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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: May 12 - 18

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 12:00 PM

WNYC

Two masters of the distorted, drawings that take their direction from found scraps, paintings of the lesser-seen corners of Modernist architecture and Robert Mapplethorpe, crowd-sourced. Oh, and did I mention that there are spit-wad sculptures in Brooklyn? This week, the New York arts scene is all about the high and the low. Here's what's on our radar:

Soutine/Bacon at Helly Nahmad Gallery on the Upper East Side In what will no doubt be the must-see exhibit of the week, the Helly Nahmad Gallery has gathered together key works by two masters of the distorted: the Belarus-born Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) and English painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992). The two figures, with a few aggressive brushstrokes, could make a simple side of beef look crazy-sinister. The exhibit will track Soutine’s influence on Bacon’s most renowned works and look at how the pair re-imagined works by the Old Masters in bleak and grotesque ways. Through June 18, in Manhattan.

John O’Connor, What is Toronto???, at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg Using scraps of paper and other materials that he rescues from the waste bin, O’Connor creates drawings that take their form from the dimensions of the bits and pieces he finds, resulting in new words and unusual designs. In his solo exhibit at Pierogi, O’Connor continues to work with the element of chance in a new series of large-scale drawings and collages. Opens Friday, in Brooklyn.

Rebecca Chamberlain, ...Wouldn’t it be sublime..., at Dodge Gallery on the Lower East Side In an exhibit of paintings inspired by Modernist architecture, Chamberlain has created a series of works devoted to treating transitional spaces — hallways, staircases, handrails, and other details — which she reinterprets as abstractions and photorealistic paintings. For the mathematical set, it should be a good opportunity to explore the geometry of space. Opens Saturday, in Manhattan.

Robert Mapplethorpe, 50 Americans, at Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea These days, crowd-sourced curating has been taking some flack, but this unusual show finds an intriguing way to involve everyday people in selecting artworks for a show. The gallery asked one person from each state in the union — ranging from a rancher to an IT engineer — to choose a photograph from among more than 2,000 images by ‘80s photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The criteria: each American had to select an image that resonated with them personally. It's an interesting exercise, one that should tell a good story about the artist and the lives of 50 random people. Through June 18, in Manhattan.

Get on the Block, a group show at the Camel Art Space in Williamsburg This show has a high potential for navel gazey-ness. (It’s all about being an artist — or as the press release describes it, the exploration of “social and self-conscious anxieties and motivations surrounding art production and exhibition.") But the round up of emerging artists in the show does look intriguing; the exhibition will feature the multimedia collages of Julianne Ahn and the miniatures of Liz Zanis. Most significantly, it's a fantastic opportunity to gaze upon a sculpture by Travis LeRoy Southworth comprised entirely of spit-wads — no doubt the sort of piece that will keep conservators employed for decades. Opens Friday at 6 P.M., in Brooklyn.

At the Camel Art Space in Williamsburg, a sculpture made of spit-wads, courtesy of Travis LeRoy Southworth.
Courtesy of the artist and Camel Art Space
At the Camel Art Space in Williamsburg, a sculpture made of spit-wads, courtesy of Travis LeRoy Southworth.
Also in Williamsburg, the drawings of John O'Connor go on display at Pierogi. Shown here, the ink and pencil drawing 'Cardiff Giant,' from 2009.
Courtesy of the artist and Pierogi
Also in Williamsburg, the drawings of John O'Connor go on display at Pierogi. Shown here, the ink and pencil drawing 'Cardiff Giant,' from 2009.
O'Connor creates his pieces on found scraps of paper, often letting the material dictate the terms of the piece. Above, 'Turing,' a drawing from 2010.
Courtesy of the artist and Pierogi
O'Connor creates his pieces on found scraps of paper, often letting the material dictate the terms of the piece. Above, 'Turing,' a drawing from 2010.
At Dodge Gallery on the Lower East Side, Rebecca Chamberlain creates painted tributes to Modernist architecture -- such as 'Albers Room, Meyercord and Electricity Company Headquarters, 1926-1935.'
Courtesy the artist and Dodge Gallery
At Dodge Gallery on the Lower East Side, Rebecca Chamberlain creates painted tributes to Modernist architecture -- such as 'Albers Room, Meyercord and Electricity Company Headquarters, 1926-1935.'
Helly Nahmad Gallery is pairing works by two key 20th century painters: Chaim Soutine and Francis Bacon. Above, Bacon's 'Portrait of Henrietta Moraes,' from 1969.
Private Collection. Courtesy of Helly Nahmad Gallery.
Helly Nahmad Gallery is pairing works by two key 20th century painters: Chaim Soutine and Francis Bacon. Above, Bacon's 'Portrait of Henrietta Moraes,' from 1969.
'Study For a Portrait,' by Francis Bacon, 1966. Both Bacon and Soutine were known for contorting the human figure in bleak and grotesque ways.
Private Collection. Courtesy of Helly Nahmad Gallery.
'Study For a Portrait,' by Francis Bacon, 1966. Both Bacon and Soutine were known for contorting the human figure in bleak and grotesque ways.
Soutine's most iconic works consisted of a series of paintings showing sides of beef. Bacon would later do the same. Above, Soutine's 'The Beef,' a work from 1920.
http://www.hellynahmadgallery.com/
Soutine's most iconic works consisted of a series of paintings showing sides of beef. Bacon would later do the same. Above, Soutine's 'The Beef,' a work from 1920.
Soutine influenced New York's abstract expressionist painters with his energetic brush strokes, especially Willem De Kooning. Above, 'Portrait of the Sculptor, Oscar Miestchaninoff,' c. 1923-24.
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris,
Soutine influenced New York's abstract expressionist painters with his energetic brush strokes, especially Willem De Kooning. Above, 'Portrait of the Sculptor, Oscar Miestchaninoff,' c. 1923-24.

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Comments [1]

Meghan Gordon from 125 Maiden Lane, Financial District

Lower Manhattan Open Studios this weekend!

http://www.lmcc.net/calendar/event/2011_workspace_open_studio_weekend/

May. 12 2011 02:57 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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