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Gallerina

This Week: Must-See Arts in the City

Post-war abstraction gets international at the Guggenheim, Ellsworth Kelly's tender plant drawings hit the Met, Sikkema Jenkins organizes a group show that is all about small and the Museum of Arts and Design pays homage to the humble VHS tape. Here's what's going down in New York this week:

Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949-1960 The Guggenheim Museum is digging into its permanent collection with this broad survey of abstract art in the couple of decades after World War II, when artists around the world were beginning to move away from small easel painting in favor of over-sized abstract works that were often gestural in nature. Naturally, the Abstract Expressionists will be well represented, with pieces by New York painters such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Grace Hartigan in the mix. But the show will also look at other international schools of abstraction. This will include works by the northern European group known as Cobra, as well as Italian artists such as Lucio Fontana, who is known for slitting and puncturing his monochromatic canvases, and Alberto Burri, who worked with burlap and sand. Should be a fine opportunity to see what the Gugg has been keeping in storage. Opens Friday, on the Upper East Side.

Ellsworth Kelly: Plant Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Kelly is an artist known for his hard-edged abstract forms and color field installations. But for the past six decades, he has also been an erstwhile chronicler of plant life — from bits of seaweed to a bunch of apples to a small wildflower growing determinedly by a roadside. The drawings are simple, comprised of pencil on white paper, with the occasional wash. But they are tender and full of life. Through September 3, on the Upper East Side.

The Big Picture at Sikkema Jenkins Summer group show season is upon us and Sikkema Jenkins is hitting the ground running with a show that’s all about small. At a time when artists are getting ever monumental in their works, the eight artists in this show are creating pieces that are modest in scale, yet still attempt to tackle big ideas — including wide open landscape, geometric vanishing points, hidden urban corners and the endlessness of space. Opens Friday, in Chelsea.

VHS, a film series, at the Museum of Arts & Design Paying homage to the outmoded technology of the VHS tape, this two-month-long film festival is screening all kinds of art, camp and cult films that made a name for themselves on VHS. The series will include regular workout sessions to Richard Simmons led by artist Jeffrey Marsh. Art that burns fat? Sign me up!!! Kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. with a screening of Something Weird.

Though known for hard-edge abstraction, Ellsworth Kelly has spent more than six decades creating uncluttered drawings of fruits and plants. Above, a watercolor of wild grapes, from 1961.
Though known for hard-edge abstraction, Ellsworth Kelly has spent more than six decades creating uncluttered drawings of fruits and plants. Above, a watercolor of wild grapes, from 1961. ( © Ellsworth Kelly. Photograph Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art )
Kelly's drawings -- now on view at the Met -- are as much about the plant as they are about the space around it -- as in 'Banana Leaf,' 1992.
Kelly's drawings -- now on view at the Met -- are as much about the plant as they are about the space around it -- as in 'Banana Leaf,' 1992. ( © Ellsworth Kelly Photograph Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art )
Sometimes the drawings consist of little more than pencil lines. At others, the artist uses watercolors. A sketch of some apples, from 1949, is seen above.
Sometimes the drawings consist of little more than pencil lines. At others, the artist uses watercolors. A sketch of some apples, from 1949, is seen above. ( © Ellsworth Kelly Photograph Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art )
The Museum of Arts & Design is hosting a film festival devoted to all things VHS. The cult hit 'Nekromantik' will be just a part of the offerings.
The Museum of Arts & Design is hosting a film festival devoted to all things VHS. The cult hit 'Nekromantik' will be just a part of the offerings. ( Courtesy of the Museum of Arts & Design )
Also on MAD's VHS line-up: director Todd Haynes' version of 'Superstar: The Karen Carpenter' story -- in which Barbie dolls stand in for actors.
Also on MAD's VHS line-up: director Todd Haynes' version of 'Superstar: The Karen Carpenter' story -- in which Barbie dolls stand in for actors. ( Courtesy of the Museum of Arts & Design )
Sikkema Jenkins has a group show devoted to artists working on a modest scale. Robert Bordo's 'At Bay,' from 2010, is seen above.
Sikkema Jenkins has a group show devoted to artists working on a modest scale. Robert Bordo's 'At Bay,' from 2010, is seen above. ( Courtesy of the artist, Alexander and Bonin, New York and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York )
'Red Cedar, Re-Cycled,' 2011, by John Dilg, at Sikkema Jenkins.
'Red Cedar, Re-Cycled,' 2011, by John Dilg, at Sikkema Jenkins. ( Courtesy of the artist, Luise Ross Gallery, New York and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York )
Artist Josephine Halvorson is also featured in the show at Sikkema Jenkins. Seen here: 'Chalkboard (Big Meech)', from 2012.
Artist Josephine Halvorson is also featured in the show at Sikkema Jenkins. Seen here: 'Chalkboard (Big Meech)', from 2012. ( Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York )
The Guggenheim is exploring international abstraction in the two decades prior to the museum's opening in 1959. Grace Hartigan's 'Ireland,' from 1958, is shown above.
The Guggenheim is exploring international abstraction in the two decades prior to the museum's opening in 1959. Grace Hartigan's 'Ireland,' from 1958, is shown above. ( The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice )
The Gugg's show examines the ways in which artists around the world were doing away with representation in the period after World War II -- such as 'The Cry,' 1959, by Isamu Noguchi.
The Gugg's show examines the ways in which artists around the world were doing away with representation in the period after World War II -- such as 'The Cry,' 1959, by Isamu Noguchi. ( Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo by Kris McKay )
José Guerrero's 1956 painting, 'Signs and Portents.' Guerrero was born in Spain and was known for his bright canvases that evoked elements of landscape.
José Guerrero's 1956 painting, 'Signs and Portents.' Guerrero was born in Spain and was known for his bright canvases that evoked elements of landscape. ( Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York )
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