A Bronx building is reborn as an art gallery (albeit temporarily), the fine drawings of Dürer and his Northern Renaissance contemporaries goes on view at the Met, a Brooklyn gallery creates a free collaborative poster series and a Chelsea space gathers found photos in the wake of the disasters in Japan. There is some highly interesting stuff going down in New York this week. Here's what we're looking at:
This Side of Paradise at the Andrew Freedman Home On the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, across the street from the Housing Court, sits one of New York’s more unusual structures: the Andrew Freedman Home, a gracious Beaux-Arts mansion established by an eccentric millionaire in 1924 to house upper-class seniors who had lost their fortunes. Here, they were treated to white glove meals by a small battalion of servants, courtesy of an endowment left behind by Freedman, a New York mogul who owned ball clubs, helped finance the IRT subway lines (2/3 and 4/5/6) and was generally known for being tight with Tammany. (Get a more complete version of the story here.) By the 1980s, the endowment had dried up and the building was purchased by the Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council, which has rented out pieces of it to various groups. But for decades, entire rooms and floors have lain empty. Now the non-profit group No Longer Empty is using these for a display of site-specific works by artists as varied as Mel Chin and graffiti artist Crash. A fine opportunity to explore one of the city’s quirkier urban spaces. Opens on Wednesday, in the Bronx.
Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings, 1400-1700 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Drawing from its extensive holdings, the Met has put together an exhibit that showcases the important draftsmen of the Holy Roman Empire — the area in Europe comprising present-day Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Included in the exhibit are sketches, studies and self-portraits by Hans Holbein the Elder, Martin Schongauer and polymath Albrecht Dürer, a printer, painter, mathematician and engraver whose name was synonymous with the Northern Renaissance. The latter's drawings of pillows feel cushion-y and intimate. Through September 3, on the Upper East Side.
Folio, featuring work by the collective 2-UP, at Soloway Gallery For several years, the collective of artists known as 2-UP has collaborated on a series of posters (often abstract and conceptual in nature) that paired the work of artists and writers. These were sold as a subscription, or could be picked up at gallery exhibits. Now the group is showing works by several contemporary artists and is giving away a free newspaper that disassembles into seven posters. Opens Saturday at 7 PM.
Lost & Found: 3.11 Photographs from Tohoku at the Aperture Foundation Last year’s tsunami in Japan wiped out towns, generated a nuclear meltdown and claimed the lives of almost 20,000 people in a catastrophic event that the country is still in the process of digesting. In the wake of the tragedy, rescue personnel began to save the personal photographs found in ruins of what had once been vibrant human settlements. These they displayed in local school centers. Now the Aperture Foundation is showing a collection of these found images, from the town of Yamamoto in the Miyagi Prefecture — a ghostly reminder of all the lives lost and people displaced. Through Friday April 27, in Chelsea.
One of the most touching pieces at the No Longer Empty exhibit in the Bronx is the video diary of Tim Hetherington (above), a British journalist who was killed on assignment in Libya last year. It is projected onto a wall of one of the Andrew Freedman Home's disheveled rooms. The combination of footage and setting are incredibly powerful.