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Gallerina

This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

Dancing on ladders in the Meatpacking District, more than half a century of urban redevelopment at MoMA, European artists showing naughty bits on the Lower East Side and architectural sculpture meets photography out on Long Island. It's sweaty, but the art shows will go on. Here's what we're looking for in the coming week:

ASCENSION, a dance performance commissioned for Whitney On Site: New Commissions Downtown Elizabeth Streb, the choreographer once referred to as the “Evel Knievel of Dance” (seriously) has devised an acrobatic performance piece that will take place on a sculptural rotating ladder in Gansevoort Plaza (in front of Pastis). Featuring nine dancers from the STREB Extreme Action Company, the performers will be flipped and turned and rotated as their performance platform shifts and moves. Sounds like daredevil dance fun to me. Best of all: it’s F-R-E-E. There will be two performances daily (at 3 P.M. and 5 P.M.) for three days starting on Thursday, in the Meatpacking District (which I personally think needs to be rechristened "The Stilletos & Very Large Handbags District").

194X - 9/11: American Architects and the City, at the Museum of Modern Art In recent years, many American cities have been rethinking elements of their urban fabric: reconsidering mobility, re-inhabiting once abandoned urban centers, creating mixed-use developments that allow citizens to live, work and eat in the same neighborhood, thereby lessening the use of a car. These issues of redevelopment are pressing -- especially in cities like New York, where space is limited, and behemoth projects such as the new World Trade Center site and the proposed Atlantic Yards project, consume entire neighborhoods. In what promises to be a thought-provoking new exhibit organized by architecture and design curator Barry Bergdoll, MoMA is examining more than a half century’s worth of urban renewal schemes by architects both famous (Mies Van der Rohe) and unknown (James Fitzgibbon). It's an excellent way of surveying ideas that have worked, and those that haven't. As part of a related design project, Bergdoll is also spearheading Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, a workshop series devoted to the relationship between architecture, suburbanism and the foreclosure crisis. In other words, a lot of food for thought. Through January 2, in Midtown.

Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George and Juergen Teller, at Lehmann Maupin Gallery It’s summer, which means group show season is upon us — a good opportunity for from some quick catch-up if you haven’t been making the rounds. At its downtown branch, Lehmann Maupin has a round-up of European artists known for displaying plenty of naughty bits. The gallery’s Chelsea branch is also opening a group show this week, On Shuffle, devoted to works inspired by sound and performance. This exhibit will feature video artists such as Kalup Linzy, of the squeaky-voiced soap operatic set-ups, and Dario Robleto, a Texas-based conceptual artist whose cut-paper pieces often reference music and dance. Through August 19, on the Lower East Side and Chelsea.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job, photographs by gallery owners, by Hasted Kraeutler Gallery Summer also means that galleries start doing fun little shows that would never go down during the height of the buying season. Hasted Kraeutler, which specializes in contemporary photography, comes through with an interesting one: a show devoted to photographs produced by gallerists, allowing a bevy of art dealers to channel the frustrated artist within. Opens on Thursday, in Chelsea.

Robert Hite, Imagined Histories, at the Nassau County Museum of Art Inspired by vernacular rural architecture, Hite creates sculptures of rambling wood stilt houses, torqued towers and structures that appear to have been crumpled and then re-stretched like accordions. The show at the Nassau Museum features photographs of his sculptures en situ, in open fields, dim forests and dank swamps. A good opportunity to get out to Long Island; even better if you already happen to be there. Through September 4, in Roslyn Harbor.

At the Nassau County Museum of art, sculptor and photographer Robert Hite blends architectural history and photography. Shown here: 'Migration House,' a piece from 2006.
At the Nassau County Museum of art, sculptor and photographer Robert Hite blends architectural history and photography. Shown here: 'Migration House,' a piece from 2006. ( Courtesy of the artist )
Hite's sculptures are like hallucinogenic versions of traditional vernacular architecture -- such as 'River Tower, Cliff Edge, Rhinecliff, Dutchess County,' from 2007.
Hite's sculptures are like hallucinogenic versions of traditional vernacular architecture -- such as 'River Tower, Cliff Edge, Rhinecliff, Dutchess County,' from 2007. ( Courtesy of the artist )
Originally from rural Virginia, Hite has studied rural houses all over the world. Above, 'Seven Deadly Sins, Hell Brook Farm, Ulster County, NY,' from 2007.
Originally from rural Virginia, Hite has studied rural houses all over the world. Above, 'Seven Deadly Sins, Hell Brook Farm, Ulster County, NY,' from 2007. ( Courtesy of the artist )
At Hasted Kraeutler in Chelsea: Photographs taken by gallerists. 'Untitled, Minneapolis (Girl in Beret)', from 1975, is by dealer Deborah Bell, who recently moved to Christie's.
At Hasted Kraeutler in Chelsea: Photographs taken by gallerists. 'Untitled, Minneapolis (Girl in Beret)', from 1975, is by dealer Deborah Bell, who recently moved to Christie's. ( Courtesy of Deborah Bell Photographs, New York and Hasted Kraeutler, New York )
Also at Hasted Kraeutler: This 1976 image by Peter MacGill, of Pace/MacGill Gallery fame, 'Untitled #01.'
Also at Hasted Kraeutler: This 1976 image by Peter MacGill, of Pace/MacGill Gallery fame, 'Untitled #01.' ( Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Hasted Kraeutler, New York )
A portrait of legendary Mexican lensman Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1982, snapped by David Fahey, of Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, now on view at Hasted Krauetler.
A portrait of legendary Mexican lensman Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1982, snapped by David Fahey, of Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, now on view at Hasted Krauetler. ( Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles and Hasted Kraeutler, New York )
At MoMA: An exhibit that looks at the ways in which architects and urban planners have designed cities over the last half cenutry. Shown here: A proposal for the World Trade site by Think Design.
At MoMA: An exhibit that looks at the ways in which architects and urban planners have designed cities over the last half cenutry. Shown here: A proposal for the World Trade site by Think Design. ( The Museum of Modern Art, New York. )
MoMA's exhibit includes design exercises that explored ideas of environments within environments, such as 'Palmtree Island,' from 1971, by Haus-Rucker-Co.
MoMA's exhibit includes design exercises that explored ideas of environments within environments, such as 'Palmtree Island,' from 1971, by Haus-Rucker-Co. ( The Museum of Modern Art, New York )
Acrobatic: As part of the 'Whitney On Site' series downtown, the STREB Extreme Action Company is performing a contemporary dance piece on a swinging ladder in the Meatpacking District.
Acrobatic: As part of the 'Whitney On Site' series downtown, the STREB Extreme Action Company is performing a contemporary dance piece on a swinging ladder in the Meatpacking District. ( Photograph by Graham E. Newhall, Whitney Museum )
The routine is choreographed by Elizabeth Streb, a dancer and choreographer who likes to incorporate mechanical elements into her work. Some of the moves are downright death-defying.
The routine is choreographed by Elizabeth Streb, a dancer and choreographer who likes to incorporate mechanical elements into her work. Some of the moves are downright death-defying. ( Photograph by Graham E. Newhall, Whitney Museum )
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