Streams

This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: July 14 - 20, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC
Piano-player extraordinaire Rowlf the Dog, the canine with the golden paws. Now on view at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. (Photo by John E. Barrett. (c) The Muppets Studio, LLC.)

An art rainbow in Chelsea, African-American perspectives in Harlem, nostalgia for the old Soviet Bloc on the Lower East Side and an event full of comic art stars at the Whitney. Plus: Jim Henson's Muppets take Astoria. Here's what's worth looking out for in the arts world in the coming week.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria It'll be easy to be green at this comprehensive traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian that's about all things Muppet — and then some. The show will include plenty of the late, great puppet master's paraphernalia, including drawings, cartoons and posters, some of it dating back to the 1950s. Naturally, many of his puppets will also be on display -- including Kermit, Bert, Ernie and everyone's favorite piano-playing pooch, Rowlf the Dog. (Here he is in duet with Fozzie.) Plus: here's hoping that Manha Mahna gets the institutional due it so sorely deserves. Opens Saturday, in Queens.

Spiral: Perspective on an African-American Art Collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem In the early 1960s, in the wake of the March on Washington, a group of New York City artists -- including collage master Romare Bearden and painter Hale Woodruff -- came together at a space on Christopher Street to pick apart the happenings of the Civil Rights movement and create art in response to it. Known as the Spiral Collective, the group's 15 members held spirited discussions about art, race and politics. They were not always in agreement -- and the resulting works show the different ways in which each artist digested the era's social and political turmoil, with works that range from colorful figuration to abstraction rendered in dripping black and white. The Studio Museum has gathered works by 10 of the Spiral Collective artists, with standouts including William D. Merton's powerfully aggressive canvases and Woodruff's expressive figures. These works alone make the trip to the museum worthwhile, but once you get there, be sure to pop into the artist-in-residence exhibit upstairs, Evidence of Accumulation, to see works by three young artists being supported by the museum. Especially gripping is an operatic video by Simone Leigh (in collaboration with Liz Magic Laser and Alicia Hall Moran) called Breakdown. Opens on Thursday, in Harlem.

Ostalgia at the New Museum of Contemporary Art When the Berlin Wall fell more than two decades ago, the changes that followed resulted in new regimes, new political boundaries and new ways of living for millions of people who had once existed solely under the authority of the former Soviet Union. This compelling group show, which at its core features work by Russian artists, examines the vertiginous sense of change and displacement generated by those political events. Taken from the German word "ostalgie" -- a term used to describe a longing for the old Soviet bloc -- the exhibit gathers work by more than 50 artists from 20 countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics. Should be a good post-Cold War trip. Through September 25, on the Lower East Side.

Colorific! We Make An Art Rainbow at Postmasters Gallery Let's face it, some days you're not looking for art that re-contextualizes the nature of liminal space. You just want a nice blue painting that will look good over that brand new Italian leather sofa you just picked up. Thankfully, the cheeky curators at Postmasters Gallery feel your decorating pain and have come up with just the show to address it: a group exhibit that is installed entirely by color (complete with a grayscale gallery in the back) -- because who wants "high concept" when all you really need is green? Interior designers, bring your swatches!!! Opens Friday, in Chelsea.

The Fine Art of Comics, with Gary Panter, Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware, at the Whitney Museum Get your geek on at this panel discussion featuring an all-star line-up of comic book artists. It's tied to the museum's exhibit on polymath cartoonist, caricaturist and painter Lyonel Feininger -- the man who produced the highly stylized Chicago Sunday Tribune strips "The Kin-der-Kids" and "Wee Willie Winkie" in the early days of the 20th century. Should be one fan-tastic event! Things get rolling next Wednesday, July 20th at 7 P.M.

At the Studio Museum: Art that responded to the Civil Rights movement. Shown here: Hale Woodruff's 'Africa and the Bull,' c. 1958.
Courtesy the Studio Museum in Harlem
At the Studio Museum: Art that responded to the Civil Rights movement. Shown here: Hale Woodruff's 'Africa and the Bull,' c. 1958.
Also part of the Spiral Collective show at the Studio Museum: 'Bonfire,' by Norman Lewis, from 1962. The artists in the exhibit responded to the politics of the era in vastly different ways.
Courtesy the Studio Museum Harlem
Also part of the Spiral Collective show at the Studio Museum: 'Bonfire,' by Norman Lewis, from 1962. The artists in the exhibit responded to the politics of the era in vastly different ways.
'Untitled (Angry Young Man),' 1965 by Merton D. Simpson. In response to the turbulence of the time, Simpson created a series of aggressively stunning images in stark black and white.
Courtesy the Studio Museum Harlem
'Untitled (Angry Young Man),' 1965 by Merton D. Simpson. In response to the turbulence of the time, Simpson created a series of aggressively stunning images in stark black and white.
The New Museum has an exhibit devoted to works produced by artists from the former Soviet Bloc. Shown here: Sergey Zarva's mixed media piece '#22' from his 'OGONYOK' series.
Courtesy the artist and Regina Gallery, London and Moscow
The New Museum has an exhibit devoted to works produced by artists from the former Soviet Bloc. Shown here: Sergey Zarva's mixed media piece '#22' from his 'OGONYOK' series.
Ion Grigorescu's 1977 film 'Boxing' will be on view as part of 'Ostalgia' at the New Museum. Grigorescu, a Romanian artist, often shows himself performing a ritualized action in his pieces.
Courtesy Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin and Ljubljana, and the Museum of Museum of Modern Art, New York
Ion Grigorescu's 1977 film 'Boxing' will be on view as part of 'Ostalgia' at the New Museum. Grigorescu, a Romanian artist, often shows himself performing a ritualized action in his pieces.
An image from Nikolay Bakharev's “Relationship” series, taken in 1989 — also part of the New Museum show.
Courtesy the artist and Gallery.Photographer.ru, Moscow
An image from Nikolay Bakharev's “Relationship” series, taken in 1989 — also part of the New Museum show.
At Postmaster Gallery: Art organized by color! Need something red for the boudoir? Try Diana Cooper's 'Untitled, Red,' from 2008.
Courtesy the artist and Postmasters Gallery
At Postmaster Gallery: Art organized by color! Need something red for the boudoir? Try Diana Cooper's 'Untitled, Red,' from 2008.
I know orange is totally '70s, but I just love it as a color. (I'm still searching for a perfect pair of orange jeans.) Shown here: Adam Cvijanovic's 'Tree of Life.'
Courtesy the artist and Postmasters Gallery
I know orange is totally '70s, but I just love it as a color. (I'm still searching for a perfect pair of orange jeans.) Shown here: Adam Cvijanovic's 'Tree of Life.'
Not So Mellow Yellow: 'Jessica and Kevin McCoy,' by the artists Jessica and Kevin McCoy. Perfect for brightening up a dark corner.
Courtesy the artist and Postmasters Gallery
Not So Mellow Yellow: 'Jessica and Kevin McCoy,' by the artists Jessica and Kevin McCoy. Perfect for brightening up a dark corner.
Puppet master Jim Henson with his alter-ego, Kermit — on view at the Museum of the Moving Image.
John E. Barrett, courtesy of The Jim Henson Company. Kermit the Frog (c)The Muppets Studio, LLC.
Puppet master Jim Henson with his alter-ego, Kermit — on view at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Henson and Frog chill on the set of 'The Muppet Movie' in 1978. In addition to puppets, the show at the Museum of the Moving Image will contain plenty of ephemera.
Photo courtesy of The Jim Henson Company. Kermit the Frog (c) The Muppets Studio, LLC.
Henson and Frog chill on the set of 'The Muppet Movie' in 1978. In addition to puppets, the show at the Museum of the Moving Image will contain plenty of ephemera.
At the Whitney next week: a blockbuster panel — with comic book mad geniuses Gary Panter, Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman — to dissect their art and the works of Lyonel Feininger.
Lyonel Feininger Family, LLC./Artists Rights Society (ARS). Photograph by MoMA/SCALA Art Resource NY
At the Whitney next week: a blockbuster panel — with comic book mad geniuses Gary Panter, Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman — to dissect their art and the works of Lyonel Feininger.
Feininger, who divided his time between Germany and the United States over the course of his life, was the rare painter who also did comics. Shown here: 'Wee Willie Winkie's World.'
Lyonel Feininger Family, LLC./Artists Rights Society (ARS). Photograph by MoMA/SCALA Art Resource NY
Feininger, who divided his time between Germany and the United States over the course of his life, was the rare painter who also did comics. Shown here: 'Wee Willie Winkie's World.'

Tags:

More in:

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

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