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This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

WNYC's Arts Datebook: February 29 - March 6, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 12:00 AM

WNYC
The Morgan Library is going for serious awwww factor in its new exhibit 'In the company of Animals.' Seen here: an 1841 drawing of gray rabbits by John James Audubon. The Morgan Library is going for serious awwww factor in its new exhibit 'In the company of Animals.' Seen here: an 1841 drawing of gray rabbits by John James Audubon. (The Morgan Library & Museum. Photograph by Graham S. Haber)

Art about animals, the collection of important Parisian patrons, the architectonic works of a Cuban artist, art about performance art and early '80s photographs from Northern Africa and beyond. There's a lot going on in the city this week. Here's what we're looking at:

In the Company of Animals at the Morgan Library & Museum In what will no doubt be a charmer, the Morgan has dug through its permanent collection to produce a show that examines the ways in which animals have inspired artists of all stripes. The exhibition draws from several millennia worth of work — from an ancient Mesopotamian seal depicting lions to the delicate ink drawings of John James Audubon to the tender drawings that painter David Hockney has made of his dachshunds. Also included in the mix will be a letter by Edgar Allan Poe that marks revisions to his poem “The Raven” as well as conceptual illustrations for Debussy’s ballet, "The Toy Box," which features an elephant and tiger. Opens Friday, in Midtown.

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso & the Parisian Avant-Garde at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Writer Gertrude Stein, along with her brothers Leo and Michael and her sister-in-law Sarah were important patrons in early 20th century Paris — at a time when Modernist ideals were on the rise. The family promoted the work of its close friends Matisse and Picasso, as well as painters such as Cézanne, Degas and Manet, and the architect Le Corbusier. The Met’s new exhibit will bring together roughly 200 works once owned by the Steins, along with life-size photographic installations of the family’s Paris apartments. Through June 3.

Alexandre Arrechea, Twisted Horizon, at Magnan Metz This Cuban artist — once a founding member of the influential collective Los Carpinteros — will have his latest solo outing this week at Magnan Metz, displaying architectonic works inspired by bridges (and all the connectivity and fragility they represent). This is a fine opportunity to check out his pieces prior to the installation of his large-scale sculptures on Park Avenue next spring. Opens Thursday at 6 P.M., in Chelsea.

Adam Bartos at Gitterman Gallery Bartos, a noted photographer will be displaying several never-before-seen pictures from his travels in Northern Africa in the 1980s, as well as a recent series that hits closer to home (Long Island!). Inspired by 19th century travel photographers such as Samuel Bourne and Robert MacPherson (the latter of whom was the first to shoot the Vatican), Bartos turns his lens on more humble monuments: apartment blocks, public benches and cement plants, capturing an array of textures, colors and scenarios, some of which border on the ever-so-slightly absurd. Opens Thursday, on the Upper East Side.

Douglas Huebler, Crocodile Tears, at Paula Cooper Gallery The gallery’s first show devoted to this late artist examines a series inspired by a late 1970s/early ‘80s screenplay about a fictional performance artist. Naturally it pries open all kinds of art industry issues, from digitization to money, all of it rendered in a combination of words and images — part conceptual comic, part storyboard, all art world insanity. Opens Friday, in Chelsea.

PLUS: It’s Whitney Biennial time!! The show kicks off on Thursday on the Upper East Side. Carmen Winant checks in on the Biennial’s film program. Log onto WNYC Culture for further coverage.

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Met is displaying works collected by the Steins -- Leo, Michael and writer Gertrude -- important art patrons in the early 20th century. Seen here: a Picasso still life from 1922.
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
The family were important collectors of early Modern art, including canvases by their good friend Henri Matisse -- such as 'La Coiffure,' from 1907.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris on deposit at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
The Steins ran a lively Saturday evening salon in Paris, introducing important artists to new audiences and each other. Paul Cézanne's 'Bathers,' from c. 1892, is seen above.
Courtesy of the artist
At Magnan Metz in Chelsea, the architectonic works of Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea will go on view. 'Zollamtssteg,' a sculpture from 2012, is shown here.
Courtesy of the artist and Gitterman Gallery
The Gitterman Gallery is showing the photography of Adam Bartos, an artist inspired by 19th century travel photography. This image was taken on Long Island in 2010.
Courtesy of the artist and Gitterman Gallery
The exhibition of Bartos's work will feature pictures taken in North Africa in the '80s -- such as this image of the Ramses Hilton under construction in Cairo in 1980.
Courtesy of the artist and Gitterman Gallery
Bartos's photographs often function like still lifes, with great care placed on objects and their textures, shapes and tones -- as in this image from Kenya, also snapped in 1980.
©Estate of Douglas Huebler / ARS. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Paula Cooper Gallery is showing works by Douglas Huebler, an artist whose works picked apart the art world in words and images. Seen here: 'Crocodile Tears: Great Corrector (Mondrian),' 1990.
The Morgan Library. Photo by Graham S. Haber
At the Morgan, an exhibit devoted to animals in art, literature and music -- such as Eugène Delacroix's 19th century studies of a cat.
The Morgan Library. Courtesy Faksimile Verlag, Luzern
A piece of an illuminated manuscript from the 13th century shows St. Francis preaching to the birds.
The Morgan Library & Museum. © David Hockney
The show at the Morgan features works both new and old. 'Boodgie and Stanley' is a 1993 drawing by British painter David Hockney that shows off the artist's dachsunds.

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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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