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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: March 31-April 6

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC

Neon wall texts inspired by Samuel Beckett, paper constructions that mimic indigenous totems and an event that celebrates failure. Not to mention pictures of Frida Kahlo and turbulent paintings that pay tribute to Gotham's darker attributes. New York (and environs) has got it going on this week. Our guide to what's tops.

Joseph Kosuth, ‘Texts (Waiting for-) for Nothing’ Samuel Beckett, in play, at Sean Kelly Gallery. It’s all words and neon at this heady conceptualist’s latest exhibit in Chelsea. Inspired by Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot, along with his lesser-known work, Texts for Nothing, the installation will consist of phrases spelled out in partially-blacked out white neon that runs all along the perimeter of the space. (Expect an eerie glow.) Also on view: an early installation from 1968 titled “Nothing,” along with a neon piece, from 30 years later, inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses. Through April 30, 2011.

Michael Velliquette, Awaken and Free What Has Been Asleep, at DCKT, on the Lower East Side. The Wisconsin-based paper artist opens his latest show of brightly hued sculptures in downtown Manhattan this weekend. The mix will include the artist's shamanistic figures and invented totems, pieced together out of painted board and glue. Should be a blast of shapes and colors. Opens Friday at 6 p.m.

An Afternoon of Failure, presented by Triple Canopy & Dalkey Archive Press, at PS1. If you can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than dwelling on failure, then, boy, do I have an event for you. On Saturday, the folks behind the cultural journal Triple Canopy are teaming up with Dalkey Archive Press to celebrate catastrophe in honor of the newest issue of The Review of Contemporary Fiction, titled "Failure." On the run-down: readings and performances honoring the art of defeat. This, I gotta see. Saturday, from 3-5 p.m.

If you happen to be out of New York City’s orbit in the coming month, I’ve got something for you, too:

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, at the Fenimore Art Museum, in Cooperstown. Okay, so this is waaaaay outside of NYC’s regular gravity field, but it’s Frida Kahlo we’re talking about. The Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown (about 90 minutes west of Albany), is opening an exhibit devoted to the Mama Grande of modern Mexican art — specifically, the portraits of her shot by Hungarian-American lensman Nickolas Muray. A friend and longtime lover, Muray’s artful images were key in helping cement Kahlo’s singular, mediagenic presence — an image that was as much a part of her art as her paintings. Opens Friday, in Cooperstown.

Susanna Heller, at John Davis Gallery, in Hudson. Heller, a long-time New York abstract painter (who once joined WNYC in reviewing a show), will be showing a collection of canvases at this Hudson River Valley gallery. Known for producing roiling abstractions of dim industrial and urban landscapes, the recent series also includes works that chronicle her husband’s recent illness. Expect some arresting works on canvas. Opens today, in Hudson. A reception for the artist will be held this Saturday at 6 p.m.

Courtesy the artist and DCKT Contemporary
This week, the paper sculptures of Michael Velliquette go on view at DCKT Contemporary, in downtown Manhattan. Shown here, 'Beast Unbound,' from 2011.
Courtesy the artist and DCKT Contemporary
'Grey Guard,' another sculpture by Velliquette. The Wisconsin-based artist layers pieces of heavyweight paper to create his forms, many of which are covered in loosely applied layers of paint.
Courtesy the artist and DCKT Contemporary
'Meat Eater,' from 2011, also at DCKT. The pieces are reminiscent of God's Eye yarn weavings and Navajo sand paintings.
Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery
At the Sean Kelly Gallery, in Chelsea, conceptualist Joseph Kosuth (shown above) gets texty with an exhibit inspired, in part, by Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot.'
Carolina A. Miranda
An installation view of Kosuth's piece at Sean Kelly: A pitch-black room is ringed, at the ceiling line, by phrases from Beckett's works.
Carolina A. Miranda
Kosuth's piece is all about perspective. The neon is partially painted over, giving the text a hazy feel when viewed from straight ahead. View it at a diagonal, however, and the words become clear.
Courtesy the artist and John Davis Gallery
In Hudson, N.Y., the John Davis Gallery opens an exhibit of the works of abstract painter Susanna Heller. Above, 'Last Blues of Dusk,' a canvas from 1997.
Courtesy the artist and John Davis Gallery
Heller's landscapes generally feature an array of roiling, moody colors. Shown here: 'The Full of Holes Panorama' from 2007.
Courtesy of Dalkey Archive
This Saturday, the online cultural journal Triple Canopy and Dalkey Archive Press celebrate an afternoon of defeat at PS1 in honor of The Review of Contemporary Fiction's 'Failure' issue.
© Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
Upstate, at the Fenimore Museum: Frida Kahlo, as photographed by Nickolas Muray. Shown here: Kahlo, in 1939, draped in a magenta shawl.
© Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
Born in Hungary, Muray made his living shooting for U.S. women's magazines. He is shown here with Kahlo in 1939, with whom he had a decade-long on-again-off-again affair.
© Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
With his striking photographs, Muray helped cement Kahlo's image as artist, exotic and eccentric. Above, the pair in Kahlo's studio in 1941.

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Comments [5]

@S.Mayer: yes. see the e-mail at right...

Apr. 04 2011 03:31 PM
S.Mayer from NYC

Carolina,

For future reference, do you accept info for upcoming shows and art openings?
Thanks!

Best Regards,
S

Apr. 04 2011 02:09 PM
Shadeed Ahmad from New York City

There are tsunami waves of luscious colors, tantalizing and provocative shapes and lines, as well as textures provided by artists who are forging enlightening frontiers of creativity that most worthily herald a continuation of the cry, "Art Lives." This Week: Must-See Arts in the City, again proves the indomitable spirit of art as the salvation of humanity against otherwise trying times. How sweet it is, thanks to Carolina A. Miranda and WNYC.

Mar. 31 2011 03:37 PM

:-) So nice, Shadeed!

Mar. 31 2011 10:01 AM
Shadeed Ahmad from New York City

The tsunami waves of lucious colors, tantalizing and provocative shapes and lines, as well as textures provided by artists who are forging enlightening frontiers of creativity that most worthily herald a continuation of the cry, "Art Lives." This Week: Must-See Arts in the City, again proves the idomitable spirit of art as the salvation of humanity against otherwise trying times. How sweet it is, thanks to Carolina A. Miranda and WNYC.

Mar. 31 2011 03:08 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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