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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: September 22 - 28, 2011.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WNYC
Thirteen pieces by Sanford Biggers go on view at the Brooklyn Museum — including 'Cheshire,' a piece from 2008. (Courtesy of the artist and Michael Klein Arts)

A piano-studded tree grows in Brooklyn, rare African sculptures at the Met, revolutionary drawings at the Morgan, the conceptualists of Fluxus in two cities, and on the Lower East Side, art melds with everyday life. There's lots to do in the city in the coming week. Here's what we're going to be looking at:

Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk — An Introspective at the Brooklyn Museum The L.A.-born, New York-based contemporary artist will be showing 13 recent works at this anticipated exhibit in Brooklyn. Among them will be “Blossoms” — a large piano-studded tree — and “Cheshire,” a piece which toys with the Cheshire cat’s disembodied smile in Alice in Wonderland as well as themes related to minstrelsy. Looks like a good one. Opens Friday, in Brooklyn.

Heroic Africans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bringing together pieces from African art collections all over the world, this exhibit gathers key sculpture and other works from Central Africa. The question at the heart of the show: Who were the figures depicted in these works? And why are their images worth exploring? It’s a rare opportunity to see fine works of sculpture from various periods. Through January 29, on the Upper East Side.

David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre at the Morgan Library The 18th century was a turbulent period in France, a time during which the monarchy collapsed and began to give way to a system of parliamentary rule. During this time, now legendary artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Ferdinand Delacroix and Théodore Géricault never stopped sketching the real and imagined worlds around them. This exhibit at the Morgan showcases a major group of drawings from the Louvre Museum in Paris by these and other artists from this period. A rare treat. Opens Friday, in Midtown.

Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life at the Grey Art Gallery at NYU What’s not that old is new again — and in the art world that means that anything that was made in the 1960s and ‘70s is currently receiving a thorough going over. As a result, the art movement known as Fluxus (which included Yoko Ono in its ranks) has been the subject of plentiful study. The group, led by artist George Maciunas, was known for its experimental happenings and its playful pieces (some of which were merely sets of instructions) that questioned the very nature of art. To celebrate the group, which had deep roots in New York City, the Grey Art Gallery has gathered more than a hundred Fluxus works and is showcasing them in its Washington Square space. Should be cheeky conceptualist fun. Through December 3, in the Village.

at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers at the Zimmerli Art Museum And because too much Fluxus is never enough: Rutgers University has its own Fluxus exhibit — tied to members of the movement who were long-time faculty members. Opens Saturday, in New Brunswick, N.J.

Living as Form at the Historic Essex Street Market Creative Time, one of New York City’s most adventurous contemporary art non-profits, is once again blurring the line between art and life in this large-scale installation and survey that will be based out of the Essex Market on the Lower East Side. The show will include more than 100 artists and projects, as well as a long list of events — including walking tours, presentations and panel discussions. Invited artists include the well-known (Ai Weiwei and Francis Alÿs) as well as budding groups. Look for the installation made with books considered “dangerous” by the FBI — made by the L.A.-based art collective Finishing School. Through October 16, on the Lower East Side.

PLUS: The Affordable Art Fair is going down in New York City this weekend — a great opportunity to pick up (or just ogle) cool works from galleries all over the Americas and Europe that don’t cost a million bucks. Admission to the fair is generally $17, but if you hit the fair on Thursday from 4 P.M. to 9 P.M., it’s F-R-E-E.

At the Met: A rare and stunning array of Central African sculpture, on view in the exhibit 'Heroic Africans.' Seen here, a 19th century Pwo mask, from the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium
At the Met: A rare and stunning array of Central African sculpture, on view in the exhibit 'Heroic Africans.' Seen here, a 19th century Pwo mask, from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Another Pwo mask from Congo, this one from the early 20th century.
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Another Pwo mask from Congo, this one from the early 20th century.
'The Artist's Left Hand,' by Théodore Géricault — one of the many Louvre drawings from revolutionary France to go on view at the Morgan.
Musée du Louvre
'The Artist's Left Hand,' by Théodore Géricault — one of the many Louvre drawings from revolutionary France to go on view at the Morgan.
Another drawing by Géricault at the Morgan: his depiction of the myth about Leda and the swan, drawn in the early 19th century.
Musée du Louvre
Another drawing by Géricault at the Morgan: his depiction of the myth about Leda and the swan, drawn in the early 19th century.
A graphite drawing by Jacques-Louis David shows a stand off between the Sabine women and the Romans.
Musée du Louvre
A graphite drawing by Jacques-Louis David shows a stand off between the Sabine women and the Romans.
At NYU's Grey Art Gallery: a piece by Fluxus founder George Maciunas:
Hood Museum, Dartmouth College
At NYU's Grey Art Gallery: a piece by Fluxus founder George Maciunas: "Gift Box for John Cage," made circa 1972.
Fluxus is also the subject of a show at Rutgers. Shown here:
Collection of Emily Harvey Foundation
Fluxus is also the subject of a show at Rutgers. Shown here: "Optimistic Box #3 - So much the better if you can't play chess (you won't imitate Marcel Duchamp)" by Robert Filliou, from 1969.
One of my favorites: a chocolate cream pie crafted out of chrome, by Robert Watts. Also on view at Rutgers' Zimmerli Museum.
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
One of my favorites: a chocolate cream pie crafted out of chrome, by Robert Watts. Also on view at Rutgers' Zimmerli Museum.
Creative Time is integrating art into life at the Essex Market on the Lower East Side. The exhibit will feature dozens of works, including this photo by Chemi Rosado,
Photographs Courtesy of Chemi Rosado Seijo ©2002
Creative Time is integrating art into life at the Essex Market on the Lower East Side. The exhibit will feature dozens of works, including this photo by Chemi Rosado, "El Cerro."
A view of Sanford Biggers'
Courtesy of the artist and Michael Klein Arts
A view of Sanford Biggers' "Blossom," recently acquired by the Brooklyn Museum. The N.Y.- based artist will be showing 13 works as part of a new exhibit there.

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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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