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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: June 30 - July 6

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 05:38 PM

WNYC

The New York photographs of an important Chinese artist and critic, the caricatures and paintings of a German-American polymath and lots and lots of mosh pits -- not to mention a 600-lb. squid. It's shaping up to be an interesting arts week in the big, sweaty city. Here's what we've got in the hopper:

Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993 at the Asia Society In a show that reads more like a photographic diary than a traditional art installation, this exhibit at the Asia Society consists of photographs taken by Ai, the famed Chinese conceptual artist, during his early years in New York. His stark, black-and-white shots run the gamut of subject matter — from drag Queens at Wigstock to the riots in Tompkins Square Park to quiet moments with fellow artists. All of these take on an added urgency given Ai’s recent imprisonment by Chinese authorities. Students of New York will take pleasure in this vital record of the city and its arts scene, as viewed by a highly astute outsider. Through August 14, on the Upper East Side.

Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World at the Whitney Museum of Art It would be an understatement to describe the life of Lyonel Feininger as “storied.” He spent the First World War in Germany and the Second, in the United States. He played the violin and composed fugues in the style of Bach. He worked as a caricaturist for German magazines and as a cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. He was a renowned painter (associated with both Die Brücke and Die Blaue Reiter) and the first professor hired by Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus. He was reviled by the Nazis and celebrated in the U.S. Today, the Whitney will open a broad retrospective devoted to this important polymath’s work, complete with a concert of the artist’s music at Carnegie Hall in October. Fans of comic book art and bold German Expressionist color, consider this a must-see. Opens on Thursday, in Manhattan.

Harun Farocki, Images of War at the Museum of Modern Art MoMA is marking the recent acquisition of 36 works by the Czechoslovakia-born Farocki with the first comprehensive U.S. museum show dedicated to the artist’s work. Known for politically-minded video pieces that are crafted in a documentary style and stuffed with plenty of found footage, the exhibit feature the U.S. premiere of "Serious Games I-IV," which explores the use of video game technology by the U.S. military. Through January 2, in Midtown.

David Zink Yi, Pneuma at Hauser & Wirth This is the first U.S. solo show for the Lima-born, Berlin-based Zink Yi, whose work spans the range of video, sculpture and photography -- all of it preoccupied with questions of boundary and identity. The pièce de resistance (at least for the nautically minded) will likely be the gnarly 660-lb. ceramic sculpture of a squid. Through July 30, on the Upper East Side.

Dan Witz, Mosh Pits: Human and Otherwise at Jonathan Levine Gallery Get ready to thrash. The New York painter known for his surreptitious trompe l’oiele installations on the street (catch a sampling of his skater series here) is unveiling a show devoted to roiling masses of humanity -- on backdrops inspired by the dramatic lighting of the baroque. An excellent marriage of high and low. Opens Thursday at 6 P.M., in Chelsea.

Warm-Up at MoMA PS1, in Queens It’s summer in the city, which means PS1’s Saturday afternoon DJ-dance parties are once again kicking in Long Island City. Wear your finest skinny jeans and your most gigantor sunglass. Sleeve tattoos are optional. Things start grooving at about 2 P.M.

At the Whitney: A broad retrospective devoted to the work of Lyonel Feininger, a figure who was as at home in the Bahaus as he was in comics. Seen here: 'Carnival in Arcueil,' from 1911.
Art Institute of Chicago; Joseph Winterbotham Collection
At the Whitney: A broad retrospective devoted to the work of Lyonel Feininger, a figure who was as at home in the Bahaus as he was in comics. Seen here: 'Carnival in Arcueil,' from 1911.
Feininger was a celebrated painter in Germany in the '20s and early '30s, but was forced to flee when Hitler took a dislike to modernism and branded him a degenerate artist. Above, a work from 1922.
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Lyonel Feininger was a celebrated painter in Germany in the '20s, but was forced to flee when Hitler took a dislike to modernism and branded him a degenerate artist. Above, a work from 1922.
Though a serious painter, Feininger was intrigued by the whimsical (he was also a cartoonist) -- as evidence by these charming wood carvings from 1949.
Art Institute of Chicago
Though a serious painter, Feininger was intrigued by the whimsical (he was also a cartoonist) -- as evidence by these charming wood carvings from 1949.
Harun Farocki's video works are going on display at MoMA -- including 'Serious Games I-IV,' a work never before seen in the U.S.
Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York
Harun Farocki's video works are going on display at MoMA -- including 'Serious Games I-IV,' a work never before seen in the U.S.
A still from Farocki's 'Videograms of a Revolution,' from 1992. The artist's videos frequently include newsreel footage and other found video -- and toy with the nature of truth and propaganda.
Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York
A still from Farocki's 'Videograms of a Revolution,' from 1992. The artist's videos frequently include newsreel footage and other found video -- and toy with the nature of truth and propaganda.
The Berlin-based David Zink Yi gets a solo show at Hauser & Wirth, complete with ceramic squid -- a piece otherwise known as 'Untitled (Architeuthis),' from last year.
Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Johann König, Berlin
The Berlin-based David Zink Yi gets a solo show at Hauser & Wirth, complete with ceramic squid -- a piece otherwise known as 'Untitled (Architeuthis),' from last year.
Zink Yi's exhibit will also include this two-part video installation, titled 'Alrededor del dosel (Around the Canopy),' a meditation on a search for a rare bird through the Amazon.
Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Johann König, Berlin
Zink Yi's exhibit will also include this two-part video installation, titled 'Alrededor del dosel (Around the Canopy),' a meditation on a search for a rare bird through the Amazon.
At Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea: Dan Witz's bodies in motion. Shown here: 'ABC No Rio,' a painting from 2011.
Courtesy the artist and Jonathan LeVine
At Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea: Dan Witz's bodies in motion. Shown here: 'ABC No Rio,' a painting from 2011.
Witz's paintings -- a series devoted to skaters, bodegas, and mundane light fixtures -- examine contemporary subjects through a baroque lens. 'Lotus Lounge,' from 2010, is above.
Courtesy the artist and Jonathan LeVine
Witz's paintings -- a series devoted to skaters, bodegas, and mundane light fixtures -- examine contemporary subjects through a baroque lens. 'Lotus Lounge,' from 2010, is above.
During his time in New York, Ai Weiwei captured images of daily life, but also turbulence, such as this picture taken at a protest in Washington Square in 1988 -- on view at the Asia Society.
Courtesy of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Chambers Fine Art.
During his time in New York, Ai Weiwei captured images of daily life, but also turbulence, such as this picture taken at a protest in Washington Square in 1988 -- on view at the Asia Society.
In 1989, Ai captured photographer Robert Frank and poet Allen Ginsberg deep in conversation.
Courtesy of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Chambers Fine Art.
In 1989, Ai captured photographer Robert Frank and poet Allen Ginsberg deep in conversation.
In Long Island City, get ready for some summer grooving (and incredibly long beer lines) as MoMA PS1's Saturday 'Warm Up!' series gets rolling again.
Brett W. Messenger. Courtesy MoMA PS1
In Long Island City, get ready for some summer grooving (and incredibly long beer lines) as MoMA PS1's Saturday 'Warm Up!' series gets rolling again.

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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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