This Week: Must-See Arts in the City
WNYC's Arts Datebook: May 9 - 15, 2012
Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Two Italian designers face off at the Met, a group of artists take on the art market and a moody photographer shows his latest in Chelsea. Plus, forget about Bushwick ... this weekend, it's all about Queens -- as in Ridgewood, where the Queens Museum is holding a "historic art crawl." There's lots to do in the city this week and here's just a bit of what's cooking:
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art The latest fashion extravaganza at the Met (check out WNYC’s slideshow from the red carpet on Monday night) pairs the work of two famous Italian designers, past and present: Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. While the two were never contemporaries (Schiaparelli passed away in 1973), both figures represent fashion’s more experimental tendencies. Schiaparelli was known for employing slinky knits, unusual patterns and wild fabrics. She also spent a good deal of time partying with the surrealists. (It was Salvador Dalí who helped her design her infamous shoe hat, shown at left.) Prada is no slouch in the arts department herself (she supports contemporary artists through her own personal foundation) and she has a singular voice as a designer: employing unusual textures, ornamentation and patterns for a look that challenges traditional notions of beauty (a.k.a. “ugly chic”). The show’s concept is intriguing and some of the dresses are absolutely beguiling. It’s too bad the curators had to take this promising interplay between artists and bury it in an installation design that does everything possible to obscure the frocks on display. It is a wannabe Blade Runner environment of mirrors, dim rooms, shiny Lucite cases, wall-sized videos and back-lit monitors with bright, black-and-white images (some of which move). The fashion doesn't stand a chance. By all means go to the show — the designs are worth it. Just be sure to pack the Dramamine. Through August 9, on the Upper East Side.
Richteriana at Postmasters Gallery Featuring work by half a dozen artists, the latest group show at Postmasters explores the connection between art and the market: specifically the market of German painter and installationist Gerhard Richter, who was rated as a good investment by John Binstock, an art advisory guy at Citibank. (I’m not making this up. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon recently picked apart Binstock’s report, which stated that the artist “has recently emerged powerfully as the next great market force among the tradition of 20th century painters including Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol.”) While the show doesn’t seek to repudiate Richter as an artist, it does seek to ask the question of why certain objects are imbued with value — either social or monetary — while others are not. A good thought experiment. Opens on Saturday at 6 p.m., in Chelsea.
Ari Marcopoulos, Wherever you go, at Marlborough Chelsea Photographer and filmmaker Marcopolous takes simple images with a basic point-and-shoot camera and then manipulates them — either by photocopying, or other basic means — to make grainy over-sized prints that he then hangs on gallery walls. In his latest outing, the artist displays moody bits of graffiti, abstracted surfaces and encounters with friends and complete strangers. Opens on Thursday at 6 p.m., in Chelsea.
Cage Transmitted at 155 Freeman To celebrate composer John Cage’s centenary, the Bushwick non-profit Norte Maar has been staging a series of events in his honor. The latest goes down at the Brooklyn space belonging to the literary mag Triple Canopy and will consist of a performance by Robert Whitman followed by a screening of rare video showing Cage reading Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Erik Satie: An Alphabet. Doors open on Thursday at 7 p.m. Performance is at 7:30 p.m., in Greenpoint.
Storm King re-opens for the season Spring is upon us (if this cottony layer of clouds ever goes away) and the Storm King sculpture center is re-opening, with a new installation of pieces that explore elements of light and landscape. Expect works by figures such as Anish Kapoor, Donald Judd and Olafur Eliasson (he of the giant East River waterfalls). On Saturday, in the Hudson Valley.
Actually, It's Ridgewood. Historic Art Crawl A whole host of galleries that are regularly touted as being located in Bushwick are actually in Ridgewood, the Queens community that harbors tasty pignoli cookies and inspired Ecuadorean sandwiches. To draw attention to this geographic dislocation, the Queens Museum of Art has organized a gallery crawl of all the spaces on the Queens side of the Bushwick border — which kicks off this Saturday afternoon at the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House. The grounds that surround this colonial Dutch farmhouse (set in the middle of an industrial area) have been turned into a sculpture park. The art party continues to various other spaces from there … Follow along via the Twitter hashtag #repQueens. On Saturday, starting at 3 p.m.