Streams

This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: March 10 - 16

Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC

An exhibit that explores the art of painting and identity at the Whitney, extraordinary pre-Columbian tunics at the Met, quirky illustrations at the Jewish Museum and a temporary installation at an Upper West Side Church. There are all manner of incredible happenings going down in New York this week. Here's our guide to some of the best:

Glenn Ligon: America, at the Whitney Museum of Art The mid-career survey for this New York artist is the sort of thing that proves there is hope for the art industry. The exhibit showcases roughly 100 works by the Bronx-born Ligon, an artist who employs a rich assortment of text in his work and examines the tropes and complexities of African-American identity. Certainly, his content, which touches on everything from slavery to male sexuality, is a rich and profound exploration of the power of words. But don’t let this overshadow his painterly skill. Ligon’s stenciled phrases are applied with thick layers of oil stick, creating deeply textured works that appear almost velvety to the touch. The show is the rare tour de force that is as rich in ideas as it is in its wondrous mix of materials. Consider this a must-see. Opens on Thursday, in Manhattan.

The Andean Tunic, 400 BCE-1800 CE, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Drawing from its permanent collection, the museum has laid out an absolutely staggering array of textiles from the Andes in its pre-Columbian galleries. These include everything from hallucinatory Wari tunics to more austere Inca pieces to the extravagant (and see-through) weavings of the Chimú, a culture that once inhabited the north coast of Peru. Not to be missed: An incredible purple tunic that was created after the arrival of the Spanish and combines both indigenous and European themes—a clash of cultures written in cloth. If you see the tunics, be sure to pop into the neighboring African art galleries to check out a small new exhibit called Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Artists from Three Continents. The exhibit space is hardly ideal (it’s basically a hallway), but for those who are into masks, this current take on the art form offers some highly imaginative sculptural works by contemporary figures such as Willie Cole. Through Aug. 21, in Manhattan.

Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), at the Jewish Museum New Yorker readers are likely familiar with the work of this long-time illustrator, known for quirky, colorful pieces that tell stories about places and objects. The museum has gathered more than three decades worth of work by Kalman, who has drawn everything from bobby pins to Philip Johnson’s Glass House. For a sneak peek of the install, check out T Magazine’s blog for a wonderful little slideshow. Opens Friday, in Manhattan.

Leigh Davis, Everything That Ought to Have Remained, at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, on the Upper West Side In a somewhat unusual installation, photographer Leigh Davis is creating a site-specific work for an empty altar inside St. Paul's The assemblage will be composed of images and objects that are part of her project "The Brothers," a series that documents the ways in which surroundings might influence spiritual practice. Opens Friday, in Manhattan. The artist’s reception will take place next Wednesday, March 16 at 7 P.M.

The Jewish Museum is opening a new show devoted to more than three decades worth of output by noted illustrator Maira Kalman. Above, 'Le Corbusier Sink,' 2006, a gouache on paper.
Courtesy of the artist
The Jewish Museum is opening a new show devoted to more than three decades worth of output by noted illustrator Maira Kalman. Above, 'Le Corbusier Sink,' 2006, a gouache on paper.
Kalman's works have regularly appeared in publications such as <em>The New Yorker</em> and <em>The New York Times</em>. Shown here: 'Herring and Philosophy Club,' also from 2006.
Collection of Ellen and Robert Grimes. Courtesy the Jewish Museum
Kalman's works have regularly appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times. Shown here: 'Herring and Philosophy Club,' also from 2006.
The Met has just opened an absolutely exquisite (if small) exhibit devoted to pre-Columbian Andean textiles. This weaving was produced by the Chimú culture, of northern Peru, between 1460-1540.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met has just opened an absolutely exquisite (if small) exhibit devoted to pre-Columbian Andean textiles. This weaving was produced by the Chimú culture, of northern Peru, between 1460-1540.
An Inca-style checkerboard tunic from Peru's Nazca Valley, from 1470-1540. The Incas were known for eschewing elaborate representations in their weavings, opting for simple geometric designs.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
An Inca-style checkerboard tunic from Peru's Nazca Valley, from 1470-1540. The Incas were known for eschewing elaborate representations in their weavings, opting for simple geometric designs.
The Met's exhibit includes some highly unusual pieces from their permanent collection, such as this transparent Chimú tunic, produced in the 15th century.
Carolina A. Miranda
The Met's exhibit includes some highly unusual pieces from their permanent collection, such as this transparent Chimú tunic, produced in the 15th century.
Nearby, in the Met's African sculpture galleries, there is a new show devoted to contemporary works inspired by mask-making. Above, the piece 'Ear Splitting,' by Roald Hazoumé, from Benin.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nearby, in the Met's African sculpture galleries, there is a new show devoted to contemporary works inspired by mask-making. Above, the piece 'Ear Splitting,' by Roald Hazoumé, from Benin.
Also included in the Met's mask exhibit: This sculpture by Willie Cole, called 'Shine,' is made entirely out of women's high-heeled pumps.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Also included in the Met's mask exhibit: This sculpture by Willie Cole, called 'Shine,' is made entirely out of women's high-heeled pumps.
At the Church of St. Paul the Apostle on the Upper West Side, artist Leigh Davis will create a site-specific installation for a vacant altar space. Here, an image she will use as part of the work
Courtesy Leigh Davis
At the Church of St. Paul the Apostle on the Upper West Side, artist Leigh Davis will create a site-specific installation for a vacant altar space. Here, an image she will use as part of the work
Ligon's coloring book Malcolm X at the Whitney. This work is part of a series, from 2000, in which the artist gave Minneapolis children vintage coloring books originally targeted at black youths.
Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles.
Ligon's coloring book Malcolm X at the Whitney. This work is part of a series, from 2000, in which the artist gave Minneapolis children vintage coloring books originally targeted at black youths.

The children, who were from diverse backgrounds, painted some images of African-Americans using brown — but in other cases they gave black figures blond beards and orange hair, unaware that these were historical or pop cultural figures.

Some of the most powerful pieces in Ligon's show are these wood crates — which are the same dimensions as the crate that the slave Henry 'Box' Brown used to mail himself to freedom.
Carolina A. Miranda
Some of the most powerful pieces in Ligon's show are these wood crates — which are the same dimensions as the crate that the slave Henry 'Box' Brown used to mail himself to freedom.

Each of these is equipped with a different audio soundtrack. It pays to get close.

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [2]

Henry M. McClean from Turkey

Your article is extremely impressive.

Nov. 18 2013 04:33 PM
shadeed ahmad from Shadeed Ahmad

With what is happening in Japan and ultimately about to affect the entire world, the arts of compassion and prayer for all are the arts of the week and times ahead.

Mar. 15 2011 01:37 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

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

Feeds

Supported by