row of statues of Amitabha on a purple sandalwood stand.
Courtesy of the Palace Museum, Beijing
At the Met: Treasures from the private Forbidden City retreat of an 18th century Chinese monarch. In this image, a row of statues of Amitabha on a purple sandalwood stand.
Things that are totally gnarly: Crafted from rootwood, the organic forms of this unusual seat would have been intended to display its owner's connectedness to the natural world.
Courtesy of the Palace Museum, Beijing
Things that are totally gnarly: Crafted from rootwood, the organic forms of this unusual seat would have been intended to display its owner's connectedness to the natural world.
Also part of the Met's exhibit: This carved stone shrine to a Tibetan Buddhist guardian deity.
Courtesy of the Palace Museum, Beijing
Also part of the Met's exhibit: This carved stone shrine to a Tibetan Buddhist guardian deity.
At El Museo del Barrio: German-Uruguayan conceptualist Luis Camnitzer gets a solo exhibit. Above, his piece 'El Viaje (The Journey)' from 1991. Each knife is named for one of Columbus's ships.
Carolina A. Miranda
At El Museo del Barrio: German-Uruguayan conceptualist Luis Camnitzer gets a solo exhibit. Above, his piece 'El Viaje (The Journey)' from 1991. Each knife is named for one of Columbus's ships.

That'd be me reflected in the, um, balls.

'Landscape as an Attitude,' from 1979 — another piece from Camnitzer's exhibit at El Museo.
Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich
'Landscape as an Attitude,' from 1979 — another piece from Camnitzer's exhibit at El Museo.
'Selbstbedienug (Self-Service/Autoservicio),' a piece by Camnitzer from 1996, in which museum viewers are invited to take sheets of paper printed with aphorisms in Spanish.
Carolina A. Miranda
'Selbstbedienug (Self-Service/Autoservicio),' a piece by Camnitzer from 1996, in which museum viewers are invited to take sheets of paper printed with aphorisms in Spanish.
At the Guggenheim's 'Great Upheavals' exhibit: Fernand Léger's 'Contrast of Forms (Contraste de formes),' an oil painting from 1913.
© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
At the Guggenheim's 'Great Upheavals' exhibit: Fernand Léger's 'Contrast of Forms (Contraste de formes),' an oil painting from 1913.

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Comments [2]

Shadeed Ahmad from New York City

In its weekly magical continuation of lively and informative art world announcements, "This Week: Must-See Arts in the City" stars again as one of the consummate voices for New York City's claim to being the "art capital of the world." The often breathtaking art showcased in this thread helps to qualify the legitimacy of "The Apple's" claim to immaculate great taste.

Feb. 06 2011 08:41 AM
dropbop from ky,ms,mi

art is a necessity not a luxury

Feb. 03 2011 12:42 PM

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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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