Crushed cars at the Guggenheim, costumed self-portraits at MoMA, site-specific installations in the Brooklyn Museum's period rooms and a gallery show that is all about nudes. It's a hopping week in New York. Here's what we're looking at:
John Chamberlain, Choices, at the Guggenheim Museum Crushed hoods, dismembered fenders and shredded van roofs. Beginning in the late 1950s — and right up until his death at the end of last year — Chamberlain was known for producing sculptures crafted out of welded car parts: supremely macho forms that reconfigured America’s favorite icon into flamboyant ribbons of steel. His pieces were explosive, yet simple. They employed color at a time when sculpture was all about monochromatic palettes. The museum will now showcase approximately 100 of his works from throughout his career, including some of his other experimentations, with materials such as foam and Plexiglas. Should be a smashing good time. Opens Friday on the Upper East Side.
Cindy Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art This much-awaited retrospective tracks the career of one of the most influential photographers of the late 20th century, a prolific figure who has turned the idea of the costumed portrait into a career-long conceit — one which regularly examines the roles of women in front of (and behind) the camera. On view at MoMA will be roughly 180 key works, including the series that pretty much launched Sherman’s career: the complete ‘Untitled Film Stills’ from the late 1970s, in which the photographer casts herself as prototypical female characters in invented films. (To be clear: Sherman isn’t the first to do this, but it’s been her pieces that have had the most impact on the work of others.) The show will include other series, too: including the maligned (for good reason) clown portraits, her humorous riffs on historic painting and her most recent work, in which she depicts herself as ladies of a certain age. Opens Sunday in Midtown.
Playing House at the Brooklyn Museum In the children’s book "From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," a pair of siblings run away from home and take up residence in the period rooms at the Met. The Brooklyn Museum is now inviting various contemporary artists do virtually the same: create installations for the museum’s period rooms as a way to consider the history of these spaces. Tucked into a plantation dining room and John D. Rockefeller’s late 19th century smoking room, among other spots, will be fabric sculptures, drawings and video installations produced by Ann Agee, Anne Chu, Betty Woodman and Mary Lucier. A good opportunity to see old spaces anew. Opens Friday in Brooklyn.
Dan Flavin, Drawing, at the Morgan Library The artist best known for his buzzing installations comprised of fluorescent light tubes was also an avid illustrator, not only sketching out ideas for his sculptures, but more pastoral motifs, like sailboats. He was a noted collector, too. The exhibit will include sketches from his archive by Hudson River School painters, Piet Mondrian, Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt. Through July 1.
Ellen Harvey, The Nudist Museum Gift Shop, at Dodge Gallery Riffing on the idea of the nude, Harvey takes over a portion of this Lower East Side space with an installation that explores the ways in which painters have historically employed nekkid people — be it for beauty, titillation or simple anatomical representation. Opens Thursday at 6 P.M., on the Lower East Side.